TestWarez - QA universe in a nutshell

05 October 2016
Jedrzej Osinski
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The annual Testwarez conference is the biggest event in Poland for the QA community. It focuses on testing, automation, processes and all other subjects related to quality assurance. Last week a group of Cognifide engineers attended Testwarez 2016. I had the great pleasure of being part of that team and also a speaker at the conference.

The conference took place in Karpacz - a spa town and ski resort in the Karkonosze Mountains in south-western Poland. It’s a gorgeous town boasting various architectural highlights such as the Vang stave church built in Norway around XII century and brought to Karpacz in 1840s.

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The first day of Testwarez was dedicated to workshops, one of which was conducted by Maciej Laskowski, one of our senior software engineers and a Tech Lead in our AET project, and Radek Lawgmin, a Senior QA Lead and a Product Owner in the AET project. They presented AET our recently opened-sourced tool for automated regression testing. Their audience was a 15-strong group of representatives from IT companies across Poland. 

We gave a demo of the tool, showing how to configure it locally and allowed participants to go through a number of exercises under the supervision of instructors. This practical part turned out to be the most engaging and insightful but, at the same time, challenging. The delegates learned how to make use of various features of the tool and had a chance to create automated tests for their websites, sharing their views and ideas as to how they might apply it in their work. We hope that this workshop allowed us not only to promote AET but also to start building a community around it.

That evening Testwarez hosted a “Meet the Authors” session for the book of which I am a co-author. The book, which is now in presale, entitled “Testing in practise” (published by Polish Scientific Publishers, PWN) is a unique collection of real-project stories, describing different problems and solutions applied. My chapter focuses on the future of software testing.

Day two was dominated by various lectures. Zbyszek Moćkun, Cognifide’s Head of QA, shared his experience by talking about the business aspects of quality assurance in fixed price projects. He showed how important proper communication with business is and how it influences the success of the project. He also outlined the changes in approach that we have been implementing and the impact of Agile.

I took to the stage on the third day of the conference. I was talking about the common problems encountered in different companies with the ambiguity in bdd Cucumber scenarios - there are phrases like „I click…”, „I press…”, „I activate…”, „I choose…” which are similar in 90% of cases. We also find synonyms like „Link”, „URL”, „page”, „site” and when it is not easy to distinguish, both business and developers end up confused. I was showing how to avoid these issues by using Wornet-like ontologies to better design and monitor Gherkin scenarios.

Last, but by no means least, I must mention our Deputy Head, Robert Grześkowiak, who is a representative of PTAQ - the Poznan Testing and Quality Group. He was honoured to be Chairman for the conference automation track.

From our perspective, the 2016 conference has beaten all its predecessors for both quality of content and location. We feasted on ostrich, wild boar, quail, deer, snails and clam, to name but a few of the delicacies. But most importantly, it is a conference of top QA professionals and enthusiasts and a fantastic community event. Proof of this dedication to the cause was my roommate who started to sleep talk after the first day. His words? “Check it. Just test it”! That says it all!

We all hope to go to Testwarez next year but, in the meantime - feel free to follow my testing adventures on Twitter: @dr_hawaii.