Why working-from-home tax is a bad idea

First of all, I have to admit, I am not a professional economist, tax-expert or politician. Even though I do have basic economic education, I might miss some obvious things. Nonetheless, I think that the idea of additional tax based on where people decide to work from (which is a `telecommuting` in this case) is not a very sound suggestion Like many other people, I am working from home now. The biggest difference in my case is that I was working from home before and I intend to work from home in the future. I don't mind (in fact, I strongly support) seeing my colleagues once a week or several times a month, but I don't think it always makes sense to be collocated to work effectively. This morning I saw the story posted by the BBC:  Deutsche Bank: Tax working from home 'to support vulnerable jobs' , which suggests introducing a new 5% tax for those, who choose to work from home. I am not going to copy the story here, please feel free to check it yourselves, but I

Test automation framework - do I need it at all?

While there're lots of information published on the internet about how one should develop/buy a Test Automation solution, there's an elephant in the room - which is the fundamental question "Do I need to do it at all?". That is a good question. While I think that there’re some legitimate contexts where product/project/team can benefit from having a sophisticated test automation solution/framework, my general rule of thumb is “If you need a framework - you do it wrong” . There’re at least several decent papers showing the benefit of unit-testing ([1],[2], [3]), while I could not find any research proving that system level tests could bring better results. Please let me know if you can prove me wrong. There’s at least one half-scientific paper showing the benefits of unit tests in comparison to integration/system level tests [4] There’s a good paper bringing a notion of running/writing and maintaining test vs. the benefit of having/running it at

An alternative to ubiquitous UI-level checking - Subcutaneous tests

Let's assume a hypothetical situation - you were assigned to a project to help with the "test automation" initiative. You have a huge "test plan" as an input, containing hundreds (if not thousands) of "test cases" and you need to do something about it, quick. Problem statement Your first urge (if it is a Web application) may be to write some UI-level automated checks using tools like, you know, Selenium. In fact, there's a huge demand for such "Selenium test automators" in the industry these days. But please, please, don't do this. There're lots of things which make UI-level automated checking the least desirable approach: UI-level automated checks will be slow. There's just no way to avoid it. You can parallel them or do some other tweaks to speed them up somehow, but they still will be slow. UI-level automated checks will be flaky. Partly - because they're slow. Partly because Web browser and UI interface w

There's no such thing as "Best Practice"

I don't usually write replies to someone else's articles or blog posts. But recently I stumbled upon an article, which I would like to reply to. The article named "10 Best Practices and Strategies for Test Automation" (original can be found here: ) states: These strategies are taken from my own experience plus from the literature of testing gurus like Michael Bolton, James Bach and Cem Kaner. These practices should be followed in every automation project. Ironically, James Bach has a great post named "No Best Practice" ( ), in which James puts his view related to "Best Practice" idea, which can be briefly summarized - There's no such thing as "Best Practice" . I wholeheartedly support this viewpoint. A similar idea is stated clearly on the very home page of Michael Bolton website ( ). Simp

A problem with Agile, automated testing and frequent releases

Intro I turn on my TV-set. I start my favourite TV application to watch a TV-show. It says there's a new version and insists on updating. Would I have access to new TV-shows or movies after this update? Not at all! Would this application work faster after that? Hardly. Would it be more stable? Hopefully, but no guarantees. What would this update give me? New UI (I was OK with the old one). Ability to choose which trailer I would like to watch (like I need more than one). It eats my internet traffic and time and gives me nothing of value in turn. I need to sort out my finances. I take my cell phone. I start an accounting application that works with my bank. It wouldn't start. Connectivity issue - it says. In reality - what I need is to go to Google Play and update the application. After the update, it looks slightly different, has some new feature I don't need and would hardly use and obfuscates previously learnt path to the features I need. The problem Both

Some tip to fix flaky Web UI tests

Test automation at the Web UI level (you know, Selenium stuff) is usually brittle and painful. It is usually also the only test-automation approach people are aware of/interested in (for whatever reasons). Below are several suggestions on how one can make her/his UI test automation at the Web UI level less painful and flaky. 1. Retry failed steps Each test consists of several steps. Unfortunately, those steps from time to time tend to fail with no apparent reason. Retrying a failed test step may save your whole test from failing. Helps with: Unresponsive, slow UI Elements being shown with a delay Wrong moon phase [1] Drawbacks: Sometimes it is just a waste of time, especially when the real issue is being "retried" Even worse: sometimes it may hide real issue that would go away after some time or page refresh 2. Retry failed tests From time to time - odds are just against you with a specific test run. Everyone, whoever had the misery of working with Web UI

Tic Tac Toe computer player algorithm via TDD

Some time ago I had an argument with another team member - he was claiming that Test-driven development (TDD) was not applicable to our application. He thought it would be more efficient to rely on manual or E2E testing instead. I disagreed. Without going too much into the details, the core of the application we were working on was a graph-traversing algorithm with some amount of mathematical calculations. It was painful to test on a system level as the number of possibilities was huge and it was not easy to put the system into a particular state to check specific conditions. I thought that thorough unit-test coverage, and, ideally, TDD would be more efficient, but was not able to persuade my colleague. At the end of the day, I started to doubt if I was right. Challenge was accepted, so I tried to do something more or less similar (though simplified) - implementing a Tic Tac Toe computer player logic via as pure TDD as possible. Long story short, after some time I managed to g