The Gauteng chapter of the Test Automation User Group, held in Cape Town up to now, was launched on 29 May 2013 at the Dimension Data Campus in Bryanston, in association with the Special Interest Group in Software Testing (Gauteng) and the Computer Society of South Africa.

“As with the Cape Town event, we plan to host the Test Automation User Group every quarter in Gauteng,” says founding member Mario Matthee, national head of software quality assurance at software development company Dynamic Visual Technologies (DVT).

Matthee and Malini Bandi, both representing DVT, were the guest speakers at the Gauteng event. Bandi covered the topic of test automation in an Agile environment. She gave a brief overview of Agile for those who had not been exposed to it yet, covering the following areas:

  • Test automation as a whole team approach
  • Applying Agile practices and disciplines to test automation
  • When, what and how to automate
  • Good test design principles
  • Identifying and overcoming barriers
  • Choosing the correct testing tools

Matthee looked at different approaches to test automation, including Post Release, Post Sprint and In Sprint automation, as well as the impact these approaches can have on test automation maintenance. He also briefly covered what the ultimate goal of test automation should be.

The event finished with a debate on the topic of whether the industry requires test analysts to have software development and coding skills. “Audience participation was excellent,” says Matthee. “The consensus was that in most cases coding skills are advantageous, but not yet a requirement for test professionals. However, that may soon change. In a typical team there will always be a mix of test professionals with or without coding skills, but there is a definite shift towards having more team members with this ability.”

Matthee adds that the organisers were motivated to launch the Gauteng event following its popularity in Cape Town, and the number of requests received from test professionals in Gauteng to have their own meeting. Attendance numbers for the Cape Town chapter range from 80 to 130 depending on the event topics and guest speakers.

The Cape Town chapter will meet again on 10 July, and the topics for discussion will be the Test Centre of Excellence, and the performance testing tool Neoload, developed by Neotys.