About Željko Filipin

Software tester at the Wikimedia Foundation. Testing all the things.

Watir Team News

I have some great and some sad news. Let’s start with great news.

Great News! :)

Joel Pearson

Joel Pearson

Joel Pearson joins the team as support sheriff.

Bret Pettichord’s nomination:

I would like to nominate Joel Pearson as a support sheriff for Watir. He is active every day on the ruby-talk mailing, answering questions about testing with Ruby and frequently recommending Watir-Webdriver as a solution.


Here is an example of what I am talking about.



Joel about himself:

Hi all,

Hopefully I’ve done this correctly as I’ve previously always used
forum interfaces for mailing lists.

My programming experience is just over 2 years, Ruby for about 1 year.
I started using Watir-Webdriver just under a year ago while trying to
build an automated interface for a web-based stock system. I basically
just built a few front-ends for ease of use, capable of batching
repetitive tasks and analysing information.

Since then I’ve developed some of my own wrapper classes to use within
my company for reporting and bulk processing, allowing me to write
customisable reports quickly from a template. I would say I’m still a
novice programmer, but as I’m being paid for this work I guess I’m
technically a “professional”.

I’ve made a few minor alterations to my local watir-webdriver files.
The main one was adding an optional timeout length while waiting for
javascript alerts. I wrote that a while ago so I could probably do it
better now.

I’ve also started work on my own gem which attempts to emulate
Microsoft Excel’s API as an invisible workbook class. This is to
simplify manipulation of data when analysing HTML tables, and to make
the transition from Excel VBA to Ruby a bit easier. It’s still in the
early stages of development at present.

The Ruby mailing list was (and still is) a great source of helpful
advice when I was starting out learning how to use Ruby and Watir; so
I continue to participate in the hopes of giving something back to the
community in return for all the help I’ve received. And, of course, to
continue to benefit from all the great advice on there.

Links which may be of interest to you:

Some of my old posts feel a bit cringe-worthy when I look back at
them, but that’s all part of learning. I’ll stop rambling now, let me
know if there’s anything pertinent I missed.



Sad News :(

Bret Pettichord

Bret Pettichord asked to be moved to alumni section.

It is time to move me to the Alumni list, as I am no longer an active contributor to the Watir project. I don’t contribute code any more and I haven’t helped manage the project since hosting the Watir Bazaar a year ago (March 2012). I’ve asked others to recognize when they’ve stopped contributing. Now it is my turn.

I should make clear that my team still uses Watir-Webdriver (and WatirMark) every day, so we continue to be users and I continue to encourage my team to contribute to the project. I am also very happy with the current team that has been keeping the project active, especially the leadership provided by Jari, Jarmo and Zeljko.


Last year I had been working on an application for membership in the Software Freedom Conservancy, but realized that I did not have the commitment needed to submit it. If others would like to pursue this, I am happy to support their efforts.


Tiffany Fodor

Tiffany Fodor also asked to be moved to alumni section.

Hi all!

I saw in an earlier message where Bret asked to be moved to the alumni section on the Watir.com site because he hasn’t done much with the team in the past year. It occurred to me that I’ve likely done even less and should be moved to the alumni section as well.

I still use Watir-classic every day – thanks so much for keeping us IE-saddled folk in up-to-date Watir code! We’re in a “do more faster” mode here at ICAT and I don’t have much time to help out with the support end of things. I’ll try to look in from time to time, but I can’t promise to help on a consistent basis. Also, I don’t have the skills to be updating the source code.

I’m happy to help with the Software Conservancy application if we’ve decided that’s how we should move forward. Please let me know if I can be of help with it without just making it more complicated by handing it off.

I hope all is well with each of you – I missed seeing you all in Austin this year!

Take care!


Hugh McGowan

Hugh McGowan is the last one to ask to be moved to alumni section.

Hi all,

Seems like it’s the season…

While I use Watir-Webdriver daily, it’s been over a year since I’ve checked in or released code, so I should probably be moved to the alumni list as well.

It’s been great fun – I’ve learned tons and met some awesome people. Keep up the great work Jari, Jarmo and Zelkjo!

I’ll still lurk on this list and am happy to help with anything y’all need so feel free to ask. Let me know if you’re ever in Austin!





Anukul Singhal from Infogain has recently requested to add the company he is working for to our Watir Users list.


I work at Infogain and would like to include our company’s logo on the Watir page.

We have been using Watir extensively for the past 4 years and built a data driven framework on it. Also, for cross browser support (firefox, chrome), we have incorporated watir-webdriver gem, and also using this in conjunction with the cucumber framework.

