Lessons Learned from Zombieland


Sr. director of engineering, Matt Barbour recently gave an awesome presentation at Star East entitled “Lessons Learned on Test Automation from Zombieland”.  In it he discussed all of the lessons learned by his teams on doing end-to-end automated testing on real devices at Comcast’s scale.  

Matt’s thesis: The chaos involved with automated testing on real devices is a well known pain point for most engineers and is not all that different from the chaos of the zombie wasteland we see in the movie Zombieland.

In Zombieland, the characters survive by following a set of rules; “limber up,” “check the back seat,”  and “use the buddy system” are a few examples.

At Comcast Silicon Valley we’re on the forefront of media and technology and so it seemed natural to adapt the same rules to help us navigate the chaotic world of automated testing on real devices.  Those rules, combined with many of the test tools developed (and open sourced) by Comcast such as Zucchini, Dawg, and Magic Wand have been instrumental in helping us survive the chaos of the real world.

If you missed the presentation you can see the slides here. Also, be sure and check out the podcast where Matt discusses the topic in detail on the website, TestTalks.