Five steps to successfully learn any test automation framework

Being a lifelong learner, I jump at any excuse to learn a new piece of software. No matter if it’s a development tool, test automation framework, or a new utility program. If it has the potential to enhance my current abilities and optimise my workflow. Then I need to investigate it.

I recently started a new web-based project and needed something to perform UI testing. After evaluating my options (similar to the process outlined here). I decided to use the JavaScript E2E framework, Cypress. Which hasn’t been something that I’ve consistently been using, but since it now supports browsers other than Chrome. It fits my needs perfectly.

Read More

Docker 101: What it is and why testers need to know it

Software applications are complex beasts. More complex than the average user may realise. Take the homepage for your favourite news site for example, or Amazon.co.uk.

When you log on and try to purchase a recent book or search for your favourite type of tea. You may think that all the details are being generated by magic and all the functionality is based on some mysterious and complex exchange of bits and bytes.

Which, is kinda true. I mean, the complexity is real. Less magic, but don’t tell software developers that.

In reality, you are only seeing the front end. What you’re not seeing is the back-end operations in which there can be API calls to fetch data, databases involved for storage. And various other operations to enable you to see the daily news when you request it.

Read More

Is it possible to perform testing without any requirements?

Being asked to perform testing on a piece of software without a requirements document is something that should rarely occur. After a conversation with the customer to establish their unique needs, one is prepared and the process of development begins with the requirements as the foundation.

However, depending on various variables such as the company you are in, the customer you are delivering to. Or even the software that you are delivering. A set of formal requirements might not be available or even required. Making testing seem that much more complicated. Or even impossible to begin. But with the right planning, and reflection on past testing processes. You can implement a strategy that is not only appropriate. But also targeted and highly effective.

Read More

Five common Selenium challenges and how to overcome them

I remember being first introduced Selenium back in 2010 with the release of Selenium version 2. And like many people I’m sure, the ability to control a web browser with code written in a NotePad document was a game-changer.

Although the features in Selenium 2 were not drastically different from what is in Selenium 3 for example. There were many bugs which hampered the effort of introducing automation. And with the release of later versions (and with Selenium 4 on the horizon). Even though many have now been fixed, there are some very common pitfalls that if you’re not aware of. Can have you pulling your hair out, cause confusion and frustration trying to determine what is going on.

Read More

What are mnemonics and how can they help with software testing?

If you’re following me on Twitter or subscribe to my weekly newsletter. You’d have seen that I recently finished reading a book titled Moon Walking with Einstein by Joshua Foer.

It chronicles the journey of Joshua Foer, an American citizen with a self-described average memory. Deciding one day to stretch his limits and join the ranks of the country’s top mental athletes. He takes on the task of competing in the USA memory championship. An event which requires participants to complete many challenges such as remembering vast amounts of digits, arrays of information. And memorizing a complete deck of 52 cards to name a few.

Something that Joshua could do in 1 minute and 40 seconds.

Read More

Steps to take when evaluating a test automation tool

The crowded automated tool market is full of tools advertising attractive features and unique technological advances. Deciding on which one to use is rarely a straightforward exercise to complete.

In this post, I will share my tips that will help you look beyond the marketing claims of tool firms. Enable you to evaluate each one based on its abilities. And come to a decision that allows you to reach the intended goal of test automation.

Results.

Read More

4 ways to be more active in the software testing community

Making time outside our intensive work schedules to dive into the things we find interesting can be tough. With family life and all the commitments, we need to do every day. Seeking out and being involved in something that is bigger than ourselves is often one of the last things that seem possible.

But if you are just starting out in your software testing journey. Or a seasoned veteran. Being involved in the software testing community is one of the best things that you can do for your current, or future career.

Read More

How to choose a programming language for test automation

If you have decided to take the step of learning a programming language for test automation. First, let me congratulate you! Learning something new like programming is never easy. But the first time you see that ‘Hello world!’ text appear on the screen. It ignites an addiction that is hard to extinguish.

Second, which programming language are you going to learn? There are a lot after all (just look at the list here). And since not all of them are used in test automation or have many jobs that utilise them. Deciding on the right language to invest your time and effort is crucial for maximizing your future gains.

Read More

Are you T-shaped?

You may have contemplated the following question when starting out your career in software testing.

Is it better to be a specialist or a generalist?

When I first started. I wanted to know as much about everything as I could.

Never content with only learning about what I needed to know to do my job. The entire stack of subjects that fed into the software testing craft fascinated me.

I would consume books, blog posts and take courses from everything from software development, mental models and various domain-specific subjects consistently. Not only to get a better idea of the field I was in.

But just because it was interesting to me.

Read More

Get ahead by learning to communicate

Whether you are a sole tester on a software project, part of a larger team. Or even a test manager or lead. We all have the ability to influence and connect with others, not only with through our voice or traditional written methods like emails. But also through listening to the thoughts of others and digesting their messages as well.

Testers normally gather a lot of information during the course of our day. Information and detail that, of course, is relevant to us and those that we are directly involved with. But a more senior person who only needs information to enable them to make a decision to fill their own objective. Probably doesn’t need to know about all the tiny details that we have collected.

Read More