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Testing through the Credit Crunch - Part 6 - Innovation

Thu 26 Mar 2009

This is the last in the series and I thought that I would finish it off discussing the innovative culture that is needed in today's climate. If you work in an Agile environment trying to create the next big thing you know not all the components you need have been created. And if they haven't been created you have very little to zero chance that you will find a testing tool to automate your application.

You can automated the units of the code, obviously, but there are parts of the application that you can't test with a unit/integration testing framework or your continuous integration server is taking too long to build and test. I know we have all seen the last issue.

So what do we do then? We need think outside of the box to get a solution. A lot of the testing frameworks have grown from the need for something to fit a certain issue. Increase in Testing tools on SourceForge The image on the left shows the increase in testing projects on sourceforge.net over 9 years. As you can see there has been a nice growth of testing frameworks. A lot of these have been grown from the need to test something and there are no tools out there. One example of this is Selenium.

Selenium started out as an in-house testing framework for ThoughtWorks. Now its one the worlds best functional testing tool. Next tool to talk about is a Selenium derivative. Selenium Grid was born out of the need to make the tests run quicker. The build was taken forever so Philippe Hanrigou and a few other ThoughtWorkers extended Selenium RC to get it to runs tests in parallel without having to worry the infrastructure out there.

I am currently building a system to pull in usability stats from our web application with a developer using 3 free tools that anyone out there can find and making a nice hybrid test tool. I will document this in a future blog post with my colleague. But this has been born out of the need to do something that no other tool seems to do at the moment.

The skill that is needed by testers all across the board is the ability to tackle projects by thinking laterally. Tools are not always going to be available for everything and record-and-replay will not solve all of the worlds issues. There are a number of harder issues that need to be solved like the Testers-Heads-Up-Display that I discussed in my last post.

All of these items can easily be solved with a little innovation by all the testers out there. I guess the question is, what can you offer to the testing world.

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