Some time ago, I wrote about how Jennitta Andrea (among others) fired my imagination about what could be possible with advances in functional test automation tools.
I’m delighted to announce that Jennitta is heading up the Agile Alliance Functional Testing Tools program. With her boundless energy and contagious enthusiasm Jennitta recruited Ron Jeffries and me to serve on the committee and obtained funding from the Agile Alliance for the program.
The project we’re working on first is a visioning workshop where we hope to bring together folks who have been working on advancing the state of the art of functional testing tools to pool ideas, share experiences, imagine the future, and build community.
Here’s the official call for participation:
Agile Alliance Functional Testing Tools Visioning Workshop
Call for Participation
Dates: October 11 – 12, 2007
Times: 8 AM – 5 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon
Venue: Kennedy School
The primary purpose of this workshop is to discuss cutting-edge advancements in and envision possibilities for the future of automated functional testing tools.
This is a small, peer-driven, invitation-only conference in the tradition of LAWST, AWTA, and the like. The content comes from the participants, and we expect all participants to take an active role. We’re seeking participants who have interest and experience in creating and/or using automated functional testing tools/frameworks on Agile projects.
This workshop is sponsored by the Agile Alliance Functional Testing Tools Program. The mission of this program is to advance the state of the art of automated functional testing tools used by Agile teams to automate customer-facing tests.
There is no cost to participate. Participants will be responsible for their own travel expenses. (However, we do have limited grant money available to be used at the discretion of the organizers to subsidize travel expenses. If you would like to be considered for a travel grant, please include your request, including amount needed, in your Request for Invitation.)
Requesting an Invitation
If you’re interested in being invited to participate in this workshop, please send an email to ” firstname.lastname@example.org” answering the following questions:
- What is your experience using functional tests as a way to specify functional requirements?
- What is your experience with automated functional testing tools on Agile projects?
- What do you hope to contribute to the workshop? Do you have any code or examples that you’d like to share? (Please note that you should not share anything covered by a non-disclosure agreement.)
- What do you hope to get out of the workshop?
Invitations will be issued by September 1, 2007 so that we can confirm hotel room requirements. Please send in your request as soon as possible, before the workshop fills up.
Pass This Along
If you know of someone that would be a candidate for this workshop, please forward this call for participation on to them.
Automated functional testing is an integral and essential part of Agile development. Many Agile teams use functional tests to codify the system requirements. Some also practice Acceptance Test Driven Development.
Agile teams have particular needs for automated tools that are not well served by traditional record-and-playback GUI drivers. As requirements specifications, functional tests must be readable: clear, succinct, and expressed in the language of the business domain. As an automated safety net, the tests must be maintainable: built with reusable domain specific testing language components, easy to change as the requirements change.
The good news is that tool support for automated functional tests has grown significantly in recent years. There is a large variety of commercial and open source testing tools/frameworks available that support Agile development practices. The FIT framework was a significant boost to the state of the art of automated functional testing, both in terms of the syntax of the specification (tables), the detailed test execution feedback (cell by cell), and the development/execution environment (desktop tools rather than development or specialized tools).
However, we believe that it’s time for another significant boost to the state of the art.
- We are lacking integrated development environments that facilitate things like: refactoring test elements, command completion, incremental syntax validation (based on the domain specific test language), keyboard navigation into the supporting framework code, debugging, etc.
- We need more expressive test specification languages, possibly integrating executable: text, tables, shapes, and colors together into a single test.
- We need specification languages that can describe user interaction in a readable and maintainable fashion.
- We need to be able to view/navigate the tests in multiple different ways in order to see how the pieces of the puzzle contribute to
the bigger picture of the domain/feature: organize tests based on their domain context; search for tests based on user-defined keywords (cross cutting concerns).
- … and things that we haven’t even thought of that will take us out of the current box, and into a new level of effectiveness ….
The Agile Alliance Functional Testing Tools Program seeks to advance the state of the art by creating opportunities for people who are in a position to advance the state of the art to share information and ideas, and explore possibilities.