Best of TestingGeek - Blog posts I like about software testing

For quite some time I was thinking of improving blogs / articles I have written on TestingGeek in past. Many articles I have written in past do not reflect my current thinking. However I decided to leave that exercise. May be it's better to show that my thinking ( and writing) has changed. I might re-write some of the articles and link them from the old articles to ensure that folks landing on my old pages have opportunity to see what I am thinking now.

However, this thought process was useful because I ended up thinking about the opposite - which blog posts do I like?

So here is the list of blog posts (In no particular order) I like on TestingGeek. You may have read some of them earlier, if not it would be nice to know your thoughts on them.

Testers journey from Manual to Political

This post was story ...

How to start using random data in manual and automated testing using TestSpicer?

Many people asked me to explain how TestSpicer works. This post will explain how TestSpicer can be used for manual or automated testing.

Let me start with manual testing.

TestSpicer for manual testing could be extremely useful for doing experiments with data. For example, if you are testing username and run out of ideas, you can quickly use TestSpicer to generate a random username. On the same lines, If you need currency, few paragraphs of text or need a big unicode string - you can get all of them @ TestSpicer. It is free and you do not need to sign up or create an account for generating random data manually. You can follow these steps

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the appropriate GET.
  3. Specify parameters if required
  4. Get the data and off you go

This will ensure that you are not using static data, even subconsciously.

Let’s see ...

TestSpicer is live now - Embrace randomness for improved effectiveness

Some of you might know that I have been working on my pet project TestSpicer for some time. TestSpicer has a long way to go, however I am happy to announce that it is live now.

So what is TestSpicer?

TestSpicer is a collection of RESTful web services which can be used to make test automation more efficient and effective.

Please have a look at this (around 4 minute long) video to understand TestSpicer.

TestSpicer is in beta and is free to use. It would be great if you can sign up, give it a spin and let me know what you think about it.

With TestSpicer , I hope to make randomisation mainstream - as it will take the pain out of data generation, logging, reporting and will provide invaluable insight on the data used by test automation. Right now I have focussed on data generation, but reporting, logging and visualisation ...

Test Automation - How to handle common components with Page Object Model?

If you are working in web application testing domain and are interested in test automation, you might have used, come across or heard about PageObject Model in test automation. If you haven’t heard of it, it might be a good idea to read this article.

In nutshell, a separate class is created for every page / screen of the application in the PageObject model. This class exposes methods to represent all the operations a user can perform on various elements on the page. For example, a class to represent LoginPage might have methods to enter userName, password and click on submit button. Tests can use this class to interact with the page instead of duplicating elements everywhere in the test scripts.

PageObject essentially decouples UI from the tests and as a result makes test automation suite a bit more maintainable. In my opinion, if you are not doing anything else ...

CAST 2012 Enforced Randomization - Increasing the value of test automation

Last week I was at San Jose for CAST 2012 to give talks on two interesting topics. My first talk was around the limitations of acceptance criteria and second talk was focused on how we can increase value of automation by introducing randomization where it make sense.

During my conversation with participants around randomization, many people suggested that I should write a blog about this - and so here it goes.

Pretty much all the test automation projects have four main elements.

  • Navigation - How do you reach to the screen / page which to test
  • Data - How many variations of data are possible
  • Sequence - In which sequence data can be used on the page
  • Operation - What are the different ways in which operations can be performed.

For example, if we take the example of registration page for any popular site such as Twitter, this is how these four elements can be used ...

Gmail + IMAP – Automated testing solution for emails

Test automation around emails is pain, if not done properly.

Almost all the user facing web applications require user registration with the email and email usually serves as username in the system – which should be unique.

There are two main problems in automating email functionality –
  • Generating unique email addresses
  • Accessing inbox and content of the specific emails to check correctness of content and delivery

When I discussed this with evil tester, he pointed me to his blog post on getting disposable email addresses . When I followed the link to lifehacker ,from his blog post, first problem was solved.

It was easy enough to generate a random number such as current time stamp and amend it to any gmail address after adding a plus sign to create new email addresses which will go to the same inbox. So example @, example+123 @ and example+321 @ are ...

Selenium Conference 2012 - Are you coming?

If you are involved in doing any kind of test automation for web application, I am sure you are either using, or have considered Selenium for your test automation efforts. Well, if you have not considered, then maybe it’s time to give it a shot…

For folks who are familiar with or are using Selenium / WebDriver in any form, I hope you are aware that Selenium conference is happening from 16’Th to 18’Th April in London.

Last year, I travelled all the way to San Francisco from London to attend the conference and presented Magic of Modular Test Automation and this year I am presenting One Step At A Time (Will publish slides after the conference). BTW, I also wrote laziest experience report of Selenium Conference 2011 to share my experience … and to summarize my last year's experience in one word - Selenium Conf 2011 was AWESOME ...

Laziest Experience Report of Selenium Conference 2011

Okay, I admit - I was a bit lazy to write, but hey I had a baby boy in Feb and took time off to play with him and took him to our native place in India. All important stuff right?

Okay so about the conferences - I was in USA for close to three weeks and attended STP Conference in Nashville and WATIR day and Selenium Conference at San Francisco. I started my vacation right after Selenium Conference and I am back again in UK now. I am following LIFO (Last In First Out) to cover Selenium Conference in this post and will cover WATIR day and STP Conference in due course.

Selenium Conference was completely sold out and even for workshop day on Monday - there were little over 300 people in the room. It was a bit of challenge for everyone to follow workshop because of the network related issues ...