158: Test Conference Enlightenment with Greg Paskal

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After attending a test conference do you sometimes wish a presentation or workshop could have been better? If you’re like Greg the answer is yes. In this episode Greg shares his thoughts on his latest experience at STAREAST as well as some key takeaways and related thoughts he found himself pondering about automation after his experience.

About Greg Paskal

Greg Paskal

Greg is currently the Director of Quality Assurance – Automation at Ramsey Solutions, A Dave Ramsey Company. He is also the author of multiple white papers on test automation and testing in general.

Greg recently published his first book, “Test Automation in the Real World”, sharing insights from over 30 years of automated testing development. He has spoken at many conferences including StarEast, StarWest, QAI and QA TrailBlazers.Tutorial.

Quotes & Insights from this Test Talk

  • This one-day seminar had been sent there from their management to you know basically to learn selenium and to come back and start to build our test automation. And we had folks there that had never opened a command line before. And those sort of things so they were they were very new users. And I started to think how did this happen where management has set them up to go kind of you know fulfill this miracle of learning this in one class. And with this expectation that they're going to come back and write automation.
  • It's a very common term that people will throw out meaning that they're expected to do automation or expecting you to do automation or it's an easy thing to do. And I think that even if you go to the Selenium Web site which I just I just was at the other day rereading some of the API stuff. It sets kind of a similar unrealistic expectation in that it refers to selenium as an automation tool. And we really know it's a lot less than that. I often compare it to if I came to you and said Joe hey let's go for a ride in my Goodyear. You could say you're GoodYear? Well, Selenium is kind of like the tire of a vehicle. It's a small piece of a much bigger set of tools that really are required to test automation.
  • We're not really doing a service to our engineering field of automation when we're beginning to kind of just get followers by blindly telling them to use a tool. And really that was my challenge. We really need to be able to step back from what we personally believe is the right thing for us and take some time to consider and even help the person assess where they are. And what's the right tool for them? Even though we love open source or we love whatever toolset. I mean I've used HP forever and I love that tool as well. It's really a good idea to take some time and consider you know who's about to embark upon the journey of writing automation for their company.
  • At one point I said as someone who's come from HP tools and now has been using Selenium for a year and a half, honestly, I can do just exactly the same thing with HP. it equally can do the same things. In some cases, it can do it better. There are some tools that are missing in the Selenium landscape. So this realization came to because I had that experience — and I think that's an objective position. I mean I'm using Selenium now in Ruby and we're making some progress, but the fact is is it takes an enormous amount of extra effort in the Selenium space than it does with an off the shelf tool. It's just a simple as that.
  • I think I would prefer to have someone that has a QA mindset in that and then you know they develop their chops and in development. Because I know them they're going to approach their automation from a testing perspective.
  • I tell folks to avoid anything that has to do with the look and feel of the application like a class name or whatever it's very popular for people to use this class names in their locators. I would say that it should be the last thing you should try to use. Try to find an ID or something else that's more solid and if you have to go ahead and use the class name but ironically I really don't have to do that now that I'm using this other approach.

[tweet_box design=”default”]Selenium is like a car tire. It's a small piece of a bigger set of tools that are required for #testautomation @GregPaskal[/tweet_box]


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