January 14, 2018

How Would You Test A Chair? A Warm Up Question To Give Candidate Software Testers

I've been on many a job interview as a software tester these past twenty years.

On a job interview, to see how well candidates think on their feet, and how dig they deep in their testing, the interviewer can talk about an ordinary item to the candidates that is unrelated to software testing, and ask the candidate how to test it.

The item could be a phone. A calculator. A pen. Or even a chair.


Interview Question: How Would You Test A Chair?
https://youtu.be/EjOf5ZaCj4E

January 9, 2018

Ministry of Testing - Boston 2017 Wrap Up - Video Blog!

The Ministry of Testing - Boston Meetup's first year is now behind us.

Here's a wrap up of all we accomplished in 2017!

https://youtu.be/F4Fw3K94Yq0

Subscribe to the YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/tj_youtube!

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

January 8, 2018

The Secret to My Success as a Software Tester? Dungeons and Dragons!: New Video Blog Entry

Another new entry to Adventures in Automation, the video blog! Subscribe to it now, so you don't miss a thing!

The Secret to My Success as a Software Tester? Dungeons and Dragons
https://youtu.be/NfH505fq9tk


Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

January 7, 2018

Practicing Ruby Through Exercism!

I think I have covered Ruby fundamentals enough this past week! I covered:

Now, to put all that knowledge that I think I have to the test! I could start with CodeWars or HackerRank...

Instead, I wanted to check out the site Franklin Webber mentioned in his webinar, Exercism.io, an open-source practice area written by a former JavaRanch.com volunteer. 

January 6, 2018

Learning Ruby

When it comes to programming languages, I am pretty language agnostic. With only three years of work experience developing automation, I am still learning, adopting whatever toolsets and technologies my employer already is using.

Sure, I still prefer Java, but only because it was my primary language back in grad school. Although I only consider myself a junior Java developer, I still think of it as my mother tongue.
  • 2014: As the manual tester supervising an offshore automation team, I tested out and tinkered with the Calabash / Ruby code they were using to automate mobile apps.
  • 2015: Selenium WebDriver/ Java was used to write the automation framework in my first job as an automation developer.
  • 2016: Pairing with the Node.js product, I adopted Nightwatch.js to write tests for a Vue.js JavaScript-based front end.
  • 2017: Appium / Java was selected in a mobile testing proof-of-concept I was creating.
  • 2018: My new upcoming SDET job uses Chef. Chef uses Ruby. Therefore I need to re-learn Ruby. 
But where to start re-learning Ruby?

January 4, 2018

Notes on Franklin Webber's webinar, The Ruby Behind Chef

For the past week, I've been trying to do a cram session on Ruby, one of the many programming languages I will be using in my next job as a Software Developer in Test.

Why Ruby? Chef, A DevOps tool, is written in Ruby... a language I don't even know.

The quickest way to learn how to swim? Row your boat into the deepest part of the lake and jump right in. Try not to drown too much.

Likewise, the quickest way I have found for me to learn? Dive right in. See how how long I can tread water before choking, sputtering, and coming up for air.

Care to go on a dive with me?


The Ruby Behind Chef (September 2016)
Franklin Webber, Training Lead at Chef
https://youtu.be/CnBP2uv3Yog

January 3, 2018

A New Year Brings New Changes To My Life



Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

January 1, 2018

Welcome to Adventures in Automation on YouTube!

Adventures in Automation is now on YouTube!

New episodes released every Monday! Make sure to go to the YouTube channel and Subscribe!

https://youtu.be/koeCfy2b0UM

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

December 29, 2017

Top Adventures in Automation blog entries for 2017

With Adventures in Automation, How Was 2017?


So far, in 2017, this blog attracted the attention of 33,700 different users, according to Google Analytics.

Here are the top five blog posts for Adventures in Automation for 2017:

#5: What happens when you ask the Twitterverse: "How Can a Manual Tester Switch To Automation?"

