Our Appium Hackathon Was A Success, More To Come

The hackathon we co-hosted with Sauce Labs last week to dive into Appium, the open source tool for mobile automation, was a brilliant success. Thank you to all who came out! We had such a great time that we plan to hold another hackathon soon.

We had a full house of 30 or so Appium hackers ranging from the Appium-curious to those who have Appium code imprinted in their cerebral cortex. And participants were not limited to the just Bay Area — we had a couple folks get in on the action from remote locations via a G+ hangout, something we hope to encourage in the future. There was even a real, live, bona fide Appium robot in the house, courtesy of Dan Cuellar from Zoosk.com – one of the Tapster robots that holds a pen and controls a physical mobile device via Appium.

Hackathons are one way we at Rackspace encourage and promote a strong open-source community as well as strong testing practices for the software development world.  Appium was built to make it easy to test any native mobile application in the same way the Selenium allows us to test web browsers.  We hope that by employing the Webdriver API from the start and not requiring any extra compilation for testing, Appium will help unite the testing community around mobile testing in a way that does not currently exist.

One sign that it was a successful event was that everyone who attended learned or achieved something.  Testers who needed a leg up installing Appium successfully saw their application automated.  On the other end of the spectrum, we had some lively discussion around Fruitstrap and iDeviceInstaller for automated installs of mobile apps to mobile devices, as well as some prodding and probing of the Instruments binary for possible parallel execution of tests.

As organizers and co-hosts of the event, we gained a new appreciation for the interest surrounding Appium.  “It’s really exciting to see so much enthusiasm,” said lead Appium developer Jonathan Lipps, “we really believe that this tool will make a difference, and it’s encouraging to see that others think so too.”

With the response that we received from this first hackathon, we plan to hold another.  If you want to join us next time, here are some ways to hear about the event:

Regardless of where you are or what your interest level is in Appium, we welcome everyone to join in the fun.

For the past 15 or so years, Alex has been gently guiding companies towards better testing and better development practices. What normally begins as an innocent desire to write a few tests usually ends up as a huge, skyscraper-sized robot that automates the testing, deployment and monitoring of all the code everywhere, and also cooks a mean three-egg omelet.


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