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A Testers Guide To the Galaxy

Who am I to write this blog?

I've been in the testing game for app. 12 years now and in the agile game for more then 14 years, started out as a part time tester in internal test projects, moved on to a role as full time tester doing automation, took my ISEB foundation, moved on the consulting world, now as test coordinator, became part of an agile project, added certified SCRUM Master to my CV, got my ISTQB ATM exam, moved on to role as Test Manager. Recently I have moved more and more into the agile game, adding CAT Certified Agile Tester, ISTQB CTFL Agile Tester Extension and SAFe Agilist to the list of certifications. So now I act more as a trainer (CAT, ISTQB CTFL & CTFL AT) and agile coach!

I simply want to share my thoughts on agile and testing and all thats connected with it.
Feel free to comment on my thoughts!

Worksoft Certify – the verdict

Tools Posted on Wed, November 02, 2011 14:04:42

First time
I heard about Worksoft Certify was a short introduction to it in a presentation
that showed the new trends within software testing.

The promise
of “scriptless automated testing” seemed like a good portion of sales
grease, because I’ve heard of “scriptless” testing before, and as you
might have guessed, they were not scriptless at all, but simply capture/replay

I then saw
a video, and yes, it seemed that it was true – no scripting – not a single line
of code!

Even then I
was skeptical – could it really be true?

Then last
week, finally, I got my hands on the product as I attended a Worksoft Technical
enablement course. There it was the mystical product that kept stating that no
lines of code were used / generated.

And yes, it
is true – someone heard my prayers smiley

Certify does not generate code, you don’t need to know Java, VB scripting, C++
or whatever language regular automation tools are using for their scripts.

That being
said, I will emphasize that knowing just a slight bit about programming is definitely

So how does
it work?

Certify is a “fat client” which needs to be installed on the machine on which
you will create and execute your test connecting to the product database in
which all the objects, processes etc. are stored.

From that
client you create your process. “Proces? I thought we talked about testing,
creating scriptless testscripts?” – well – I had to swallow that one as well.
Proces is testscript! This naming, and here I’m guessing, are named due to the
fact that Worksoft Certify was built for testing SAP solutions. So they use SAP

But back to
the product. You create a new process, name it, save it, go to steps, right click
in the steps window, choose New, in the field Application Version you choose
Select using LiveTouch. And then you are off and away – easy as that. From here
of you record your movements in your SUT (System Under Test), after recording
your actions and your checkpoints you then modify your “script” steps by adding
variables where needed, set up test data that you need for your variables, and
then you can run your automated test.

After a few
hours of working with the product I could create quite advanced test scripts,
which will work every time, now, and in a year. I was amazed!

Yes, it is originally
made for SAP but you can test HTML, .Net applications and a lot of other stuff,
as long as it is GUI based.

Being built
for SAP it “plugs” in to SAP Solution Manager, you can import requirements and
test scripts from SAP and export reports back to the solution manager. If you
set it up together with RQM you can actually export the SAP blueprints, get
your requirements in automatically, get test plans and test cases created
automatically, then you can add your test scripts (sorry – processes), run them
– report back to SAP solution manager, log defects in the SAP solution manager
incident handling etc. – AWSOME!

A very
smart trick in Certify is that it knows the SAP objects, and it knows them by
version, so if a new version has update, added or deleted objects Certify knows
that, and will inform you about it! We are talking about semi-automated script maintenance.
How would a changed object be handled in an old-school test automation tool?
You would have to find every single script where the object is used and modify
the lines of code. Here Certify automatically updates the object and then you
again can run your script – and it still works!

Another thing. You can reuse your processes, use them as child-processes. For instance Log in is the same for all functionality in my application, and I can therefore create a process that runs the log in and add that as a child process to my other processes, creating easy to maintain end to end test. Because, if something changes in my log in porcess, I simply change the one process and all of the processes where this process is a child to will now be running by the new changed process!

So my
verdict? well, I think you already know that;

I’m impressed! It’s by far the most innovative
tool I’ve seen in many years!

Why is automation so hard?

Tools Posted on Fri, October 07, 2011 08:19:51

In the early eighties I got a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. A fine little piece of hardware.
On that machine I wrote my first lines of code – created my own space invaders like arcade game. Approximately at the same time I started using Comal 80 and for a few years I spend quite some time on this. In the beginning of the nineties I was introduced to TurboPascal, and for a year or so I used that language.
Then I started at Copenhagen Business School studying logistics, and I didn’t spend an hour on coding before I in 2004 started working with automated test, using TestPartner. Back then it was a Compuware product, today its being sold by MicroFocus.
TestPartner used VBA scripting to generate the code. I didn’t know VBA, so I did capture/replay and got a little help from the developers (has to say that I was the only person in the “testing department”).
So I did create automated test scripts. Were they any good ? I think so, yes. But not in version 1.0, and not in 2.0 or 3.0.
I spend ages re-writing, splitting up scripts, making error handling better, continuous improvements, which of cause had an impact on my ability to expand the suite of test scripts.
I have since then worked with automation tools such as Quick Test Professional (QTP), Rational Functional Tester (RFT) and Selenium. They are all capture/replay tools, but the scripts needs to be tweeked, error handling must be added, “intelligence” must be build in etc. All tasks that needs a developers involvement, or at least very good knowledge on the programming language by the tester.
So, do all testers by default have a developer background ? No, they don’t! Do all testers feel an impelling urge to learn how to write code ? Probably not – if so they would most likely be developers and not testers.
That leaves us with a few specialized persons, making it hard for an organization which would like to do automated testing. They either don’t have the knowledge in-house, or can not afford to call in those specialist who actually can do automation.
Isn’t that a problem ?
I think so – I think it’s a huge problem!
Then just the other day I came across a product that was new to me; WorkSoft Certify.
Never heard of it before, but here it seemed that the solution to my problem was.
A scriptless automation tool, simply point click, modify attributes in a GUI, and error handling, comparison, etc., all in a GUI smiley Excellent !!
Now, I haven’t had the chance to test the tool just yet, but I will as soon as I can, and I’ll get back with my thoughts on it.
But still, QTP and RFT are the 2 most commenly used automation tools. They are good tools, but the need the touch of an expert to give you value for your money.
Could we be so lucky that they also in a not so far from now future would be fitted with a usefull GUI that will enable us “non-developers” to do good automated scripting as well ?????

First impressions on RQM 3.0.1

Tools Posted on Tue, September 27, 2011 11:40:10

IBM launched RQM a couple of years ago.
The basic thought was to create a new test management tool that was based on the IEEE 829 testplan. And I think they succeeded.
Having worked with the previous version, 2.x I must admit it didn’t always act as I hoped, but the newest GA version is really good.
Just the fact that here a testplan is in fact a fullblown testplan, and not just a collection of test cases, is eminent.
You don’t need Word or another tool to add test plans and strategy into – you’ve got everything in one place!
I’ve helped implementing the tool at a couple of customers sites, and they really like it, find that the tool is easy to use, and gives you a good overview of what needs to done, and where you currently are in your test project.
I still need to test the integration with RFT, but that’ll be the next step.