This has been working wonders for us, and we run a suite of about 350 testcases on a daily basis.

Please let me know if you can include our company’s logo, and any specific information that you might require.

Anukul Singhal

If you would like to add your company to the list send us a logo (150×51), link to the home page and (if possible) a link to the page that says you are using Watir. The Watir Users list is at the bottom of our home page (above comments).

Watir Team News

A couple of people got added to the team recently, Justin Ko and Dave McNulla.

Justin Ko

Justin Ko

I have noticed that Justin has Watir badge at Stackoverflow. As far as I am concerned, that makes him a Watir support sheriff. I have contacted him and he said: “Sure, it would be an honour to be part of the Watir team.”

In his own words:

Justin Ko has been a software tester for 5 years, specializing in exploratory testing and test automation with Watir. He joined StackOverflow and started a blog (jkotests.wordpress.com) to share his experiences. He looks forward to continuing to provide StackOverflow support as part of the Watir team.

Dave McNulla

Dave McNulla

Dave has recorded 6 Watir podcast episodes (and counting). He is also active at Stack Overflow and watir-general.

He has a blog and he is tweets as @dmcnulla.

In his own words:

I am Dave McNulla and I’ve been testing software since 1993. I started experimenting with Microsoft Test in 1995 for pre-web applications. I used that and other vendor tools for years. In 2008, I tried Watir for the first time to build a test framework that was used for years.

I started listening to the Watir podcast soon after and loved the good ideas from it. When I met the host, Željko Filipin, I wanted to help keep the podcast going.

If you have interesting experiences or know of a good blog about using Watir, please send me an email.

Justin, Dave, welcome to the team! :)



Alex Rodionov (member of the Watir team) from Toptal has recently requested to add the company he is working for to our Watir Users list.

Toptal is a rapidly growing network comprised of some of the most talented engineers in the world, distributed across the globe. Our primary focus is to connect our network with the best tech companies in the world.

If you would like to add your company to the list send us a logo (150×51), link to the home page and (if possible) a link to the page that says you are using Watir. The Watir Users list is at the bottom of our home page (above comments).

Open browser test automation at WMF

2006-02-13 Drop-impact

Random photo: Impact of a drop of water

Originally posted at chrismcmahonsblog.blogspot.com by Chris McMahon.

Almost a year ago I started working as QA Lead for the Wikimedia Foundation.  Among other things, I had a mandate to create an automated browser testing practice at WMF.

From the start I wanted this project to be a world class, completely open, reference implementation of such a project, using the best and most modern tools and practices I could find.  I wanted this to be a project that anyone could read, anyone could run, and to which anyone could contribute.  I wanted this to be an industry standard implementation of a well-designed, well-implemented, working browser test automation project.

Around 2006 my career had veered off into a test automation approach that, while valid and useful in certain circumstances, would be inappropriate for the WMF project.  And in the years since 2006, the tools and practices that were immature at the time had grown into mature, stable, powerful projects of their own. 

I set out to educate myself about the details of the cutting edge of browser test automation in every language.  I visited Austin TX twice and San Francisco several times in the past year to discuss approaches to the project in person with experts on the subject. 

WMF hired Željko Filipin in October 2012 specifically for the browser test automation project, and just this week we opened the curtain and turned on the lights.  The WMF browser test automation project is in Ruby, using

* page_object gem
* watir-webdriver
* selenium-webdriver
* Cucumber
* RSpec
* rake
* Jenkins integration

The initial announcement is here.
A first pass at technical documentation is here, including instructions to run the tests locally if you want to see them in action on your own machine.
Some community concerns are here.
The main code base is managed in gerrit but there is a more accessible read-only mirror on github.
Our Jenkins instance is running on the Cloudbees service  using Sauce Labs  hosts, and the current test results are visible here.
If you would like to follow the project or contribute to it yourself, we are starting a community group you can join.  Feel free to add yourself to the page here  to follow the project or contribute to it.

Many people helped me along the way to making this project what it is.  Hopefully I haven’t left out anyone, feel free to remind me if I did!

Jeff Morgan for creating the page-object gem and for answering tons of my questions
Jari Bakken, especially for this presentation about webdriver in Ruby.
Brahma Ghosh
Charley Baker
Alister Scott and his Watirmelon blog
Marlena Compton  and Matt Brandt  for discussing their experience at Mozilla WebQA with me.
Bret Pettichord for hosting  the Test Automation Bazaar
Jim Holmes of Telerik for hosting the Telerik Test Summit

And especially Željko for actually building the actual project! (And for kicking my ass  along the way, I still have a lot to learn.)