Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

My First App™

or: Automation is was a dirty word

I don't have time to go on at length about this subject, but it is deserving of a lengthy digression at some point in the future. Automation is the Holy Grail of all software testing: it's the one thing that every quality assurance organization I've ever worked for believes that is attainable and will result in magical savings of time and money that never, ever seem to materialize, no matter how many years, how many engineers, and how many copies of expensive test tools are floating around. And it's also something I've not worked on very often. Sure, I did up some straightforward QA Partner scripts at FileMaker and Netscape, wrote a bunch of network test automation using ScriptMaker, FileMaker's built in scripting language, and even wrote some of the JavaScript files used by the JavaScript 2.0 test harness [written in perl] for the JS2 engine that may or may not have ever shipped before Netscape finally imploded. But have I ever felt like a hardcore automation guy? Nope. I'm a jack of all trades. I got your Turkish casing issues under control, I can do accessibility testing, I can proofread like there's no tomorrow, and I can divine the secrets of captured network traffic, but I've never felt at home writing test monkey stuff. Until today.

Today, I finally automated something. I know, it's not much, but I'm happy to say that I crapped out two console applications written in C# that start IE, do some stuff, and quit. Nothing fancy, but they do work as expected and will save me some time [writing them took less time than manually doing the stuff I need them to do]. Sure, they'd be better if I had a UI bolted onto them that would allow you to change the variables used without editing the source, but hey. Quick and dirty works for me.

As a result, I may make my first checkin today. I like the sound of that.
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