February 2009 Monthly Meeting Summary

Topic: Enterprise Test Automation with Ruby and Open Source Tools
* Len Vaz of Moreover Technologies discussed using Ruby and Watir (open source web testing tool) for enterprise-level test automation. There was a quick intro to Ruby and Watir, as well as a comparison between Watir and Selenium (another popular open source web testing tool).
* Brief report on the Jan 09 Austin Workshop on Test Automation

Took place on: Wed. February 4 2009 6:30 PM

Attendance: 27

Meeting Notes:

* It was mentioned that the NovaJUG (Northern Virtginia Java User Group) job board still gets 1-2 jobs posted per day.

* Rick Hower gave a summary of the Austin Workshop on Test Automation held in mid-January; workshop run by Bret Pettichord who developed the Watir test tool. There were 25 attendees for the 3-day AWTA workshop. Among other things there were attendees from the Opera browser software group and Expedia and several folks who had developed various automation-related open source tools; there was some discussion of automation 'stacks' or 'ecosystems' - collections of tools that work well together - a simplistic example might be something like Eclipse, Firefox, Firebug, Ruby, TestUnit, Watir, Rspec, CIReporter.

* Len Vaz gave a presentation on using open source tools for web testing, mostly about Watir and Ruby, and Selenium

  • Re Watir vs Selenium - which one is best depends on the particular situation. Selenium often requires an installation on the web server while Watir does not.
  • For handling of windows popups - needed in some web testing situations - AutoIT can help.
  • Various factors in choosing an open source automation tool were discussed including Documentation, Active user groups, Browsers supported, Operating systems supported, Ease of use, Does it support what you are testing?
  • Various Watir and Selenium resources and helpful hints were discussed.
  • Some helpful tools were mentioned such as Xpath Checker - Firefox plugin; Venkman - javascript debugger plugin for Firefox
  • It was suggests that its best to stay away from includes in the Ruby/Watir test code - too much like globals
  • There was some discussion regarding the need for test automation personnel to have a developer mindset to do good test automation, along with the impacts this has on developer-tester relations
  • Len's powerpoint presentation

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