The Second Wave of Open Source Test Automation: An Interview with David Dang

[interview]
Summary:

In this interview, STAREAST keynote speaker David Dang explains why the second wave of open source test automation tools are coming in at just the right time. He covers what they are, what they've learned from the first wave, and how to integrate them into your team.

Josiah Renaudin: Welcome back to another TechWell interview. Today I am joined by David Dang of Zenergy Technologies, who's a keynote speaker at STAREAST 2016. David, thank you very much for joining us today.

David Dang: Thank you for having me.

Josiah Renaudin: Absolutely. First, could you tell us just a bit about your experience in the industry?

David Dang: Sure. Not to run too long, I have about nineteen years of experience in test automation. I actually started out with a developer a little over twenty-one years ago and then jumped into test automation. Throughout the years, I've been mostly doing consulting work, teaching, and also do a lot of framework design and architecting. The biggest thing from an experience standpoint is trying to keep up with all the latest technology and how best to utilize test automation to get testing more efficient and more effective.

Josiah Renaudin: To better understand the complexities of your discussion, can you define the second wave of open source test automation tools that your keynote tackles? To follow up on that, what did we learn from the first wave that's going to make this second wave stronger?

David Dang: Those are very good questions. I would say, about eight or nine years ago, all the toolsets that were in the marketplace were mostly purchased toolsets. A lot of them are basically packaged together and sold on a license-base. About eight or nine years ago, there were people that basically said, “What can we do with the web being more popular? Is there a way for us to have open source tools that will let us automate a website?”

The first wave came about with a toolset like Selenium RC, which stands for remote control, fitness, a couple other toolset on the first wave. For the most part, the first wave was a really good intro into the open source world. However, the feature base and the support by the community was not there. A lot of those open source toolsets fell by the wayside.

About three or four years ago, maybe a little bit longer than that, the second wave comes along. It was really driven by Selenium WebDriver. A lot of people know it by Selenium WebDriver or Selenium 2.0. The reason the second wave came on much stronger, is first of all, a lot of the technology went from client and server base or mainframe base into more web base. With Selenium WebDriver, the underlying thing is to be able to automate browsers. With that, companies start realizing, wait a minute… we have an open source tool that supports most of our portfolio. Not only that, part of the second wave was driven by the need for doing tests faster because of the web. Companies released more often. Companies are going to be more agile. They need ways of driving that automation quicker. Part of that is also driven by developers really pushing for...are there tools that they can use to help with test automation?

With the second wave, you see a huge uptake by companies that are really big, Fortune500 companies, that realize that there are huge benefits in adopting the second wave. The open source ability to leverage both, not only the QA team but also the development team to do some test automation.

Josiah Renaudin: Whenever automation is brought up in my line of work, I feel like Selenium is always one of the first tools brought up. I moderate a lot of web seminars, and every time our discussion topic is Selenium, people come out in droves to just talk about it. Why do you personally feel that Selenium has taken such a prominent role in the second wave?

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