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Author: Thomas Max
22. September 2022

From mgm's coffee kitchen to test automation with QF-Test

Lilia Gargouri is head of the mgm Quality Team together with Martin Varendorff. In this interview, she describes how she found her way to QF-Test, what’s important to her in test automation, and her hopes for the closer cooperation between our companies in the future.

QFS: Lilia, we’ve been working together across companies for many years. How and when exactly did you find your way to QF-Test?

Over nine years ago now, during one of the testing phases of my project at the time, I overheard in the coffee kitchen that our QA department was being faulted for a single persistent yellow job in our automated testing pipeline. I was a senior software developer at the time and had little to do with quality assurance. So I spontaneously and voluntarily offered my help to QA. And so, on June 27, 2013, I received a link with installation instructions for QF-Test.

That day was the beginning of a success story for me with QF-Test at mgm.

QFS: What spontaneously comes to mind when you think of test automation with QF-Test?

Ease of use. It’s very visual. Self-explanatory. Very pleasant. I quickly found my way around the tool. I didn’t need any training for beginners.

QFS: What is your philosophy when it comes to test automation?

It was immediately clear to me that test automation is also software development. Test automation projects need to be set up in a structured way so that they remain readable, maintainable, and extensible over the years. If the package structure mirrors the UI structure, and the parameter names of procedures follow the order and names in the UI, then no one needs to be trained in the code. For this, names of procedures and test cases must be meaningful and instantly indicate their primary function.

Each test case must be seen as a unit and must be executable at any time, independent of the test cases before and after it.

Redundant code kills a test project faster than you think. Centralizing code is a very important key to success. It greatly reduces maintenance efforts.

Here are a few key questions I ask myself during development:

  • What is the focus of this test case?
  • What about implicit and explicit testing? Do I really need this step if an upcoming step covers the same implicitly anyway.
  • How do I keep track of the quality of the whole project? Do I have good test coverage?
  • How do I implement test cases that cover a lot, are easily maintainable and don’t take too long to execute?

Lilia from mgm and Thomas from QFS together in one of their many video call sessions

Lilia from mgm and Thomas from QFS together in one of their many video call sessions

QFS: What features of QF-Test do you find most helpful, especially in terms of test development?

The introduction of Scopes and SmartIDs was a critical leap for QF-Test. It has opened the gates wide for generic solutions. Scope and SmartIDs are very easy to explain, understand and use. They are also super powerful, easy to maintain, parameterize, centralize, and bring a lot of accuracy and stability.

I switched all the test automation projects I was managing at the time to SmartIDs three months after my introduction to Scopes and SmartIDs. I also implemented a model-based software solution “automated test automation tool” that generates test code for model-based applications and uses QF-Test to automatically populate and validate the UI. This significantly reduced the implementation and maintenance efforts in the projects. After this, QF-Test and me became obviously unstoppable at mgm.

Analogous to the scopes and SmartIDs, I find the mappings in the CustomWebResolver very powerful. The accuracy to recognize a project specific component on the UI and render it in a stable manner can be controlled there. I discovered #Class:, #Type: as well as #MyOwnClass: there and can address many things more precisely without my extensions affecting other types of the same class. Utterly powerful and very exciting!

QFS: How have you experienced the team at QFS behind QF-Test over the years?

Totally nice people. Very friendly, patient and knowledgeable. The exchange with the QFS team was always fruitful. I have learned a lot over the years. I made the solutions I developed with the team at QFS available internally to the mgm projects in a central test automation FAQ. QFS reminds me a lot of mgm when I joined 22 years ago. Maybe that’s why I felt very comfortable with the QFS team from the beginning.

QFS: A few weeks ago we celebrated a “wedding” between mgm Technology Partners and Quality First Software, in the future we’ll work together even more closely. What do you think about this?

I knew about this years ago when it was just an idea. To me, it was overdue.

Now that QFS is part of the mgm family, more new doors are opening for innovations, visions and mega-exciting features.

I’m very much looking forward to a promising future together. Test automation, now more than ever!

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