Code review, although very important and frequent in the software development world, is not as frequent in the automation testing world. Normally, it would be part of the whole process: someone writes code, reviews it, makes it available to the rest of the team, they review it, and if changes are needed they will be made, and the improved code will now be available back to the team. This helps in having better code and having awareness inside the team on what is being implemented.
Code is still code, no matter whether it is created for implementing or testing a feature, so there should be code reviews for all of it. Continue reading The tester and the code review
When automated test are running, they are either running on your own machine (when you write them or run them to check something), or in your CI.
When you run the test on your machine, if there are failures, it might be easy for you to look at what is running (if you have some visual tests, that interact with either browsers or apps on your machine). You can just rerun a failed test and visually inspect for failure reasons. But, if tests are running on a CI machine, visual inspection is either very difficult or even impossible. You might not have access to connect to that machine, or to see how tests are being run. Continue reading Test design: write tests with proper console output to easily identify failure reasons
Coding standards are something both automating testers and developers should adhere to. Pretty obvious right? Maybe not that obvious might be some of the rules you should follow when writing the code for your tests. Checkstyle is here to help in standardizing your code, so that you can get an early feedback regarding code improvements (earlier than the code review step anyway). It allows you to define a set of basic coding rules that must be followed in your project, and it gives you the opportunity to make your builds fail if someone breaks those rules. This post addresses using checkstyle from a Maven project, by means of the dedicated Maven plugin that you need to declare in your project. Continue reading Using Maven checkstyle in your project to help adhere to coding standards
How many times does this happen: you start a new iteration/sprint; you give estimates; you realize that the testing work will not be complete in the sprint for certain features?
While analyzing the work that needs to be done in a sprint you tend to think in a sequential manner: developers write the code –> only once the code is complete will the testing begin –> the developers are done with their work within the sprint, the testers are not. Strategies, workarounds and intense thought processing are used to determine how to somehow fit the testing work in the sprint, to not allow it to flow over into the next sprint. Is there an alternative? Yes.
Continue reading A three-course menu for writing your Selenium tests before the feature is complete
Automated tests are used to validate features in development environments but also in production. Whereas the classic approach of keeping all tests in the same code project is the most popular, it is not the best idea (and by code project i mean for example a Maven project). Continue reading Better Test Code Principles: #4 Keep your production tests separate from your dev environment ones
When i look at a test class, what i want to see is clean code. What i mean by that is, well a few things, but the most important one: i want the test class to hold the code for the tests, not the code for everything but the kitchen sink.
When we write tests we have a lot of data to prepare for them. Whether this is the ‘expected’ or the ‘actual’ data used in the tests, or some auxiliary code that we need, there always is some processing that needs to be done, apart from the actual asserts that a test should do. What the test class should contain is only the checking / asserting part, while having specialized classes generate all the data that is required in the test. A test class should only check the actual data against the expected data. This is the separation of concerns principle. Continue reading Write clean code for your tests by using the separation of concerns principle
I’m thinking you should, in no particular order…
- Start from the basic . When learning a new language, start from the beginning. Understand the elementary notions of it. Make sure you know what the language represents, what it is used for, how to write it properly. Read the tutorials, try out the examples.
- Be lazy. Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you need some code that someone has already developed, use it. Use existing libraries where possible.
- Modularize, don’t copy paste. When you know you have bits of code that will repeat themselves, extract them in a separate method and call that method wherever the code is needed.
- Think and plan before you write your tests. Take time to analyze the requirements, to discuss the implementation with the developers, in order to identify the broadest and most relevant set of test cases. Take notes. Visualize how regular users will interact with the site. Make sketches. Jumping into testing just to finish it will make you skip some obvious scenarios.
- Name things properly. Whenever you pick a name for a method, attribute or test scenario, make it relevant to what it is supposed to do. Describe it as much as possible. Use a decent amount of letters (not 2-3 and not 100).
- Ask questions. Whenever something is not clear, or when you just need a confirmation of how well you understand the requirements, ask the people around you for information. No matter how basic or stupid the question might sound, it’s the start of a conversation which benefits all the people included in it.
- Separate concerns. Don’t put all the code in one class. Analyze what you must write. What part is the setup, what part is the verification? Usually tests should largely focus on the actual testing, not the setup, so maybe extract that part into a separate class/unit, so that you minimize how large a test it. Also, you can put in all validations in a separate place. In this case, when you read the test, you should have – a line of code which calls the setup; the test logic; one line of code that performs the validation (if possible).
Continue reading A few developer principles that testers should follow