#4: Build a Basic Appium Framework: Review How to Inspect Mobile Apps with Appium Desktop

#3: Learning Serenity BDD: An Automation Framework That Uses Specification by Example (SBE)

#2: New automation framework released to test APIs: Introducing Karate, by Intuit India's Peter Thomas 

#1: Learning Appium Desktop: What is Appium Server and How Do You Start It Through Appium Desktop?

Thank you, dear reader, for all your continued support.

Coming in 2018:

New Blog Entries! 

Mid-January 2018, I start a new job as a Software Development Engineer in Test: An SDET role at a security company, tackling brave new technologies -- some I've only tinkered with, some which are brand-new to me.

I have done API testing before, using Apache Http ComponentsRest Assured, and Twitter4J. Most of these have been in Java, though. Although I have tinkered with Docker and Vagrant, I have never used DevOps tools such as Chef or Kitchen. And I have never used Scala or Ruby, two of the primary coding languages they will be using.

... I made sure to tell my future employer all of this -- I am nothing if not brutally honest on job interviews. They hired me anyway, saying they would provide plenty of on-the-job training. Not wanting to embarrass myself, I've started to hit the books. There are plenty of resources on ScalaChef, and even the API of the product I will be testing.

Expect many more blog entries on these subjects in the coming months as I do some extra-curricular learnin'.


New Speaking Engagements! 

I am a speaker at Joe Colantonio's Automation Guild 2018, and will be giving a live Q & A session January 10th, 2018 at 11 AM.


A New YouTube Channel!

I will be starting a new weekly video blog, sharing my experience with software testing, starting Monday, January 1st, 2018. Subscribe now!

I hope you and yours have a happy and healthy 2018!

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

December 22, 2017

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday!

And the same to all you readers of the Adventures in Automation blog!

Without your constant support, I would not be where I am today.

Thank you!

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

December 18, 2017

Hello, India! And Welcome!

Namaste! Hello, India! Welcome to this blog! I'd offer you tea or a mango lassi but you can't yet attach a beverage to a blog post.

I'd also translate this page to your native tongue but I don't know Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Meitei, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, or Urdu... so English will have to do.

I was checking Google Analytics and saw that I had over 800 unique visitors to this site from your country in November 2017 alone.

Although I started this blog almost three years ago as my own private online collection of research notes, I get next to no feedback.

... Actually, that's not true. The bot that advertises Testing Jobs in Chennai always leaves messages in the comments section. It thinks this site is very helpful.

How did you stumble on this blog? What do you like about it? I hope it is useful to you. Is there anything I can help you with? Do you have any doubts? Let me know in the Comments section below, or follow me on Twitter at @tjmaher1 and say hello!

Happy Testing! Go Team India! Go Men in Blue! Go Virat Kohli!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

December 17, 2017

Starting January 2018, Adventures in Automation will be on YouTube!

Starting January 2018, I will be trying my hand at starting a YouTube channel, Adventures in AutomationSubscribe now!

This blog will still be quite active. It's where I post all my research notes when I am researching a new automation tool or technology, after all, and I am a big fan of continuous learning.

In order to learn a new tool, I still will be posting sample code on my GitHub site, and posting walkthroughs of the code on the Programming Projects section of this blog.

I wanted to experiment with seeing if I could handle using a video blog as a storytelling medium.

Subscribe now! See you online! And Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

December 16, 2017

Follow T.J. Maher at @tjmaher1 on Twitter!

Are you on Twitter? 

No? Why not?

Although subscribing to and reading this blog is a perfectly acceptable way to find out what is happening in the software testing ecosystem, joining the Twitterverse is the very best way to keep up to date on new testing and automation toolsets, and articles that are being published.

Create your account, now! And while you are there, you can follow me on @tjmaher1!

