Workshop  | Bret Pettichord

Sixth Annual Austin Workshop on Test Automation (AWTA)

January 7-9, 2005 - Austin, Texas

Open-Source Web Test Tools

AWTA6 Participants

Participants: (left to right) Bret Pettichord, Mike Kelly, Pat  McGee, Scott Barber, Elisabeth Hendrickson, Martin Taylor, Karlin Fox, Chris McMahon, Ryan Wilcox.

Reports from the Workshop

You Can Lead a Mule to Watir, Elisabeth Hendrickson
Testing Tools are Like Screwdrivers, Michael Kelly
Testing at the Browser: A Trip Report, Chris McMahon
AWTA6 Report, Bret Pettichord
WATIR Web Testing Tool all the Rage at AWTA, Atomic Object

Call for Participation

Join us as we review and contribute to open-source tools for the functional testing of web-based applications. Help us understand the strengths and weaknesses of existing open-source tools and work with us to improve them, and make them easier to understand and adopt. The workshop will consist of presentations, discussions and actually sitting down and writing code, documentation, and examples. We seek participation from developers of open-source test tools, testers with experience using them, and people who want to learn more about how they can contribute to open-source efforts.

Workshop Goals

  • Survey existing web testing tools.
  • Make connections between developers on different projects.
  • Improve existing tools.
  • Develop tutorial materials.
  • Publish comparative analysis.


We ask participants to pay a workshop fee of $100 to cover the cost of facilities, refreshments and printing costs; $50 for students and the unemployed. We won't accept any fees from any participants travelling from overseas. Participants are also responsible for their travel and lodging.


We expect all participants to the contribute to the workshop in one way or another. Past AWTA workshops focussed on presentations with active engagement with the audience. We'll continue to do some of this. But we also will be planning time to allow people to actually plan and make contributions to open-source projects. As the workshop approaches we will be planning specific projects to focus on based on participant interest.

Attending the Workshop

Participation in this workshop is by invitation based on a letter of introduction. There will be a limit of 25 participants. We seek participants from a variety of backgrounds, including those who:

  • Have experience with test tools, including both commercial and open-source tools.
  • Have experience contributing to open-source projects.
  • Have experience with agile development methods.
  • Have original perspectives that will be valuable to the group.

All participants will be asked to contribute to workshop projects that we intend to make available through open-source licenses. They will also be expected to pay the workshop fee.

If you are interested in attending, please send us a letter of introduction. It should have two parts:

  1. Background. Describe your background and experience related to the workshop topic.
  2. Contribution. Describe how you would like to contribute to the workshop. Do you have a presentation you'd like to make or a project you'd like to work on?

Send your letters to,, and We will be reviewing letters on a rolling basis. You should expect to hear from us within a few days of submission. Upon acceptance, your letter will be shared with other workshop attendees. Participants are expected to attend the entire workshop, unless other arrangements have been made with the organizers.


The workshop will be held at the Norris Conference Center, featuring ergonomic office chairs and internet access.

Participants may choose to stay at the Summerfield Suites, adjacent to the Norris Conference Center.

Time Frame

The formal program will be during the following times.

Friday 7 January, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday 8 January, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday 9 January, 8:30 am to 12:00 noon

All participants are expected to attend during these times.

An optional dinner will be held Thursday evening, which will be open to family and guests. Details on the location of this dinner will be made available at a later date.

The workshop facilities will be available Sunday afternoon; we expect that some participants will stay for smaller group sessions.


Bret Pettichord is a lead contributor to the WATIR and Selenium open-source web test tools. He teaches the Scripting Web Tests class, based on these tools. All of these class materials are also open-sourced. He is co-author of Lessons Learned in Software Testing, and director of testing practice at ThoughtWorks. His website is

Elisabeth Hendrickson has published an open-source tool for testing .Net GUI's. She is an independent consultant specializing in software testing and test automation. Her website is

Cem Kaner is Professor of Computer Science at Florida Tech. He also directs the Center for Software Testing Education and Research which creates, collects and distributes open-source materials for teaching software testing. He is lead author of Testing Computer Software, Lessons Learned in Software Testing, and Bad Software. His website is

Information about AWTA5
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