Front-End Test Fest 2021 Recap

Events — Published July 16, 2021

Last month, Applitools and Cypress hosted the Front-End Test Fest, a free event that brought together leading experts in test automation for a full day of learning and discussion around front-end testing. It was a great opportunity to hear about the latest in the industry and get to hear some really innovative and interesting stories.

We’ve got all the videos ready for you here, so feel free to jump right in below, but let’s recap the event below.

Opening Keynote: Applitools & Cypress: State of the Union – Angie Jones and Amir Rustamzadeh

This talk opened with Amir Rustamzadeh, Director of Developer Experience at Cypress, getting us all familiar with the latest and greatest in the testing tool. We all already know that Cypress is an excellent tool that is highly interactive and visual, but Amir took us on a tour of two new features that look pretty powerful.

These new features were Test Retries and Component Testing. Test Retries allows you to easily retry a test multiple times, helping you to catch and defeat test flake by highlighting how frequently a test passes with some handy analytics in the Cypress Dashboard. A related feature, Test Burn-In, allows you to do the same thing with brand new tests as they’re introduced. As for Component Testing, Amir noted that while this is typically done in a virtual DOM that you can’t debug, Cypress now has a beta where you can use the real browser DOM to mount a component and test it in isolation. Much better!

Angie Jones, Senior Director of Developer Relations at Applitools, then helped us understand the dangers of all-too-common visual bugs. Angie walked us through how Applitools Eyes can give your code super powers to find visual bugs, thanks to Visual AI. This talk covered visual component testing, visual testing of dynamic content, accessibility and localization testing, as well as cross-browser/viewport testing using the Ultrafast Grid. Check it out for a great overview of how to improve your visual testing.

The Allure of Adding Tests to Azure DevOps – Bushra Alam

Azure DevOps is a powerful tool, and if you’re curious about it, this talk will help get you started with it. Busra Alam, Software Quality Analyst, begins by covering the basics about what Azure, DevOps, and of course Azure DevOps means.

Azure Pipelines, part of Azure DevOps, is a tool to build, test and deploy your apps. By running tests in the pipeline, we can discover bugs early and deliver faster feedback with quicker time to market and overall better code quality. Bushra takes us through a live demo that shows how to create a pipeline, run a test and check the results – all automated through Azure, and quickly. She went on to share some advanced tips for running tests in parallel and utilizing release triggers. Check it out for the whole demo.

Bushra Alam

Answer The Call – A Digital Learning Transformation Using Model-Based Testing – Greg Sypolt

EverFi is a socially-conscious educational platform with a large number of courses and individualized learner paths. Greg Sypolt joined them as their VP of Quality Assurance to solve a tricky testing challenge they had – with so many different courses and paths for learners to take, traditional testing just couldn’t cover it all, and it would only get worse as EverFi grew.

Greg’s solution was to launch a multi-pronged approach centered around model-based testing. In this eye-opening talk you’ll see the step-by-step approach Greg used to build his models. Cypress and Applitools as critical components of the process, but there’s a lot more to it. This one is hard to sum up in a couple of sentences but is definitely worth watching to get the full story.

Greg Sypolt

Expert Panel: Successful Test Strategies

Stacy Kirk, CEO/Founder of QualityWorks Consulting Group, moderated this great panel with a trio of testing experts. Kristin Jackvony, Principal Engineer – Quality at Paylocity, Alfred Lucero, Senior Software Engineer at Twilio and Jeff Benton, Staff Software Engineer in Test at RxSaver share their experiences on a range of issues relevant to test engineers everywhere. Learn about the testing tools they used, tips for incorporating testing into the CI/CD process and how you can secure that crucial teamwide buy-in for testing. I won’t spoil it but the parting words from these experts make it clear that the first step for successful testing is to have the conversation with your team on the value of testing, and then just start – it’s ok if you start small with a quick win to get that buy-in quickly.

It’s a (Testing) Trap! – Common Testing Pitfalls and How to Solve Them – Ramona Schwering

How can we avoid trapping ourselves underneath tests that are hard to maintain or worse, don’t even deliver any value? Ramona Schwering, a Developer Core at shopware AG, shared her own mistakes here (and yes, her love of Star Wars) to try and make sure you don’t have to make them too. Ramona has worked as both a developer and in testing so she knows how to speak to both experiences, and this was a very easy to follow, relatable talk. She shared three main pain points (or traps) that tests can fall into – they can be slow, they can be tough to maintain, and they can be “Heisen tests” that are so flakey they don’t tell you anything. Check this one out to hear more about traps and solutions and how you can keep your tests simple.

Ramona Schwering

Testing Beyond the DOM – Colby Fayock

Colby Fayock, Developer Advocate at Applitools, kicked off his talk with a game of “UI Gone Wrong,” taking us through some cringeworthy examples of UI bugs from major organizations that probably cost them revenue or customers. You all know the kind of bug – it happens to everyone sometimes, but does it need to? With Cypress and Applitools working together, Colby showed us that you can do better. He walked us through a live demonstration of how you can easily add Applitools to an existing Cypress test, enhancing the browser automation provided by Cypress with Visual AI to catch any visual bugs. Take a look and see how you can take your testing to the next level.

Colby Fayock

Our Journey to CI/CD: The Trials, Tribulations, & Triumphs – Hector Coronado and Joseph King

As projects get increasingly complex, they get harder to maintain and changes become slower to deploy. That was the issue Hector Coronado and Joseph King were running into as frontend and web application engineers, respectively, at Autodesk. They were working on a React app they had built, the “Universal Help Module,” that provides users several types of support while appearing in multiple locations with varying layouts and UIs. To keep up with the growing complexity, they set out to build a fast and thorough CI/CD pipeline that would include an automated testing strategy.

Hector and Joseph moved away from manual testing and tried many tools for automated functional and visual testing. In the end, Cypress won big as a free all-in-one testing framework that is fast an open source, and they loved Applitools for its blazing speed, simple Cypress SDK, strong cross-browser capabilities and excellent customer support. They put them together to achieve a dream they used to get buy-in – more coverage with less code! Check out their full journey below.

Practically Testing – Kent C. Dodds

You have limited time in your day – should you write that test or fix that bug? That’s the subhead for this talk by Kent C. Dodds, a JavaScript Engineer and Trainer at Kent C. Dodds Tech LLC. Unlike many of the presentations above, which are filled with awesome code examples and demos, Kent’s talk is intended to be a practical one with relatable examples to get you thinking about one key thing: How do you prioritize?

Kent describes his methodology for understanding what’s truly important to your company and its mission and how you can identify your role in pushing that forward. He also reminds all of us that we’re not simply hired as engineers to write code or tests, but as humans to advance a mission. Watch this video for some really humanizing inspiration and to spark some thoughts about how you can get more out of your day.

Kent C. Dodds

Looking for More? Learn about the Future of Mobile Testing

We’ve got you covered with another free event. Our next live Future of Testing: Mobile event takes place on August 10th, and registration is officially open. Check it out and reserve your spot today.

Past Future of Testing: Mobile Events

You can also check out all the videos from our Future of Testing: Mobile event in June here or get a full recap of our Future of Testing: Mobile event from April right here.

Happy testing!

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