My Daily Tool Use [Updated #2]

SublimeAs a performance tester I spend most of my daily time somewhere between the browser and a web server. I also so spend a lot of time on servers themselves analysing data. So I thought I’d write a bit about the tool landscape I tend to use. In my tool selection I favour Open Source software. Mainly because I don’t have to fluff around with licenses but also because I can look at code if I need to. It allows me to focus my resources on training people. I do tend to feed back into OSS, whenever I can (which is seldom as I am usually not that clever;-) ).

I also do a lot of bespoke programming to automate processes. This is not at the level a developer would do things but more on a simple scripting level. But not to be underestimated what power this can unleash in your day to day work.

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Test Automation Sells

Somewhere I saw a statement that testing today is about 25% of IT budgets with a tendency to increase. Not sure if that’s true but even half of that is a lot of money. So of course managers and financial controllers are looking where they can eek out any spare $s.

Because testing and quality are not tangible or easily understood by outsiders it is tempting to cut and slash. There are no immediate or obvious down sides (50% of testing is still testing right?). Issues appear later and then the correlation back to the cause is spurious and it’s the operational budget then. And we all know testers are just all doom and gloom.

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Sydney Testers have Levelled-up!

sydney-testers-meetupIn the spirit of gamification, Sydney Testers Meetup have definitely levelled-up. Significant advancements in structure and commitment have seen a robust
platform to operate the meeting format from.

Last Wednesday’s evening on Test Automation, Vibe Hotel Sydney CBD, was a very successful event.

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JMeter CSV data for remote clients [Update]

JMeter is a wonderful product but in some aspects it has it’s kinks. So when you do testing on several remote clients and have CSV data that fills variables you start to hit some ugly issues. In my example here I am reading login data from a CSV file. The thing is, if the same user logs in twice (or more times) simultaneously it’s  FIFO. All other users end up throwing an error.

The usual way to tackle CSV files in distributed JMeter environments is to copy the CSV to every client. But that would mean all of them kick off with the same line, thereby causing the problem. You can prevent that by cutting up your CSV into pieces and have one for each remote/client machine. This works but is tedious if the number of clients varies or the CSV changes often. You’d ideally want something more versatile and automagic.

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WeTest Workshop #1

Last week (25.10.2012) the first WeTest Meetup Workshop was held in Wellington. This is a Meetup group that meets loosely bi-monthly and conforms to the same experience report style as KWST, OZWST and LAWST does.

Needless to say the event, instigated by Aaron Hodder, Katrina Edgar and Brian Osman, was quite a success. The topic was “Experiances in Test Automation”. Discussion was lively and there was lots to take home & think about. Read up on the details in these blog posts:

Assurity BLOG

TestSheep NZ

Thanks go to Assurity for helping fund the venue, food and drinks! Also thanks to everyone there for the great participation. The next Workshop will be on the 6th of December. Places are filling up quickly.

Author: Oliver Erlewein

WeTest Workshops

The brain child of Aaron Hodder and Katrina Edgar… and thanks to Richard Robinson and David Greenlees for sharing their experiences on setting up a meet up group for software testers….

For testers in Wellington who are interested in testing discussions with other practitioners.

Monthly workshop events of a similar format to KWST – a presenter introduces a topic to the group, and attendees are then encouraged to discuss, question, challenge, and share ideas on that topic. Participation is expected, so come prepared to contribute!

Meet thinking testers in the Wellington testing community, engage in practical discussion, and eat pizza.

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Sikuli – for all those hard to reach places!

Ever had the scenario in automated testing, that you had something to automate that really didn’t fit any of your tools? Something that was as bristly as an Echidnea?

Normally I try and steer away from anything that doesn’t use standard protocols and/or interfaces. Things like Flash, Silverlight and others. Not that there aren’t test tools that handle these things but it’s just that it’s messy to say the least. For open standards like HTML or SOAP there are gazillions of ways to automate.

So I got surprised by having to test an application on -or should I rather say through- Citrix.

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