Cypress Conf 2023 Event Recap

October 24, 2023

By Jessamyn Sweet

CypressConf 2023 was a game-changer! Our inaugural gathering of testing enthusiasts brought together thousands of software developers and quality engineering professionals from across the globe for a day of visionary thought leadership, best practice insights, and practical tips for effective automated testing. Attendees, whether seasoned Cypress users or newcomers to the field, found a marathon of sessions, networking opportunities, and vibrant community interactions. Let's dive into the top highlights of this extraordinary event.

Key takeaways

1. The Cypress community is amazing ✨

We are blown away by the response of our community to the event. We had 6,000 testing friends register to the event to boost their testing skills and connect with experts and peers. We are extremely grateful to our speakers for their hard work delivering amazing content, and our sponsors for helping us bring together the best community in the biz. 

2. Testing culture is key 🔑 

Almost every session touched on testing culture, the set of values and practices that influences how a team approaches and prioritizes software quality. A strong testing culture in which teams are committed to quality, collaboration, automation, and continuous improvement is integral for shipping reliable and robust software. 

3. Cypress is pushing the boundaries of testing 🚀

While our open-source app and community continue to be integral to Cypress, we are investing resources to address the ever-evolving needs of the industry. We are expanding our focus beyond functional testing and test management to address the critical area of application quality. 

We are uniquely positioned to naturally extend the value of the humble test by measuring application quality dimensions in pre-production environments, without any extra work from developers or additional tools in your stack. Since it’s part of the Cypress ecosystem, it’s integrated seamlessly into the debugging workflow and DX that you know and love. Users will gain automatic access to insightful reports in Cypress Cloud, including:

  • Accessibility reporting for assessing accessibility violations on a per-page basis
  • Interactivity coverage to visualize your testing coverage in your application
  • Visual diffing to highlight unintended visual changes between commits

We are also continuing to invest in the testing experience for the whole team, with engineers dedicated to our open-source app and Cloud:

  • Puppeteer plugin for some multi-tab or -window use cases, so you can hook outside of Cypress into the browser context
  • Configurable thresholds for test retries so open-source users can focus their efforts on the most critical workflows
  • Improvements to flake detection so Cloud users can catch flake in a timely manner, as soon as the root cause is introduced
  • Performance bug fixes for the open-source app

The day in review

To kick us off, our keynote speaker Jennifer Wadella, the Director of Angular Consulting at Bitovi, shared insights on building a culture of testing at every stage of your development process in her session "Shifting Left."

Then Brian Mann, Cypress Founder and Creator, offered an exclusive glimpse into Cypress's past, present, and future roadmap, unveiling the heart of Cypress.

Walmyr Filho, a passionate testing expert and Cypress Ambassador, provided practical, hands-on tactics for tackling a common challenge in automated testing: when app changes break your tests.

Chief Product Officer of Deque Dylan Barrell—who literally wrote the handbook on accessible software development—challenged misconceptions about accessibility testing and presented sustainable practices to achieve 100% accessibility.

"A Lighthouse score of 100% doesn’t mean you’re accessible…we’re very happy that Cypress is using Axe-core in their accessibility solution, it means that if you’ll get a great baseline for automated testing with Axe Pro to go above and beyond."

Then Shawn Harris, Sr. Technical Solutions Engineer at Cypress, was joined onstage by special guests and Cypress Ambassadors Ramona Schwering, Developer Advocate at Auth0 and Denison Luz, Director of Quality Engineering at Bitovi. In their riveting discussion, they uncovered the intertwined realms of User Experience (UX) and QA Testing, emphasizing their role in streamlining product development and enhancing user satisfaction.

Natalie Lunbeck, a Software Engineer at Shipyard, explored the advantages of pre-merge testing and introduced the concept of ephemeral environments, showcasing the reliability and velocity benefits it brings.

"You don’t want to live dangerously on deploys…'test before merge' would be considered a best practice if it weren’t for previous infrastructure limitations, but these limitations aren’t in play anymore."

Unveiling the path of adopting component testing, Murat Ozcan, Staff Engineer and Test Architect at Extend and Cypress Ambassador, provided insights into the evaluation process, tips for securing organizational buy-in, and strategies for transitioning from other testing tools like Enzyme and RTL to Cypress. You can delve further into his journey in this case study.

In his talk, Q Ray, Frontend Staff Engineer and Cypress Ambassador at BILL, navigated the intricacies of managing flaky tests and tackling those elusive ‘CI environment’ errors.

Carter Capocaccia, Senior Engineering Manager at Hilton and Cypress Ambassador, ranked DOM node selectors' styles, discussed their advantages and trade offs, and shared how Cypress enables developers to act like a user more than ever before.

"[To choose a selector pattern,] consider your application, your users, and what strategy makes sense for your team to have the impact that you want on your product."

Allison Chuang and Maxwell Gerber, Software Engineers at Stytch, unraveled the complexities of passwordless authentication and how Cypress can be used to ensure the security and reliability of authentication processes.

Demonstrating how Cypress can automate Workday eSignatures, Gagan Singh, a Software Development Engineer In Test (SDET) at Workday, emphasized its pivotal role in shaping the future of eSignature automation.

Ryan Emberling, Director of Engineering at the ASSISTments Foundation, challenged the notion of "why" in testing and outlined the use of the statistical concepts of sensitivity and precision to tailor testing environments to organizational goals.

"If you think about the value-drivers underpinning where you can save time in your testing, that will let you make architectural decisions in ownership of your risks, which lets you make deliberate tradeoffs about your testing choices."

Paul DeWitt, Founder of Happy Testing and Cypress Ambassador, shared tips and case studies of how to design your test automation process based on our goals, resources available, project scope, and timing. 

Addressing the issue of flaky tests and the importance of trust in test suites, David Ingraham, Senior SDET at Disney Television Animation and Cypress Ambassador, provided solutions for understanding, debugging, and resolving common flake issues.

We ended the day by digging into our community’s most pressing questions with Cypress founders Brian Mann and Jennifer Shehane.

"We differentiate ourselves by being a complete solution. We care about the entire experience from start to finish, which includes innovation at both the individual contributor level as well as impacting the team and the company.” - Brian Mann 

Thank you for an amazing event!

During the conference, attendees competed in the #codecoveragechallenge, which gave participants the opportunity to receive recognition for their contributions to the event experience including asking intriguing questions, connecting with other test automation professionals, and visiting event partner booths. Congratulations to our winner Sayanta!

We also asked attendees about their pick for Top Speaker. Well the audience has spoken, and the crown goes to the charismatic Carter Capocaccia, whose presentation left everyone buzzing with excitement! Congratulations, Carter!

What’s next?

You can find recordings of sessions on our YouTube. To stay up-to-date on future webinars, conferences, and product updates, sign up for our email newsletter. Lastly, join our amazing community on Discord to connect with testing professionals around the world—we’ll see you there!