And then there were 2…

I’ve just been asked by my boss to build a proof of concept for a scheduling system, not to execute performance tests but to book time slots on the shared controller.
It’s not unusual that a controller would be shared by a number of testers, very few projects require and use 24.7 access to Loadrunner, most scripting is done on an independent machine (VUGen can be installed and run independantly of the Controller) and there are often multiple workstreams.

Now I’ve worked in a million different places, and I’ve seen some booking solutions over the years and it is my opinion that most automated testers can’t be doing with them, they’re clunky, slow to complete and just another layer of irritating bureacracy. Mine will no doubt be the same.

Looking at 2 possibilities off the top of my head:
1. Spreadsheet on a shared drive. This has the advantage of being simple to build, but sharing requires opening and closing the document to prevent locking, and there’s usually one hog in my experience.
2. Online booking system with a php-based calendar and a webform tied into a mysql database at the back-end. I can build that with resources acquired on the net and customise to fit but it will still take longer than the spreadsheet.

As a POC-request, I’ll end up doing both and asking the testers which they prefer, and the answer will almost certainly be “Neither, can’t we just get together and figure out who needs it when they need it.”
Yes, yes we can. Over a beer?

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