Google Test Automation Conference 2016

gtac-2016-logoGTAC2016 finished today. I must say it was one of the best test-oriented conferences I have been to.

Some highlights:

  • Single track, which eliminated having regrets over the other session being potentially more interesting.
  • Schedule loose enough to leave ample time for networking, talking to presenters, catching up on work, or just wandering around Google’s beautiful Tech Corners campus.
  • Mixing long (1-hour) and short (15-minutes lightning talk) sessions that kept audience engaged. The Quirkier Side of Testing on day 1 and Code Coverage on day 2 were perfect after-lunch warm ups to make sure we don’t drift away.
  • Wide range of topics covered: from formal test analysis and fuzzing, through elaborate test frameworks over to diversity and democratization of development.
  • Overall high level of presentations.
  • Top-notch organization. Starting with the host Matt Lowrie (I sense Billy Crystal’s Academy Awards was the inspiration here), through AV team, the transcribers, location etc. etc.
  • Using for handling questions. I need to try it myself one day, too.

My favorite sessions:

  • Day 1:
    • Tanya Jenkins: “Automating Telepresence Robot Driving” – using LIDAR to test robots is a nerd’s dream come true. And Tanya genuinely enjoyed that experience.
    • Nikolai Abalov: “Selenium-based test automation for Windows and Windows Phone” – sweet implementation of WebDriver wrapper for Microsoft’s products. I recommend reviewing other 2gis’es open source projects, outside Winium.
    • Alexander Brauckman and Dan Hislop: ““Can you hear me?” – Surviving Audio Quality Testing” – who wouldn’t want to build a framework to test audio quality!
  • Day 2:
    • Emanuil Slavov: “Need for Speed – Accelerate Automation Tests From 3 Hours to 3 Minutes” – systematic approach to lowering test execution time. It looked easy in Emanuil’s presentation, but one can only imagine the amount of brainpower needed to achieve a 150x test execution time reduction, since in reality they went down from 180 minutes to almost 1-minute execution.
    • Kostya Serebryany: “Finding bugs in C++ libraries using LibFuzzer” – let the computers find bugs in the code! Also very nice of Google to offer to scan open-source projects.
    • Jonathan Abrahams: “How I learned to crash test a server” – was a nice presentation of how MongoDB survives system crashes. And a great lesson on interesting issues you can catch when deliberately breaking the system.

I highly recommend viewing these and other presentations that Google will post on the Google Tech Talks YouTube channel (stay tuned for an announcement on the Google Testing Blog).