Monday, February 26, 2007

Testing Tools Panel at PyCon

I'd like to thank the participants in the Testing Tools Panel at PyCon07 for sharing their insights into testing with the audience. Here they are, in alphabetical order of first name:
  • Benji York: zope.testbrowser
  • Brian Dorsey: py.test (representing Holger Krekel)
  • Chad Whitacre: testosterone (created) switched to nose
  • Ian Bicking: paste.test.fixture, minimock, FitLoader
  • Jeff Younker: PyMock
  • Kumar McMillan: fixture - module for loading and referencing test data
  • Martin Taylor: test framework within TI
  • Neal Norwitz: PyChecker
  • Tim Couper: WATSUP (Windows GUI Testing)
  • Titus Brown: twill, scotch, figleaf, pinocchio

Matt Harrison has a very good write-up on the discussions we had during the panel (actually I lifted the list above from his blog post, because he summarized it so well).

One thing that I think all the participants felt, and maybe the audience too, was that 45 minutes was totally not sufficient for this kind of panel. And I know I felt the same thing with the other two panels, for Python-dev and for the Web frameworks. So I'd like to ask people to leave some comments on this post, with ideas about turning these panels into discussions that would last longer, at least 1 hour and even more.

My gut feeling is that there would be a lot of interest in getting framework/library/tool creators together and having a discussion/Q&A with them in front of the audience, with audience participation of course. I'm not sure what the best format would be for this kind of thing -- maybe a round table? But if we get enough ideas, maybe we can fit something like this in next year's PyCon schedule, and allocate it a generous amount of time.


Dave said...


I was at both the Testing Tutorial day as well as the Testing Panel (along with all of Sunday's testing talks) and I can't say enough good things about what was presented. Awesome job!

In regards to the testing panel - I agree there wasn't nearly enough time to get the most out of the panel. One idea might be to have a lunch time panel day at Pycon08 where for one lunch break people can sit in on panel discussions (hopefully with more audience participation and code examples). This would give at least an hour for panels, maybe even more!!

David said...

I completely agree with your comments on the time for these panels. I enjoyed both the testing panel and the web framework panel, but from the start I was thinking: "Well, I guess each person is going to get about 4 minutes."

It would be great to see a discussion where there could be more depth.

Grig Gheorghiu said...

Dave and David -- thanks for the comments, I'm glad you found the tutorial and the panels useful. The lunch break idea is good, and it would indeed give the panelist more time.


Anonymous said...

Good job Grig. Thanks for spreading the word and putting in the time to do this. I think it turned out well.

Now that I think about it, perhaps these would be good as BOFS. Say a unittesting BOF one night, and WEB/GUI another. (Or pick whichever testing topic floats your boat). The BOF format seems to bring out more lively discussion and participation. Plus it can turn out to be 3 hours long if needed (like one of the twisted ones I went to)

Grig Gheorghiu said...

Matt -- thanks for the comments and the suggestion. I also noticed that a BOF is a good way to bring together people interested in a certain topic. The only problem (if it is a problem) is that BOFs tend to be neglected by the 'general public', and you end up with fewer people attending. But those people are the ones who are really interested in the topic, so maybe it's OK.

Steve said...

Do remember, as well, that the lunch time room refreshment (changing glasses and replenishing supplies) was rather disruptive to Guido's keynote, so lunchtime might not be as good an idea as it at first appears.

The dev panel could also have been longer, so maybe we should look at a format that allows this. Give the delegates what they want, I say.

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