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19 Automated Software Testing: Hands On and Interactive!

Sunday, 26 October – 8:30-17:00 Full day

Gerard Meszaros, ClearStream Consulting, gerard.meszaros@acm.org
Ralph Bohnet, ClearStream Consulting, ralph@clrstream.com

This tutorial takes the "extreme" out of Extreme Programming. It brings the expertise acquired by the agile software development community to mainstream software developers working on all kinds of projects. The Extreme Programming community has shown the value of writing automated software unit and acceptance tests for increasing quality, reducing development cost and improving agility. Now that we know this is possible, how can we apply these lessons to more traditional software projects? And if you are an XP developer, how can you improve the way you write tests?

The XUnit family of testing frameworks (including JUnit, SUnit, NUnit, VbUnit, etc.) provide an important first step in software test automation. But test automation is much more than just knowing how to program a test in XUnit. The neophyte test-writer is faced with a deluge of questions and issues; e.g.,

  • What should I be testing?
  • How many tests are enough?
  • What should I focus on while writing my tests?
  • How do I test my tests?
  • How can I make my tests more understandable?
  • How do my tests relate to use cases?
  • How can I make my software easier to test?

This tutorial addresses these and many other questions.

Attendee background

This tutorial is intended for professional software developers who would like to learn how to test their software more effectively.

Prerequisites: Participants must be familiar with the object-oriented software development paradigm, and be fluent in one or more object-oriented languages. Familiarity with Java or C# is useful, but not required. Familiarity with a unit testing framework, such as JUnit, is preferable.


Lecture and hands-on exercises


Gerard built his first unit testing framework in 1996 and has been doing automated unit testing ever since. Along the way, he has become an expert in refactoring of software, refactoring of tests, and design for testability. Gerard has applied automated unit and acceptance testing on projects ranging from full-on eXtreme Programming to traditional waterfall development. He has presented successful tutorials at the past three OOPSLAs, has organized workshops at four previous OOPSLAs, and has presented papers on developing and testing object oriented software frameworks at two previous OOPSLAs as well as XP2001 and XP2002.

Ralph Bohnet is a senior consultant and trainer with Clearstream Consulting and has been doing agile development since 2000. He is an avid advocate of automated testing and Test First Development. Over the past 13 years of IT experience, he has acted as team leader, mentor, business analyst, OO developer, and instructor. He is currently the team lead of a testing team for a national Railway company. Ralph has been the president of Calgary Java Users Group for the past 4 years.