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Must read: A Context-Driven Approach to Automation in Testing

Test Automation is a hot item in our industry. Many people talk about it and much has been written on this topic. Sadly there is still a lot of misconception about test automation. Also, some people say context-driven testing is anti test automation. I think that is not true. Context-driven testers use different names for it and they are more careful when they speak about automation and tooling to aid their testing. Also, context-driven testers have been fighting the myths that testing can be automated for years. In 2009 Michael Bolton wrote his famous blog post “Testing vs. checking“. Later flowed up by “Testing and checking refined” and “Exploratory testing 3.0“. These tremendous important blog post learn us about how context-driven testers define testing and that testing is a sapient process. A process that relies on skilled humans. Recently Michael Bolton and James Bach have published a white paper to share their view on automation in testing. A vision of test automation that puts the tester at the center of testing. This is a must read for everyone involved in software development.

The follow text is taken from the “A Context-Driven Approach to Automation in Testing” white paper written by James Bach and Michael Bolton.

We can summarize the dominant view of test automation as “automate testing by automating the user.” We are not claiming that people literally say this, merely that they try to do it. We see at least three big problems here that trivialize testing:

  1. The word “automation” is misleading. We cannot automate users. We automate some actions they perform, but users do so much more than that.
  2. Output checking can be automated, but testers do so much more than that.
  3. Automated output checking is interesting, but tools do so much more than that.

robotAutomation comes with a tasty and digestible story: replace messy, complex humanity with reliable, fast, efficient robots! Consider the robot picture. It perfectly summarizes the impressive vision: “Automate the Boring Stuff.” Okay. What does the picture show us?

It shows us a machine that is intended to function as a human. The robot is constructed as a humanoid. It is using a tool normally operated by humans, in exactly the way that humans would operate it, rather than through an interface more suited to robots. There is no depiction of the process of programming the robot or controlling it, or correcting it when it errs. There are no broken down robots in the background. The human role in this scene is not depicted. No human appears even in the background. The message is: robots replace humans in uninteresting tasks without changing the nature of the process, and without any trace of human presence, guidance, or purpose. Is that what automation is? Is that how it works? No!

The problem is, in our travels all over the industry, we see clients thinking about real testing, real automation, and real people in just this cartoonish way. The trouble that comes from that is serious…

Read more in the fabulous white paper “A Context-Driven Approach to Automation in Testing” by James Bach and Michael Bolton.

Categories: Blogs

Prepping for The Big Game 2016

UPDATE: February 6th, 2016 11:30am Updated the advertiser list to include some last minute additions.  While we can run our tests from ten of thousands of locations world wide, for the Big Game we will focusing on 9 locations across the US with 5 regions for Real Desktop Browsers using a Chrome profile and 3 […]

The post Prepping for The Big Game 2016 appeared first on Dynatrace APM Blog.

Categories: Companies

Announcing New REST API Rate Limits

Sauce Labs - Thu, 02/04/2016 - 01:37

Sauce Labs is introducing a new rate limiting on our REST endpoints in order to ensure a great experience for all of our customers. In addition to the recent limits placed on the number of requests per second we will be implementing further restrictions with dedicated hourly request limits for each endpoint. The new restrictions will limit the access to all endpoints to 10 reqs/s or 3500 reqs/hour if the user is logged in and 2 reqs/minute if user is logged out.  The limits will be tracked on a per account basis for both logged in and logged out users.

The new limits will go in the effect on Tuesday, March 1st 2016. We strongly encourage customers who use the REST API to modify their code to be able to gracefully handle a new set of restrictions. Please refer to the code samples below on how to prepare for the new limits as well as the headers to use.

The addition of more restrictive rate limits will be handled in a multi-stage process as follows:

  1. Starting February 1st , customers can opt-in to the new rate limits in order to test how their code handles rate limiting. The opt-in capability will be provided via a new header.
  2. On March 1st, the new rate limits will be in place by default, but customers can opt out using a dedicated header.
  3. Finally, in the beginning of April the new rate limits will be in place, and customers will no longer be able to opt out.

Note: the samples below are calling on, a sample endpoint that can be used to test your code without the need to use endpoint limits.

