Running your Cukes in Jenkins

One question that I am often asked is “How do you run your cucumber scripts?”. This question usually leads to a discussion about what process and software I use to run my features in a regression-like fashion in a team setting. The questioners are usually not interested in how a developer might use autotest (my local tool of choice) to run the cuke/spec loop. They’re not interested in how a developer might run a feature on their local machine to verify they have completed a card. They’re also not interested in how a developer or tester might run the entire suite of features to verify everything still works. They want to know how to schedule the execution of the entire suite of features.

The truth is that I don’t run them. Instead I have a server process run the features for me. I am a strong advocate of having the continuous integration server run the acceptance tests continuously. This post will explain how I do it and hopefully provide you the information you need to do it as well.

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Those pesky frames and iframes

Wouldn’t it be sweet if all of the web pages in the world were nicely formed with easy to identify elements. If you work in an environment like this, I am envious. I often find myself working with a team where the sites are not pristine (I’m being nice here).

One thing I have found difficult to work with is pages that have frames and iframes. It gets worse when the elements you are trying to work with are nested within multiple frames/iframes. To address this complexity I decided to add simple frames handling to page-object.

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Introducing page-object gem

page-object is a simple ruby gem that assists in creating flexible page objects for testing browser based applications. To understand the inspiration for this gem please read this blog post.

This post will walk you through some of the core features of the gem. Most of the materials in this post are also on the project wiki. Please refer to the wiki for updated documentation.

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My Book

For the past two of years I have had a string of successes and a lot of fun helping teams adopt Acceptance Test Driven Development with Cucumber. I was never brought in to do this specifically. You see, I am an agile coach and I help team adopt agile and lean practices. And yet due to these successes with Cucumber I started thinking about how I might share these experiences.

I initially decided I would write a blog series. When I outlined it I quickly determined it would take nearly thirty entries to share all I wanted to share. That was when I came up with the crazy idea of writing a book. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. For the past several months I have spent a fair amount of my free time (do I really have free time?) working on this book. With this post I am releasing the first two chapters of that book.

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Bowling Game in C++

Last year was a blast. I started the year coaching a team that was developing a grails web application. Next was a batch application written in perl and pl-sql. Next I moved on to objective-c and then on to php and flash. I finished the year in java. I used ruby for testing with all of the teams. The variety has been fantastic and I have enjoyed each assignment. One thing that was really encouraging was that I found good unit testing framework in each language.

Last Thursday I attended the Cleveland Ruby Brigade meeting. It was nice to see a some old friends. I mentioned a few times that I had just started working with a team that was using C++. Each time the reaction was negative. People said things like “I’m sorry for you”. Actually, there is nothing to be sorry about. C++ is a strong language that has continued to evolve over the years and will have a place in software development for the foreseeable future.

The negative reaction to C++ encouraged me to create this screencast (my first ever). I had some time Monday morning before work so I turned on the recorder. I am using Google Test to drive the design. I hope you enjoy.

Google Test Quick Reference

I just created a Google Test Quick Reference document for the developers at a client I am working with. I am going to have it laminated and hope they keep it handy as they learn the new framework.

After completing the document I thought others might find it useful as well so I am including it here. I created a LeanDog version that has the LeanDog logo and other information. I also created a plain copy that does not include the logo. I hope you find this useful.

Working with Cucumber on the Windows platform

Frequently I teach classes on Cucumber for individuals in the testing community. Often this is their first exposure to Ruby and Cucumber and they usually have laptops running Windows. A week before the class I send out a document detailing software to install prior to their arrival. Nearly every time somebody has difficulties installing or verifying the installation of these tools. This post is designed to help people in a similar situation with step by step instructions on getting Cucumber running on your Windows computer.

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