OSTATLI Update

On February 5, a group of us gathered in my office on First Street in Pleasanton for the first ever “Open Source Test Automation Tool Love In” (OSTATLI). Joining in were: Dale Emery, Jeffrey Fredrick, Kevin Lawrence, Dave Liebreich, Ken Pier, and Chris Sims.

Several folks have asked me to post the results of the meeting, and others have asked me how to host one in their area.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the strong response to OSTATLI. At its core, the gathering was just an excuse for like-minded folks to spend a day geeking out together. Perhaps the interest was because of the name?

In any case, I must confess that I find it a little hard to post “the” results for the meeting. It’s just not the type of meeting that leads to just one set of results.

However, here’s my best attempt to provide a glimpse into the day from my perspective.

After our initial chitchat, and a brief moment in which I panicked while Chris convinced the wifi that it it wanted to allow us access to the Internet, we set some intentions for the day. OSTATLI intentions

Some were about exploring tools, like:

  • Play with Cucumber
  • Get feedback on FIT v. NUnit
  • Understand Selenium
  • A taste of RSpec
  • The cool tool that I’ve never heard of but should

Others were specific tasks, such as:

  • Get SafariWatir testing my local WordPress instance “the right way”
  • Use Robot Framework to create an initial set of Acceptance Tests for “VDL”

And we captured a list of the tools represented in the room, either tools about which someone was curious, or tools around which someone had expertise: List of Tools

We spent the rest of the morning on projects related to our stated intentions, working in small groups. After lunch, we gathered around the projector for a demo by Ken of a custom test harness that SocialText has written around Selenium. Then Kevin did an impromptu demo of Cubic Test, and we all oohed and aahed over the graphical test representation.

A few folks had to leave early, and the rest of us talked for a while in the office, until we remembered that there’s a pub around the corner that would allow us to talk about geek stuff with a beer in our hands.

Overall, I think it was a fabulous success, tons of fun, and I am most grateful to all the participants and to everyone who has expressed interest.

For another perspective on OSTATLI, see Dave Liebreich’s account.

Also, I’m delighted that the idea is catching on. Al Snow is already planning a similar kind of meeting in the Atlanta area.

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5 Responses to OSTATLI Update

  1. Lisa Crispin February 16, 2009 at 7:41 pm #

    These gatherings are changing our world – so many interesting tool possibilities, and so much collaboration all over! Thanks for posting these results, it’s really inspiring!

  2. Mark Levison February 17, 2009 at 7:06 am #

    Sounds amazingly cool. You’ve got a great group of people there. Care to export a few to Ottawa for a few weeks?

    Do you know if anyone will write about their discoveries of NUnit vs Fit?
    Are there any screencasts of CubicTest? RobotFramework? or anything else that you learned?

    Elisabeth replies:

    Hi Mark! It was a great group of people! And we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Though you have a great group north of the US-Canadian border too! Including yourself! I suggest hosting an OSTATLI-like small peer-driven meeting and seeing who shows up.

    As for more on results: sorry, I don’t know if anyone else will write anything.

    I also don’t know of screencasts for Cubic Test or Robot Framework. The Cubic Test website has screenshots. And someday I’ll do a screencast about ATDD using Robot Framework. It’s on my backlog.

  3. Mark Levison February 18, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Hmmm, I’m game to see what happens. Although I’m not sure Ottawa is yet the hotbed for Agile testing that I would like – we will see what happens.

    How much prep work was involved? Did you just invite the world to show up? I assume not – so I’m wondering what advanced prep it took to make it a success. Happy to talk via one of the mailing lists.

  4. Pekka Klärck February 27, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    Robot Framework introduction screencast has been on my backlog for ages. Should definitely get that done ASAP.

    Elisabeth, what technology are you planning to use in your ATTD screencast and where to host the video? I’ve been thinking about http://showmedo.com/, but it seems that Google Code support only YouTube and Google Video directly. I obviously plan to have my video on RF project pages — and would love to have yours too — so need to keep this limitation in mind.

  5. Mark Crowther August 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    Loved your idea and decided to steal it completly 🙂
    http://londonagiletesting.ning.com/forum/topics/open-source-test-automation

    Will be sure to update folks with how it goes.

    Thank you Elizabeth!