Automated Web Testing at Oredev 2010 and on Pluralsight Podcast

For the past 3 years, our team at Dovetail has spent a lot of time and energy towards building a large suite of automated tests that exercise our web application end to end. I think we’ve reaped enough benefits to justify our effort, but at the same time the effort we’ve expended and continue to expend has been daunting and we still have some unresolved problems.

In November of 2010 I gave a talk at Oredev entitled Automated Testing of Web Applications that about our lessons learned at Dovetail.  After the talk I felt that:

  1. The content matter was important and potentially very useful to other teams
  2. The content was really hard to explain in an hour from scratch

I thought I would try to piece together a braindump blog post about the subject, but it was way too much work.  David Starr was nice enough to record a podcast with me on automated web testing that I thought went well.  As I recall, we talked about:

  • How to address the screen
  • My undying dream of executable specifications
  • Separating the expression of a specification from the screen driver bits
  • Standardizing the UI mechanics to make testing easier
  • Data Population (this is crucial)
  • Making automated tests be less brittle
  • Organizing tests

About Jeremy Miller

Jeremy is the Chief Software Architect at Dovetail Software, the coolest ISV in Austin. Jeremy began his IT career writing "Shadow IT" applications to automate his engineering documentation, then wandered into software development because it looked like more fun. Jeremy is the author of the open source StructureMap tool for Dependency Injection with .Net, StoryTeller for supercharged acceptance testing in .Net, and one of the principal developers behind FubuMVC. Jeremy's thoughts on all things software can be found at The Shade Tree Developer at
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