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Agile Alliance - Functional Testing Tools

by Geoffrey Wiseman on Oct 24, 2007 |

The Agile Alliance held a Functional Testing Tools Visioning Workshop in Portland, OR.

Reactions from those present have been positive. Naresh Jain wrote, "What an amazing group of individuals we have here." He described the workshop's agenda as follows:

We started off with introductions. Then we had 5 mins lighting talks alternated with 10 mins demo of tools people have built. We had some really really nice demos and some really enlightening talks. The details will soon be up.

Quality frog continues:

After reviewing existing tools used by agile teams: we identified software testing issues that have been solved (yellow), those that have been partially solved (orange), and those that have not been solved (pink). As I recollect, most of the solved issues were technical problems and most of the unsolved problems were people problems. Many of the partially solved problems were those for which I believe we have technical solutions but have not yet been integrated and presented in ways that best support people. Much of the "what's next" discussion at the workshop was focused on how to integrate existing tools that each partially solve problems but together could move problems to the solved group.

The issues have been transcribed, and Quality Frog has labelled them as being grounded in technology or in people:

Software development and testing involves a mix of people and technical problems. Interfacing people with people and people with technology is often harder than interfacing technology with technology. Most of the identified problems have both technical and human aspects to the problem and possible solutions. Some are due to the nature of people or the nature of software and will likely never be completely solved.

Antony Marcano suggested that self-testing software may make testing tools irrelevant: "This is when it dawned on me... The future testing tools may not be "tools" at all... instead, we are talking Design Patterns for Self-Testing software."

Elisabeth Hendrickson announced the agile alliance functional testing tools mailing list and suggested "the real results will be visible in the weeks or months to come." InfoQ will try to keep those of you in the agile community up to date as new information emerges.

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Who said what... by Antony Marcano

I believe credit should always be given where it is due... I did not make the observation as stated...

It was Bob Cotton who insightfully observed that with self testing systems (e.g. Eclipse Portal project demonstrated by Ward Cunningham), our current understanding of the needs of ATDD frameworks and tools may be negated... My contribution was merely to suggest that this might be explored by looking for "Patterns of Self Testing Software" - perhaps using the drafting of a book to explore the idea.

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