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Untagged  7 Apr 2008 12:56 PM
CITCON (Continuous Integration and Testing Conference) North America 2008 in Denver, Colorado by jpeters

The Continuous Integration and Testing Conference is an openspace conference. If you have never attended an open space conference, I would highly recommend them. CITCON was jam packed with passionate Engineers dedicated to all aspects of CI and Testing. Friday night was dedicated to scheduling the topics for the conference. Again, this is the openspace format:


  • Come up with an interesting topic and title for your discussion. (You don't need to develop these before the conference; most of the ideas will come to you during the event.)
  • Fill out a schedule Post-It for your topic.
  • Place the topic on the schedule.
  • If you see topics that have something in common, consider combining them into a single time slot.
  • If a significant number of people want to attend your discussion and another discussion in the same time slot, try to trade into another time slot to ensure maximum dialog and participation.


I attended the following topics on Saturday:

  • Web Testing
  • CI Functional Testing - Running massive amounts of systems tests.
  • How do we create tests that really matter in Agile?
  • Continuous Testing
  • Test Coverage - Metrics for deterring risk


Web Testing - This topic was primarily a discussion between using Watir (Web App Testing in Ruby) vs Selenium for web testing. It was nice to meet Bret Pettichord, one of the core Team Members with Watir. One of the most interesting discussions was around the possibility of a project called Mineral Watir. (Running water tests using Selenium)


CI Functional Testing - Running massive amounts of systems tests - This is an issue that we face here at XAware, Inc. Our functional test suite runs approximately 14 hours. How can you have Continuous Integration when the test suite runs that long? You can't. One of the strategies I'll be looking at is running the tests on different resources. The current strategy will be splitting the tests into two suites that run 6 - 8 hours overnight on different hardware.


How do we create tests that really matter in Agile? - This topics focused on creating automated tests. There was a good quote from Jeffrey Fredrick, "Don't say you can't automate everything, but say, how much does it cost". At XAware, Inc., we try to write every test for the server as an automation test. In fact, this topic had some of the most interesting quotes. "Testers need to be people not machines - Let people be people"


Continuous Testing - There was an impressive demonstration of Infinitest. Infinitest is a continuous JUnit test runner designed to facilitate Test Driven Development. On the functional test side, there were some really enlightening thoughts from Bret Pettichord on failed tests. Bret challenged everyone to get rid of their attachment to these failed tests. Fix them or delete them from the automation run. We have this issue here. I'm committed to working these failed tests over the next two iterations. My love affair with these tests is over.


Test Coverage - This session focused on metrics for determining risk. We had a great discussion on crap4j.  The CRAP metric combines cyclomatic complexity and code coverage from automated tests to help you identify code that might be difficult to maintain. Cyclomatic complexity as defined by McCabe is the number of logical pathways through a function. Some other important tool discussions are listed below which were covered by Paul Duvall, CTO of Stelligent Incorporated.




URL for Eclipse plugin


Coding standard analysis


Test code coverage


Copy/Paste detection


Package dependency analysis


Complexity monitoring


Other quotable quotes:

 "Always post the metrics chart and look for trends"

"70% test coverage only means that 30% has not been tested"

"The only way to have Product Quality is to have Code Quality"


Great conference! I can't wait to go again.

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