A huge community of software testers hang out and chat virtually throughout the day on Twitter sharing what they are learning right now! Hear from the experts themselves about articles they are working on, and tips they are sharing.

You could wait until Lisa's calendar frees up next year and she is a guest speaker for the Ministry of Testing - Boston, or you could follow her, and her co-author Janet Gregory.

Want to know what Jason Huggins, creator of the first version of Selenium, former CTO and co-founder of Sauce Labs, founder of Tapster, and another guest speaker I have been trying to get for the Ministry of Testing Boston, is working on? Follow him on Twitter!

Looking for more people to follow? 


Oddly enough... I made the list! 

With this blog, Adventures in Automation, according to Google Analytics, for the month of November 2017 there were:
  • 3,244 users visiting this site
  • 4,436 unique sessions
  • 1,556 sessions from the United States
  • 831 sessions from India
  • 282 sessions from Germany
  • 162 sessions from Canada
  • 98 sessions from the Ukraine
  • 82 sessions from Poland
  • 75 sessions from Israel'
  • 65 sessions from Australia
  • 60 sessions from France 
... And I don't even know who you people are! Sign up to Twitter, Follow me on Twitter, on @tjmaher1, and say hello! 


Happy Testing!
-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

December 11, 2017

Notes: How to Become an Automation Engineer, by Angie Jones

"Are you interested in becoming a test automation engineer? Do you lead a team you'd like to see transition toward test automation by learning the skills needed to do this role?

"Join Angie Jones December 11, 2017 at 1PM EST for 'How to become an automation engineer'. Angie is a preeminent Test Automation Engineer working at Twitter. She has helped countless people make the jump to test automation engineer and will share her insights into this transition".

- Beaufort Fairmont.com

The Speaker:

"Angie Jones is a Senior Software Engineer in Test at Twitter who has developed automation strategies and frameworks for countless software products. As a Master Inventor, she is known for her innovative and out-of-the-box thinking style which has resulted in more than 20 patented inventions in the US and China. Angie shares her wealth of knowledge by speaking and teaching at software conferences all over the world".
Speaker Contact Details:
Angie Jones – Senior Software Engineer in Test, Twitter

December 7, 2017

Videos from TestBash Philly 2017 are now online!

Couldn't make it to November's TestBash Philly? Videos taken from the conference are now online, posted on the central Ministry of Testing site at https://dojo.ministryoftesting.com/series/testbash-philadelphia-2017

Although some require a paid Pro subscription to the Testing Dojo, most are accessible with the free Ministry of Testing Dojo subscription.

From the Dojo:

"TestBash Philadelphia 2017 - our third TestBash in the USA was hosted at The Fringe Arts on 9-10th November 2017.

"All TestBash events aim to inspire and educate but in equal measure provide lots of opportunities for testers to meet, make friends and continue to build the amazing testing community we have. A big part of that at Philly this year was the first ever TestBash Circus, you can get low-down on this and all the resources to run the circus activities on The Dojo

December 5, 2017

"Why Mabl Chose Google Cloud Platform Over AWS" will be LiveStreamed.

Tonight's Ministry of Testing - Boston Meetup will be LiveStreamed! Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM_kvui6qUk to 12/5/2017 at 6:30 pm EST to watch!


"How do you compare and contrast technologies such as cloud service providers? What metrics do you use as a comparison? How do you decide to move from a technology you are familiar with to a new and different tool which may be better for your company?

"This evening James Baldassari, a Full Stack Developer from Raytheon, DataXu, and now mabl -- an early stage company that is developing a machine-learning driven automated testing service -- will walk members of the Ministry of Testing - Boston through:

• "What is a cloud service provider? Why use it?

• "What features do cloud services provide?

• "What were mabl's business needs?


