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RTC 2018

RTC 2018

The Romanian Testing Conference 2018 took place from the 9th - 11th of May in Cluj-Napoca. Cluj is the fourth most populous city in Romania and located in the northwestern part of the country.

I joined the conference for the very first time as a speaker. By looking forward to meet familiar, new faces and giving a talk there, I was so excited to join the workshops from Angie Jones and Santhosh Tuppad before the conference day.

Workshop Days

Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th of May

On the first workshop day, I joined Santhosh's workshop Web Application Security Testing. I follow Santhosh on twitter now for a couple of years but haven't actually met him in person so far till that particular day. It was great fun to finally hug him and see how he fascinated us participants in his workshop. As security is a very sensitive topic, I won't list now here specifically what we actually did and learned. If you want to know more, join one of either his or Dan's workshops.
Nevertheless, here a short list of things a black/white/grey hat hacker might think of:

  • Information gathering (who is out there, which technology is in use, how vulnerable is it, etc.)
  • Social Engineering:
    • Shoulder Surfing
    • Pretecting
    • Tailgating
    • Dumpster Diving
    • Phishing
    • Vishing
    • Baiting / Honeypot setting
  • Building trust in the first place and then break it

You have to think and act like a hacker in order to be able to test your application.

On the second workshop day, I joined Angie's A day in the life of an Automation Engineer. This workshop was all about to get us started with Automation of a Web App. As you should do before even thinking of diving into technology and coding, we discussed why and which part of the workshops example web app we should automate by asking the following question:

  • What are the main functionalities of the app?
  • What is the risks when we don't automate those functionalities?
  • How about automating things related to Security and Performance? Are there any risks to address? Do WE have to deal with it or SOMEONE else?

After that we setup the automation framework in IntelliJ which consisted of Java, Selenium and JUnit.

Design Patterns
Then we discussed the design pattern we are going to use (in our case the Page Object Pattern).

Then we discussed what the best element locators are to use and how you can create your xpath expression in such a way that you can reach out to a whole bunch of elements at once in the DOM tree.

  • By.xpath("//li[not(contains(@class, 'ui-screen-hidden'))]");

Angie's example app for the workshop can be found here.

Conference Day

Friday 11th of May

The Reality of Testing in an Artificial World by Angie Jones
Angies talk was about her personally experiences when she had to come up with a strategy to test an AI algorithm for a dress store application. Here the key insights of her talk:

  • Learn How it Learns
  • Train the System
  • What do I assert? (Oracles?)
  • POCS Model
  • Do I have enough Data for Testing this?
  • Bug? (dev: works on my machine)
  • Prove the findings

The future is here, test it!

Testing through Space and Time by Maria Kedemo
This talk was her personal journey from when she entered IT in 2000, till today when she got independent and opened up here consultant company Black Koi. Here the key insights of her talk:

  • Todays buzz words: Automation, AI, ML, DevOps, Blockchain
  • Past, Present, Future: while some people already work with future technologies, there are others which still have to deal with technologies from the past
  • Challenge your assumptions and break you hypothesise
  • Understand the strengths and limitations of automation
  • Titles can be misleading
  • What does change in the future?

Bridge communities

Accelerating Your Test Execution Pipeline by Bria Grangard
Bria's talks was about how you can get faster execution times of your tests in a pipeline. Her talk was guided by the following questions:

  • What is a test automation framework?
  • What do we automate?
  • Are you aware of the testing pyramid?
  • How can we get faster?

The key insights of her talk was that when you parallelise your automation, it can give you the following advantages:

  • Quick Deployment
  • Faster Feedback
  • Cross Browser Testing
  • Better Test Coverage
  • Saves valuable Time

Parallelise your Tests

We don’t need more automation engineers! by Bas Dijkstra
Bas told us his stories of failures since he started as an automation engineer. Here the key insights of his talk:

  • History: I'm sick and tired of repeating myself (Automate all the things)
  • Why do we need to automate in the first place?
  • Do we really more want more of that? (E2E Testing)
  • Automation isn't the holy grail
  • Stop the silly automation, collaborate and listen
  • We don't need more automation engineers!

We need better ones!

You can find all my sketch notes from the talks here.

Speaker nominations

A lot of conferences nominate their best speakers and so does RTC. At the party night which happened in the evening of the conference day, I tweeted the nomination:


The three days of talking to a lot of people was quite exhaustive, but it was definitely worth it. Thank you all you lovely people which I've had some nice conversations with: