The first 2013 meeting of the Cape Town Test Automation User Group (CTTAUG) was held on 13 March. Sponsored by Allan Gray and software development company DVT, the agenda included an interview with world ranked gamer and DVT team member Collin Murray, an overview of software testing in Brazil presented by Sarah Pimental, a look at automation in an agile environment by Francois Rousseau, an automation specialist at Allan Gray.

Game testing
Collin Murray pointed out that gaming can be equated with playing golf. “Playing with friends on weekends is done for fun and no compensation. Playing at international level can be financially rewarding but also requires huge dedication,” Murray said. “To get to the top levels in gaming takes a significant investment in infrastructure such as computer hardware and connectivity, and also a huge amount of time.”

Almost half the audience indicated that they would want to explore game testing, agreeing that it is in essence just another software application and that the process would be very similar to software testing. It was also noted however, that usability testing of games would require prior gaming experience and enthusiasm.

Software testing in Brazil
Brazilian software tester Sarah Pimentel shared some interesting facts with the audience about life as a test analyst in Brazil. Her presentation showed comparisons between South Africa and Brazil, including population size, number of multinational companies, and test analyst salaries. She notes that there were definite similarities between the two countries, which also share the same skills requirements and certifications. It was clear that Brazil is a few steps ahead of South Africa when it comes to events and blogs targeted at software test analysts.

In-sprint automation
Francois Rousseau highlighted the need for and benefits of in-sprint test automation in SCRUM. The current approached followed by Allan Gray was explained. He noted that the success achieved to date can be contributed to three elements:

• management support,
• getting team composition right (each SCRUM team has dedicated automation specialists in             addition to the manual test analysts),
• having a clear test automation strategy in place.

Test Analysts from Gauteng have shown interest in this event and requests have been received to start a Gauteng chapter. “We will be definitely be launching the Gauteng chapter within the next couple of months,” says Armien Jardine, regional head of software testing at DVT. “Test automation is playing a critical role in what we do as test analysts today and participating in these events has definite advantages as it enables us to share knowledge and develop a sense of community.”

The Cape Town event was attended by more than 100 people from 20 different organisations. “The CTTAUG is becoming increasingly popular,” says Mario Matthee, founding member of the CTTAUG and national head of quality assurance at DVT. “We are planning to find a bigger venue for the next event in June so that we don’t have to limit access to the event.”