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Showing posts from January, 2006

Teaching the Scripting For Testers class

SQE (the stickyminds people) have announced the schedule for the STAREast conference, and I'll be teaching the Scripting for Testers tutorial on May 16, almost certainly with my colleague Dave Hoover.

I'm really looking forward to working with Dave. Not only is he a better programmer than me, but we share an interest in teaching, and in working with (and in being) beginners on the way to being experts.

Brian Marick and Bret Pettichord started the class in 2003, and this tutorial was a major contributor to the existence of the Watir test framework, to which I've contributed a bit of work. This tutorial will be the first since 2004 not taught by Bret (and the first ever not taught by one of the two of them, as far as any of us know).

It's a good class, and some great people have been a part of teaching it in the past. I'm hoping that the class will take on a life of its own from now on. Enough people have taught it, and enough people have taken it, that I think the…

Static tests and dynamic tests

A typical test expects a particular set of data to exist, right?

Say I have some software that accepts a chunk of XML and does a search for people in a database by last name and first name. It might accept

<requestroot xmlns="http://foo">
<lastname xmlns="" > MCMAHON < /lastname>
<firstname xmlns="">CHRIS</firstname>
</requestroot>


and it might return

<responseroot xmlns="http://foo">
<user xmlns="">CHRIS MCMAHON</user>
</responseroot>

so I could write a test that does something like


SEND

<requestroot xmlns="http://foo">
<lastname xmlns="">MCMAHON</lastname>
<firstname xmlns="">CHRIS</firstname>
</requestroot>

RECEIVE AND PARSE

<responseroot xmlns="http://foo">
<user xmlns="">CHRIS MCMAHON</user>
</responseroot>

That is a static test, and that's how unit tests work. More than likely…
A software tester should always have the means and opportunity to read the source code for the software being tested. I've had a number of jobs as a tester, and on some them, getting to read the source code was quite an ordeal.

I'm currently working on an integration project. We had a new Business Analyst join the team, and on his first week, one of the developers gave him a guided tour of the most relevant parts of the source code for one of the applications we are integrating. I tagged along. I had surfed some of this code, but I am not a Java expert by any means, and having the design and implementation explained by one of the developers that wrote the code was a great help in understanding how and why to test the integration of that application.

Imagine that. A BA and a tester learning about the code from a happy developer. I like my job.