Posts in Automation
Submit an automated test that fails along with your bug report
We touched on this one before with this tip from Dave Christiansen, however the topic came up again at last month's IWST. Depending on the tools you use, you might consider attaching automated scripts to your defects. If you can find a bug, and then quickly record a simple script that recreates it, attach that and send it along with the defect report.

This tip was part of a brainstorm developed at the September 2011 Indianapolis Workshop on Software Testing on the topic of "Documenting for Testing." The attendees of that workshop (and participants in the brainstorm) included: Charlie Audritsh, Scott Barber, Rick Grey, Michael Kelly, Natalie Mego, Charles Penn, Margie Weaver, and Tina Zaza.

Review: VBScript vs. JScript
This is the review I stumbled upon. Not a fresh news, but all up to date, brought carefully in one place. The fragment is quoted below.
VBScript and JScript are extremely lightweight ActiveX Scripting languages. ActiveX Scripting Engines may be used in a variety of Microsoft environments: Windows Scripting Host, HyperText Applications, HyperText Components and scripting for Internet Explorer, and classic Active Server Pages. There are other ActiveX Scripting languages, such as ActivePerl and ActivePython, but these tend to be complete languages in contrast to the minimal logic layer that VBScript and JScript provide. In fact, VBS/JS must use ActiveX/COM components to accomplish anything other than trivial tasks. This optimization results in some noteworthy shortcomings in both languages.

VBScript Strengths

  • The De Facto Standard

  • By Reference Parameters

  • Formatting Functions

  • Data Conversion

  • Date/Time Support

  • Built-In Iterator Support

  • Constants

  • "With" Blocks

Sauce Labs
In his talk on screen recording APIs, Jason Horn mentioned he's an avid fan of Sauce Labs and their hosted Selenium solutions. There are a host of features and pricing starts from free (Linux and FireFox, limited to 500 min/month) and goes up to monthly and enterprise pricing. You can try some of the premium services with a free trial if you want to check it out. While I haven't personally used the product, I really like the idea and I'll have to check them out on an upcoming project.
Data generation on-the-fly
Today's tip comes from Trish Khoo.
In her post "Go faster! Linking data generation to hotkeys" she describes a handy and elegant way of linking data generating Ruby scripts to AutoHotKey.
Windows key + w = Generates 2 random words and copies them to my clipboard.
Windows key + e = Generates a randomized email address that will still point to my account and copies it to my clipboard.
Windows key + c = Randomly selects a URL from a list of test email campaigns and copies it to my clipboard.

That’s everything I need to fill out most forms in the application I’m testing. So when I just need safe, unique inputs, I can save a few seconds on each screen while filling in forms. More importantly, I don’t have to break my focus in order to find or generate appropriate test data.

This is an automation of a special kind. The kind that assists in sapient testing.