Thursday, March 15, 2007

Robot testers invade Portland

Posted by Harry Robinson, Software Engineer in Test

Software testing is tough. It can be exhausting, and there is rarely enough time to find all the important bugs. Wouldn't it be nice to have a staff of tireless servants working day and night to make you look good? Well, those days are here. On Thursday, March 22, I'll give a lunchtime presentation titled "How to Build Your Own Robot Army" for the Quality Assurance SIG of the Software Association of Oregon.

Two decades ago, machine time was expensive, so test suites had to run as quickly and efficiently as possible. Today, CPUs are cheap, so it becomes reasonable to move test creation to the shoulders of a test machine army. But we're not talking about the run-of-the-mill automated scripts that only do what you explicitly told them. We're talking about programs that create and execute tests you never thought of to find bugs you never dreamed of. From Orcs to Zergs to Droids to Cyborgs, this presentation will show how to create a robot test army using tools lying around on the Web. Most importantly, it will cover how to take appropriate credit for your army's work!


  1. This sounds like a very interesting and helpful presentation. Do you plan on publishing your notes/slides on the web?

  2. Yes. I will post links here after the event.

  3. hi Harry,

    how can one attend this conference?



  4. Hi Sesh,

    The SAO announcement has a link for registration. Hope to see you there!


  5. The conference should have been held.

    Can you post your presentation ?

    Thanks !

  6. Absolutely!

    It's a 3MB file (since it's mostly graphics), so it may take a while to download.

    Much thanks to the attendees for such great discussions and to the SAO QASIG for being such gracious hosts!

  7. Hi Harry,
    I tried to download de PDF but it seems to be that it is damaged.


  8. Hi Lucas,
    Thanks very much for letting me know. I will look into what happened to that pdf. In the meantime, here are the original SAO slides. (Be forewarned, the file is 9 MB.) I will get a repaired pdf of the slides up later today.


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