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Tester, speaker, blogger, person behind tesuqa

Chris Van Bael

Hi, I’m Chris Van Bael. I’m a tester, speaker, blogger and the person behind tesuqa.com.

Posted by Chris Van Bael

Screenplay pattern

Recently I gave a presentation at the Dutch Testnet Autumn conference about the Screenplay pattern. It was nice to attend a conference in person again and meet old friends, enjoy the company of fellow testers and enjoy good food! The slidedeck of this presentation can be found here (pdf) Introduction For me, the Screenplay patterns gives me guidance on how to add the correct abstraction layers to my test automation code.

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Introducing Test Automation, part 1

Many blogs, magazines and books already explain the technical difficulties of test automation. In this post I want to explain some of the organisational pitfalls I have come across in my past projects. For over 15 years I have been working in test automation. First working on existing test automation in organisations that already applied it. The last 10 years I have been introducing test automation in several organisations, small and large.

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My experiences as SANS facilitator

At the BruCon conference in October 2016 I had an interesting conversation at the SANS stand. Their collection of security trainings was impressive, but unfortunately outside of my budget. However, they did mention there is something like the Work-Study program. So I applied for the SANS Brussels Winter conference in December. End of December I got an email back that I was selected for the Work-Study program!

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Gherkin Tips & Tricks

A few months ago, I was selected to give a presentation at the Testnet ‘voorjaarsevenement’. My talk was about Gherkin and how to improve your Feature files and step definitions. It’s time to put it on the blog. Instead of writing an introduction to Gherkin, it’s better to point you to the Cucumber wiki. They have a very good explanation of it.

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Making a Breakout game with Scratch

Lately I’ve been involved with CoderDojo. It’s real fun to challenge children to be creative with code. A tool we start with is Scratch. Now, if you have programmed in ‘real’ programming languages, you may think Scratch is only for children, but it really isn’t. It’s quite powerful! Especially for creating games it is much easier to quickly create simple games in it than it would be in Python/PyGame for example.

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Decoding mp3 files with a right click

Recently I made a very good deal on a used NI Maschine Mk1. It is a nifty musical device, includes lots of drum kits and allows me to quickly make some nice tracks (or better: musical snippets). It’s lots of fun! Another part of Maschine is that it really simplifies sampling, like this guy demonstrates: Lots of people take old vinyl records and record a sample through a Numark record player.

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Never delete requirements in ALM with the DEL key

Suppose you want to delete the link of a requirement to a testcase. In ALM you then go to the testcase, select tab Requirements Coverage, select the requirement and delete that link, yes? This is true, but do not delete the link with the Delete button on your keyboard, because ALM will be so kind to delete the complete testcase, no the link!

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Quality Center and BPT testing experiences

At my current customer we are working extensively with Business Process Testing (BPT) in Quality Center 10, and now recently ALM 11.52. As you may know, BPT is an implementation of keyword-driven test automation. The idea of BPT (or keyword-driven testing) is very nice: test analyst can define Business Components (BC’s) (or keywords) test engineer can implement these BC’s test analyst can use the BC’s in test cases The benefits can be big:

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Sharing your limited hotel wifi network

Sometimes you stay at a hotel and they provide you with a free or paid Wifi connection. However, it is limited to only one device. And there you stand with your phone (data is too expensive since you are roaming), tablet (perhaps only Wifi available) and laptop… No worry, open source to the rescue! Step 1: Buy a DD-WRT compatible router.

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Running a batch file from Windows Task Scheduler

For the test automation on my current assignment, we had to run a batch file every day. So of course, we used the Windows Task Scheduler. It’s very easy to create a task and to schedule it every day around 22:00. Unfortunately, after checking the next day we noticed it had started on time, but didn’t execute the batch correctly. So we turned to Google, and found lots of people with the same problem: on TechNet, StackOverflow and others.

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Studying for Professional Scrum Master exam

Agile and certifications, is this a good match? Usually agile supporters are proud to not be certified. I don’t know, but at least several founders of Scrum seem to think it is. You have 2 big Scrum certification organisations: Scrum Alliance, who have the Certified Scrum certifications (Master, Product Owner, Developer, Professional, Coach and Trainer). Scrum.org, who have the Professional Scrum certifications (Masters, Developers and Product Owners).

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Test data generation tools

As a tester you’ll often need to generate test data. A lot can be achieved with Microsoft Excel or Open/LibreOffice Calc or any other spreadsheet. However there are tools specialized in generating test data. Several commercial tools focus at generating big data, like those of Grid-Tools, Tricentis and probably several others. Since I haven’t used these, I’m not going to discuss them.

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Lego and new media

Lego has always been of big interest to me. From my first Lego City kits to my Mindstorms 1st generation kit, they were again and again very interesting to build and play with. Recently during our (almost) daily walk at work, we had a discussion on Lego and my colleague put it nicely: “with Lego you first and foremost build and then play, with PlayMobil you can only play”.

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My list of Windows Tools

I’ll admit it: most of my work is still done on a Windows box. Linux is used on my home server and of course at most of the clients Linux is used in the embedded systems or as server OS for the applications. But my laptops all use at least Windows, next to Linux in some cases. So here is my list of free or open source tools that I immediately install on all of my machines:

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Book review: Batch Testen

A book review I’ve been meaning to write for some time: Batch Testen by ir. Dew Persad. A few months ago a possible client in the printing industry asked for an assessment of their testing efforts. Most of their software runs in batches. Having worked mostly in the embedded industry and on webbased software, this was a quite new subject for me.

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