Test Automation Day 2018

I got a free ticket to Test Automation Day in 2018, just after I'd moved to Rotterdam. I was overwhelmed by the confluence of events: Angie Jones keynoting, Ard Kramer running the show, and meeting Amy Phillips in real life. (Neither of us were sure it was the first time we'd met because we'd been following each other on Twitter for so long!)

My most shocking note from Angie's keynote is "clicker, no notes," because of course Angie had her talk down pat. In a talk that anticipated the current, urgent conversation in AI and machine learning, Angie recognized that we can't agree on what human ethics should look like. Figure out who you're advocating for, and tie the bugs back to that business value. You're not going to be able to define all the business requirements up front; expect the unexpected.

Amy Phillips spoke about how tests in a DevOps environemnt allow you to get fast feedback. Like Agile, this style of working is not about minimizing the pain and struggle in developing software, but rather about bringing that pain forward. DevOps allows us to become aware of problems sooner, so we can act on them sooner. Running more tests is not necessarily better. Do not accept flaky tests. Free yourself from an overreliance on end-to-end tests and tests that cover non-critical paths to get your build time down. Rather than running tests on every commit, improve your monitoring.

I've got some quotes from other talks and the panel that day:

  • "A tester is someone who believes things can be different." ~ Jerry Weinberg
  • "The team was not mature enough to determine priorities."
  • "Maintain the relationships you want to build."
  • "Are you just doing it because you can?" (regarding UI automation)

I can't tell everybody how welcome and in the right place I felt by being able to jump in this day on short notice.