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Automated Testing Patterns and Smells

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Uploaded on Mar 8, 2008

Google Tech Talks
March, 6 2008

ABSTRACT

The extensive use of automated testing has been a breakthrough practice in improving the quality of software produced by developers. By now, many companies have experimented with the use of automated functional tests and unit tests. Those that have had good experiences with it rave about it and cannot imagine having been successful without their automated tests. But for every success story there are many (often untold) stories of disappointment. What separates the success stories from these disappointments?

In this presentation Gerard describes a number of common problems encountered when writing and running automated unit and functional tests. He characterizes the problems in the form of "test smells", describes their root causes, and suggests possible solutions expressed in the form of patterns. Although these patterns and smells originated from the developer community's use of xUnit for automated unit testing, many of these smells and patterns are equally applicable to automated functional/acceptance tests using tools such as Watir and some even apply to Recorded Test tools such as Mercury's QuickTest. While many of the practices he describes are directly actionable by developers or testers, many also require action from a supportive manager and/or system architect to be achievable.

Speaker: Gerard Meszaros
Gerard Meszaros is a Calgary-based consultant specializing is agile development processes. Gerard started his career in Ottawa working at Bell Northern Research building telephone switching software. He left Ottawa in 1995 to join ClearStream Consulting where he built his first unit testing framework in 1996 and has been doing automated unit testing ever since. He is an expert in test automation patterns, refactoring of software and tests, and design for testability. Gerard has applied automated unit and acceptance testing on projects ranging from full-on eXtreme Programming to traditional waterfall development and technologies ranging from Java, Smalltalk and Ruby to PLSQL stored procedures and SAP's ABAP. He is the author of the book xUnit Test Patterns -- Refactoring Test Code published by Addison Wesley Professional in the Martin Fowler Signature Series.

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