Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We're a group of 4 developers on a ajax/mysql/php web application. 2 of us end up focusing most of our efforts on testing the application, as it is time-consuming, instead of actually coding. When I say testing, I mean opening screens and testing links, making sure nothing is broken and the data is correct.

I understand there are test frameworks out there which can automate this kind of testing for you, but I am not familiar with any of them (neither is anyone on the team), or the fancy jargon (is it test-driven? behavior-driven? acceptance testing?)

So, we're looking to slowly incorporate automated testing. We're all programmers, so it doesn't have to be super-simple. But we don't want something that will take a week to learn... And it has to match our php/ajax platform...

The Question: Which testing framework will allow us to jump in right away without spending a lot of time learning the syntax and/or a new programming language.

share|improve this question
if someone cares to explain the -1, I might be able to improve on the question... – esther h Jun 5 '12 at 10:36
I didn't downvote this but can explain. The question as it is now is not constructive and borderline vague. "What do you recommend?" is likely to result discussions which don't fit the SE model. Take a look at the FAQ. To save this question from being closed, you'll need to ask a specific question about testing following the guidelines listed in the FAQ. – Walter Jun 5 '12 at 10:56
@Walter from the q's and a's i read through on Programmers, i concluded that such types of questions were welcome here, as opposed to SO that wanted more specifics. I edited my question (at the bottom), does that help? – esther h Jun 5 '12 at 11:09
SO wants specifics about code, Programmers wants specifics about non-coding (white board) topics. All SE sites want specific questions. Questions that lead to discussions or lists of things don't really fit the SE model. – Walter Jun 5 '12 at 11:14
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Have a look at the Gherkin & Cucumber approach - write your tests in natural language, wire them up and run them by hand or through CI (by far the best way).

share|improve this answer
I don't need to know Ruby to use Cucumber? – esther h Jun 5 '12 at 17:11
found this on SO and it was immensely helpful… – esther h Jun 5 '12 at 18:16
There is a ruby version and a java version, the java one is newer. Either will suit your purposes. – TrueDub Jun 6 '12 at 7:09

Just write computer programs to automate the work you are doing by hand. You are looking towards the system/acceptance/integration side of the spectrum rather than the unit testing side by the sound of things. Leverage libraries which automate the browser such as Selenium.

Structure your code in the xUnit style which is pretty well documented online (basically a set of true/false assertions and some other conventions about setting up / tearing down the system under test).

Think about how / when to run the tests. You could have each developer run them after checking in. Even better also have a CI server like Jenkins automatically deploy your code and run the tests on each checkin, and email your team if the tests fail.

share|improve this answer
what i really need is some specific links to follow. I've read a lot of general info, here and around the web, and everyone has lots of opinions about what works best for them, I just want something that won't take a long time to get up and running – esther h Jun 5 '12 at 10:43
i've added some links which should save you some time running queries on google! – leonigmig Jun 5 '12 at 11:10

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.