TOP (Testers of Pakistan) meetup
Pakistan’s testing community is finally rising up for the mission to “promote software quality” and this was evident from the Testers of Pakistan (TOP) meetup that happened in great way on Saturday January 9th at Zigron campus, I-9, Islamabad. A joint venture of Knowledge Tester, Pakistan Software Testing Board (PSTB) and Zigron hosted over 100 passionate testers representing about 50 organizations with the session comprising of 5 captivating talks.
This journey of testers meeting and sharing knowledge started with a small edition back in June 2014 with a small gathering of testers. The next edition was even bigger and recent one proved that we have reached to a point where we can expand this idea to a national level testing conference at Pakistan. More details later on this.
The session started by opening comments by Kashif Mueen who is the CTO at Zigron. Kashif welcomed the audience and expressed his opinion on how people might believe testing a second grade job whereas his experience tells it otherwise. He mentioned his trip to the Boeing facility and how mission critical is testing of each component over there. He then related that to the software of today which are being used in every walk of life and how a failure would be catastrophic. Thus he concluded that testing is an important domain and testers need to raise the bar to cope with all those challenges.
After the opening remarks, the first talk was given by Hassan Farooq who is part of the fabulous Zigron testing team. Hassan talked about BDD using Cucumber and started with few definitions of TDD (Test Driven Development) and how BDD (Behavior Driven Development) is different. He then went on to show an example test for the login feature of a standard website written in Gherkin and implemented in JUnit and results appearing in Jenkins . The audience poured in lot of questions which Hassan answered with even more details.
Up next was a description of “Aspects of Software Quality” by Sadaf Munir Minhas who is Director Quality at Keep Truckin (a Google venture). Sadaf is a familiar face for being a regular attendee of the meetups and explained how Software Quality has to be ensured at three levels and how the responsibility is not just on the testers but improving processes is part of the game. She touched upon ISO, CMMI and other standards that can help achieve those objectives.
The next talk was perhaps the most interesting of the day about “Automating Game Testing” by Dr. Uzair Khan who is a Model Based Testing researcher at QUEST lab and is also Director of PSTB. Dr. Uzair first explained how a game can be modeled into a state machine using UML and then how this can be flattened to give test cases and oracles. These test cases are then can be coded to play the game automatically and see if it behaves in required fashion. He also demoed a Java version of Mario, ran a sample test and proved how this idea is worth further investigation.
In between these talks was a filler by myself (which was added on popular demand 🙂 ). My main thing was to appreciate the audience who joined us on a cold Saturday morning and then recapping the journey so far, I laid down the following three initiatives for year 2016:
- A national level Testing Conference somewhere in last quarter with a hope to invite even international speakers.
- Hosting such meetups at Lahore and Karachi. (It looks former will happen soon as we had official presence of Lahore based testing service provider company Kualitatem and few others who travelled ~300 KM to attend the session).
- Split the meetups at Islamabad to focus on certain areas e.g. Performance, Security etc.
I also suggested testers to read at least one technical book in 2016 and try something new to make this year, the best year in their life as a Tester.
The normal operation resumed after my talk and stage was taken over by Saad Khalid who is CEO of Mercurial Mind. Saad explained the latest trends in Mobile Applications and the IoT (Internet of Things) architecture. Using an example of an apparently simple looking app that he is developing, he went into details so as how complex the overall system is and how difficult it is to test it. He suggested that testers should have the vision of Softare Architect if they wish to be become the awesome tester everyone loves.
The fifth and final talk of the day was done by the VizTeck team represented by Junaid and Nauman. Those gentelemen talked about Automated Testing using node.js and showed implementation of the concepts using Mocha and Chai. They also cautioned that tools and frameworks like these make the job of writing tests easy, but that should not take focus on writing the “easy but unwanted” testes rather the intent is to make “needed” tests easy to be written.
Wrap up session was conducted by Dr. Zohaib Iqbal who also talked about the initiative of PSTB and being President what is the mission in his eyes. He encouraged more and more partners to join in to help produce sessions like these, and in general take the Pakistan’s testing community to the next level.
The lengthy but entertaining talks ended with distribution of shields for the Speakers and certificates for the Organizers. All then enjoyed lot of chit chat over a cup of tea which resulted in new connections established / old connections revised / ways to work together.
I must thank Amir Shahzad and all his Zigron testing team for taking all the pain to make the event a great success that it was. All the arrangements were seamless as if they are done by professional organizers.
More photos are here. Slides will be soon shared on our pages and also at the TOP pages.