Thoughts while preparing testingdojo follow up

In the first testingdojo at my current client we familiarized the team with each other and of course with Selenium and Fitnesse for test automation.

As I wrote earlier this was quite a succes, all participants seemed to have really enjoyed the dojo and all learned quite some new tricks on how to use Fitnesse to their own advantages as well as the companies advantages. During this first session we stuck to the basics of what can be done with FitNesse, such as simple testcases, use of variables and some basic reusability like login.

All the fancy stuff we have not even touched upon, so my first thoughts were to cover that during the coming, second, testingdojo.

I am however now doubting that idea. Isn’t it a lot more sensible to explain the basics and have them work, as a team, on what is best-practice for testautomation, how can they implement this best for their organization?

Considering the general lack of knowledge in testautomation within this organization I truly believe this would be the best way to go, however question now is of course, how do you keep a session like that interesting? This could easily turn into a very boring, theoretical discussion rather than a properly interactive dojo.

A thought that occurred to me is that we might start off describing the best practices and then pair them up and make them search for ways to get to these best practices as well as reviewing existing automated testcases and refactor them to adhere to these best practice. In order to do this I would of course need to start off compiling my own list of test automation best practices specially tailored for testautomation within this organization and with FitNesse as a background. So far I have come up with the following list, keeping in mind that my group has limited knowledge of testautomation and will solely work in FitNesse:

  • do you know what we are trying to achieve with testautomation within the organization? Are we automating for the correct reasons?
  • before writing an automated test, describe your objective, does it still make sense to automate this test after reading your objective?
  • choose wisely what to automate and what not, be clear on the reason why you are automating someting
  • keep your tests short, readable and simple in order to keep maintenance low and knowledge tranfer capability high
  • make your tests data-driven, try avoiding hardcoded values. In a fast-moving environment like my customers’ it is key to ensure you are not facing failing tests due to inconsistent or wrong data hardcoded in your tests
  • try thinking in reusable functional pieces, keep an eye open for actions you do more than once and see if it makes sense to a) execute this action more than once and b) if this is indeed the case should we make this function(ality) a reusable scenario?

I am fully confident that I have left out quite a few (even more) important points, however the team itself will need to come up with a list of what they believe is going to be key in making testautomation a success within the entire organization, that is what a testingdojo is about, working together and learning from oneanother.