Thursday, April 4, 2019

Testing all the World's Apps with AI: an #STPCon Live Blog Entry

We are here on the last day of STP-Con Spring 2019. Today is going to be nice for me in that I won't have any responsibilities short of listening and typing these blog posts. It feels so good to be "done" when it comes to speaking. I enjoy it, don't get me wrong, but there's a level of focus and energy that takes up all of your focus until you're finished. I'm happy to be on the other side for the rest of the conference.

This morning we are listening to Jason Arbon talking about testing with AI. Part of the puzzle to use AI is to teach machines the following concepts:


These are concepts our machines have to come to grips with to be able to leverage AI and have us gain the benefits of using it. Our machines need to be able to see what they are working with, they need to be able to determine the intent of tests, to judge their fitness and purpose (machines making judgment calls? This might make a number of my long-held assertions obsolete ;) ). Machines need to be able to reuse the code and the learnings that they have been able to apply. The systems need to be able to scale up to run a lot of tests to gather a representative set of data. Finally, the scripts and apps need to be able to respond to the feedback loop.

Jason is showing examples of "Automated Exploratory Testing". Wait, what? well, yes, there are some things we can do that would certainly correspond with what we would call classic exploratory testing. At least we can look at a variety of examples of what we would normally do. Sure, a human could be super random and do completely whacked out things, but most of us will use a handful of paths and approaches, even if we are in exploratory mode. Thus, it is possible to look at a lot of "what if" scenarios. It requires a lot of programming and advanced work, but at some point, we can collect a lot of data to do certain things. There's a convergence force at play so yeah, I guess bots can do exploratory testing too :).

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