I am speaking at ‘Targeting Quality 2019’ , Canada

I am super excited to be speaking at this grand event TQ2019 being organised by KWSQA on 23-24 Sep in Canada!

On top of that I get to present not one but 2 talks!! My topics are

“The What, When & How of Test Automation” 45 mins

In this I will talk about preparing robust automation strategies. Agile means pace and agile means change. With frequent time boxed releases and flexible requirements, test automation faces numerous challenges. Haven’t we all asked what to automate and how to go about the daily tasks with the automation cloud looming over our heads. Here we’ll discuss answers to some of these questions and try to outline a number of approaches that agile teams can take in their selection of what to automate, how to go about their automation and whom to involve, and when to schedule these tasks so that the releases are debt free and of best quality.

“Gamify your Agile workplace”    15 mins

In this I’ll present live some innovation games and have audience volunteers engage and play games based on known scenarios. Let’s Play and learn some useful Innovation Games that can help you gamify your agile team and workplace, making the team meetings shorter and communication more fun!

Both these topics are close to my heart and I am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with a wider audience.

I am also excited to meet all the awesome speakers at the event , as well as get to know the fantastic team of organizers behind this event!

Check out the detailed agenda here – https://kwsqa.org/tq2019/schedule/

Follow me at @testwithnishi, @KWSQA and #TQ2019 on twitter for more updates on the event!

Also check out & support other initiatives by KWSQA at https://kwsqa.org/kwalitytalks/

Wish me luck! 🙂

What can you learn from the defects you found?

The bugs we find during testing can tell us a lot about the application, the state of its quality and its release-readiness. Bugs can also provide insights into our development processes and practices — and lapses therein.

How can we study bugs to improve the overall state of our project? In my article published @Gurock TestRail blog, I have described three things to learn from the bugs you find. https://blog.gurock.com/three-learn-bugs/

 The location of defect clusters

Defect clustering is one of the seven principles of software testing, and keeping an eye out for these clusters is the responsibility of a good tester.

As we log defects into a tracking tool or portal, teams generally follow the practice of measuring relevant modules, components or functional areas against each defect. When tracked over time, this information can be real gold! It helps us track which areas of the application are having more bugs.

We can plot these area metrics against the number of defects raised and find the defect rates over time. We can also create filters to raise concerns whenever the defect rates go over a certain limit in any specific area or component. This can help us combat defect clustering by doing a fresh analysis, revisiting the tests being performed and focusing more of our exploratory test efforts in those areas.

Overall, knowing about these defect clusters, keeping an eye out for them and regularly revisiting the areas will help us keep the quality of the entire system in check.

Frequency of defects (and their resolution)

The frequency of defects being found and logged tells us a lot about the maturity of the product.

In the beginning of construction sprints, defects are supposed to be frequent and plentiful. We may not go by numbers here, but the relativity of them. As we progress toward a release, the number of defects generally declines, indicating that the system is now more mature and sturdier after withstanding multiple test cycles. Some teams even use the metric of mean time between failures as an exit criterion for testing, indicating that they will only finish testing once they cannot find any new defect for a certain number of days.

As defects are raised, triaged, resolved and verified, there is a typical turnaround time that we expect. Most defects will go through this lifecycle within a reasonable stipulated time or will be postponed with a reason or business decision. Some defects may linger in the system for longer.

There may be a variety of reasons for these decisions:

  • A defect requires more information, and the developer is awaiting confirmation or details from the tester who raised it
  • The defect was misunderstood and there are comments going back and forth between the tester and developer about the expected behavior
  • The assigned developer was on vacation for a week and the defects have not been fixed, leading to a plateau in the defect-fix-rate graph
  • Defects are awaiting triage by the product owner and do not have priorities or the correct people assigned to them

Whatever the reason, knowing the cause of defects remaining open, in progress or unresolved for longer than a stipulated time is important. We may have to fix people issues or communication gaps, or may just need to schedule a short triage or discussion with the team to decide on the fate of such issues. But understanding any delays gives us a much-needed insight into team dynamics and helps us smooth out the process.

The reasons behind rejected defects

The number and type of defects getting rejected — and the reasons behind the rejections — can also tell us a lot about the state of the product and psychology of the team. If you see a high number of irreproducible defects, it may mean that some data or information is getting lost when reporting, or that the testers do not have enough time or perspective to reproduce the defects.

A high number of duplicate bugs may show that testers are unaware of the system’s history, or maybe they are new to the team and need to get a little more background. It may also be a case of the same bugs reoccurring, which might have been fixed and closed in previous releases.

Incorrect defects marked with “Not a bug” or “Working as designed” tell us about a lack of understanding of the system on the testers’ side. Or it may be due to a lack of communication among the team members, leading to different perceptions about the features that were designed or implemented.

Our findings from these types of defects can help test managers or project owners plan measures like internal trainings and knowledge sharing, which can enhance communication among team members and introduce prerequisites to fulfill before logging any issues.

There is a world of information that your defects can provide. If you take a good look at your bugs and talk about them as a team, you can find ways to use that information to your advantage.

Read more–> Click here for the full article

Happy Testing!

What the NAPLAN Fail Tells Us About Testing in Education?

Implications of Software Testing in the field of Education

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) are school tests administered to Australian students. This August, the online program was offered to 1.5 million students. Students failed to log on. 

Had the software undergone functional testing, the program could have launched successfully. A functional testing company verifies every function of the software function as per requirements. It is a black box type of testing where the internal structure of the product is not known to the tester.

