Testing Breakfast Club – Test Automation

On 13th June 2018 tesena hosted another Testing Breakfast Club. The mission of the gathering is to knowledge and experience sharing among experts in testing.
This meeting was dedicated to test automation. Special guests of the meeting were Dorothy Graham and Seretta Gamba.

There were two presentations:

  • Seven proven ways to ruin your Test Automation
  • Code quality of Robot Framework scripts

Seven proven ways to ruin your Test Automation

This presentation was held by Seretta Gamba. She showed seven ways how to ruin the test automation based on her 40+ years of experience in IT field. For each way she showed the countermeasures to prevent it from happening.

  1. Fire Atlas: depend on one person
  2. Impossible Goals: management favourite
  3. Change Tool: tool drives automated testware
  4. Primitive Programming Practices: no standards
  5. Manual Approach: automate manual tests „as is“
  6. Feigned Support: promise, don‘t deliver
  7. Ever-increasing Maintenance: build technical debt

Ways 1 – 3 are so called “Guillotine methods” and ways 4 – 7 are so called “Boiled-frog methods”. All in all, one should do the exact opposite of these seven ways to succeed with test automation in a project.

Basically, all the issues with test automation in projects and their possible solutions are described in a wiki called Test Automation Patterns, which Seretta Gamba created in co-operation with Dorothy Gamba. This wiki is freely accessible for everyone to read, registered members are able to add and edit things. Link to the wiki is here – http://www.testautomationpatterns.org

Code quality of Robot Framework scripts

The second presentation was held by our colleagues from tesena – Jakub Hrkal and Tran Dac Ha. It was a brief presentation about the Master’s thesis that Ha wrote at the University of Economics in Prague in co-operation with our company. Firstly, Jakub presented the Robot Framework itself and common problems that usually happen during projects – complexity of test scripts, inconsistency, high maintenance costs and difficulties for new team members to quickly adapt and participate in the project.

Next, Ha presented some ways how to write quality code with Robot Framework – choosing good naming for variables, test cases and keywords, usage of appropriate comments and documentation. For each area he gives some example. He suggested that the best documentation is the code itself – we should write and keep the code as simple as possible so there would be no need for additional comments. The documentation in Robot Framework should be for test suites only, for test cases and keywords there is no need to have a documentation as they should be simple enough, so their names are self-explanatory.
Finally, there was a presentation of the code quality checklist which covers these six major areas:

  • Functionality
  • Maintainability
  • Clarity
  • Reusability
  • Documentation
  • Comments

The checklist contains some good practices to write clean and easily readable and maintainable code in Robot Framework. It should be modified to the project’s needs. This checklist can help as a guide for the whole team to keep the scripts consistent throughout the whole testing project.
The checklist is created in English and Czech version, it is freely available here:

The complete Master’s thesis is available here (in Czech): https://vskp.vse.cz/72350

Should you be interested in more similar events, please follow Testing Breakfast Club page.


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