The talk will be based on James' blog article, A Detailed Look at Why mabl Chose Google Cloud Platform (GCP) over AWS. From the introduction:

"As product development was beginning at mabl in early 2017, we had to decide which cloud provider to use. While we were most familiar with Amazon Web Services (AWS), we decided to invest some time exploring all of the options available to us. Based on an initial set of requirements, we were able to narrow the list of candidates to just AWS and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We spent several weeks researching both and building prototypes to familiarize ourselves with features that we had not used before. After a thorough and objective evaluation of both providers we decided unanimously to build on GCP". - https://www.mabl.com/why-we-chose-google-cloud-platform-over-aws-at-mabl/


Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

November 28, 2017

Fifty showed to Meet a Spotify Quality Coach, a Ministry of Testing - Boston event

Well, it looks like the Ministry of Testing - Boston isn't a small little group anymore.

Yes, we have 800+ members, but those are just subscribers to our mailing list, not attendees. I would say we have 30 to 40 regular attendees, with me defining a "regular" as a person who attends one event every two months.

Tonight, though, was different.

Fifty of fifty-seven people who RSVPed "YES" actually attended Meet a Quality Coach @ Spotify. Which is odd. Like most Meetups, we have a 50% attendance rate. With free events held right after work, with no penalty for skipping out after you signed up, the percentage of no-shows are high. With Ministry of Testing - Boston being in the vein of a work-related networking group, we get people who may just not have the energy to talk about work after spending the day at work.

Today, the attendance rate was pretty close to 100%! It was quite unexpected.

Where the heck did they all come from?

After reviewing the logs, it looks like there was a huge spike in new membership a week before. Possibly they signed up just for the Spotify event?

After a bit of searching, I found that the event really hit home with a lot of Boston event calendars. My original Ministry of Testing - Boston Meetup event posting was mimicked and re-broadcasted by:


... Next time, we need to buy more pizza.

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

November 27, 2017

Teaser for "How to Pass a Coding Interview as an Automation Developer" @ AutomationGuild.com

Want a teaser of my upcoming AutomationGuild.com talk?

I will be speaking about "How to Pass a Coding Interview as an Automation Developer", a more polished version of the October 2016 talk I gave to the Ministry of Testing - Boston, based on my TechBeacon article of the same name. I include:

  • "I'm an automation developer, not a coder! Why am I being interviewed?"
  • "What does the interviewer expect of me?"
  • "How can I prepare?"
  • I also walk through three different coding examples. 



Producing the pre-recorded video was stressful... but not as stressful as a coding interview!

I'll be giving a LIVE Q & A session to complement the talk on Tuesday, January 9th, 2018!

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

November 24, 2017

"How To Pass a Coding Test" has been submitted to The Automation Guild!

It took more than a few sleepless nights, but my pre-recorded video, "How To Pass A Coding Interview As An Automation Developer", was finally worthy of being submitted to the AutomationGuild.com!


Summer 2016 was tough for me. It was the first time I realized that Whiteboard Coding Tests -- getting up in front of a whiteboard and solving various coding problems as found on LeetCode.com -- was the norm when going on automation developer interviews.

This may sound odd, but I couldn't understand, at first, why interviewers were asking me to code in real time in front of them. What did automation development have to do with software development? ... It took me a while to realize that automation development was software development.

Based on my experience, I wrote an article on TechBeacon back in September 2016 that I then turned into a presentation and gave to the Ministry of Testing - Boston Meetup a month later.

This year, I decided that, even though I was new at this and it scared the heck of me, I really wanted to try my hand at public speaking. I submitted proposals to STPCon.com and the Ministry of Testing without any luck. I was then contacted by Joe Colantonio from TestTalks.com to see if I wanted submit a pre-recorded video to his online conference, the AutomationGuild.com, and be a guest speaker.

It took me a few nights, but it is finally done!

As stressful as it was in the beginning... by the time it was done, I was having a lot of fun with it.

... I wonder if I could turn Adventures in Automation into a video blog?

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Reader! 

