Availability Suite on OpenSolaris

A few weeks ago it was pointed out to me that Sun open sourced Availability Suite. AVS (under all it’s many names) is something I had a love/hate relationship with at Sun. I worked on QA for it off an on for most of my time with the company. At one point I was put on a small team tasked with creating automated test suites for it, something most of the QA team and some of the developers felt was an impossible goal.

The small team got smaller, but in the end we exceeded all goals that were set before us. After the first six months I was told by my then boss that I had wasted everyones time and cost the company a disgusting amount of money in doing so. The team was disbanded an work on the tests stopped, although the existing tests were still used for at least the next five years. There were some people with a vested interest in the effort failing, and they did their best to make the tests appear worthless. My last few years at the company this attitude started to change (in no small part to my good friend Paul’s insistence on using facts rather than opinion to decide value). As a result I was pulled back a number of times to add new tests and make changes as the product interfaces changed (some beyond recognition). When I left the tests were running nightly on numerous platforms across multiple versions of the product. Not everything I wanted to do with the tests was done, but I had to go.

Anyway, it felt good to be thanked by Jim Dunham in a recent blog post. I know Jim appreciated the work I did, and I always appreciated him being one of the very few people to take the time to push past the rumors and innuendo and actually look at what was there.

Enough about the past. I’m excited to see the path AVS is on now, and wish everyone involved the best of luck.

One Comment

  1. Jim says:

    As a long time project lead, I can attest to the fact that the success of any single development project weighs heavy across the entire breadth of any project team. As such, the development and continuous use of an automated test suite is one of those contributions to a software development effort that has a high multiplicative payback overtime, but is often undervalued in the present.

    Once created and deployed, an automated test suite has the means to scale the efforts of a few, over the testing needs of many. Even after the QE team that developed the automated test suite [ ZatoIchi ] are no longer around, their efforts continue on, often out of sight, but never out of mind.

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