Some may have noticed that my updates to PRACTICUM has stalled at the moment. I pledged to post an update each day and move things forward, but alas, for now, I’m stuck. The reason is that I’m trying to grok what’s happening with PageFactory and why the examples as displayed are not working.

I’m pretty sure that after I’ve reviewed the errata and some other areas, I’ll be able to get back on track, but this brought to the surface a challenge I’ve often faced, and that has occasionally derailed me at times. It’s what I call the “maybe it’s just me” conundrum.

If you’ve never faced this, then my hat is off to you. If you think you might have, let me describe it for you. When we have times where we are stymied, or things don’t work, or in my case, when there are red text examples when there shouldn’t be, we wonder if there’s a problem. The likelihood is that, yes, there is an issue of some kind, but are we the only ones seeing it? Does everyone else have better chops to the point that they can just intuit what should be happening and say “Oh, OK, I get what they mean”, and just work around it? When that happens, we often shrug and say “OK, cool, I get what they meant”. The difficulty comes in when we are less familiar with certain aspects, and we can’t make things make sense, or we can’t really explain what was meant because we are unfamiliar with the underpinnings and what should be there.

This is where I’m at with PageFactory and the examples in the Selenium 2 Testing Tools book. They are not working right for me at the moment, and I had to take a break from the domain of Selenium and start looking at how to use Intellij IDEA and how it recognizes Java code and compiles it. That’s taken a couple of days out of my momentum, but I feel like I know a bit more now and can better see when things aren’t working the way I expect them to.

The danger with “maybe it’s just me” is that we sometimes feel foolish to mention where and when we get stuck. While I talk a mean game about not being embarrassed, hey, I’m human, and I have my pride, too. I would rather quietly work through a frustration, come out the other side, and say “OK, so here’s what I found out”. I’m a lot less likely to say something about it if I’m not sure what to do, or if I feel there’s a lot of avenues to explore. The question comes down to “Am I making progress, filling in knowledge I need to  move forward, or am I just “thrashing”?” If I feel I’m making progress, then keeping my head down is an acceptable strategy. If you’re thrashing, that might be an indication that it’s not just you, and maybe it’s time to reach out.

Thus, later today, that’s what I’m going to do. I said I’d update the PRACTICUM pages with where I’m doing well and where I’m not. Time to make good on the promise. Java aficionados, I could use some help :).