Review of automation work – Q4 2015

The last quarter of 2015 is gone and its time to reflect what happened in Q4. In the following you will find a full overview again for the whole quarter. It will be the last time that I will do that. From now on I will post in shorter intervals to specific topics instead of covering everything. This was actually a wish from our latest automation survey which I want to implement now. I hope you will like it.

So during the last quarter my focus was completely on getting our firefox-ui-tests moved into mozilla-central, and to use mozharness to execute firefox-ui-tests in mozmill-ci via the test archive. As result I had lesser time for any other project. So lets give some details…

Firefox UI Tests / Mozharness

One thing you really want to have with tests located in the tree is that those are not failing. So I spent a good amount of time to fix our top failures and all those regressions as caused by UI changes (like the security center) in Firefox as preparation for the move. I got them all green and try my best to keep that state now while we are in the transition.

The next thing was to clean-up the repository and split apart all the different sub folders into their own package. With that others could e.g. depend on our firefox-puppeteer package for their own tests. The whole work of refactoring has been done on bug 1232967. If you wonder why this bug is not closed yet it’s because we still have to wait with the landing of the patch until mozmill-ci production uses the new mozharness code. This will hopefully happen soon and only wait of some other bugs to be fixed.

But based on those created packages we were able to use exactly that code to get our harness, puppeteer, and tests landed on We also package them into the archive for use in mozmill-ci. Details about all that can be found on bug 1212609. But please be aware that we still use the Github repository as integration repository. I regularly mirror the code to hg, which has to happen until we can also use the test package for localized builds and update tests.

Beside all that there were also a couple of mozharness fixes necessary. So I implemented a better fetching of the tooltool script, added the uninstall feature, and also setup the handling of crash symbols for firefox-ui-tests. Finally the addition of test package support finished up my work on mozharness for Q4 in 2015.

During all the time I was also sheriffing our test results on Treeherder (e.g. mozilla-central) because we are still Tier-3 level and sheriffs don’t care about it.

Mozmill CI

Our Jenkins based CI system is still called mozmill-ci even it doesn’t really run any mozmill tests anymore. We decided to not change its name given that it will only be around this year until we can run all of our tests in TaskCluster. But lots of changes have been landed, which I want to announce below:

  • We followed Release Engineering and got rid of the OS X 10.8 testing. That means the used Mac minis were ready to get re-imaged with OS X 10.11. The transition worked seamlessly.
  • Enhancements for test report submission to Treeherder by switching over to Hawk credentials and more understandable group names and symbols.
  • Preparation of all the machines of our supported platforms (OSX: 10.6, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11 / Ubuntu: 14.04 / Windows: XP, 7, 8.1) to be able to handle mozharness driven tests.
  • Implemented and updated scripts to run firefox-ui-tests via mozharness and to allow Treeherder to fully parse our logs.

Addons / Tools

I also had some time to work on supporting tools. Together with the help of contributors we got the following done:


  • Release of mozdownload 1.18.1 and 1.19 to cope with the move of builds to AWS

Nightly Tester Tools


So all in all it was a productive quarter with lots of things accomplished. I’m glad that we got all of this done. Now in Q1 it will continue and more interesting work is in-front of me, which I’m excited about. I will announce that soon in my next blog post.

Until then I would like to give a little more insight into our current core team for Firefox automation. A picture taken during our all hands work week in Orlando early in December shows Syd, Maja, myself, and David:

Lets get started into 2016 with lots of ideas, discussions, and enough energy to get those things done.

Getting rid of the silence

It feels like a decade since I have posted the last item on my blog. I will try to change this and post more stuff again. By doing that I decided to not only post in English but also write blog posts in my mother tongue which is German. Those will mostly be related to my hobbies like sports and photography. Any Mozilla related topic will still be written in English.

I hope you will like that change.

Mozilla is seeking for QA Execution Engineers

Are you interested to work for a global and open company? The Mozilla Corporation – vendor of the free and open source web browser Firefox – is seeking for a full-time QA Execution Engineer. If you will take the advantage to work with engaged and talented people and to stay in touch with our world-wide and powerful community go ahead and send your resume…

Mozilla Corporation is seeking a QA Engineer who is responsible for test execution of Firefox and Thunderbird products. You will be developing feature test cases and run regression testing during releases. You will also coordinate testing with the open source community and continually evangelize Firefox testing to the world. Development of browsers is accelerating; we’re looking for engineers who can keep us ahead of the curve.


  • Create test plans and test cases from functional specifications
  • Develop and execute test automation scripts
  • Execute black box tests on a monthly release cycle
  • Maintain test documentation and test cases
  • Coordinate projects within the open source community
  • Confirm, create steps to reproduce, identify regression ranges and clarify bug and feature requestion
  • Monitor user feedback


  • Strong knowledge of internet and browser technologies
  • Strong understanding of test methodologies and test case development
  • Strong problem solving and resolution skills
  • Programming experience with in C, C++, JavaScript, Python, Perl, and XML
  • Knowledge of Windows / Mac / Linux environments
  • Experience with software testing lifecycle process, release management and bug life cycle
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Flexibility in dynamic software environments
  • BS or MS in Computer Science or related field

Skills Desired:

  • Knowledge of web automation tools like Selenium, Watir, Silk, Quicktest Pro, and WinRunner
  • Working knowledge of web security
  • Experience with browser extensions and plugins
  • Experience with virtual machines, and multiple build environments
  • Experience with testing open source products and open source community participation

See also the full job description on

Welcome Dresden

Forgot to blog about last week. So doing it right now! It’s a great feeling to stay in Dresden now. Wonderful new flat, which still needs a lot of work and new furniture, but I feel home!

