Sunday, April 15, 2012

Good old times

Almost every week, I get some updates notification on my smartphone. Fortunately I can decide on my own on when to download and/or to install it.
Where I work, customers have no such choice. When we upgrade our releases, every customer worldwide either gets some new features or suffers from the fact that we have to deliver another series of extra releases to fix what we've broken in the previous update. Anyhow, it is only a question of time until cars also get equipped with software that you may or may not need to upgrade/patch on a regular basis in order to keep them running while all those oldies will still work fine without.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Automated Test Script Desease #1

If it is not a new unexpected confirmation dialog box that shows up, then it may be a unique GUI control identifier that either changed or is even missing. The response could also be slower than originally recorded. That means we have to either extend the script with hard-coded extra wait statements or - if you are smarter - write some extra logic which always waits for the control to load completely before it gets "touched". The object could also be at a different location, let's say in a list that is sorted differently than before. Hope you didn't record the position but negotiated with the developer for a predicable algorithm so your roboter is still able to reach it even though it shows up somewhere else.Poor you if one detects that the developers now use third party controls that your test automation tool can't deal with. You might also experience ugly test script- or module-dependencies. As if this wasn't enough, you may work in a world where testers don't control the test environment where others can change or update configuration without you knowing until you see the script failing. You may also experience a deployment of a new software version in the middle of test execution or while you are playing Sherlock Holmes to investigate a real fat bug. Your script might only work from your workstation but not from the server you're triggering and executing it ...from one day to the other.

And often, even if none of those typical UI test automation challenges is one that you face today, you will still have to sit there watching the script running,  so you're ready for some extra test script babysitting actions. If you weren't there observing your scripts but going out for a coffee instead, don't expect your roboter to have completed successfully its job when you've come back to your desk...

That is just a few of the reasons, why I love testing below the UI so much.