Google London Automation Test conference (part II)
10 September 2006
This is the second part of the summary of the Google London Automation Test conference that I blogged about.
The conference lasted two days. Here's a brief summary of what happened on the second day which was on the same theme as the first: automated testing of software. The highlight of the day was Goranka's talk about performance testing.
The next talk was by Uffe Koch from Motorola about how to automate testing of mobile phone apps with all of their little quirks. I didn't understand much of the details but it's even more obvious now what a challange testing mobile apps can be.
Jason Huggins, fame author of Selenium had brilliant yet technically failing talk about an idea he has: You include a Selenium script into your CruiseControl (or equivalent build tool) and as soon as you do a source commit the system automatically runs the latest build + selenium test in IE, Firefox, Safari etc. on all various operating systems all hosted on a Mac running virtual operating systems. His final goal is a system that, fed a Selenium test could spit out screencasts of failed results automatically from all various combinations of systems. Really really looking forward to seeing this more polishing and working.
You've probably all heard of Google setting up free WiFi for the whole of Mountainview. Karl Garcia, the guy who ran this had the next talk about how they accomplished it, the testing they did and their plans to also do it over San Fransisco. Wow! I didn't realise that it was such a large task even for a big company like Google.
The last talk was by Adam Porter about Distributed Continuous Quality Assurance. He talked of something, I think, called Skoll which is the software system that has proven this to work. The basic idea is that you build up a matrix of nodes that have a similar configuration to yours and use this large grid to automatically help you run some tests to share the load. Clever!
It was a really interesting conference. A LOT of the technical stuff people talked about went far over my head. I'm not a full-time test engineer unlike many people there, I wrote on my application form something about wanting to learn about automated testing. Not to learn more, because I already know very little.
A good thing about the conference, apart from the food, was the google itself had cherrypicked attendees which meant that we were all on our own which made it very easy to make contact with people. Sometimes at conferences that's a lot harder because people often hang out with their colleagues only.
This whole thing has given me boost on writing more tests and thinking bigger than just writing simple unittests which is all I barely do at the moment.
One last thing, a googler from the Trondheim office told me about the "15G". "What's that?" I asked. "When you join Google you gain 15 pounds [7 kilos]"
Here are the videos from all the talks Enjoy!