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Engagio is a two year old marketing software startup that helps marketers land and expand their target accounts. The company is rapidly growing with more than 150 customers and 45 employees. Based in San Mateo, Engagio was founded by Jon Miller who was previously the Co-Founder of Marketo.  

Today, I had the pleasure of speaking with Helge Scheil, VP of Engineering for Engagio who shared why he selected Testim, his overall development philosophy and the results his team was able to achieve.  Checkout the series of videos or read the Q&A from our conversation below.

Q: Can you tell us a little about what your software does?

A: We help B2B marketers drive new business and expand relationships with high-value accounts. Our marketing orchestration software helps marketers create and measure engagement in one tool, drive ongoing success, and measure impact easily. Engagio orchestrates integrated account-based programs, providing the scale benefits of automation with the personalization benefits of the human touch. Our software complements Salesforce and existing marketing automation solutions.

Q: What does your development process look like?
A: Our developers work in 2-week sprints, developing features rapidly and deploying to production daily without any production downtime. We’re running on AWS and have the entire develop-test-build-deploy process fully automated. Each developer can deploy at any time, assuming all quality criteria have been met.

Q: What tools do you use to support your development efforts?

A: We are using Atlassian JIRA and Confluence for product strategy, roadmaps, requirements management, work breakdown, sprint planning and release management. We’re using a combination of Codeship, Python (buildbot), Docker, Slack, JUnit and Testim for our continuous build/test/deploy. We have integrated Testim into our deployment bot (which is integrated into Slack).

Q: Prior to Testim, how were you testing your software? What were some of the challenges?

A: Our backend had great coverage with unit and integration tests, including the API level. On the front-end we had very little coverage and the small amount we had was written in Selenium, which was very time-consuming with little fault-tolerance and many “flaky” failures.

Q: What were some things you tried to do to solve these challenges?

A: We were trying to simply allocate more time for Selenium tests to engineers. We considered hiring automation engineers but weren’t too fond of the idea because we believe in engineers being responsible for quality out of the gate, including the regression tests creation and maintenance.

Q: Where there other solutions you evaluated? Why did you select Testim?

A: We didn’t really consider any other solutions after we started evaluating Testim, which was our first vendor to evaluate. Despite some skepticism around the “record and play” concept, we found that Testim’s tolerance (meaning “tests don’t fail”) to UI and feature changes is much greater than we had expected. Other solutions that we considered are relying on pixels/images/coordinates which are inherently sensitive and non-tolerant to changes. We also found that non-engineers (i.e. product manager, functional QA engineers) can write tests, which is unlike Selenium.

Q: After selecting Testim, can you walk me through your getting started experience?

A: During the first week of implementation the team got together to learn the tool and started creating guinea pig tests which evolved into much deeper tests with more intricate feature testing. Those test ended up in our regression test suite which are ran nightly. Rather than allocating two days per sprint, we decided to crank up the coverage with a one day blitz.

Q: After using Testim, what were some the benefits you experienced?

A: We were able to increase our coverage by 4-5x within 6 weeks of using Testim. We can write more tests in less time and maintenance is not as time consuming. We integrated Testim via its CLI and made “run test <label>” commands available in our “deployment” Slack channel as well as a newly created “regression_test” channel. Any deployment that involves our web app now automatically runs our smoke tests. In addition to that we run nightly full regression tests. Running four cloud/grid Testim VMs in parallel we’re able to run our full regression test suite in roughly 10 minutes.

Q: How was your experience working with Testim’s support team?

A: Testim’s responsiveness was extraordinary. We found ourselves asking questions late in the evenings and over the weekends and the team was there to help us familiarize ourselves with the product. If it wasn’t immediately in the middle of the night, we would have the answer by the time we got started the next day.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our round table discussion on The Future of Test Automation: How to prepare for it? We had a fantastic turnout with lots of solid questions from the audience. If you missed the live event, don’t worry…

You can watch the recorded session any time:

Alan Page, QA Director at Unity Technologies and Oren Rubin, CEO of Testim shared their thoughts on:
  • The current state of test automation
  • Today’s test automation challenges
  • Trends that are shaping the future
  • The future of test automation
  • How to create your test automation destiny
In this session they also covered:
  • Tips and techniques for balancing end to end vs. unit testing
  • How testing is moving from the back end to the front end
  • How to overcome mobile and cloud testing challenges
  • Insights into how the roles of developers and testers are evolving
  • Skills you should start developing now to be ready for the future of testing

Some of the audience questions they answered:

  • How do we know what is the right amount of test coverage to live with a reasonable amount of risk?
  • What is the best way to get developers to do more of the testing?
  • How do you deal with dynamic data, is the best practice to read a DB and compare the results to the front end?
  • Does test automation mark the end of manual testing as we know it?

