RisingSTAR January update

Going into January I believed I had the relatively straight-forward task of deciding how to position inclusive automation and Jupyter Notebooks. To determine who the audience would be and then build a strategy around how to communicate value to them.

I thought this would be a relatively straight forward task. That maybe with a few nuggets of advice I’d be on my way.

As I reflected on the topic, exchanged messages and had conversations with some of the RisingSTAR Supporters (mentors), it’s become increasingly clear that the dynamics and relationships between testing, automation and management are complex and nuanced. While at the same time the currently accepted solutions and practices are expected or perceived to be simple and straightforward.

What I have come to see is that more foundational work is necessary to give the concept legs to stand on. This means taking some time to research and refine, because through talking and attempting to write up my ideas I’m finding things are not as clearly defined as they need to be.

In terms of Tooling / Technology, I made solid progress on using Docker to simplify the setup of using Selenium inside of Jupyter Notebooks. It’s looking like I have a basic pattern I can follow to have language support for Ruby, Java, JavaScript and C#. Docker adds a layer of complexity, but it drastically improves the setup experience, reducing the barriers to entry.

Still work to be done in terms of building example tests and notebooks across the languages but it feels like good progress is being made. In my update video this month I have a demo of Java being used in the notebooks which I believe is a big step. In addition to it being a very popular language, it’s a statically typed compiled language, one that people may not expect notebooks to work in.

I’ve also done a webinar speaking about the automation maturity model described in my RisingSTAR submission. I spent some time talking about this inclusive automation and Jupyter Notebooks and the on going efforts and support this year. If you are interested the recording is available at Beaufort Fairmont Webinars.

I hope to be able to more of things like this over the coming year to try and draw attention and focus to the concept/project. The EuroSTAR team are helping to facilitate a series of webinars on Huddle and we will be supporting me in getting the word out and conversations started.

Overall 2020 has been busy to start. Some of these first months will be about finding a rhythm to the project, balancing the planning and coordinating with the doing.

I hope you take time to watch together my video update summarizing the month and also including a short demo using Java inside notebooks.

In the coming month, I am targeting investigation/research/effort on:

Test Automation Patterns

  • What patterns exist
  • Their relationship to inclusive automation and Jupyter Notebooks
  • Potential for new patterns

Roles in Automation:

  • Creators, Executors, Consumers of automation
  • The associated Responsibilities and Expectations of those roles

Supporting Content for Inclusive Automation

  • Models -> Building on the Quality Cathedral concept
  • Strategy
  • Concrete Examples

JavaScript Notebooks

  • I’m excited about JS and it’s another popular language to demonstrate.

January has been a challenging and exciting month and I am looking forward to moving this forward over the coming year.

About the Author


I am a Software Design Engineer in Test based out of Santa Barbara, California. Working in a variety of testing roles since 2009. I am responsible for creating and executing testing strategies and using his coding powers for developing tooling to help make testers lives easier. He writes tests at all levels from unit and integration tests to API and UI tests. I blog on testing and automation at Brendanconnolly.net or follow me on Twitter @theBConnolly
Find out more about @brendanconnolly