  1. Opting in into REST API rate-limiting 

Customers interested in testing if their usage complies with the new REST API request need to add “X-RateLimit-Enable” header with value “true” to each request. As visible below each response return three headers:

X-Ratelimit-Remaining – displays how many requests a given user can make before he gets the 429 response

X-Ratelimit-Limit – shows the limit of requests for a given endpoint

X-Ratelimit-Reset – how much time (in seconds) is left before the limit will get reset

  • Sample response for a logged out user:

> curl -X GET "" -H 'X-RateLimit-Enable: true' -i

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: nginx
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2016 16:51:01 GMT
Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Connection: keep-alive
X-Ratelimit-Remaining: 1
X-Ratelimit-Limit: 2
X-Ratelimit-Reset: 60
X-Backend: resto

{"Hello": "World"}

  • Sample response for a logged in user:

> curl -u username:access_key -X GET "" -H 'X-RateLimit-Enable: true' -i

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Server: nginx
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2016 16:56:28 GMT
Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Connection: keep-alive
X-Ratelimit-Remaining: 3499
X-Ratelimit-Limit: 3500
X-Ratelimit-Reset: 3600
X-Backend: resto

{"Hello": "World"}

  • Sample response for when the limit is reached:

> curl -X GET "" -H 'X-RateLimit-Enable: true' -i

HTTP/1.1 429 Unknown Status
Server: nginx
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2016 16:55:29 GMT
Content-Type: application/json
Transfer-Encoding: chunked
Connection: keep-alive
X-Ratelimit-Remaining: 0
Retry-After: 58
X-Ratelimit-Limit: 2
X-Ratelimit-Reset: 58

{"message": "API rate limit exceeded for See rate-limiting section in our API documentation."}

      2. Opting out from rate-limiting

Pass “false” value for the header to opt out.

> curl -X GET "" -H 'X-RateLimit-Enable: false' -i


Categories: Companies

Software Quality Days 2016 in Vienna

Ranorex - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 12:01

This year the Software Quality Days, one of Europe’s most comprehensive events on software quality, took place from January 18 – 21, 2016 at the hotel Savoyen in Vienna. As a team of three, we represented Ranorex and made sure to tackle hot topics in test automation. Now that we’re back, we’d like to quickly recap this event for you.


As part of the Solution Provider Forum, I gave a talk on the “Advantages of a unified approach for cross-technology testing”. With the growing importance of multi-channel services, DevOps and the IoT, I strongly believe that a particular testing approach is required to provide customers with the quality and user experience they expect: cross-platform end-to-end testing. As part of my presentation, I demonstrated how these tests can easily be created with Ranorex and how we, already, support automated testing of wearables.

Back at our booth, we couldn’t wait to connect with prospect customers, answer questions, give live demonstrations and exchange thoughts on testing in general. The direct interaction with those interested in Ranorex was, as always, invaluable and the range of topics immense. While companies still relying on manual testing were fascinated to see how quickly and easily automated testing with Ranorex can improve their testing process, we were also happy to use our mobile devices and laptops to demonstrate in face-to-face interactions which automation approach best works for individual testing scenarios. A topic that sparked a lot of interest at our booth was definitely the upcoming Ranorex release, which will include remote test execution and support of Git. We also took this event to talk to potential future as well as current partners, such as imbus and Neotys, and were delighted with discussing possible integration use cases that will soon be available to our customers.

SWQD-Georg-K-2016     SWQD-Award-2016

We definitely had fun at this event. While we were busy showcasing our product, we also put our Ranorex stress balls in an informal juggling competition to good use – and were promptly awarded as most creative exhibitor.

The conference ended with an inspiring message from Hannes Treichel:  Don’t just try solve a problem by trying to figure out which steps you’ll have to take to reach a desired solution. Instead, ask yourself: “How can I get from a desired outcome back to my problem?”.

Stop by for live demonstrations and expert talks at our Ranorex booth at these upcoming software testing events.


Categories: Companies

Digital Performance Innovation: A Note from the Front

Some evolutionary changes are actually revolutions. This is the case for DC RUM’s new Universal Decode. It is not simply a new option for decoding a packet stream, part of a set of new features, but a real innovation! My client, a pioneer in the art of measuring, has been waiting for this day for […]

The post Digital Performance Innovation: A Note from the Front appeared first on Dynatrace APM Blog.

Categories: Companies

Join Seapine Software at Medical Devices Summit 2016

The Seapine View - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 18:30

Medical Devices Summit 2016

We are excited to be sponsoring, exhibiting, and speaking at Opal Events’ Medical Devices Summit 2016! This annual conference takes place February 8 – 10 in Boston.

