Re: New query: Scripting languages to support software testing

Subject: Re: New query: Scripting languages to support software testing
From: jimmy -at- breck-mckye -dot- com
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 16:28:12 +0000

Most languages can be used to script other components, they just need an appropriate API.

That being said, some languages will meet certain tasks better than others. Scripts are math-lite applications that don't need to be compiled into binary, but do need to be readily maintainable and easy to arrange into functions, objects and libraries. You ideally want an expressive language that can be used by your colleagues in tow. That suggests two options: either continue with your QA friend's choice of C# or work in a language like Python, which is extremely expressive and can be used usefully without _much_ prerequisite programming experience.

That being said, without wanting to query your abilities, I'm not sure if this is a job I'd otherwise usually give a technical author. Writing scripts should be seen as a kind of development, rather than an 'advanced' QA task. Good script functions should be object-orientated, properly encapsulated and written for adaptability and long-term reuse. That's not something a non-developer can necessarily do, and it's even something I'd be wary of giving to a QA analyst. As such, I would be clear with my line manager that I might need a little time getting up to speed.

* Methods of initial study (classroom, book, Web site, etc.)

I'd suggest self-learning with an IDE in one window and a web tutorial in another. Be sure to read a little on OOP concepts and bits about the 'theory' of creating maintainable software.

* TW success and horror stories in writing scripts for software testing

I did this in my previous job... but I was QA Lead, with tech comms as something I championed when I could get the resources (i.e. rarely). All I can say is not to take short cuts, always to document your code, to aspire to DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself) and never to let release pressures force you to write a hacky or brittle test script. Good luck!

On 27.02.2012 14:54, Dan Goldstein wrote:
For a while now, I've been creating support documentation in Word and
Excel for a software tester. I was asked to learn scripting languages to
help automate her work. One obvious choice is C#, which she herself has
used to automate certain tasks. (The point of my learning to script is
to increase her available time for actual testing.)

The software being tested runs under Windows 2008 and Windows 7 in their
various flavors. I Googled a little and saw that other popular scripting
languages for software testing include My SQL, VBScript, Perl, Ruby,
Python, etc.

It's been years since I studied a programming language, but I know I'll
pick it up quickly. I'd appreciate any input on:

* Advantages and disadvantages of the languages I mentioned
* Other scripting languages to consider
* Methods of initial study (classroom, book, Web site, etc.)
* TW success and horror stories in writing scripts for software testing

TIA,

Dan

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New query: Scripting languages to support software testing: From: Dan Goldstein

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