In the Automated Testing Kitchen

The following is a Guest Blog Post by Scott Andery.

Scott Andrey is an expert marketer, author and consultant who specialize in software testing tools and resources. You can follow him on Tweeter: @ScottAndery


Automated testing can be complicated. Why not simplify things by associating a harmless food name with something related to automated testing? The name will be easy to remember, have happy associations with a kind of food, and allow for a fun graphic! In fact, perhaps this is a lesson learned from the fruit-named company that makes iOS! I started writing down a list of food names associated with automated testing, and this is what I came up with (let me know if you think of any others!):

Calabash – In the food world, it is a kind of squash that grows on a tree. I admit it, I had to look that up – I knew that the tree produced exotic-looking hard gourds, but I didn’t know what fruit it bore. In the automated testing world, Calabash is a set of libraries used for automated acceptance tests in Cucumber for Android and iOS mobile apps. It is open-source and free, and requires Ruby.

cucumberCucumber – In the food world, this is a long green vegetable that grows on vines. In the automated testing world, it is for Behavior-Driven development. One of the books on Cucumber is even called Cucumber Recipes! Libraries from Calabash (see above) allow Cucumber to run automated functional tests. Steps in Cucumber look like: [Given/When/Then] I [verb] [thing the action pertains to]. One of the arguments of the initialize command is kernel, which of course also means a piece of corn.

egg plant

eggPlant – In the food world, this purple vegetable is part of the nightshade family, and called “aubergine” in the UK. In the automated testing world, eggPlant (owned by TestPlant – a UK company that did not change the name to “Aubergine”) comprises a variety of tools designed for various testing needs, including functional, load/performance, mobile and network. . The tools are relevant in agile, mobile, web and DevOps deployments.

Gherkin – In the food world, a gherkin is a pickled cucumber. In the automated testing world, Gherkin is a line-oriented programming language that is straight-forward for the technical- unsavvy and is used to describe behavior. If this sounds like Cucumber, you’re right! Gherkin is Cucumber’s language, and you do not have to be pickled to use it.

Omelet – In the food world, an omelet is an egg dish where the beaten eggs are cooked in a pan and folded around a variety of ingredients. In the test automation world, Omelet is an automation library for Selenium WebDriver, which is built in Java and uses TestNG and can be used for cross-browser testing. Ironically, eggs are a great source of selenium.

Sauce Labs – In the food world, sauce is the flavorful liquid stuff you put on non-liquid stuff. In the automated testing world, Sauce Labs provides the world’s largest cloud-based platform for the automated testing of web and mobile applications. Sauce Labs’ secure and reliable testing service enables users to run JavaScript unit and functional tests written with Selenium and Appium, both open source tools sponsored by Sauce Labs, on their native, hybrid, mobile web, and desktop apps across over 700 browsers and platforms – in parallel – without setting up or maintaining test infrastructure.

Selenium – In the food world, it is an essential micronutrient for animal life forms. In the testing world, Selenium is an open source tool for automated software testing, supported by a large community. It is free, browser-neutral, very popular, and supports many programming languages (one of which is drink-related: Java). The name Selenium comes from a joke mocking a competitor named Mercury, saying that you can cure “Mercury poisoning” by taking  Selenium supplement.


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