Meeting James Bach

You heard about him, read about him, read his work… and you think you know what to expect. But nothing really prepares you for it. He’s intimidating and overconfident and at the same time passionate and charming. He’s everything you would like to be one day and he makes you believe you actually have a chance at it. All you have to do is think for yourself and question everything.
James Bach came to Romania for the first time for a workshop we organized in Cluj Napoca …

Selenium, XPath and Internet Explorer – Painfully Slow?

I’ve been using RobotFramework with its Selenium Library for web automation for quite a while now and have always had the problem of getting any scripts that use XPath run on Internet Explorer.

For some web applications, if they’re not too complex and don’t use a lot of Ajax, you might be able to run scripts that use XPath on Internet Explorer and actually have them finish in this lifetime. But most of the time, they won’t.
So I googled it. I found out that a lot of other people have googled it and a lot of them have complained on different forums. I’ve also found out that Selenium uses “AJAXSLT” as its default XPath library, which has a lot of performance issues on IE, and that the trick is to change this to the much faster javascript-xpath library.
However …

Buying train tickets in Romania – a tester’s story.

This year (or maybe at the end of last year) the Romanian national railroad company (CFR) introduced a new payment method: by bank card. I know we’re in 2010 and that this system has been in place for several years in many parts of the world, but in Romania it hadn’t been before. The thing I like most about this is that the option is only available in one ticket office from Bucharest Central Station – Gara de Nord – the one for international tickets, and nowhere else in Romania, as far as I know.
For the first seven months of this year I traveled almost weekly with the train, an 95% of the time I paid the ticket with a bank card. During this time, I observed the following process for POS ticket payment: …

Testing a sumoBot

Robot-sumo, or pepe-sumo is a sport in which two robots attempt to push each other out of a circle/ring (in a similar fashion to the sport of sumo).
The robots used in this competition are called sumoBots.

The challengesfor the sumoBot are:

  • to find the opponent (accomplished with IR [infrared], Ultrasound, Presence sensors)
  • to push it out of the flat arena
  • to avoid leaving the arena (usually by means of a sensor that detects the edge, e.g BW [Black & White] sensors)

Standardclass sumoBots: …

Setting up your environment for Flash/Flex Automation

Before going into details about some of the tools mentioned in the previous post, we thought it would be a good idea to start with what you need to do to get your environment ready for Flex/Flash automation. There’s a lot of information out there but there isn’t a place that walks you through the entire process – so we decided to write everything down and try to make it easier for other users.
Here is what you need to get started: …

Flex/Flash Test Automation Tools

For a while now, I’ve been involved in testing a complex media web application developed in Flex, and I got to the point where some help from a tool would have been much appreciated :). I have to admit that this was my first RIA project, so I decided to dig a little bit into it, especially regarding the options one would have in automating some of the functional tests.

I don’t want to argue about the ROI of an automated GUI test suite, or about the fact that maybe it would be much more useful to automate some other types of testing like unit and performance (there are specific tools for each of these).

All the info from this post can be found on the internet, but it takes a lot of time and trouble to gather and analyze it. This post will provide a list of tools I found that support Flex Automation, hoping it will help you if you’re thinking about functional testing automation for Flex based applications.

The Flash in the blackbox
The main issue with RIA Flex applications is …

ISTQB Certification Survey Results

We had a total of 81 responses to our ISTQB certification survey. The analysis below will first look at the responses provided by the 57 testers that are certified and will then show the same graphs with the answers provided by the 24 testers that are not yet certified.

(click on the graph to enlarge picture)

ISTQB Certified Testers and their opinions

To find an answer to our initial question, have a look at the graph below. Though arguable, this graph tells us that ISTQB really is worth it: …

ISTQB Certification

We’ve heard many different opinions about the efficiency and value of an ISTQB certification (Foundation or Advanced level) so we decided to upload this survey on our blog.

We will gather the results and post them here later on to see if you think getting an ISTQB certification is really worth it. …

What are the common misconceptions regarding test consultancy?

I sometimes hear opinions like: “Test consultants are hired to just click on some links/buttons and they don’t have advanced technical skills”.
The main source for this misconception is the general opinion regarding testers – employees or consultants – generated by software companies that don’t really focus on quality and prefer to hire unskilled/low qualified testers with no knowledge of test planning, design and execution.
The latest experience I had was with a UK company that hired a team of test consultants for their final acceptance testing. At the end of the test round, they were puzzled by the fact that the test consultants were more efficient than the offshore test employees and found a lot of new defects on a product version that was considered stable and ready for release. Most probably, they shared the same misconception, as they were not expecting the test consultants to perform better than their own employees, but to be less efficient and to simply execute some tests. …