Thursday, September 24, 2009

More conferences featuring Robot Framework

Before the summer I wrote about conferences I was going to talk about Robot Framework or Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD) using it. Most of those conferences are already in the past and the feedback has been pretty positive. It seems that the number of users is growing steadily and a lot of that is probably due to these presentations.

Here's an updated list of the conferences somehow featuring Robot Framework that are still ahead this year.

PyCon India 2009

- 26th-27th September, Bengaluru, India

Sai Venkatakrishnan gives a talk titled Driving Development using Examples - A Robot Framework Approach. The talk looks very interesting, and because the conferences looks also good otherwise and is pretty cheap, I highly recommend this to all Robot Framework users in Bengaluru.

Agile Testing Days

- 12th-14th October, Berlin, Germany

As I already wrote earlier, I will give Introduction to Robot Framework talk with pretty self explaining content. A bigger news is that Elisabeth Hendrickson uses Robot Framework in her Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) in Practice tutorial.

Agile Testing Days has a really good speaker lineup and I'm really looking forward to it myself. As a speaker I got these discount codes to share with you: SPEAKERSTUT010 gives 10% discount for the tutorials and SPEAKERCON020 20% for the conference.

Scandinavian Agile Conference 2009

- 15th-16th October, Helsinki, Finland

Juha Rantanen and Janne Härkönen and I organize similar Executable Requirements in Practice workshop/presentation we did at XP 2009 conference. For more information see

Scan-Agile is a local conference for me but you cannot really tell that from the excellent international speakers list.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Comments to Robot Framework review by Gojko Adzic

Gojko Adzic organized Agile acceptance testing tools round-up on 27 May 2009 at Skills Matter in London. One of the tools he presented was Robot Framework and he published Robot Framework review on his blog afterwards.

Gojko's review is very well written, especially thinking that it is mainly based on the documentation on the project pages. The review is also pretty positive which obviously makes me happy. I had a change to see his text already before the presentation and some of my comments are included in the blog post. After re-reading the text I decided to add few more comments here. The comments below are organized into same sections as in the original review.


It was great that Gojko spent some time to explain the keyword-driven concept behind Robot Framework and included my comment about how it makes the library API simple. I hope he had also shown that although this approach is simple, it's also very powerful and it is possible to create different kind of test cases using it. Robot Framework Quick Start Guide has very good examples of "normal" keyword driven tests, data-driven tests, and tests using the behavior-driven development (BDD) style.

Organising and editing tests

This is a good section about creating tests. Unfortunately the example, taken from the examples we use for explaining complex features, is pretty technical. For example the earlier mentioned Quick Start Guide has examples that are much better as tests. Normally when I talk how tests are organized into files and directories, I also mention how trivial it is to put them into a version control system. This is probably obvious to everyone reading the review, though.


This section discusses tags and how they can be used for filtering tests and marking tests critical. Gojko's examples are very good, I especially like that they are from his own domain, and they illustrate these important features very well. The only thing I wish was mentioned too is how tags can be used to get statistics about passed and failed tests.

Compared to other tools

Gojko writes that Robot Framework is best suited for scripting tasks. Although I totally agree that RF suits very well for traditional scripted test automation, I'd like to highlight that creating also other kind of tests is possible. This is illustrated by the examples in the Quick Start Guide, and the executable requirements we created when developing RFDoc tool act as more realistic examples. In my opinion it is also a huge benefit that the same tool can be used for "normal" scripted testing, for creating BDD style executable specifications, and for constructing tabular examples with only input and output values.

One of the many points where I fully agree with Gojko is that Robot Framework can be used for creating domain specific languages. This can actually be done on many levels. For example SeleniumLibrary has its own web specific language with keywords like Click Link and Title Should Be, application specific language could have keywords like Input Password or Welcome Page Should Be Open, and finally on the specification level the language often sounds something like Given a user has logged in.

Reports and logs

The only bigger subject missing from the review was a section with this title. Reports and logs are something where Robot Framework is, at least in my opinion, ahead of other acceptance testing tools by a wide margin. The high-level report can be used for visualizing the overall status, detailed logs give accurate information about the test execution, and XML outputs can be easily integrated e.g. with CI systems and even combined to generate higher level reports.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Conference appearances

I have been fortunate to be accepted to speak at several conferences in 2009. All these talks and workshops are at least related to Robot Framework, and they are listed below in chronological order.

UPDATE: See also a latter post about more conferences featuring Robot Framework.


- 25th-28th May, Sardinia, Italy

I organize a workshop titled Executable Requirements in Practice with fellow Robot Framework developers Juha Rantanen and Janne Härkönen. The workshop is scheduled for Thursday, 28th May 14:00-17:30 and more information about it can be found from


- 28th June-4th July, Birmingham, UK

My talk Acceptance Testing with Robot Framework will introduce the audience to Robot Framework and explain how to extend it with Python. For more information see

EuroPython 2009

Agile 2009

- 24th-28th August, Chicago, USA

Elisabeth Hendrickson and I organize a demonstration titled Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) in Practice. It is scheduled for Tuesday, 25th August 16:00-17:30, and we'll be presenting on the Main Stage. Full details are available at

Agile 2009

Agile Testing Days

- 12th-14th October, Berlin, Germany

I give a talk Introduction to Robot Framework with pretty self explaining content.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The (in)famous first post

Hello, world! My name is Pekka Klärck and I'm a tester-developer and software contractor from Finland. I am also the lead developer of Robot Framework, a highly flexible open source acceptance testing framework. I work through my one-man company Eliga Oy and you can find some more information about me and my services from those pages.

This blog is likely to contain a lot of posts somehow related to Robot Framework. Other topics that are likely to show up include test automation in general, Agile testing and Python programming. I don't plan to use this blog too much for personal posts, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't ever write about my favorite hobbies like telemark skiing.

I've been thinking about starting a blog nearly a year and I'm happy to finally get this first post off my back. I hope it doesn't take that long time until the first post with some real content!