Zagreb STC #19 report, the power of meetup.com

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Core moto of MaMa: free software

Yesterday we gathered for our regular Zagreb STC meetup, #19 at MaMa. This time we discovered the power of meetup platform. Apparently, meetup.com is huge in Israel, so Shahar contacted us that he would like to atend it. He was one of the speakers at SEE Cloud computing forum 2015, and he checked on meetup.com what is happening that evening in Zagreb.

We started with usual brief introductions. We found out interesting details about waze.com, Israeli startup recently bought by Google. Waze is a community driven navigation system. It is not huge in Croatia, but in Israel is a huge success.

As our context was Cloud, we got introduction in docker. Docker helps you to create and manage containers. For example, one container could be Postgres database, installed, configured and ready for use.

Current hot issue in Cloud computing is how to test configurations for those containers. For example, chef, another tool for managing containers, use recipes in ruby language that describe how to install and configure container image. Recipe is ruby script. How would you automatically check that script still works after container image changes (because of security and system patches)?

Another problem is how to test elasticity. This is important feature of modern cloud infrastructure, to automatically resize (in both directions, up and down) along with system load.

Shafar business is consulting clients how to optimally use Amazon cloud infrastructure. It have never occurred to me that this could be business. This was important aha moment for me at this meet up.

After the officially part, we continued our discussion over drinks and food in near by Medvedgrad pub.

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http_proxy environment variable override in selenium webdriver

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credit: exceptionz.wordpress.com

TLDR

Context is the king! In this post I will explain how operating system environment variables can change the behavior of your selenium-webdriver test scripts.

If you are in network that requires http proxy to get to the internet, gem install or bundle install commands will not work from the command line.

You need to set HTTP_PROXY operating system environment variable. Problem is that selenium-webdriver also reads value of that variable in order to initiate the communication between selenium client and server. At that communication fails. Here is the example:

and the exception:

And to put some ‘testers eyes’ on this issue. Firefox browser will start, and after some time it will close. After that exception is thrown.

Value for proxy server is valid. It was taken from following link, and when you put that value in Firefox, you can browse the web through it.
Proper way to set proxy is to use browser profiles. Here is selenium-webdriver example.

So we need to override http_proxy value in ruby script, because you will still need http_proxy to be active form your command line. You need to set it to nil value:

ENV[‘http_proxy’] = nil

If you are using cucumber, the best place is in env.rb file, in before scenario hook.

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How to embed screenshot in Cucumber report across various environments

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In my current project I have to automate browser UI actions as part of regression test suite that is run using Jenkins. Watir-webdriver has a nice feature of taking and embedding screenshots into cucumber html test report. I am using screenshots when scenario fails in order to help myself in investigation what went wrong at the moment of failure.

Google search led me to Watirmelon post with the code example.
But in my context, that example did not work.

Example worked on my Mac development machine, but it did not work when I run test on Jenkins that is hosted on AMI linux instance.

#embed method documentation does not help a lot. So using Watirmelon example and testing by changing method arguments, I discovered that embedding screenshot in base64 format works both in AMI linux instance and my Mac development machine.

Here is gist:

Code that shows how to fully embed screenshot into report is from cucumber issue#651. I found this approach better because it does not clutter Jenkins job workspace with screenshot .png files.

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Fallacy:: Speed up software delivery using software testing

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Credit: hudsonwriting11.wordpress.com

Sometimes I stumble upon on the Internet on following pitch line created by XY software testing services company:
“If you hire us, we will help you to push your product faster to the market”.
Something like that. Problem with that statement is the context. Those companies do not put context in which they believe that this statement is true. They would speed up software delivery compare to what: other software testing companies, current customer development process?

As I member of Association of Software Testing, AST, I follow their mission and objectives:

“””The Association for Software Testing (AST)  is an international non-profit professional association with members in over 50 countries. AST is dedicated and strives to build a testing community that views the role of testing as skilled, relevant, and essential to the production of faster, better, and less expensive software products. We value a scientific approach to developing and evaluating techniques, processes, and tools. We believe that a self-aware, self-critical attitude is essential to understanding and assessing the impact of new ideas on the practice of testing. “””[source]

Faster software, not faster development process!

My opinion is that when some company hires software testers, software development process will take more time than without testers. For example, in sprint, you have to plan time for software testers to do their job. However, they can hire better software testers that  would add less time extension to software delivery, with probably better software product.

This week I put those facts openly out when I spoke with one of my potential clients. And guess what, they accepted this as a fact.

Of course, this is my opinion, and maybe I am wrong. I would like to here from you your side of the story.

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