What is Test Club? “Test Automation -the Hard way” learners community

There’s no lack of Test Automation courses and mentoring programs nowdays. Yet, most of the courses I am aware of (either free or paid) start at the wrong place — they start either on UI or API level but fail to give a proper foundation a well-grounded Test Automation Engineer must have.

“If you start with framework — you do it wrong”

et us draw a line here and now, Test Automation Engineers are not Testers — their primary objective is almost never to test. Instead, they are special kind of developers — developers specialized in Test Automation Solutions development. To some extent, it is no different from Front End or Back End development separation.

Some claim that starting with Selenium would help one to start delivering value (or finding a job) quicker, but I would argue that it would a low-skilled, boring and expandable job. The fact that this can be learned fast just means there’re many people with the skill.

To make things worse, many who start with Selenium (or RestAssured, or any other high-level library) never really learn things beyond the tool and create a mediocre solutions that inefficient, painful to use and pretty much useless for stakeholders. I know that, because I did this myself.

But things don’t have to be like this.

As Test Automation Engineers ARE Test Automation Solutions Developers, they have to have similar fundamental background as you would expect from any other Developer

Test Club started as a joke at the conference where I have presented a talk “Test Club: if you need a framework — you do it wrong”, where in live coding session I:

  • Have refactored a product so I could write Subcutaneous Tests
  • Have reimplemented all the UI tests I got as Subcutaneous, losing 1% of test coverage but increasing speed at least tenfold
  • Deleted unnecessary UI tests along with the framework and megabytes of unnecessary dependencies
  • Increased coverage by changing the product (without writing a line of test code)

Yet some people still insist that it is not feasible or possible option and we must dwell on those UI or API checks, writing and maintaining Test Automation Solutions that take ages to run and ultimately becoming more complex and cumbersome than product they test.

That is why I started the Test Club community. Just as Fight Club was a novel to protest against the consumption-oriented society, I want Test Club to be a place where we can stop pretending that Test Automation is not a special flavour of development, where together we can can explore our options to stop going through the circles of creating suboptimal solutions again and again.

In a Test Club we will explore what it takes to:

  • Develop efficient, holistic test automation solution, involving automated checks on all levels from Unit to E2E
  • Influence the architecture choices that would ensure testability and/or refactor the application to amend testability flaws

We also will not pretend that Test Automation replaces Testing, because it is not — those are two different and distinct processes.

So, welcome to the Test Club.

There’s a rule: If you are here — you will have to code. Professionally.

Test Club photo is taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Street_art_from_a_scene_in_the_film_Fight_Club.jpg and accessible by Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication license.

Software engineer. Development-focused tester and test-focused developer. Interested in holistic view on testing, development and project management.