Test Automation Tips

Test Automation Tips

The Test Automation Tips is an irregular newsletter with tips on how to write automated test. It is being published by me (Gabor Szabo) and is sent out to the registered users.


I have been doing test automation for many years and teaching courses in the subject. The class called QA Test Automation using Perl has been running in various formats since 2003.

On 23 May 2008 I decided to set up this newsletter in order to share some of my experience with people who cannot attend my classes.


While I am not sure what the exact content will be, I have some directions.

  • For sure I'll give tips on how to write better unit tests in Perl.
  • The QA Test Automation using Perl course also contains lots of slides on how to test various applications such as web applications, databases, file systems, firewalls, routers etc. using Perl. I am going to take ideas from there an discuss them on this newsletter.
  • I am also planning to add information on how to write unit tests in other languages - mostly the dynamic flavors such as Python, PHP and Ruby - and how to integrate between the tests written in several languages.
  • In addition if you are interested in a topic, please let me know. If it also interests me, I'd be glad to write about it.


  1. Testing Hello World
  2. TAP - Test Anything Protocol
  3. How many test harnesses are too many?
  4. Mocking real world to test a wrapper
  5. Shimming for testing Perl 6 code released to CPAN
  6. Testing PHP code with SimpleTest
  7. Testing PHP Applications
  8. Testing a (Perl) Web application without a lot of setup
  9. Reporting Test Results
  10. Introduction to PHPUnit
  11. Testing a simple Perl module
  12. Test for warnings in a Perl Module


  • Mocking external services
  • Writing tests for an already existing application
  • White box testing, black box testing and what's in between
  • Testing web applications
  • Testing command line applications
  • Separating test code and test data
  • Better failure reports using Test::More
  • Test coverage: eliminating unused code
  • Test coverage: fixing a bug
  • What's the difference between unit test, integration test and acceptance test?


This is double opt-in mailing list, just like most of the lists today. First you have to type in your e-mail address and optionally your name. Then you'll get an e-mail message with instructions on how to finish your subscription.
When you had enough, you can easily unsubscribe the same way.

Language specific web sites and mailng lists

Some of the programming languages have their own testing or qa related web sites and mailing lists.

  • On the Perl-QA mailing list people discuss both how to write test for Perl applications but also on how to write test for anything else.
  • PHP-QAT is the location where people discuss the QA aspects of PHP itself.
  • PHP-PEAR-QA is mainly for PEAR package maintainers.
  • Python does not have a QA team but there is a good Testing related mailing list called TIP - Testing in Python
  • Ruby?