  • May your Thanksgiving feast have included all of your requirements.
  • May your dinner have passed User Acceptance Testing.
  • After the day long Agile Sprint, may you and the people gathered 'round have a happy retrospective!

One of the things I am thankful for is the Ministry of Testing - Boston, the people I have met, and the great conversations I have had while running events! This may sound odd, but before I discovered this group Summer 2016 when it crashed Fitbit, I didn't know that such a thing as local networking group of software testers existed!


I'm thankful that I volunteered to help out this group last year.

I'm thankful that Conrad Holloman, the creator of the MoT Boston Meetup, trusted me to cover for him when he went on active duty.

I'm thankful that I have had the opportunity to lead this group when Conrad needed to devote more time to Operation Code.


Most of all, I am thankful for my wife, Melissa, for allowing me to excitedly bounce event ideas off her, working with me on logistics, all her help, and all of her love and support. The last Meetup I ran was Nerd Fun - Boston five years ago. How much I missed it!


Oh! And if you are a veteran and need help breaking into the software development field, you must sign up for Conrad Holloman's group, Operation Code at https://operationcode.org/


From me and mine, to you and yours, I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!




Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

November 22, 2017

Webinar Notes: Justin Ison, "Automated Exploratory Testing": Crawlers and Data Gatherers

Imagine if you could write an app that would handle the monotony of gathering all the screenshots when performing user interface testing on web, mobile and desktop apps. It could randomly crawl though the app under test and collect screenshots that compared and contrasted differences between:

  • Browsers and platforms, such as IE9, IE10 & IE11 on the PC, Safari on the Mac, Chrome, Firefox, Safari on the iPhone, and Chrome on an Android device. 
  • Mobile devices such as a variety of Samsung Android devices, iPhones, and tablets.
  • Various screen resolutions and breakpoints for web & mobile apps that have a responsive web design. 
  • Various orientations, such as portrait and landscape. 
  • Localization Testing: How the site keeps (or doesn't keep) its layout when the text is changed to Spanish, German (with its much longer words), Russian (with its Cyrillic alphabet), Arabic, or Hindi. 
  • How mobile apps behave if you do taps, presses, long presses, or swipes. 
Justin Ison@isonic1 >, Senior Success Engineer at Applitools, did just that! 


If his name sounds familiar, it is because I wrote in Mid-November about attending an Applitools Eyes training session that he gave me.

November 15, 2017

Exploring Applitools, a visual testing tool for web, mobile and Mac / Windows desktop applications.

The life of a software tester can be difficult.

Performing browser testing, comparing and contrasting all screens you need to test on for just a single web page, the look-and-feel for all the different combinations and permutations of browsers and platforms can be even more difficult.

Performing regression testing on an entire web site, confirming that what once passed still passes, checking that each visual element, image, font size, font style, font color, copyright date in the footer, privacy policy link, and graphic, no matter how small, has the same look-and-feel across all browsers, is its own special type of hell... Especially if it the regression tests have to be rerun, say, every two weeks. This is why it is better to offload the repetitive tasks to a system which performs visual testing.

Why can regression testing the UI be difficult for a team of software testers?

November 10, 2017

TestBash Philly - Day 1!

Seven speakers. Ten types of games people can play that represent what testers face daily. Free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an open bar. A full day of activities from 8:00 am, starting with a Lean Coffee, and ending at 11:00 pm, with attendees breaking out their board games.

Day 1 of TestBash Philly, here in the FringeArts Theater, at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, PA was amazing! Paying all expenses out of pocket to get here was completely worth it. As the sole active organizer of the Ministry of Testing - Boston, it was nice to connect with other organizers!

... I wonder if we could bring a TestBash to Boston in 2019? ... I wonder if Microsoft's N.E.R.D (New England Research and Development) Center would be a good venue? It does allow people to book events, but it has been closed for a bit while they do some reconstruction. Hrm...

