Sunday, 14 February 2010

Update for 2010 or Oh, there you are.

It's been a few months since my last blog because I've been seriously distracted by 'other things'.

One of those things was the Selenium-Ruby book and associated framework and code examples. The process of writing it and deciding which content to add has been fraught with trip wires. It's been the subject of a number of conversations with my employer and those in the industry who've helped me understand Selenium and Ruby. The main and valid concern of these various groups being whether I was going mercenary on them and heading off to claim the glory with no particular forethought for their claim or contribution over the material. That was a slightly unexpected response that derailed my effort and motivation somewhat to say the least. The writing progresses but has changed direction more than once.

Including Ruby has been fun and interesting and the great thing is it has pushed the boundaries of the 'S**t I don't know' and 'don't know I don't know'. Remember that wiring Ruby in there is to get away from the IDE as fast as possible. Not that the IDE is crap, just that it's limiting. That's another interesting point. The excitement around my employer's (NMQA) growing number of engagements using Selenium and Ruby have brought about another change. They're about to announce super clever things around Selenium and Vienna. Vienna Studio and VSL. Watch the NMQA website. I'm testing it now and it'll be Beta within weeks, I expect the Firefox Selenium IDE to become a rarely visited friend. When you see the new NMQA website, you'll see what Vienna Studio and VSL are all about.

Meanwhile back on home turf I've been studiously avoiding all forms of blogging and forum posting and just tweeting occasionally. Why have I not been forum posting? Two reasons, a) The same old basic testing questions coming up again and again from different people, b) pseudo philosophical threads of conversation that roll on for weeks at end and could be finished in two paragraphs. I've little to no interest in b) because I don't have the time or see any real practical value in a three week conversation that's a definition about two words. It's been going on for months in more than one forum by more than one person and must have some of the new comers to the profession wondering what we're on. While we're still not able to resolve issues of a) you'll have to excuse me while I ignore the b) threads. This isn't a dig at individuals it's a dig at a) not being resolved and the focus of our energies to get it resolved.

Why is a) so annoying to me? You wouldn't find a Surgeon, Aerospace Engineer or Solicitor asking basic questions and that, as you probably know, is exactly the level where I think our profession should be. There have been attempts before to resolve a) and I wish I had the time to start some big-idea-to-fix-it but I doubt I do and I doubt we can en masse. In fact I know I don't / we can't but I do have a cunning plan. A cunning plan that will perhaps allow me to stop feeling massively demotivated at the thought of trawling websites and seeing the same old tired questions. The cunning plan is a personal mentoring programme with a record of study behind it evidenced by published papers. Details to follow

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