Google Test Automation Conference 2015

Recently I attended the Google Test Automation Conference, at Google’s Cambridge office. It was a great experience to hear what tool and processes other engineers are using for automated testing!

GTAC 2015

Here are couple of threads I notice people talking about, that resonated with me.

Repetitive manual testing is a waste of everyone’s time

The industry seems to be moving towards the conclusion that there is very little value in manual testing for smoke and regression testing. This isn’t very surprising at a conference for automated testing, but it still results in some knee-jerk reactions. Humans are still the best at exploratory, intelligent, and qualitative testing. With less mind-numbing testing, there is room for the fun and interesting work! This is something we’ve felt at Jana for a while, but it’s awesome to hear other people talk about it.

Automated testing on mobile is really hard

From the handful of presentations that talked about mobile specifically, and the conversations I had with others in attendance, it was pretty clear that mobile testing is still really difficult. From the complexities of Uber’s two party interactions, to YouTube’s crazy suite of supported hardware (uhhh how the heck do you do automated testing on a SmartTV) – there was a seemingly endless list of potential impediments.

Automated testing for mobile (Android especially) is pretty young. Unit testing has only been supported in Android Studio for a few months. There isn’t really a clear winner for functional testing frameworks. Lots of people talk about using Espresso with some success, but not one was especially enthusiastic about it. There were some great presentations on random programatic automated testing (tools like monkey-runner), which although interesting, won’t work for an app like mCent that requires a login session to access almost every UI activity.

While it can be frustrating trying to get things going on your project, it’s great to find out you’re not alone. Embrace the Android testing community, we’re all in this together!

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