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Due to the exceptional circumstances, RoboCon 2021 was organised as an online event.
For us in the IT field, participating in an online event is obviously not a problem. That said, it would have been nice to see colleagues and acquaintances in person. On the other hand, online events have their upsides, too.
Participants could easily to fit the online event’s presentations into their specific schedules and freely choose which presentations to view. This brought a new kind of flexibility to the event, and it was actually quite convenient to be able to watch presentations during suitable moments in between work.
For the purpose of communality, RoboCon had organised a fun virtual Gather environment, which provided participants with the opportunity to use avatars to explore the conference area and visit the booths of various sponsors. Last year’s RoboCon drew people from all over the world, and the same was true for this year’s event, which was highly international in terms of the speakers and participants.
Robot Framework – development and creative solutions
As for Robot Framework itself, the solution has taken many strides over the course of the year. A transition has been made from the old Python to a new one, and the latest Robot Framework version 4.0 is here. The popular Selenium library has been supplemented with the new Browser library, which is faster and easier to use.
At RoboCon, it was once again interesting to see creative solutions for using Robot Framework, such as Tuomas Pitkänen’s presentation on how he uses the framework for music composition. Handy libraries that facilitate tests were also introduced, including Tommi Oinonen’s presentation on his testarchiver, which can be used to see which functions take the most time in test automation, as well as the new Robocop library, which conveniently checks code syntax. New uses had also been added for Datadriver, which was introduced last year. It was interesting to see how open source tools expand and develop in use and how continuous development helps all of us Robot testers and developers.
Even though most of the presentations were aimed at more experienced automation testers, the selection also included geared towards encouraging beginners, as has always been the case. One of these was Dave Martin’s inspiring From zero to hero, which involved Dave talking about how he learned the basics of Robot Framework in a few weeks and was immediately able to use it for a demanding work project. For a Robot Framework tester, RoboCon is an important event for gaining the latest information about developments in the field. It is also very open to new ideas and, for those with enough skill and enthusiasm, provides an easy path to open source development, thanks to the encouraging atmosphere.
The RoboCon report was written by Testimate’s Senior QA Consultant Nadja Mikkilä.
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