There were several questions that we were not able to address during the live event so I followed up with the panelist afterwards to get their answers.

Q: What is Alan’s idea of what an automated UI test should be?

As much as I rant about UI Automation, I wrote some a few weeks ago. The Unity Developer Dashboard provides quick access to a lot of Unity services for game developers. I wrote a few tests that walk through workflows and ensure that the cross-service integration is working correctly.

The important bit is, that I wrote tests to find issues that could only be found with UI automation. If validation of the application can be done at any lower level, that’s where the test should be written.

Q: The team I work on complex machines with Android UI and separate backend. What layer would you suggest to concentrate more testing effort on?

I’d weight my testing heavily on the backend and push as much logic as possible out of the Android UI and into the backend, where I can test more, and test faster.

Q: Some legacy applications are really difficult to unit test.  What are your suggestions in handling these kind of applications?

Read Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael Feathers, and you’ll find that adding unit tests to legacy code isn’t as hard as you thought it was.

Q: How do you implement modern testing to compliment automation efforts?

My mantra in Modern Testing is, Accelerate the Achievement of Shippable Quality. As “modern” testers, we sometimes do that by writing automated tests, but more often, we look at the system we use to make software – everything from the developer desktop all the way to deployment and beyond (like getting customer feedback), and look for ways we can optimize the system.

For example, as a modern tester, I make sure that we are running the right tools (e.g. static analysis) as part of the build process, that we are taking unit testing seriously and finding all the bugs that can be found by unit tests during unit testing. I try to find things to make it easier for the developers I work with to create high quality and high value tests (e.g. wrappers for templates, or tools to help automate their workflow). I make sure we have reliable and efficient methods for getting feedback from our customers, and that we have a tight loop of build-measure-learn based on that feedback.

Q: Alan Page could you give an example of a test that would be better tested (validated) at a lower level (unit) as opposed to UI level?

It would be easier to think of a test that would not be better validated at that level. Let’s say your application has a sign-in page. One could write UI automation to try different combinations of user names, email addresses, and passwords, but you could write tests faster (and run them massively faster) if you just wrote API tests to sign up users.

Of course, you’d still want to test the UI in this case, but I’d prefer to write a bunch of API tests to verify the system, and then exploratory test the UI to make sure it’s working well with the back end, has a proper look and feel, etc.

Q: How critical is today for a QA person to be able to code? In other words, if you are a QA analyst with strong testing/automation skills, but really have not had much coding experience, what would be the best way to incorporate some coding into his or her profile? Where would you start?

Technology is evolving in a rapid pace and the same applies to tools and programming languages as well. This being said, it would be good for testers to know the basics of some programming language in order to keep up with this pace. I would not say this is critical but it will definitely be good to have and with so many online resources available, it is even easier for testers to gain technical knowledge.

Some of the best ways I have known to incorporate coding into his/her profile would be via:

  • Online Tutorials and courses (Udemy, Coursera, Youtube videos)
  • Pairing with developers when they are programming. You can ask them basic questions of how things work, as and when they are coding. This is a nice way to learn
  • Attending code reviews helps to gain some insight into how the programming language works
  • Reading solutions to different problems on Stack Overflow and other forums
  • Volunteering to implement a simple feature in your system/tool/project by pairing with another developer
  • Organizing/Attending meetups and lunch ‘n’ learns focused on a particular programming language and topic
  • Choose a mentor who could guide you and give you weekly assignments to complete. Set clear goals and deadlines for deliverables

Q: My developers really like reusing cucumber steps, but I couldn’t make them write these steps. The adoption problem is getting the budget reallocated. Any advice for what I should do?

Reusing cucumber steps may not be necessarily a bad thing. It could also mean that the steps you may have written are really good and people can use them for other scenarios. In fact, this is a good thing in BDD (Behavior Driven Development) and helps in easier automation of these steps.

But if the developers are lazy and then reusing steps which do not make sense in a scenario, then we have a problem. In this case, what I would do is try to make developers understand why a particular step may not make sense for a scenario and discuss how you would re-write them. This continuous practice of spot feedback would help to instill the habit of writing good cucumber steps. Also, I would raise this point in retrospective and team meetings, and discuss it with the entire team. This will help to come to a common understanding of the expectations.

