I gave a talk at the first ever Brisbane Testers Meetup last night. It was a fairly good turn out despite some very climatic conditions (very wet and windy).

Every time I give a talk I try to provide a key message, a key takeaway question and ultimately aim to make sure everyone learns something that will make them capable of kicking ass in some way when they get back to work (hat tip to Kathy Sierra).


My key message last night is that we, as testers, put things on pedestals, and we need to stop doing it; we need to push over those pedestals. We put automated testing on pedestals because it’s about programming. We put programming on pedestals often because it’s about frameworks. And we put frameworks on pedestals as they are overly complicated and complex and offer far more than we ever need.

So I tried to knock over those pedestals by showing how you can write a ruby testing framework from scratch in 15 minutes. Crash. Bang.


My key takeaway last night was “what can you take down from your pedestal?” I personally think we all put things on pedestals, we greatly or uncritically admire things. We need to stop it.

The aim of my coding exercise was to show the 20 or so testers in the room who hadn’t done automated testing but wanted to do automated testing that it’s not that hard. Ignore the frameworks, focus on programming and build the simplest thing that could possibly work. Ignore the complex frameworks, the bar to learning programming and automated testing has never been lower.

My slides are available here if you’re interested in taking a look.

Author: Alister Scott

Alister is an Excellence Wrangler for Automattic.

2 thoughts on “Pedestals”

  1. Thank you – I’d love to see a more detailed post about which framework components you classify as “the simplest thing that could possibly work”, or to see the example framework created in this talk.


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