A Review of the Google Test Automation Conference (GTAC)

March 9th, 2016 by Joe Nolan

Last summer I received an email stating I’d been selected to attend the GTAC. Wait, what? I remembered reading a blog on the Google Testing blogs and signing up to be entered for a chance to go, but hadn’t really expected to be chosen. So last fall I had the opportunity to attend GTAC, a unique and engaging conference, that included presentations from all types of test automators, from both industry and academia. Where else can you see a live demonstration of how a robot uses fake fingertips to test swiping a mobile phone, and then see how to component test soup dumplings? On top of that, you get to gamble at a hosted Casino Night while networking with your peers. And, best of all, IT’S FREE!

The Un-Conference

Normally when you sign up for a conference, you have a pretty good idea of the agenda. Not so with the GTAC. I was essentially told the dates and the city. Trying to get it approved by my manager was a challenge. I had to justify how it related to my work. Luckily, Google posts past years’ presentations and schedules online, so I was able to reference them. The conference was free, and that really helped, too! Read the rest of this entry »

A Bold New Look!

March 1st, 2016 by Terri Avnaim

Today you probably noticed that Sauce Labs has a bold new look!

Those of you that know and love Sauce might be asking: why the change? The answer has a lot to do with you – our loyal users, advocates and friends. When we asked you why you love Sauce the answer was consistent and simple: we accelerate your testing. Development and quality teams from around the globe choose Sauce to speed up their tests – on average, up to 10 times faster – so they can focus more on innovating and less on testing. And yet our logo looked like it was taking us on the long, slow road to Grandma’s house!

Old Sauce Labs Logo

Simply put, the Sauce brand was out of alignment with the value we provide.

So, today we are happy to introduce the new Sauce Labs logo:

New Sauce Labs Logo Lockup

The new logo (which Saucers refer to as the bolt) represents our commitment to speed and how we help accelerate innovation for our customers. The single line that zips through the bold red represents a lightning bolt for speed while also forming an S and an L. Do you see it? It’s a bold heroic mark, yet approachable with its round edges. The typeface emphasizes “Sauce,” the nickname you gave us. And the font leans forward, representing our commitment to continue to innovate and revolutionize testing.

And, lastly, it looks great on stuff.

SL T-Shirt-Mockup-Front

Sauce Doggy

In fact, that shirt looks like something a testing superhero might want to wear… the first 10 readers to tweet #testingsuperhero will get one!

Happy Testing!

P.S. You can also check out our new brand video.

Appium 1.5 Released on Sauce Labs

February 26th, 2016 by Jonathan Lipps

Appium 1.5

The Appium team is extremely proud to announce the release of Appium 1.5! Appium 1.5 has been in the works for over half a year, and we would like to share why it’s such an important release for us. Appium 1.5 is primarily a technical rearchitecture. As the project grew from infancy through to 1.0 and beyond, the core team did their best to keep the code organized, to keep it easy for new contributors to come to the project, and to fix bugs and add features in a timely fashion. However, as is the case with many software projects, the time came when despite our best efforts, Appium’s fundamental architecture was working against us, not with us.

Given the relatively stable nature of the project in the 1.4.x series, we felt it was a good time to invest in the future velocity of Appium’s development. When we began work on Appium 1.5 we had the following goals:

  • Take a hard look at the current code organization and reconceptualize the relationships between different subsections of Appium with an eye to making distinctions clearer and concerns more separate.
  • Leverage the NPM ecosystem’s best practices and break Appium up into packages based on responsibility, maintenance, etc…, whenever appropriate.
  • Rewrite the entire codebase from ES5 JavaScript to ES2015 JavaScript with async/await (and in so doing wipe away a huge source of hard-to-trace Appium bugs).
  • Standardize subprocess management. Appium is basically a combination API server and subprocess manager (we manage instruments, uiautomator, chromedriver, selendroid, etc…), and so standardizing subprocess management makes our code cleaner and more readable throughout the project.
  • Abstract common driver behavior: Appium’s IOS support and Android support really derive from the same common interface, so we wanted to factor that interface out to reduce duplication of work and boilerplate across Appium’s different drivers.
  • Clean up our build process so that we are not using a handful of different build tools in different situations. Ensure we’re running CI at the subpackage level to save time when releasing Appium.
  • Create a more friendly architectural environment for new devs to contribute to Appium. Make sure that one type of change needs to happen in one place and that READMEs abound.
  • …and many more very specific technical goals. For more information on how Appium is now put together from a developer perspective, see our developer’s overview.

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap: How To Use Selenium Successfully (Java Edition) [Webinar]

February 26th, 2016 by Bill McGee

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our recent webinar, “How To Use Selenium Successfully (Java Edition)”, featuring Selenium ninja (and all-around good guy) Dave Haeffner. In his talk. Dave steps through the why, how, and what of Selenium (the open-source automated web-testing tool for functional testing).

Dave also showed how to start from nothing and build out well-factored, maintainable, resilient, fast and scalable test sets in Java. Then, how to test your app across all of the browsers you care about, while exercising relevant functionality that matters to your business.

Additional talk takeaways:

  • What Selenium is, where it came from, and where it’s heading
  • How to decompose an existing web application to identify what to test
  • Picking the best scripting language for you and your team
  • Writing maintainable and reusable Selenium tests that will be cross-browser compatible and performant
  • Building an integrated feedback loop to automate test runs and find issues fast
  • How to set up your own infrastructure or connect to a cloud provider
  • How to dramatically improve test times with parallelization

Looking to learn more from Dave about Selenium? Download our free Selenium Bootcamp. Missed the presentation, want to hear it again, or share with a colleague?

Access the recording HERE and view the slides below.

Reverse Engineering App Strategies

February 25th, 2016 by Joe Nolan

When interviewing for a new job on a mobile development team, information about their development strategy, future feature plans, technology and quality focus is hiding in plain sight — if you know where to look.

You’ve done your due diligence by reviewing sites like Glassdoor, Monster, LinkedIn, and Fortune, so you have a general idea of the company culture and how the world perceives it. But, as a technologist, it is in your best interest to dig deeper and interpret the clues that are readily available about the development culture you wish to join.

A friend of mine was recently looking for a position on a mobile team and turned to me for advice, knowing that I manage a mobile QA team. We put on our detective hats and went to work. Read the rest of this entry »

Women In QA

February 23rd, 2016 by Ashley Hunsberger

I’ve been in QA a little over a decade now, and there is so much to learn as the field constantly evolves. To stay current, I have to carve time to learn, read, and see how others are adapting to our changing world. With so much material available, let me point you to some of the people I like to keep up with. And since next month is Women’s History Month, let’s take a look at the ladies in QA!

Women to Follow

Lisa Crispin. Janet Gregory. Two of the more prominent names in the testing world. They are two women I like to follow in the QA world, whether through their books, conferences, blogs, or tweets.

Lisa Crispin, a tester at Pivotal Labs, is perhaps one of the most well-known testers in the world. She specializes in helping testers find their place in Agile teams, and guiding development with business-facing tests. As with many others in QA, she started testing to fill a need while in tech support, and has been a huge contributor to the testing world ever since. Read the rest of this entry »

Measuring Mobile App Quality

February 18th, 2016 by Joe Nolan

Sure you see your bug reports in JIRA, but how do you actually know the level of quality in your apps and processes? Bug count metrics are a great starting point, but if you really want to know if your team is producing a quality app and improving their internal processes, you need to look to other tools to see how your product is trending.

Know Thyself

If your internal processes and test coverage are poor, most likely this will translate into a poor app. Get your house in order with the following:

  • Start by watching your automated build and test results, using a tool like Sauce Labs
  • Use a tool like Datadog to understand what you want to measure, and monitor trends in build failures based on automated test results, and analyze how long it takes to deploy. You can use this information to determine direct and indirect impacts to the different teams.
  • Determine the important things you want to include in your CI and Automated Test coverage. Have a percentage goal of coverage to strive for.
  • Monitor your bug backlog. Is it accumulating per release?
  • Keep track of your system availability for customers. Use a tool like Crashlytics to measure who is using the application, real time data about the app’s performance and problems.
  • Set performance tests baselines, using tools such as JMeter to test your APIs, and Charles to test your page load times.
  • How are the scrum teams doing? Are they improving their ability to produce more story points per sprint as they get used to working together and with their features?

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Appium + What’s New in Appium 1.5 [Webinar]

February 17th, 2016 by Bill McGee

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our recent webinar, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Appium + What’s New in Appium 1.5”, featuring Dan Cuellar, the creator of Appium. In his presentation, Dan shares 10 secrets about Appium that you may have never heard before, and also discusses what’s new in Appium 1.5 and what’s on the road map for the rest of 2016.

The presentation also showed:

  • Tips and tricks for better leveraging Appium for your mobile app testing
  • What’s new in Appium 1.5
  • Appium Roadmap
  • Live demo – how to add visual testing to your Appium tests, leveraging devices on the cloud

Missed the presentation, want to hear it again, or share with a colleague?

Access the recording HERE and view the slides below.

Looking to get started with Appium? Download our free Appium Bootcamp by Dave Haeffner.

Recap: Continuous Testing Meets the Classroom: Testing Online, Interactive Curriculum at Code.org [Webinar]

February 12th, 2016 by Bill McGee

Thanks to everyone who joined us for our recent webinar, “Continuous Testing Meets the Classroom: Testing Online, Interactive Curriculum at Code.org”, featuring Brian Jordan from Code.org. In his presentation, Brian discussed how Code.org approaches testing throughout the product development cycle, given their unique testing challenges – developing interactive, game-like curriculum for just the types of browsers you’d expect to find in school computer labs – from Internet Explorer 9 to iPads across 40+ languages.

The presentation also showed:

  • What Code.org’s open source automated testing stack looks like
  • What visual testing with Applitools, cross-browser Selenium tests on Sauce Labs, and live-site monitoring with New Relic and Honeybadger look like in practice
  • About the Code.org “Bug Collection” —real live examples of bugs detected before they hit production

Missed the presentation, want to hear it again, or share with a colleague?

Access the recording HERE and view the slides below.

Want to learn more about automated testing and Continuous Integration? Download our free report, “How to Get the Most out of Your CI/CD Workflow Using Automated Testing”.

Selenium Design Patterns

February 11th, 2016 by Greg Sypolt

In software engineering, a design pattern is a general reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software design. A design pattern is not a finished design that can be transformed directly into code. It is a description or template for how to solve a problem that can be used in many different situations.1)Software design pattern – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia” 2011. 18 Jan. 2016

Why are design patterns so important for Selenium development? It can speed up development and reduce the maintenance impact. Using design patterns in test automation development is not necessary, but a seasoned automation engineer understands the importance. If you are new to test automation, I highly recommend learning the best way to write automated tests, and this article is a great start. Read the rest of this entry »

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