In terms of budget reallocation, I would talk to your business folks and project manager on the value of writing cucumber steps and how it helps to bring clarity in requirements, helps to catch defects early and saves a lot of time and effort which would otherwise be spent on re-work of stories due to unclear requirements and expectations for a feature.

Q: Can we quickly Capture Baseline Images using AI?

What exactly do you want the AI part to do? Currently, it’s not there are tools (e.g. Applitools and Percy.io) which can create a baseline very fast. I would expect AI to help in the future with setting the regions that must be ignored (e.g. field showing today’s date), and the closest thing I know is Applitools’ layout comparison (looking and comparing the layout of a page rather than the exact pixels, so the text can differ and the number of lines change, but still have a match).

Q: What are your thoughts on Automatic/live static code analysis?

Code analysis is great! It can help prevent bugs and add to code consistency inside the organization. The important thing to remember is that it never replaces functional testing and it’s merely another (orthogonal) layer which also helps.

Q: When we say ‘Automated Acceptance tests’, do they mean REST API automated tests which automation tool is good to learn?

No. They usually mean E2E (functional) tests, though acceptance tests should include anything related to approving a new release, and in some cases, this includes load/stress testing and even security testing.

Regarding good tools, For functional testing, I’m very biased toward Testim.io, but many prefer to code and choose Selenium or its mobile version Appium (though Espresso and Earl grey are catching on in popularity).

For API testing, there are too many, from the giant HP (Stormrunner) to medium sized Blazemeter, to small and cool solutions like APIfortress, Postman, Loadmill, and of course Testim.io.

Why not to call it full stack tests instead of e2e?

Mostly because e2e is used more often in the industry – but I actually prefer to use the google naming conventions, and just call tests small, medium, or large. Full stack / end-to-end tests fall in the large category.

According to the 2017 Test Benchmark Report, survey respondents want to achieve 50%-75% test automation.
Join this round-table discussion with Alan Page, QA Director at Unity Technologies and Oren Rubin, CEO of Testim as they discuss what companies need to start doing now to achieve their 5 year testing plans.
Date: Tuesday, February 27
Time: 9:00am PT
In this session they will cover:
  • The current state of test automation
  • Today’s test automation challenges
  • Trends that are shaping the future
  • The future of test automation
  • How to create your test automation destiny

RESERVE YOUR SEAT to:

  • Get tips and techniques for balancing end to end vs. unit testing
  • See how testing is moving from the back end to the front end
  • How to overcome mobile and cloud testing challenges
  • Gain insights into how the roles of developers and testers are evolving
  • Skills you should start developing now to be ready for the future of testing
  • Ask the panelists your own questions live

Introduction

We work hard to improve the functionality and usability of our autonomous testing platform, constantly adding new features. Our sprints are weekly with minor updates being released sometimes every day, so a lot is added over the course of a month. We share updates by email and social media but wanted to provide a monthly recap of the month’s latests enhancements, summarizing the big and small things we delivered to improve your success with the Testim.

API Testing

What is it?

Do you need to validate data that appears in the app against data from your back-end? Do you need to extract data to use in your tests? Then we have the feature for you.

We provide two types of API steps:

  • API action – Will be used when in need to get data and use it for calculation, or to save it for later use in the test.
  • Validate API – Will be used to validate an element against the API result data.

Why should I care?  
This capability makes it easy to do UI and API simultaneously. No need to toggle between do different systems nor integrate results. Author a UI test and automatically author an API test to ensure the application under test is working correctly. Read more

API Testing

Debug Step Parameters

What is it?

We’ve learned that enriched debugging can be a huge time saver. Debug the console errors and network errors automatically and see the failed steps in the DOM. You can see in each step all the parameters used during the run.

Why should I care?
This feature is helpful when you want to debug your runs and need to figure out which parameters were used in each step. Learn more

Debug step parameters

Company and Project Structure

What is it?

Large enterprises need the ability to manage multiple projects and various groups inside their organization. This feature makes it easy for admins to grant individual users access to specific projects. Earlier this year we’ve added support for a company structure with a company owner managing permissions and owners per project.

Why should I care?
This gives you more flexibility in managing the different groups inside your company and allows control over who has access to which projects. Learn more

Testim Project Management

Customers have access to these features now. Check it out and let us know what you think. If you’re not a customer, sign up for a free trial to experience autonomous testing. We’d love to hear what you think of the new features. Please share your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook.

 

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