The Medical Devices Summit attracts professionals from Pharma, Biotech, Medical Device and Drug Delivery industries, who are there to learn new strategies for concept development, how to navigate the regulatory landscape, and how to manage risk while maintaining quality throughout the product life cycle.

Join Anthony Washington, Seapine life sciences solutions specialist, at 1:15 p.m. on February 9 and learn why tracing development items can help with better analysis and visibility. Anthony will provide an overview of the issues facing R&D and discuss ways to further improve your current traceability.

Also, be sure to stop by our booth on February 9 and 10. We’ll be demonstrating our life sciences solutions and will be available to answer your questions about traceability.

To learn more and register, visit

Categories: Companies

LoadComplete 4.0 Released

Software Testing Magazine - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 17:18
SmartBear Software has announced LoadComplete 4.0, the new and improved version of its performance and load testing tool for Web and mobile assets. LoadComplete 4.0 is packed with new features that allow performance testers and QA professionals to create comprehensive tests without scripting. SmartBear has enhanced dynamic data correlation and added visual programming, making it easier than ever to create and execute load tests. LoadComplete 4.0 ...
Categories: Communities

Neotys Provides Continuous Performance Testing

Software Testing Magazine - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 16:54
Neotys has announced the world’s first Continuous Performance Validation solution for load testing and performance monitoring across the entire application lifecycle. The Neotys Continuous Performance Validation solution consists of the following: * NeoLoad for load and performance testing * NeoSense for 24×7 synthetic monitoring * Neotys Team Server for collaboration and shared licences * Integrations: ** Continuous Integration servers for automated testing ** Functional testing tools for end user experience metrics ** APM ...
Categories: Communities

SOASTA Releases New Performance Management Platform

Software Testing Magazine - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 16:49
SOASTA has announced the Winter 2016 release of its Digital Performance Management (DPM) Platform. Fueled by the DevOps philosophy and Agile methodology, DPM is a data-centric approach to performance management in which web and mobile applications are continuously measured, tested and optimized to deliver the best possible user experience and business outcome. DPM complements traditional APM by adding: * Real-user monitoring * Continuous web and mobile testing * Performance ...
Categories: Communities

Heuristics for Software Testing Leaders

Testing TV - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 16:27
Some testers are always leaders. Others see a project challenge that demands positive action and step into a leadership void because somebody has to. You may never seek or be given a formal role as a test leader, and yet be a trusted leader in the minds of your co-workers and managers. What is test […]
Categories: Blogs

SIGIST Spring Conference, London, UK, March 16 2016

Software Testing Magazine - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 16:00
SIGIST Spring Conference is a one-day conference about software testing organized by the Specialist Group in Software Testing of the British Computer Society (BCS). In the agenda of the SIGIST Spring Conference you can find topics like “The Lean Startup Philosophy and Its Lessons for Testers”, “Push Your Functional Testing Further into Technology and Security”, “Continuous Quality Engineering in a Digital World”, “The Pillars of Agile Testing”, ...
Categories: Communities

.NET Project Inspirations

NCover - Code Coverage for .NET Developers - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 13:00

When we are not coding for our work, we often find ourselves coding on special passion projects. Let these two .NET developers help inspire you to do more on both!

Gianni Rosa Gallina

On his fourth birthday, Gianni received his first computer, an Olivetti PC1. Since then, his thirst for knowledge and innovation has grown. Since 2007, he has worked with Beps Engineering, primarily with Microsoft Embedded technologies. He was awarded his first MVP in 2011.

Gianni stays active on Windows Store Apps development, mobile apps development for Windows Phone and the cloud, with projects with Silverlight, ASP.NET MVC, Umbraco CMS and Microsoft Azure. Recently, he’s focused on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, cross-platform app development for Windows/Android (native and Xamarin), Computer Vision, wearable technologies (Android Wear, Microsoft Band) and NUI (Natural User Interfaces) using Microsoft Kinect, Intel RealSense and Leap Motion.
Read about Gianni’s latest innovation on his blog and on Twitter @giannirg.


Damir Dobric

ncover_mvp_damir_dobricDamir Dobric is co-founder, managing director and lead architect of DAENET Corporation, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and leading technology integrator specializing in Microsoft technologies and focusing on Windows, .NET and Web. In addition to his role as a software architect, Damir is a docent at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. He teaches Software Engineering with a focus on Distributed Computing. “My goal is to teach international master students about the newest technologies.” He loves passing on his passion and knowledge to the next generation of software engineers.

