Keynote: My Quest for Silver Bullets

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A Keynote presented at the May TestNet 2013. Silver Bullets are an ideal, and we should continue to strive for them, but never believe that we have finally found one.

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Keynote: My Quest for Silver Bullets

  1. 1. My Quest for Silver BulletsTestNet May 2013Alan Richardson@eviltesterwww.eviltester.comwww.seleniumsimplified.comwww.compendiumdev.co.ukslides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  2. 2. Silver Bullets are GoodThere is nothing intrinsically evil in a SilverBullet......except the fact that is a bullet......and that bullets can kill...But, "Silver Bullet" as an ideal == good@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  3. 3. Silver kills bacteriaSilver teething rings aregoodSilver spoons are good@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  4. 4. The Lone Ranger usedSilver Bullets... ignore the fact that the loneranger is a fictional character@EvilTester
  5. 5. Only good guys use SilverBulletsWe all think we are thegood guyOurs will be the rightSilver BulletOften when we knowthe least.@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  6. 6. You Can Only Hurt Werewolves With aSilver Bullet...ignore the factthat werewolvesdont exist@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  7. 7. AutomationHow MuchReification & NominalisationRespectCourageMoreKeep Silver Bullets as ideals, andprocesses as verbs.@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres"When Verbs become Nouns" &"The Thingification of abstract ideas"We stop analysing, anddecomposing.We start counting
  8. 8. I started my career building silver bullets@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  9. 9. FrameworksLesson Learned: Never build ageneric "Silver Bullet" tool for othersto use...Never ...Ever.Generic: "Meets no-ones needs exactly"Test Automation Lesson: refactor whenneeded, not "just in case". Generic models area side-effect, not a goal@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_presGUI AutomationTest Data
  10. 10. You can learn a lot by making SilverBulletsModel at the problem domain.Abstract for the current context.● DSL, Frameworks, Logging, Screenshots,KeywordsNeed, not want.@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  11. 11. Sometimes the bad guy,thinks hes the good guy... he knows best... his Silver Bullet willsave the world@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  12. 12. Other Peoples SilverBullets are like a black holeThey can suck you in. Run Away@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  13. 13. Other Peoples Silver Bullets canhurtDuck and Cover.@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  14. 14. Lesson Learned: NEVER let tools limit yourtesting.Never, EVER.@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  15. 15. Bypass Silver Bullet Constraints● The tool is not the process● The tool uses a database, use the database● Dont like the GUI? Build your own andautomate theirs● Use their API, only buy it, if it has oneAugment other tools and use them incombination.
  16. 16. The lone Ranger uses Silver Bulletsas a last resortUse What youhave first.Assume you canuse it differently.@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  17. 17. The lone Rangers gun only holds 6Silver BulletsSears, Roebuck and Co. Catalogue #110 Fall 1900@EvilTesterDont Build AnArmouryKeep tools simpleWith simple aims:● Model, Observe,Reflect, Inspect,Manipulate
  18. 18. The lone Ranger uses Silver Bulletsas a last resort... Change your definition of a tool... Use tools to Augment your testing... Dont list "Who" and "What", list "Why" andHow"@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  19. 19. The Lone Ranger didnt make hisown Silver Bullets... Tonto DidLearn to fend for yourself.@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  20. 20. Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalogue #110 Fall 1900The Lone Rangers Silver Bulletsremind him of the value of a humanlife.@EvilTester
  21. 21. The most dangerous part of a quest iswhen you believe you have finished.Are you sure youwant to sit at theSeige Perilous?@EvilTesterDC Comics, Little Shop of Horrors, Movie Adaptation Special, 1986
  22. 22. "By This Axe I Rule"@EvilTester
  23. 23. "By This Axe I Rule", Robert E. Howard"By this axe I rule! This is my sceptre! Ihave struggled and sweated to be thepuppet king you wished me to be - toking it your way. Now I use mine ownway! If you will not fight, you shall obey!Laws that are just shall stand; laws thathave outlived their times I shall shatteras I shattered that one! I am King!"@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  24. 24. "By This Axe I Rule", Robert E. HowardAnnotated for Software Testing by Alan Richardson"By this axe I rule! This is my sceptre! Ihave struggled and sweated to be thepuppet king you wished me to be - toking it your way. Now I use mine ownway! If you will not fight, you shall obey!Laws that are just shall stand; laws thathave outlived their times I shall shatter asI shattered that one! I am King!"The tool does not make meking. Because I am king, I givethis tool power.I tried usingother peoplesSilver Bullets.They didntwork for me.I takeresponsibility forwhat we do now.We still seek newstuff. But we will stop,if it doesnt work. Wedecide the value.I am King!@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  25. 25. Keep looking for newways. Keep questing andlooking for improvements.But never allow yourself tothink that you have foundTHE one.@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres
  26. 26. Alan Richardson is an Independent TestConsultant based in the UK. He offers trainingand consultancy in Selenium WebDriver,exploratory and technical web testing.● uk.linkedin.com/in/eviltesterContact Alan for training andconsultancy tailored to your needs:alan@compendiumdev.co.ukBlogs and Websites● SeleniumSimplified.com● EvilTester.com● Testing Papers and Tools○ CompendiumDev.co.ukTwitter: @eviltesterOnline Training Courses● Technical Web Testing 101○ Unow.be/at/udemy101● Intro to Selenium○ Unow.be/at/udemystart● Selenium 2 WebDriver API○ Unow.be/at/udemyapiVideosyoutube.com/user/EviltesterVideosBooksSelenium SimplifiedUnow.be/rc/selsimp
  27. 27. Summary Lessons Learned● Never build a generic Silver Bullet tool, ever● Never let tools limit your testing● Never build on top of another tool● Augment other tools, and use them in combination, usetheir APIs if possible● Use what you have first, assume you can use itdifferently● Stamp out ignorance, challenge people to learn● Model at the problem domain, not a generic domain● Generic models are a side-effect, not a goal@EvilTester slides: http://unow.be/at/gtn_pres

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