Tag Archives: Redmine

Test Automation Curriculum

Two things happened to me lately. First, I was trying to find a career tester in the San Diego area that knows at least a little bit about automated testing. It isn’t going well. I’ve reviewed a lot of resumes. all the submitters are career manual testers.

Surely somebody sometime must have wondered if they need to learn more about automation. Elisabeth Hendrickson once asked Do Testers Have to Write Code? They did a survey to figure out what companies were looking for from tester skills. In our case, we aren’t looking for somebody to write the test code, but to write and review the cucumber scenarios. Just the same, even on a light desire level, I was disappointed.

Second, a younger person asked me what he should learn in test automation last week. I had already been contemplating writing this curriculum, so I was resolved to do it. Srini, here it is.

Other people who don’t work with LAMPs, such as .Net environments etc. will probably not appreciate this list. Make your own list on your own blog and put the link in a comment here. I don’t begrudge anybody doing something else. I just don’t want to go there.

I created this curriculum for testers learning test automation. While some addresses how and why, most of the list is about tools that can help create a full solution. Anyway, here is my list in priority order:

  • An open source tool such as Watir-Webdriver or Selenium/Java – do not mess around with the QTP and TestComplete. The cargo cults that buy those tools will expect “anybody can automate”.  With open source tools, you can download your own learning playground and incorporate that with the other products.
    • Learn how to create page objects. Even if you take advantage of a library like WatirMark or Page-Objects, you will have to do some tailoring yourself. I have been working with Selenium/Java so I am developing my skills on that combination now. Either way, you need to know how to work on that in an efficient way. In fact, you can address a lot of the entries in here just be using Cheezy’s book Cucumbers and Cheese (well worth the $15). I swear that I do not get a dime from it or Cheezy’s work, it’s just such a big benefit for anybody learning that I cannot miss the chance to say how good it is.
    • An open source framework such as Cucumber, Cucumber-jvm, or RSpec.
  • Github and Git – there are other good source control tools out there, including subversion. Git is easy to use locally for managing your own practice code. It’s easy go get copies of other people’s public projects onto your own system (how did they do that?). CodeSchool has a free course on git. There is also a nice paper on the differences between git/mercurial and subversion so you can understand the differences.
  • Ant and Maven if you use Java. Most of what I learned was through osmosis, but being able to shoehorn cucumber into your project is good to know.
  • Jenkins or Hudson, CruiseControl, or some other open source continuous integration tool. If you ever work at a place that will be introducing automated testing for the first time, this is great to know how to set it up.
  • Performance testing in JMeter – I think you can find a ruby alternative (BlitzIO or Grinder) but you don’t really need this tool to be in a ruby language. The importance is to learn the different kinds of testing you find under this umbrella (incorrectly) called Performance Testing. The other important skill is creating the right monitors so you can discover where things are bottled up.
  • Owasp‘s ZAProxy – learn how to capture the http calls between your browser or simulator and the server under test. You will learn a lot there. While you are there, download the GoatWeb project where you can learn about security vulnerabilities through practice.
  • Monitoring tools (Splunk or Graylog2) – One way to find the errors that are occurring on the system under test is through logging. Those are deleted nearly every time the server is redeployed. You can monitor those logs and server performance much better through a monitoring server.
  • A true startup is probably not going to hire a newb unless they are cost-control-centered. But if you find you get there are there is no issue tracking, it would be good to know how to set up issue tracking and integrate to your version control and continuous integration server. I’ve tried RedMine and it was fine.

If you see that you think should be on the list that is not there, please add a comment.

Issue & Story Tracking

Everywhere that I’ve ever worked at had a defect tracking system, requirements system, and sometimes merged into one. Some were off the shelf, some were homemade, and others were services. I never felt the need to install one for work, but I did want to see what was involved with doing this, including how to integrate it with other products in the test stack.

I didn’t look around much for an open source solution. I know Bugzilla is commonly used. I also looked at Mantis and Trac. I decided to go with Redmine because it’s a Ruby On Rails app.

Installation

The biggest issue was to identify which ports to use. I already had a Puppies application that I was testing as part of my Cucumber and Cheese book. I added a Graylog2 application, also Ruby On Rails for the web interface (server component is java).

I originally chose to use sqlite3 because it was already installed on my system. I knew that I could use IRB to crack into the database if I needed to. Turned out that I did. I had to create an admin user (default one did not work). I eventually switched to MySQL.

Integrations

I integrated it with Git. I had trouble getting it working until I discovered that I needed to point it to the .git directory of my project directory. By including issue id’s in my checking comments, the issue automatically associated the issue with the checkin. The comment showed up on the repository page and the issue page. It supports diffing, too.
Redmin_GIT

I was able to install a Jenkins Plugin (technically it is for Hudson but works on Jenkins) to integrate with my Jenkins. This allowed me to identify which builds the associated checkins would be built. I also installed a Redmine plugin to Jenkins could also track builds on Jenkins to show Redmine issues associated with the build in aggregate.

It also supported multiple projects, and sub-projects. The wiki and news seemed relevant for keeping track of project information.

There is role based access control. That probably isn’t necessary for an agile team so I ignored this capability. Also non-agile (my opinion) is time tracking and Gantt charts.

Conclusion

I found all the features to be useful. If I were going to build my own stack then I would like using this component.

Test Stack

Earlier this year I started thinking more about the test stack. The test stack is heavily integrated with the dev/CM stack. The automated tests run using a language, library, or languages and libraries. People edit the test files in editors or IDEs. The test code is stored in source control systems. Test are run by continuous integration environments, the results are stored. Deployment systems create VM’s for the system under test and for running tests. Testers tie their changes checked into source control to requirements and features in the issue tracking system.

I use these parts, these components, in my job. I have used different versions of them, different brands/sources, and in different ways. But until last week, almost all of my energy was focused on learning about the automated test languages & libraries. In some cases, I used a “stack in a box” that we can get from a vendor like Compuware or HP. Other times I was provided those components by IT departments and CM professionals.

But I decided earlier this year to learn more about that stack. I will not become an expert on those components. But I will install some of them, and integrate them, and get them all working together on my laptop (or from my laptop).

I will try to drop some insight into my experience with them. I have already worked with Windows, Mac, and Linux, including the on VM’s that software under test and test software can run on. I set up Git as a source control repository. This past weekend, I installed Jenkins that runs deployments and tests everytime code is checked into my Git. Last, I installed Redmine that I can record features that I will create. Those will be the parts I write.

I may install Chef, which deploys VM’s and configures them by deploying SUT and test software. I haven’t decided on that, or what kind of monitoring software (such as Splunk). If you have suggestions, I would appreciate reading them and possibly being influenced by them. I can’t do it all, but I want to know enough that I can better build one should I ever be in the position of a small office.

Update: I want to add database, of which I am using sqlite3 right now. Of course there is data loading.

Update 2: Somebody told me about flyaway, which is a database (scheme?) versioning application.

Continuous Integration (Jenkins)

Monitoring (Graylog2)