Posts

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: https://www.softwaretestinghelp.com/automation-testing-tutorial-7/) 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" (http://www.satisfice.com/blog/archives/27), 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 (https://www.developsense.com/).

Simply put, if y…

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 companies have a b…

Six ways to fix flaky Web UI tests

Test automation at the Web UI level (you know, Selenium stuff) is usually a pain in the arse. 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. Because of various reasons, those steps from time to time fail with no apparent reason. Retrying failed step may save your test from failing.

Helps with:
Unresponsive, slow UIElements being shown with a delayWrong 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 a misery to work with Web UI-test automation has seen this. Sometime…

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 get th…

Test automation framework architecture. Part 2.2 - Two-layered architecture

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As we've learned in previous posts of the series - Layered (also known as Tiered) architecture is a de-facto standard of the industry.

There're two major variations of this architectural pattern that one should be aware of: 3-layered architecture (described here) and 2-layered architecture. This post is going to concentrate on 2-layered architecture.



2-layered architecture is typically seen in UI-specific test automation frameworks. The key feature of this pattern is the absence of Business-layer, so most of the business-related logic are actually to be put into Page Objects.

In order to avoid "The God class" anti-pattern and still be able to contain business-related logic in Page Object, one usually uses libraries or frameworks that allow simplifying DOM-elements location, thus letting Page Objects to concentrate less on locating elements and more on business-logic itself.

The good thing in this architectural pattern is that it actually allows you to write less code…

Agile, testing and more frequent deliveries.

Yet another time I think I see people using word Agile wrong. Yet another guy claimed "we need to have more predictability and stability so I think we would go for Agile methodologies, Scrum in particular".

Nonsense.

I don't think that "predictability, stability, whatevershitability" has anything to do with Agile. If you start Agile transformation with such a goal you've already failed.
Agile is about maximizing value delivery rate in a state of uncertainty, that's pretty much what it is.

If your business is uncertain as hell why do you think that "predictability" with engineering teams is going to fix things? It is not.
Worse, if you make engineering teams predictable while having unpredictable environment, you will miss the whole point and make things worse while still thinking you're doing fine.

Nonsense.

An agile team is about removing management layers between engineering and customer, not making management happier.

Having an a…

Test automation framework architecture. Part 2.1 - Layered architecture example

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Let's consider an example of what Layered (Tiered) architecture may look like for a test automation framework. As a system under test, we're going to use this simple and neat "Todo list" application.

First, let's do a brief analysis of the application. From my brief exploration I came up with the following checklist:

  Area/Group    Things to check    Comments  Todos CRUD1 Create itemBasic scenario, UI-level case1.1 Create an item with the same nameThe case is not valid. There's no validation for that - nothing to check really.1.2 Create an item with an empty/not valid/malicious nameWhile it would be a nice thing to test manually, from test automation standpoint I would expect this to be filtered on service or repository level, so either integration or unit test.2 Mark item completeBasic scenario, UI-level case2.1 Un-mark item completeBasic scenario, UI-level case3 Delete itemBasic scenario, UI-level case3.1 Delete item when there're multiple items with t…