He has well over 25 years of experience as a developer, architect, speaker and author, participating in regular reviews, helping customers, colleagues and teams to solve problems or find the right approach.

See what solutions Damir has to offer on his blog, and connect with him on Twitter @ddobric.

The post .NET Project Inspirations appeared first on NCover.

Categories: Companies

End of one thing. Start of another.

The Social Tester - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 12:00

First, I’d like to say Thank You. Thank you for being loyal readers and for being here with me over the last 6 or so years on The Social Tester.…

The post End of one thing. Start of another. appeared first on The Social Tester.

Categories: Blogs

We. Use. Tools.

James Bach's Blog - Sun, 01/31/2016 - 13:17

Context-Driven testers use tools to help ourselves test better. But, there is no such thing as test automation.

Want details? Here’s the 10,000 word explanation that Michael Bolton and I have been working on for months.

Categories: Blogs

Getting Your Back Up

Hiccupps - James Thomas - Sun, 01/31/2016 - 12:29
One of the effects of being asked to explain yourself can be that you get to find out what you really think.

This has potentially many outcomes: sometimes your view might turn out to be a surprise even to you; sometimes you realise that you don't have a justification for what you said at all; sometimes you are reminded that you established your perspective in another context or another time and it would be sensible to revisit it (as I did the other day in Me and My Bestimates).

Another possibility is that the challenge surfaces an opinion that you realise you are comfortable with but have previously held only implicitly. That happened to me most recently a few weeks ago. I was talking to one of my team about some actions that had been taken and also about those that had not but, I suggested, perhaps could or should have been without needing to wait to consult me.

Understandably, given the particular situation, I was asked about the potential consequences of taking actions without approval if they turn out to be the wrong actions.

And that was when my internal position was revealed: I said as long as they had taken a reasonable decision in good faith based on available evidence and appropriate effort, I would back them up, even if it proved to be the wrong decision. And so we both learned something.

There are all sorts of reasons that we might not enjoy being questioned, but none of them outweigh the benefits. Which is why I continue to encourage challenges in and from my teams.
Categories: Blogs

A Context-Driven Approach to Automation in Testing

DevelopSense Blog - Sun, 01/31/2016 - 07:28
(We interrupt the previously-scheduled—and long—series on oracles for a public service announcement.) Over the last year James Bach and I have been refining our ideas about the relationships between testing and tools in Rapid Software Testing. The result is this paper. It’s not a short piece, because it’s not a light subject. Here’s the abstract: […]
Categories: Blogs

TDD and the "6 Do's and 8 Skills" of Software Development: Pt. 1

Sustainable Test-Driven Development - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 21:01
This post is not about TDD per se, but rather a context in which TDD can demonstrate its place in and contribution to the value stream.  This context has to do with the 6 things that we must accomplish (do) and the 8 skills that the team must have in order to accomplish them.  We'll describe each "do", noting where and if TDD has an impact, and then do the same thing with the skills. 6 Dos: Do
Categories: Blogs

What 2016 Presidential Candidates Can Learn about Site Performance from Online Retailers

If you have turned on any news network or visited any news site, you know that the 2016 United States Presidential Election is in full swing. We’ve been tracking the various candidate sites for a while now and are seeing some interesting trends. While the past few days have seen an explosion of media activity […]

The post What 2016 Presidential Candidates Can Learn about Site Performance from Online Retailers appeared first on Dynatrace APM Blog.

Categories: Companies

❤️ What’s love got to do with... web performance?

HP LoadRunner and Performance Center Blog - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 01:48

Slide1.JPGValentine’s Day is about celebrating love. But it also is millions of people purchasing flowers and chocolates or booking dates and diner tables online or on their phones… that is until massive traffic loads don't bring such sites down. 

Keep reading to find out how not to stay in the way of love and keep the romance (and your site) alive...

Categories: Companies

❤️ What’s love got to do with... web performance? ❤️

HP LoadRunner and Performance Center Blog - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 00:45

Slide1.JPGValentine’s Day is about celebrating love. But in also is millions of people purchasing flowers and chocolates or booking dates or diner tables online or on their phones… that is until the site doesn’t crash from the massive traffic load. 

Keep reading to find out how not to stay in the way of love and keep the romance (and your site) alive...

Categories: Companies

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