Agile2012 Round-up: Day 4

It’s day 4 and time for an abbreviated post. Today I made it to the first session in the morning, hung around in the open space to listen in on some post-talk discussion and met some friends for lunch to talk about some open-source development.

But the big news of the day was that the final votes were counted and the winner of the Agile2012 Conference Gold Star Award for Outstanding Accidental Contribution To The Field Of Hardware Verification… or repeat winner would be more accurate… is Elisabeth Hendrickson! She was the big winner last year and she did it again this year by spending another hour with me today showing me how to use cucumber to write acceptance tests. She’s also helped get me thinking about the possibilities for next year’s conference so congratulations (and thank you :)).

Acceptance Tests: Writing With The Future In Mind

At the conference this year, the two best sessions I saw were the two that showed code examples. The first was the BDD session by Liz Keogh on Tuesday. The other was this session, Acceptance Tests: Writing with the Future in Mind from Jeff Morgan. Apparently Jeff goes by Cheezy, but there was nothing cheezy about his talk. I thought it was excellent. Very practical.

For the last few days, I’ve been thinking about how boil down a hardware test into the Given-When-Then format that’s used by a lot of agile folks to describe acceptance tests (or product behaviours). I was a little stuck until this morning. Jeff clarified a lot by working through an example of how he would recommend re-factoring brittle, overly detailed tests to make them robust, decoupled and concise. Not that it applies directly to hardware development, but it was quite neat to see techniques used for testing a web page that had a bunch of forms. See how to automate all the form entries and button clicks was pretty cool.

Also cool was that Jeff stuck around in the open space for about an hour afterward (or maybe more… I got there a few minutes late). There were lots of questions and obvious interest from a full table of people. If that’s not the sign of a good talk, I don’t know what is!

That’s All Folks

Afraid to say there is no looking ahead to conference friday for me… which is probably OK since I’m sure my brain is saturated already with new information. I’ll be in the office tomorrow so you’ll have to count on your daily round-up elsewhere! Thanks for following along.

See you next year (hopefully) at Agile2013!

-neil

PS: If you’re interested in the rest of the week, there’s more on my Agile2012 page!

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