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ExpertTalks Liverpool - Let’s Talk Automation Strategy & Making Testability Our Mission

On Tuesday evening I attended an "ExpertTalks Liverpool" event organised by Equal Experts. They run a number of meetups across the UK and this was the third one in Liverpool. The evening started with an open bar (with some lovely craft ales available) and some sandwiches and wraps.


First up was Samuel Durand with a lightning talk on "Making a SAAS", discussing the challenges when converting an in-house application into a multi-tenant 'service'. To be honest there was a huge amount of information presented in a very short amount of time so it was hard to keep up! He covered how you need to identify the differences in your clients and your processes to ensure your application can be configurable enough to cope.  The storage of personal data and GDPR was covered not only in how the data is stored but also that you need to consider what personal information may be written to log files, etc. and the access controls that you need in place.  What kind of technical support should you offer, are your clients expecting 24/7 or certain levels of support.

He then moved on to cover the technical challenges that such a conversion experiences. Do you have a separate codebase for each client which is great for ensuring one client's new requirements don't interfere with another client's system but very difficult to ensure that all clients receive appropriate updates and patches. You've also got a high risk of code divergence.

Other aspects covered were data isolation, asset/product storage, transactions and security. There was then a short break to get a refill from the bar and to do a bit of networking before the first of the two main talks.

"Pyramids Are Ancient - Let’s Talk Automation Strategy" by Richard Bradshaw
Richard's talk was that you shouldn't just be focusing on one of the many different 'testing triangles' looking for the one-size-fits-all but instead investigate your context to ensure you test it in the right way. I've found that Richard's talk is already on YouTube when he gave the talk at SauceCon'19:



After another trip to the bar and some more good conversation it was time for the final talk of the evening.

"Making Testability Our Mission" by Ash Winter
Ash focused not on how to test a system but on how to make a system more testable. How it's everyone's responsibility to examine the system under test and point out and advise on how to make it more easily testable. He ran through a number of principles which can be followed to make testable systems.  Ash's slides for the presentation can be found on SlideShare.


All three of these talks were being videoed by Equal Experts, I'll update this post once they become available.

It was an excellent evening and I'd like to thank Equal Experts for organising and hosting the event and for putting the money behind the bar. Thanks to Samuel, Richard and Ash for presenting such an interesting and informative evening.

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