Breakpoint 2021 is a 2-day virtual summit on software quality. We're bringing speakers—dev, QA and open source experts—to talk about how the best engineering teams ship quality software at scale.

David Burns is a core contributor to Selenium, Chairperson for the W3C Browser Testing and Tools Working Group, Editor of the W3C WebDriver specification, and Head of Open Source at BrowserStack. David has authored multiple books, including ‘Selenium 1.0 Testing Tools: Beginner’s Guide' and ‘Selenium 2 Testing Tools: Beginner’s Guide'. David likes solving hard problems and working on different tools and frameworks.

Can you tell us about your journey as the core contributor to Selenium?

I started over a decade ago helping out on documentation, and then moved to fixing bugs that were annoying me, and then build out from there.

Can you give us a sneak-peek into your session for Breakpoint 2021?

We're going to discuss the common problems that people have with test automation. We will see how different engineers solve these problems.

Is there a favorite project/side project in testing/tech you’ve worked on recently?

I have been working on a Rust-based tool for installing browsers on Selenium to help people get started quicker.

Which one of these two is the most rewarding experience for you—writing books about Selenium testing tools, or being a core contributor on the Selenium Open Source Project?

Being a core contributor, definitely! Being part of a community that is very vibrant is always fun. Being able to speak to other contributors and end-users is fun. Helping them with different problems is quite fulfilling.

What are some of the best tech-focused books/blogs/podcasts that you would want to recommend?

I think everyone should read ‘Accelerate’ by Dr. Nicole Ferguson, Jez Humble, and Gene Kim.

What advice would you give to people who are new to testing?

Take your time, understand the application you are testing, and eliminate wasted effort with automation so you can focus on the harder test problems.