TdT Cluj – Workshop #1 – Webdriver and Python with mozillawebqa

We had the first longer workshop organised by TdT Cluj, and it was really fun and useful! 27 people (3 instructors, 1 person responsible that we had all we needed, 1 PR  and 22 students) spent more than 6 hours to learn how to write tests with Selenium Webdriver and Python for a Mozilla website, and I personally would have continued if the time we had reserved the room for hadn’t been limited.

People started to arrive around 11:30 and we had some tea and coffee until 12:00 when Alex Lakatos started with a short presentation of the mozillawebqa team. Then, Bebe (aka Florin Strugariu) took control of the event :-).

The workshop had three phases:

  • The setup of the test environment. Something that should have been like a walk in the park, as we already had installed some of the tools, turned out to be a real software project :). We had lots of configurations – Win 7 and Win 8 (one even on a tablet – you should see the picture with the Windows tablet and the Apple keyboard and mouse! As Ioana said, could it have got more hipsterish than that? :-D), MacBooks and Linux machines, different IDEs (Aptana of pyCharm) and even someone with a custom version of Firefox – which revealed many problems. After more than one hour and a half everybody had the setup running:
    • github client installed
    • github project forked and cloned:
    • python virtual environment created and working – I personally struggled with this as I had too many versions of python installed on my laptop, the default being 3.1, and the virtual environment didn’t like that too much
    • python dependences installed in the virtual environment – that turned out to be quite challenging too as the internet connection wasn’t ready for so many people downloading all at once
    • IDEs configured
    • we were able to run the two existing tests from the repository.

During this period Bebe, Alex and Alin – our instructors 😀 – moved from one person to the other to solve everybody’s problems. I think they handled this really well, especially as there were so many of us, and only three of them.

  • The next step for Bebe was to show us how they write tests at Mozilla. He was writing the tests and sharing his screen on the projector, and the rest of us followed along. Together with Alin (and Alex) they answered questions, helped people debug if something didn’t work or presented us some of the practices used by their team. We implemented two tests:
    • one for going to the Events page of the website, and looking for an element on the page
    • one for searching an event (entering “test” in the search field) and verifying the number of results returned (in our case we had 1 result).

Eniko had a really nice comment on the meetup page, that it was great to see us working as teams: people were talking and helping each other, debugging failures and trying to understand why something wasn’t working. It was so nice, that we didn’t even feel when time flew. If it wasn’t for the pizza and a small incident in one of the other rooms, most probably we wouldn’t have stopped until the end.

  • Once the new tests were running, we moved to the next phase of the workshop: writing tests for the tickets opened on github. Unfortunately it was already late, and we had less than an hour for that, so I guess only few were able to finish theirs.

My takeaways from this workshop are:

  • we start to be a real community! People feel comfortable asking for help, and offering help even if they meet for the first time
  • open source projects are a great opportunity for people to learn new things and do that in a way that others can benefit from their work
  • we should have a follow-up for this workshop; now that many of us have the setup running, and know the basics on how it works, we should spend more time on writing tests
  • Windows 8 tablets are real computers, if one can install the setup for test automation and run tests from one! 😀


P.S. you can check the photos and follow-up comments for this meetup here:

P.P.S. thanks to Ioana, our PR :-D, more photos can be found here:

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