Gerard Meszaros is Chief Scientist at ClearStream Consulting, a Calgary-based consulting company specializing is agile development processes.... Read More
Gerard Meszaros is Chief Scientist at ClearStream Consulting, a Calgary-based consulting company specializing is agile development processes. Gerard wrote his first programs on punch cards in the late 1970’s and joined Nortel’s R&D subsidiary in 1981 as a software developer and later development manager, project manager and software architect. More recently, he built his first automated unit testing framework in 1996 and has been doing automated unit testing ever since. Along the way, he has become an expert in test automation patterns, refactoring of software and tests, and design for testability. Gerard has applied automated unit and acceptance testing on projects ranging from full-on eXtreme Programming to traditional waterfall development.
While most of the automated unit testing was done using members of the xUnit family such as JUnit and NUnit, he has also been a pioneer in the use of Tests as Specification at the functional test level. To this end he has applied Recorded Test tools such as Quicktest Professional, scripted Test tools such as JUnit and NUnit as well Data-Driven Test tools such as Fit. He also designed a Recorded Test tool capability that was built into a safety critical system to manage risk as the system was re-engineered and ported to a different platform and architecture. The business credits this built-in test capability with significant reductions in elapsed time and effort as well as greatly increased business confidence in the system and IT’s ability to enhance it..
While he is best known for his thought leadership in test automation, he is also a leading expert in the application and customization of agile methods such as Scrum and eXtreme Programming and has been one of the early proponents of including User/Usage Centered Design (UxD) practices on agile projects. He is typically involved in the early parts of projects where the project scope and development process are first decided. This includes envisioning the finished product, designing the product for fitness-for-purpose, and usability, deciding on an appropriate release strategy, and determining how the project will be managed and measured. He is typically involved in developing the system architecture and test strategy either doing the work directly or by coaching team members on how these traditionally waterfall activities can be done in a more agile fashion. A key agile component of these is the test automation strategy and the design-for-testability that must be built into the system to make test automation cost-effective.
In addition to onsite coaching and leadership, Gerard also conducts training on the topics of Agile Requirements, Storytest-Driven Development, Automated Unit Testing for Developers, and Agile Estimation and Planning. He has been a frequent presenter of papers and tutorials at major conferences such as Agile 200x, the European Conferences on XP and Agile practices, OOPSLA, SD Best Practices, and his work is often cited by industry notables such as Alistair Cockburn, James Coplien, Martin Fowler, and Jeff Patterson. His book xUnit Test Patterns – Refactoring Test Code was published in May 2007 by Addison Wesley in the Martin Fowler Signature Series.
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