March 29, 2018

Starting a Selenium Grid using AWS + SeleniumHQ Docker images + Docker Compose

With this blog post we will be exploring how to start a Selenium Grid using an Amazon Web Service (AWS) instance the SeleniumHQ Docker images, Docker and Docker Compose. For this example, I will be using a Macbook, so the Terminal will be my Command Line Interface.

Need more information? Check out the official Amazon Web Services documentation:
We could use the "Amazon Elastic Container Service" and using AWS Fargate to run containers without managing servers or clusters ... but since I am tinkering, I want to make sure that I am using only free services provided by the Amazon Free Tier that I signed up for last month.

We are going to be starting off by following along with the official docs by Amazon, AWS Docker Basics.

March 21, 2018

Watch Seb Rose Talk About the Big Ideas Behind BDD

Couldn't make it to Day One of Seb Rose's "BDD Kickstart" course, held Tuesday March 20th, 2018 from 9:00 to 4:30 pm at the Assembly Square, Somerville, MA office? Man, that was fun! Hear him summarize the class in his talk he gave the Ministry of Testing - Boston Meetup, live streamed and recorded!

Catch me give a brief intro in the video!

The Big Ideas Behind BDD 
Ministry of Testing - Boston Meetup: 3/20/2018

Want to view his slides?

The Ministry of Testing - Boston at
Thank you SmartBear for being such a wonderful sponsor for my Meetup!

Seb Rose,
Thank you, Seb, after a long day teaching your class for speaking to our group!

Brianne from SmartBear, hard at work managing the live streaming
Thank you, Brianne, our newest event organizer at the Ministry of Testing - Boston for organizing the event, setting it up, managing the live streaming, and acting as emcee!

Seb Rose & T.J. Maher, Meetup Organizer of the Ministry of Testing - Boston

I just really love the Ministry of Testing - Boston. It has been so much fun the past year-and-a-half running the group!

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test
Meetup Organizer, Ministry of Testing - Boston

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March 17, 2018

Getting to Know GitLab and How They Test the UI

The past three years as an automation developer, I have worked with many different continuous integration platforms such as Jenkins, TeamCity, and CircleCI, hooking up my automation to it so the tests can be run once an hour, nightly, or every single time is checked in.

Threat Stack uses GitLab for its Continuous Integration / Continuous Deployment (CI / CD) pipeline. Why? You should ask Pete Cheslock, head of DevOps. He is currently writing about his experience in our company blog:
With GitLab, I am more concerned with finding out what it does in general. Lucky for me, they give YouTube tours such as this one shot back in November 2017, Idea to Production with GitLabs.

This video gives you a good idea of using GitLab to do issue tracking, planning, committing to the repo, testing with CI, debugging in the terminal, deploying to production, scaling an application and application performance monitoring.

The History of GitLab

According to

"2011: Our CTO Dmitriy needed an great tool to collaborate with his team. He wanted something efficient and enjoyable so he could focus on his work, not the tools. He created GitLab from his house in Ukraine. It was a house without running water but Dmitriy perceived not having a great collaboration tool as a bigger problem than his daily trip to the communal well. [...] So together with Valery, he started to build GitLab as a solution for this. This commit was the very start of GitLab.
"2012: Sid saw GitLab for the first time and thought it was natural that a collaboration tool for programmers was an open source so you could contribute to it. Being a Ruby programmer he checked out the source code and was impressed with the code quality of GitLab after more than 300 contributions in the first year. He asked Hacker News if they were interested in using and hundreds of people signed up for the beta. In November 2012, Dmitriy made the first version of GitLab CI".

Wait a Second... GitLab Uses Ruby?

Oh, that is interesting! GitLab is coded using Ruby! The Test Engineering  team picked the Ruby language for its automation framework because Chef and Test Kitchen use Ruby. As a Ruby Newbie, I have been finding it helpful to review the great work the people have done creating examples using their BDD framework with Capybara.

What I find more fortunate is that it appears that GitLab uses for its UI tests what I am attempting to use: Capybara + Ruby + Headless Chrome.

I need to check out Mike Greiling's article, "How GitLab switched to Headless Chrome for testing: A detailed explanation with examples of how GitLab made the switch to headless Chrome".

As Mike put it, last year, "news spread that Chrome 59 would support a native, cross-platform headless mode. It was previously possible to simulate a headless Chrome browser in CI/CD using virtual frame buffer, but this required a lot of memory and extra complexities. A native headless mode is a game changer. It is now possible to run integration tests in a headless environment on a real, modern web browser that our users actually use!

"Soon after this was revealed, Vitaly Slobodin, PhantomJS's chief developer, announced that the project would no longer be maintained".

And all of the source code for GitLab's Community Edition is stored on GitLab. Awesome!

At my job there are so many things that are new to me:

  • I am new to
  • I am new to Ruby
  • I am new to Capybara
  • I am new to GitLab
  • I am new to Headless Chrome. 
... For the last week, since I was placed on Threat Stack's UI team, I've written a few UI tests, but they all run locally, on my own computer, but I was stumped when it came to using CI with GitLab. I've been searching for a model to base my new framework on.

Looks like I found one. This should be fun! 

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test
Meetup Organizer, Ministry of Testing - Boston

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March 16, 2018

Use 20% Discount Code ATDTJ for Agile Testing Days in Boston, Coming Late June!

Did you know? The Ministry of Testing - Boston has a group discount code for Agile Testing Days! Want to borrow it? I checked with Techwell, and they said it was okay to share! Use the discount code ATDTJ to get 20% off the already discounted "super early lobster" pricing which is running until April 27th, 2018. 

The conference is running June 25 - 29th, 2018 and will be held in the DoubleTree Hilton up in Danvers, MA.

Prices before the 20% discount:
There also will be a class "Python for Testers" run by Kristoffer Nordstrom.

Wow. It's like my Twitter feed come to life!

... I wonder how many people I can get recruit to come to a Ministry of Testing - Boston? So far, we already have had:
  • Angie Jones speak to our group in a Google Hangout last Spring.
  • Claire Moss, organizer of the Ministry of Testing - Atlanta brought Llewllyn Falco, to run a Lean Coffee last year.
  • When MoT-Boston invaded last year's TestBash Philly, we heard Ash Coleman, and Paul Holland speak.
  • Andreas Grabner will be speaking to us in April.
  • I've been trying to recruit Lisa Crispin since last summer to give a quick Q & A in a webinar to us, but we've haven't been able to do it yet.

This should be fun! If the baby doesn't come early, I think I should be there!

Happy Testing!

-T.J. Maher
Sr. QA Engineer, Software Engineer in Test
Meetup Organizer, Ministry of Testing - Boston

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March 8, 2018

Ministry of Testing - Boston: An Origin Story

For most of my twenty year career, I have been searching to become a part of a software testing community. To find myself running one after so long of a search absolutely astounds me. 

Ever since I became the Meetup Organizer of the Ministry of Testing - Boston I have been having the time of my life! I really have given my all to the group, having a heck of a lot of fun planning events, meeting people, and trying to build a community of software testers here in Boston. I love the challenges of growing the membership, running fun social media campaigns, finding interesting speakers, and making connections here in Boston. And all of this has been in the past year! 

So much has happened since we moved from being the Greater Boston QA and Testing Group to under the umbrella of Rosie Sherry and Richard Bradshaw's Ministry of Testing: