Einstein: the Minesweeper Robot (in Brisbane)

I gave a talk tonight to the Brisbane Special Interest Group in Software Testing (SIGIST). There was a great turnout (tickets went in 24 hours after the announcement apparently), and there was some good interest in Einstein (plus 3 people who had never played Minesweeper, what the?).

Alister will discuss browser automation, using an example of writing a Minesweeper robot. Einstein, his robot, proficiently plays Minesweeper in a web browser and was developed using specification by example techniques using Watir, RSpec and Cucumber in the Ruby programming language.


Alister is an Agile tester who currently works for ThoughtWorks Australia and author of watirmelon.com. He’s been actively involved in the Watir open source project for a number of years and his passions include ruby programming and collecting arid plants.

In getting the slides ready, I actually came up with a reasonable list of things that building Einstein taught me about software testing (and software development in general):

  • Break big things down into little things
  • Design for testability
  • Test in the right places
  • Supplement your automated testing
  • Build in performance measures
  • Change your mind
  • Be young, be foolish, be happy

The last two points weren’t really related but I threw them in there for good measure.

Here’s the slides (and a link to the originals):

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And here’s that video of Einstein in action:

Good times.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.