Do I have an accent?

Thanks to the posting from Fred, I read about a quiz which tries to find the accent you are having. Surprisingly I don’t have an accent. Should I be glad about? 😉

What American accent do you have?

Your Result: The Midland

“You have a Midland accent” is just another way of saying “you don’t have an accent.” You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Northeast
The West
The Inland North
The South
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Merry Christmas

I wish all my readers a merry Christmas. Have a wonderful time with your families by sitting together by candlelight and hopefully enjoying the snow outside.

Lost mobile phone and experiences with Simyo service

Over the last weekend I made a travel to visit some friends I haven’t seen for a longer time. So I decided to use the tram instead of the car, just to have a relaxed ride. Everything was fantastic and we had a great time even when the weather wasn’t as perfect as we had expected. For the return trip I also used the tram which became my inevitable fate. Now you will probably ask why? Sure, here comes the answer…

Some hours later I noticed that my mobile phone was getting lost. Damn, it was one of the really cool Siemens ME45 outdoor ones. It has been on my side for over 6 years now and survived all trekking activities. I was really disappointed as you can imagine. I immediately called my provider to lock the SIM card. No-one should be able to abuse it. The locking was done really fast and I was lucky that the phone wasn’t used so far. Further I hadn’t to pay anything for the locking. Other providers like O2 want to have 10EUR for this action. Nice thing Simyo! But one downside exists (beneath that I’ve even lost my mobile phone): I’ve to buy a new SIM card to continue using the service. This will cost 15EUR including 5EUR credit as the woman from the hotline told me. But I didn’t wanted to buy that right now. My feeling said I should wait some days…

And that was good. Because I knew where the mobile phone was probably getting lost, I contacted our local transport network on Monday. But sadly no-one found a mobile phone and returned it to the lost and found office. The service technician said, I shall try it again in some days and have a look at the online database for lost things. The latter one I did yesterday morning and was more then happy to see an entry about a “Simyo Siemens mobile phone” in the database. There was a same type of mobile phone found in a tram I’ve used on Sunday. Great!! I went immediately to the lost and found office and ask for it. When it was brought to the desk I respired. It was mine! After the formalities I was allowed to take it with me. Now I really have to say thanks to the unknown honestly person who found it. Sadly I’ll never know…

Now the only thing I had to do was re-activating my SIM card. Calling Simyo again I was in the line for some minutes until a real person was talking to me. For only 5EUR I was able to re-activate my SIM card without the need for a new one. That’s cheap and easy in comparison to other providers.

And the best thing is, I don’t need to buy a new one and will spent some more time with that brilliant mobile phone. Thanks again and I’ll keep it safer in the future!

Nur ein schlechter Traum?

Ich hatte bereits vor einiger Zeit ĂŒber den geplanten und kontroversen Bau der WaldschlösschenbrĂŒcke in Dresden berichtet. Heute habe ich einen Link auf ein kurzes Werbevideo erhalten, das wieder einmal mehr zeigt, wie stark doch dieser Bau in die Natur eingreift und das idyllische Umfeld der Elbwiesen zerstören wird.

Helft bitte mit beim Erhalt des Weltkulturerbes “Dresdner-Elbtal” und unterzeichnet den Appell. Continue reading “Nur ein schlechter Traum?”

ZuverlÀssige DHL-Zustellung?

Viel muss ich dazu nicht sagen. Wie so oft bin ich persönlich (der Zufall will es so) nicht zu Hause zu erreichen, wenn DHL die Auslieferungen durchfĂŒhrt. Bisher lag immer eine rote Karte im Briefkasten und ich konnte sogar noch am gleichen Tag das PĂ€ckchen/Paket beim Postamt abholen. Diesmal nix! Keine rote Karte, Nachbarn wussten nicht bescheid und auf der Post Ahnungslosigkeit. Heute kam eine RĂŒckmeldung des Anbieters, dass die gesendete Ware nicht zustellbar war. Ein Blick in die DHL-Verfolgung zeigt mir nun folgendes:

27. April 2007 07:29 Bruchsal DE Lieferung hat das Depot verlassen.
27. April 2007 08:48 Bruchsal DE Zustellversuch – EmpfĂ€nger wurde nicht zu Hause angetroffen.
27. April 2007 18:41 Bruchsal DE Lieferung hat das Depot verlassen.

Hier war der DHL-Zusteller wohl zu allem zu faul. Nicht, dass die rote Karte auszufĂŒllen und in den Briefkasten zu werfen, viel Arbeit gewesen wĂ€re. Nein, die Ablieferung bei der Post wurde auch nicht erledigt. Stattdessen ging es sofort retour zurĂŒck, ohne dass ich auch nur die geringste Change gehabt hĂ€tte. Eine Beschwerde hab ich jetzt jedenfalls eingereicht. Mal schauen, was sich da tut. Inzwischen habe ich eine neue Bestellung abgesandt und hoffe, dass wenigstens diese jetzt am Mittwoch auch bei mir ankommt. Warum derartige Probleme immer genau bei wichtigen Sendungen auftreten, kann wohl wieder mal nur Murphy beantworten…