Simon will be presenting the following sessions
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1. What got you started/interested in Testing?

I fell into it by accident: I was tired of slow feedback loops when writing code, and a friend introduced me to this thing called "unit testing". Being able to write something and almost instantly find out whether it worked was a transformative experience. I then ended up spending time with the nascent Agile community in London, and they introduced me to things like TDD, XP, and new ways of thinking about system design. For me, automated testing is now just a natural part of writing code.

2. What has been your best moment/highlight working with Selenium?

So many! The first Selenium Conf sticks in my mind. Jason Huggins were chatting as we walked into the room where the pre-conference labs were going to be held. We weren't expecting the whole room to be packed! It really brought home how much people were using and relying on Selenium.

The conferences are also one of the few times where the committers actually get together in person. Unlike an office job, quite often I get to know people online first. Finally putting a face to someone's online nick is always fun :)

3. What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by Software Testers today?

The surface area of all the things that they're meant to know. Someone writing tests for a modern system need to not only be familiar with how the UI is constructed, but may also need to be able to test services in isolation using REST or gRPC. Digging down, they also need to be able to write tests for each layer of the system, which may mean getting comfortable with many programming languages.

The combinatorial explosion of possible combinations of services that micro-services offer is terrifying, and being able to set up a test environment to test with has progressed from "just" firing up a database and a server to being able to juggle a Kubernetes deployment, possibly in the Cloud.

Of course, not only do they need to know all these things, but testers are often expected to have a holistic view of the system too --- understanding the ins-and-outs of particular services, and how they mesh into a whole, and how that whole changes during a workflow. It's a stunning amount of complexity to try and keep straight in one's mind!

4. What is your advice to testers, who are new to automation?

Also bear in mind the KISS rule: Keep It Stupidly Simple!

This isn't to say that your tests should be stupid -- far from it! The idea is to keep the complexity as low as possible, since complex code is hard to maintain, and hard to reason about. Perhaps another way of thinking about it is your tests should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.

I also find that avoiding writing frameworks is a Good Thing. The first three or four times you try something, write it out the long way, and don't be afraid of duplication. As you get more experience with the different kinds of tests your system needs, go back and extract common functionality --- extract your framework, don't invent it!

Finally, remember that your automation code is still code. It should meet the same high standards you set for production code, though with a strong emphasis on readability and maintainability over pure efficiency. 

5. Tell us about the session(s) you will be presenting at the conference and why did you choose those topics?

I've been the lead of the Selenium project for a long time now, so I have the pleasure of presenting the "State of the Union". We called the project update this shortly after we merged the Selenium and WebDriver projects together (they started as two separate projects!) and it seemed amusing to refer to the update as the "State of the Union". We never got tired of the "joke", so this talk is always called that.

One thing that's slightly different from other times I've done this is that I'll be sharing the talk with some of the other members of the Selenium team. 

6. What are some of the key takeaways from your session(s)?

You'll learn about what we've been working on this past year, why we've been spending time on it, and why we consider those areas important. You'll also get an update on Selenium 4: I'm working hard on that demo right now!

7. Which sessions are you most looking forward to attending at Selenium Conf?

I make a point of watching as many of the talks as I can both during the conference, and afterwards when they appear on our YouTube channel.

This time around, I'm interested to hear Narayan Raman's talk --- Sahi has some lovely ideas, and he's got a lot of experience around web testing. I'm also looking forward to the talks about how Selenium and the WebDriver protocol fit into people's testing and CI pipelines.

8. Any personal message/remarks you want to share with the Testing community in Asia?

Just to say a huge thank you to everyone who's been part of the Selenium community. It never ceases to amaze me how much energy, support, and enthusiasm people have for the tool. It's humbling and much appreciated.