Watir Day 2011 San Francisco: My Takeaways

Watir Day 2011 in San Francisco was a great success. I personally took a lot away from the day including:

  • We organized and promoted Watir Day in a very lightweight way, but managed to attract over 60 attendees and 10 sponsors!
  • The key to Watir’s success has been its community, focus on building a tool for testers, and not trying to be everything to everyone.
  • Watir is seen as a secret sauce for a lot of web companies – they are very hesitant to talk about it publically in case their competitors copy them. But we managed to hear a few of those stories for the first time on the day:
    • Watir is a key part of Facebook’s engineering culture: they have been extremely successful with Watir, after failing with Selenium.
    • Convio has been so successful with in house open source test automation using Watir that they have phased out outsourced testing altogether, and are hiring more automated test engineers than ever.
  • An individual’s involvement in an open source project can be inversely proportional to how happy they are in their job – not happy at work = less commits, more happy at work = less commits (via Bret Pettichord)
  • The future is bright for Watir. Using WebDriver technology will enable us to deliver a tool designed for testers to testers, but an increasing range of browser and device support.

The questionnaire results speak for themselves:

Watir Day Fun

The slides are available online.

MarekJ at Watir Day

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.