November 9, 2017

TestBash Philly 2017: The Pre-Test Bash Meetup

It took me seven hours, heading into Boston to catch the train to Philadelphia, then another train to get across the city to Penn's Landing to where TestBash Philly 2017 is being held, but I finally made it!

Today, I volunteered to help out the speakers putting on the two day software testing conference for the Ministry of Testing. Tonight I went to the Pre-TestBash Meetup. But before that, I was on a quest to find an authentic Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. Luckily for me, I found Campo's Deli right off the train station and devoured one whole.

Campo's Deli

November 4, 2017

Tinkering with Twitter: Post a Tweet Using Twitter4J to interact the Twitter REST API endpoint

This is Part Four of a multi-part blog series on putting together a basic API test framework for the Twitter Search API. Care to go back to the beginning

Now that we have been introduced to Twitter4J, a Java library built to interacts with Twitter's API, set up credentials that authorized Twitter4J to use our test Twitter account, and installed the Twitter4J library in a Java project, we can start writing code that can do three things:

  • Connects to the REST endpoint of the Twitter API.
  • Posts a Tweet to the Twitter account we set up. 
  • Examine how Twitter4J interacts with the Twitter API
To figure out how everything works, we can view:


Tinkering with Twitter: Setting up an API Testing environment with Twitter4J

This is Part Three of a multi-part blog series on putting together a basic API test framework for the Twitter Search API. Care to go back to the beginning

The last few posts we covered a lot of ground:

For this entry, we will be walking a user through setting up an API development environment with IntelliJ, Java, and Twitter4J.

November 3, 2017

Thank you, Angie Jones, for your support!

I can't remember how Angie Jones ( @techgirl1908 ) and I first connected two years ago. Did she stumble on my blog first? Or did I drop her a line on Twitter first? No matter.

For the past couple of years, I've been an Angie Jones superfan.


I've been loving how she has put herself out there for the software testing community, giving many unique automation talks that I'd watch on YouTube, and then chat with about them with her on Twitter.

And Angie's been reading this blog, reviewing demo projects I have been doing as I tried to re-learn coding after a ten year absence, always encouraging me to keep up the good work.

October 29, 2017

Tinkering with Twitter: Getting credentials, consumerKey, accessToken

This is Part Two of a multi-part blog series on putting together a basic API test framework for the Twitter Search API. Care to go back to the beginning

In order to be able to programmatically interact with Twitter through their APIs, you need an:

  •  OAUTH Consumer Key
  • Consumer Secret
  • Access Token
  • Access Token Secret 
Then, you need to place them in a Twitter4J Properties file.

The file will look something like this:

October 28, 2017

Browser Stats for Adventures in Automation: Whither MS Edge?

To me, the most important metric to me is the browser - platform matrix. Since I consider the QA Engineer's primary goal is to operate a web application exactly as the customer base to see everything as they see it, I want to know what browsers and platforms are being used.

Google Analytics showed me that from Saturday, October 21st to Friday, October 27th there were 1,176 user sessions. A "session", according to Google, is "the period of time a user is actively engaged in your website, app, etc".

With these user sessions, the top ten browsers used were:

Browser Stats: Top 10 Browsers
This astonished me.

I keep on thinking that maybe this week MS Edge usage will grow over time. But, no. It always seems to be Chrome & Firefox which are the top two. They seem to make up 87% of all readers of this blog.

As a software tester, I usually test in:

  • Chrome, though I probably won't find many bugs using that browser since that seems to be most developer's favorite browser at the companies I have worked for.
  • Firefox, a few bugs may creep in, since fewer developers use that.
  • Internet Explorer 11, 10, and 9, depending on what the Product Owner wants. Working with healthcare companies or financial firms, you will see some old, old browsers
  • Safari on the Mac
... I never get a chance to test on MS Edge, usually running out of time. I then get worried, checking the browser stats for the application I am testing on... and I find that it is always around two percent of the population.

What ever happened to Microsoft's edge?


Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

October 26, 2017

See you in two weeks at TestBash Philly 2017!

Wow. I'll be attending my very first software testing conference in just two weeks! I can't wait!


If you see me around, wave me down and introduce yourself! Ignore the confused look on my face when you say hello, as I try to remember if I should know you already, went to college with you, or worked with you. And I apologize... it's going to take me a few times to have your name sink in.

I'll be there with my little Chromebook, blogging away!

See you there! I hear they still have 16 or so tickets available.

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

October 23, 2017

What testing framework should be used testing a ReactJS web app? Webdriver.io? SerenityJS? Should it be a JavaScript based framework?

Let's say I need to write an automation framework for a ReactJS site. What should I use? Webdriver.io? SerenityJS? Selenium HQ's JavaScript implementation? Or does the framework not need to be in JavaScript just because the main web app under test is?

Please take the following Twitter poll:



Thank you very much, and Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

October 19, 2017

Job searching is depressing!

Normally, I am an upbeat person. When I am a good mood, you can tell. I have a grin that goes from ear-to-ear. I laugh easily and heartily. If I had a tail, I'd always be wagging it! And -- my poor, poor wife -- I love making bad puns.

But there is nothing that taxes me more than job searching! It is unnerving, stressful, stammer producing. And the longer the job search continues, the harder it gets.

Basically, all the excess energy I had to finish the "Testing the Twitter API" disappeared. I'll be able to finish it once I find a position, but now, I am spending most of my free time looking at Indeed.com, Dice.com, and LinkedIn Jobs.

Looking to see how I started my career? Take a look at the early articles posted on my Table of Contents!

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

October 9, 2017

Tinkering with Twitter: Twitter and the Search API

Let's say you are an automation developer and your boss gives you a new assignment: Test the search functionality for Twitter, how would you do it?

You could cobble together a Selenium WebDriver framework, one that spun up a browser, identified where the search bar was on Twitter.com, typed in a search keywords, and scraped the screen when the results appeared...

... The problem with this approach? You aren't actually testing the search functionality. You are testing how the web application handles the search functionality. Why not the search functionality itself?

Like the MBTA website we explored back in February, Are You Sure the Bus Line is Listed? Gathering data using REST APIs and REST Assured, much of the data is extracted from an API, an application programming interface.

With this series of blog articles we will be walking through:

1) Setting up a development environment:
  • IntelliJ as the integrated development environment (IDE)
  • We will be using a programming library called Twitter4J to interact with Twitter's API.
  • Since the Test4J programming library is in Java, we will be using that as a programming language.
  • Maven handling the third-party dependencies.
2) Coming up with test data and posting it to Twitter.

3) Searching for that test post we created.

Let's begin!

October 5, 2017

And the next speaker for the Automation Guild 2018 is ... me!

Anybody know how to shoot decent video on an iPhone 6S, how to get good lighting and sound?

I just heard back from my favorite software testing podcaster, Joe Colantonio of TestTalks.com. I've been selected to submit a video to his Automation Guild 2018!

Joe Colantonio, founder, the Automation Guild
https://vimeo.com/234367425

This three day conference is all online, and will be held January 8th to 10th, 2018.

I was going to convert last year's talk I gave to the Ministry of Testing - Boston, How to Pass a Coding Interview as an Automation Developer, which I based on my previous TechBeacon article...

... As you can see in the talk I gave last year, I have a bit of work to do.

Wish me luck!

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

September 18, 2017

Demo source code for "One Test to Rule Them All" was released!

Did you attend the Sauce Labs webinar, "One Test to Rule Them All" and really wished they had shared the Appium + Cucumber BDD + Serenity BDD framework sample code? Qualitest UK just did!



Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

September 8, 2017

Sauce Labs presents, "One Test To Rule Them All", demoing a Serenity BDD + Appium mobile testing framework

This was exactly what I was looking for! ... If only I could find Eyal Yovel's demo code.

We use Serenity BDD at work, an automation framework that is mainly a web testing framework. For months I tried to turn it into being a mobile automation framework to test mobile apps. All this Spring, I spent trying to get working other proof-of-concepts others had toyed with, to no avail. Mobile automation? It seemed unsupported by the Serenity BDD Google Groups, and still remains undocumented in the official Serenity BDD documentation.

Then I stumbled upon a European webinar announced by Sauce Labs... that was being held at 5:00 am Boston time. Normally, there would be a recording published a few days later. But what if this time was different? I couldn't take that chance!

September 5, 2017

3 ways QA engineers can keep pace with developers | TechBeacon

My sixth TeachBeacon article was just posted: 3 ways QA engineers can keep pace with developers | TechBeacon: "With the rapid pace of change in testing, keeping up requires deeper, broader skills–and networking with other QA pros".

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"

September 4, 2017

Watch Gregory Hanson and Jeffrey Martin host SmartBear's State of Testing 2017

A few months ago, SmartBear, maker of automated testing tools such as ReadyAPI, SoapUI, sponsored a Ministry of Testing - Boston meetup, encouraging us to spread the word on their new survey about the State of the Software Testing Industry. Over five thousand people filled out the survey. The results are ready to be revealed!

"Did you know that 63% of testers are responsible for testing both the frontend and backend of their applications? Or that API tests are more likely to be automated than GUI tests?

"Discover what your peers are doing today in testing - the applications they’re building and the techniques they’re using. Learn more about modern test environments and how many teams are at the ‘tipping point’ of shifting left.

"SmartBear collected insights from thousands of developers, testers, and managers worldwide who are passionate about software testing. They openly shared their experiences, insights, and the challenges they face in their day-to-day roles.

"Join a panel of SmartBear experts as they walk through the 2017 ‘State of Testing Survey’ and divulge the key trends and observations we uncovered".

Watch Jeffrey Martin, Gregory Hanson, from SmartBear play host on the webinar broadcasted on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017!

Testing and Development Webinars | SmartBear

August 31, 2017

Follow the Ministry of Testing - Boston on Twitter!

I am happy to announce that I am the new Organizer of the Ministry of Testing, Boston chapter! ... or, at least that is what I have dubbed myself.

Back in January 2017, when the Greater Boston QA and Testing Meetup moved under the Ministry of Testing's umbrella, a community of software testers in the UK that was expanding into the United States, three things happened:

  • The Meetup group was rebranded the "Ministry of Testing - Boston".
  • I was invited by the founder of the group, Conrad Holloman, to be co-organizer, helping to plan meetups.   
  • After month or so, I was asked if I could mind the store for the Spring. Between Conrad going back on duty and needing to put more effort in running a group he co-founded, Operation Code -- training veterans in a new software development career -- he wouldn't be available. 
After six months of me going all gung-ho, running targeted Facebook and Twitter ads for the group, running two or more events a month, cold-calling and cold-emailing to see if they could host a Meetup event and possibly speak to our group... Conrad mentioned that he was stepping down. Could I possibly fill the Organizer role?

I have to say, I am having the most fun with the group! I have been recruiting friends of mine to speak to the group. I somehow managed to get Moshe Milman, the CEO of Applitools to the group. Angie Jones, via web conference spoke live from Twitter's San Francisco office. Sauce Labs is now a major sponsor.

Are you in the Boston area? Do you do QA, SQA, automated testing, manual testing? Come and join us!

And make sure to follow us on Twitter, @MoT_Boston! I run the Twitter feed, too. I try to keep it entertaining. And while you are at it, follow me, on Twitter, @tjmaher1!

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Twitter | LinkedIn | GitHub

// Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test, Software Tester since 1996.
// Contributing Writer for TechBeacon.
// "Looking to move away from manual QA? Follow Adventures in Automation on Facebook!"