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A glimpse of Devoxx

19.04.23
A glimpse of Devoxx - Gravity

If you attended to Devoxx France last week, you may have bumped into the Gravity stand and people from our crew.

A part of our Gravity testing crew at Devoxx

We still are a young product and are eager to know better our (future potential) users. So we took every opportunity to get out of the office to learn from them and raise awareness about our work.

Furthermore, our engineers are still looking for ways to improve their craft and seized the occasion to hear from skilled developers during the many, high-quality, talks. 

In this blog post, we wanted to share with you our very first Devoxx experience.

But what is Devoxx?

To quote the official website:

“Devoxx are annual technology conferences organized by developers for developers around the world.”

We attended the 2023 Devoxx France conference, which took place in Paris, from April 12 to April 14.

Developers come to visit this conference to listen to talks and attend workshops about topics like coding, new practices, AI, team management and so on. During the break times, they can also visit the sponsor’s stand, to learn more about new products or even find new job opportunities.

Our experience as a sponsor

We decided almost at the last minute to sponsor Devoxx. We thought it would be relevant to be there because Gravity targets people owning property over automated tests, who are often software engineers. That’s why we quickly decided to get a stand there. So we would be able to meet people from this target, have a chat and learn from them.

We received people from various companies, with various positions. As we have a new product, we introduced them to Gravity. We took the opportunity to discuss with them their pains in designing end-to-end tests, and our ability to help them. It was very interesting to note that teams either don’t have end-to-end tests or they struggle to produce and maintain those. Also, their main issue is not to automate their tests, but to dimension their end-to-end test suite. Indeed, our discussions confirmed the problems we had already identified and for which we created Gravity:

  • “We have too many tests, and a lot of those test functionalities that are not relevant anymore.”
  • “We have limited resources to develop and maintain our end-to-end tests, we don’t know how to prioritize our test effort.”
  • “The number of tests in our test suite grows exponentially… but the number of bugs doesn’t decrease accordingly.”

Usage-centric testing

As we demonstrated Gravity to people, our Usage-centric Testing approach almost always appeared clever and natural to them. We often started our discussions with: “When we design an end-to-end test, we expect the user to follow a specific journey. In practice, users don’t do what we expect…”. This is the key, we want to test what users actually do. We met more than a hundred people who felt very enthusiastic about Gravity. Many of them want to give our tool a try as soon as possible.

By the way, you can discover Gravity by booking a demo with our team :

We were also able to organize surveys on our stand, with the possibility of winning prizes by drawing lots (Lego Bonsaï, Star wars lamp, …). This allowed us to collect trends around end-to-end testing, and here are the results on a panel of 70 respondents:

1. What are your next goals for your end-to-end test suite?

Results : What are your next goals for your end-to-end test suite ?

From those who want end-to-end-tests:

2. What are your biggest challenges with end-to-end testing?

Results: What are your biggest challenges with end-to-end testing?

3. What frameworks do you use to automate your end-to-end tests?

Results: What frameworks do you use to automate your end-to-end tests?

It was also nice to discuss with those who develop tools or with developers from other companies.

Devoxx was also the opportunity to listen to several talks and attend workshops. We took part in some of them.

Hands-on Lab

Gérôme Grignon and Anthony Pena from SFEIR (https://www.sfeir.com/en/) led a workshop called “Automate your user tests with Cypress“. They started with a quick presentation of this framework, mentioning its advantages and limitations. 

Among the advantages mentioned:

  • it’s free,
  • quick to learn,
  • the interface executing E2E tests is clear and easy to use.

Regarding its limitations: Cypress does not handle multi-tab tests, and it only supports JavaScript for writing tests.

After this presentation, Gérôme and Anthony asked us to turn on our computers and download a project from GitHub (https://github.com/sfeir-open-source/sfeir-school-cypress) to start practicing. This project is made up of many Cypress subprojects, allowing a progressive learning process. It includes the use of commands, aliases, origins, page objects, etc.

This workshop was an opportunity to learn more about Cypress while putting it into practice!

Practice at Devoxx, Cypress

Conference #1 

A conference named  “Playwright: the tool that will revolutionize end-to-end Testing” was presented by Jean-François Greffier from Conserto. In this talk, Jean-François tries to change the misconceptions and apprehensions one might have about end-to-end testing. 

He presents the Playwright testing framework developed by Microsoft and explains how simple it has become to generate and maintain an end-to-end test suite with this framework. He also explained that Playwright has some advantages compared to Cypress: it does not impose a development language for writing tests and supports multi-tab tests. 

However, Jean-François pointed out that Playwright is a young tool that does not yet have a large community. So it is still sometimes difficult to find answers on the subject.

The conference continues with a “live coding” during which Jean-François presents the new “UI mode” of Playwright by explaining its various functionalities, in particular the execution and debugging of end-to-end tests. He ends by presenting Playwright’s “Test Generator”, a tool that allows you to create an end-to-end test in several languages in a few seconds by selecting HTML elements directly on the interface.

This conference was a good way to discover the Playwright framework through live examples.

Conference named 

Conference #2

Juliette Audema from Aircall presented a conference on the subject of user data management called “How to be condemned by the CNIL”. In this conference, she starts by explaining what the CNIL is and its role. The “Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés” is an independent French administrative authority. It ensures the protection of people’s privacy on the web, notably by enforcing the GDPR

Juliette explained that the GDPR is the “General Data Protection Regulation” applied in the European Union. It stipulates all the rules for managing user data that websites must respect in order not to be sanctioned. She detailed some of these rules such as the fact that a user must have the right to access, rectify, oppose, delete, limit, and port their data, or that the possibility to refuse cookies must be as simple as accepting them. 

Following these explanations, Juliette presented cases of companies that have not complied with the GDPR and have been heavily sanctioned, such as Microsoft, which was sentenced by the CNIL to 60 million euros on 19 December 2022. 

Finally, she showed the best practices to be applied to comply with the GDPR and specified that guides are available on the CNIL website (https://www.cnil.fr/) to help companies comply with the regulation.

This conference was a good opportunity to learn more about user data management and compliance with the GDPR.

Juliette Audema presented a conference on the subject of user data management called

See you next year, Devoxx France!

We had a really fun time at Devoxx France! We have been delighted to talk with a lot of lovely people and discuss the issues they are facing with their testing efforts. The enthusiasm met during our Gravity presentations gives us the energy to keep on producing an application that will really improve the daily life of developers and testers regarding end-to-end testing!

Stay tuned!

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