Meetup review - YOW! Night with Angie Jones

(I don't know if this is really a review. Maybe just a spotty recap. But it strikes me people rarely share their experience of meetups, when I think it would be super interesting and useful!)

I have been to a few YOW! events. Tbh I still don't know what their deal is. Are they a NFP? Or it's really a business based on running tech events? Or is there some other agenda? I'm used to the open source world where nearly everything is run by volunteers and on a shoestring budget. At any rate, I find their events vaguely corporate but well run and with a friendly vibe. I had a good chat with a few people before the event started. There was quite a decent gender mix. Not everyone was in QA/testing which is also cool! I think around 30-40 people came to this event.

Angie Jones is a developer advocate with Applitools, but it would be more appropriate to say she's a tester advocate. I've followed her on Twitter for a while now (@techgirl1908) and been really liking what she does, so I was rapt to see that she was doing this event so I could see her talk without attending a whole big conference!

She talked about visual testing, and demoed her company's product which uses AI to make smarter than pixel perfect image comparisons for regression testing a web or mobile application. It looks like it's very simple to integrate into a test suite. Screenshots get uploaded into their cloud platform, which has a very nice UI for comparing image changes, highlighting differences, marking a new image as the baseline (ie approving the change), and even annotating regions to ignore.

If I was working in a CD environment, with releases going to prod with no explicit human review, I would be drafting the email to my boss about how we need this tool instead of writing this post! It looks like a great way to pick up visual design bugs without the flakiness or overhead of managing your own pixel perfect image comparisons.

My hesitations would be around the price (lowest tier is $449/month and that's presumably US$, ouch), and divorcing the test contents from the test files and the repo for that matter. If there was a mass export of images that could be used to dump the current images back into the repo (say, in the event that Applitools stopped being used), that would make me feel more comfortable in adopting it. (That may exist, I haven't checked.)

Angie had such a refreshing style, chill yet confident and I would guess very true to herself. You love to see it!

Thanks to Angie and YOW! for a solid evening.

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