Thursday, October 11, 2007

Testing Google Mashup Editor Class

Posted by Patrick Copeland, Test Engineering Director

Wanted to let you know about a partnership Google Test Engineering is doing with the University of California, Irvine. We've teamed up with Professor Hadar Ziv to sponsor a course that focuses on preparing students for industry ( and several other companies are also participating). Naturally, our project focuses on testing. George Pirocanac is heading up this work and recently went down to Irvine to talk about how they will test our mash-up editor. Here's the basic project outline if you are curious.

Class Project Plan: Testing Google's Mash-up Editor

Overall Class Goal
: To understand the basic software functional testing concepts through the experience of a case study of testing the Google Mash-up Editor and to provide meaningful feedback to Google about the effectiveness and usability of the tool.

Phase I - Gaining Domain expertise and Exploratory Testing
(four months)
Goals: Be able to explain what a mash-up is and why it is becoming important in today's internet. Be able to code a simple mash-up using a javascript api. Be able to code that same mash-up using Google Mash-up Editor tags. Be able to outline the basic features of the Google Mash-up editor. Be able to identify the essential elements of a functional test plan. Create a functional test plan outline for the Google Mash-up editor.

Phase II - Test Plan Execution over time
(Keeping in step with development) (three months)
Goals: Be able to identify the major challenges in executing a test plan during the life of a software project. Be able to identify testing technologies for dealing with these challenges. Be able to identify the effectiveness of a testing approach. Execute the test plan and provide feedback to Google.

Phase III - Usability & Competing Technologies Survey
(two months)
Goals: Be able to identify the essential elements of a usability study. Apply the topic of usability to programming. Compare and contrast the GME with three other industry mash-up editors.


  1. Hey Patrick,

    I know Google and IBM actually just partnered with the University of Washington (where I'm a student) to provide coursework for cloud computing. Any idea if they might be bringing any modules from the Test Engineering department any time soon? I'm really interested in the material. Thanks

  2. No, but our goal is to roll out testing as part of all of these courses. In general, testing software is under represented in schools. In "industrial" level software companies testing is extremely important and valued, but it often left to us to teach the concepts once students arrive. Google, for instance, has a huge emphasis on on-the-job learning about test.

  3. Hi Patrick:
    I liked the way they have started the testing"Phase I - Gaining Domain expertise and Exploratory Testing".I believe for any kind of testing we do we need to have a over all functional knowledge of the product or the application we are developing.Even if we are testing a particular module it's good to know about this module and also what are the other modules which get effected due to the changes in modules.

    Gaining the functional knowledge and doing some exploratory testing will really help to find many of the escaped defects.I do lot of exploratory testing on different products and i have quite succesfull in that.I even crashed IPOD 4 times with my testing skills,ofcourse the 4 time ipod has gone for a toss :)

    Testing software is not only under represented in schools but also in some industries.The other day my HR asked me for some references in testing and when i asked about the pay they say that we don't pay to tester's as much as we pay to Developers.I then told to her forget about any reference from me.

  4. Will this course be offered up online in the spirit of MIT's OCW, and UCBerkeley's videos on youtube so people could play along at home?

  5. Adam,

    As I understand it, the course is a project course. There's minimal lecture — not much to record at all, really. It's all about getting real-world experience, in line with the philosophy behind the Informatics students' (future) degrees.

  6. Hi,

    Any thoughts on how do i invoke a a Jmeter listener bypassing its GUI?


  7. Awesome post.Here’s a tool that helps create Map Mashup providing a step-by-step wizard that generates ready-to-deploy code on any website or blog


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