Testers ARE Developers at Microsoft

On Thursday I asserted that testers MUST be developers. Overnight Chris Dickens has posted up an insightful piece on automated testing with specific references to UI testing. It looks like I was right on the money here (my assertion passed). I always find UI testing facinating because of the challenges involved. I normally end trying to figure out a better way to do it – alas, no solution so far.

Longhorn should make it easier to do testing on XAML based applications because in theory you should be able to hook into the graphics stack and test the primatives before they get rendered. From memory there was a session at the PDC on that, I’ll have to go back and look at the DVD set I have.

By the way, I used to do a fair bit of setup automation and one of the tools that I used to use before Windows Installer technology was in vogue was a little tool from the NT resource kit called ScriptIt. It was basically an INI file with a simple grammer that allowed you to send keystrokes to the screen (across multiple processes).

One of its neat features was the ability to trigger other sets of keystrokes based on the text on the screen. From what I gather it must work a bit like Spy++ does under the covers and enumerated the contents of the Windows (in the programmatic sense, not the product sense) in the application to decided what triggers apply.

It would be interesting to get the source code for this and Spy++ and see if some kind of easy to access managed wrapper could be put around its functionality. I’ll have to file that under pet project 1456.2B. Sure would be fun though!

2 thoughts on “Testers ARE Developers at Microsoft

  1. Chris Garty

    Increasing testability in software design is a great thing.

    My personal research point right now is to find out how much testing the software developers at Microsoft do. Or in a question: Do developers at Microsoft perform automated unit testing and/or TDD?

  2. Anu

    Yep Chris – Devs do perform automated unit testing on their code. This is usually run on every checkin to ensure that they dont break something.

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