Functional and Performance Issues – Naplan’s problem has been ongoing. In March, it took students 80 minutes to get to online tests. The requirement was of 5 minutes. The software performed shockingly different from what was planned. 30,000 students had to retake tests, which too were marred by technical glitches. The test data was not automatically saved. The data recovery time was 15 minutes compared to the requirement of zero minutes. Once again, the software did not perform as expected. Eventually, the problem was resolved, however, it came at the expense of dropouts and time lags. 

Accessibility Issues – Naplan software had other errors that a functional testing company could have taken care of. The features that were designed for students with disabilities were not functional. Alternate text for students was missing, incorrect and inaccessible for students with auditory disabilities. The color contrast was poor. The color contrast was of immense importance to those who required accessibility help with seeing visuals. 

In the Naplan case, a functional testing company would prepare several test cases to verify the functionality of the login page, accessibility features, load times and data recovery times against the requirements specified. Functional testing would cover unit testing, integration testing, interface testing, and regression testing. In addition to manual testing, a functional testing company would perform automation testing. Software testing tools automate tests to improve the accuracy and speed of execution.

Naplan’s online system was reviewed by PricewaterhouseCoopers to reflect these problems. The report nails down the cause of the issues to a lack of automation testing, “[Education Services Australia] continues to work with [Education technology provider] Janison and Microsoft to improve upon the current recovery time of 80 minutes and recovery point of 15 minutes, and believe that eventually an automated service may become possible, however, the current environment is unable to do so.” 

What do we learn?

Naplan’s fail tells us that software testing in the field of education is as important as in other industries like healthcare and banking. Modern school systems rely heavily on online resources, not simply for research but also for exam and course work. As schools shift from traditional paper-based teaching methods to electronic systems, they must remember to test their software in sync with technological demands.

Without robust testing, school systems can be severely impacted.

  • The administrative costs would go up in rescheduling exams for students.
  • The school would also lose credibility as students will mock the sluggish approach.
  • Students who are dedicated to working will become demotivated. ‌
  • Positive school culture is likely to dwindle.

Before that happens, educational institutions must think of software testing!

This is a guest post by Ray Parker

Author Bio:

Ray Parker is a senior marketing consultant with a knack for writing about the latest news in tech, quality assurance, software development and travel. With a decade of experience working in the tech industry, Ray now dabbles out of his New York office.

Scrum, Kanban & Scrumban – What’s the difference?

Agile is a big umbrella that covers a number of different approaches, and there is always scope for more. There are so many flavors because agile is a mindset that allows flexibility in its processes. Two of the more popular approaches are Scrum and Kanban.

Scrum and Kanban apply agile principles in their own way to empower effective delivery cycles. “Scrumban” is a term coined for a hybrid approach making use of both Scrum and Kanban principles.

In my article published at Testrail , I have explore the differences among the three methodologies – Scrum , Kanban and Scrumban. Check it out and see which of these methodologies may be right for you. https://blog.gurock.com/scrum-kanban-scrumban/

Here is a brief about the 3 methodologies –

SCRUM

Scrum is the most popular agile framework. It is iterative and incremental in nature and focuses on tight delivery timelines. The release time frame is split into small iterations called sprints. Work items are planned for each sprint in the form of user stories and tasks, which are prioritized based on value. Teams are small, cross-functional and self-organizing, with a product owner, a ScrumMaster and the development team.

Scrum provides channels for communication through ceremonies such as the sprint planning meeting, the daily standup meeting, the sprint demo, and the sprint retrospective, all of which contribute to the overall pace and a flexible approach to software development.

Scrum Task board

KANBAN

Kanban is focused on continuous delivery based on lean principles. It’s based on the flow of work and just-in-time delivery and promotes process improvement. Kanban aims to eliminate waste, increase productivity and efficiency, and have flexibility in production. The main goals are to limit work in progress (WIP), avoid multitasking and recognize bottlenecks.

The Kanban board essentially consists of three phases: Input, Work in Progress and Output. Columns under each designation can be used to signify more important tasks and priorities. The tasks in backlog are added to the board with small descriptions and are assigned to team members using the “pull” principle, based on priorities.

Here is a useful sketch I found to illustrate the difference between Scrum & Kanban–

Differences- Scrum vs Kanban

SCRUMBAN

First introduced a decade ago by Corey Ladas, Scrumban was intended as a transitional state for Scrum teams moving to Kanban but later emerged as a framework of its own. It now leverages elements of Scrum and Kanban and focuses on continuous work with short cycles for planning.

Fundamentally, Scrumban is a management framework that emerges when teams employ Scrum as their chosen way of working but use Kanban as a way to view and understand work and continuously improve their processes.

Tasks are taken up using the “pull” principle from the backlog of items on the board, so people can decide to take up the task they want. WIP limits are used to avoid bottlenecks and delays. Once all current backlog items are done and the backlog column is empty, it is a trigger for the next planning, so planning happens on-demand as needed.

Scrumban board

Please click here to read the full article — > on the Gurock TestRail blog site.

Please like, comment and follow the blog for more interesting articles!

Thanks

Nishi

Interesting Podcast Recommendation- Melissa Eaden @Maintainable with Robby Russell

I recently came across this podcast which is a very interesting and thoughtful conversation. Hosted by Robby Russell , Maintainable is a podcast hosted about overcoming problems often associated with technical debt and legacy code.  In this episode, Robby speaks with Melissa Eaden, Tech Lead in Quality at Unity 3D. She shares her experience working with legacy code as it relates to testing. Hearing this conversation, I could not help nodding along and agreeing with each word about problems in testing, requirements for a tester and the best use of existing resources, communication and collaboration for a better quality initiative in your teams. Check out the podcast and listen to the episode here ->

https://maintainable.fm/episodes/melissa-eaden-its-never-a-one-person-job

Here are some key points that resonated with me-

  • Visibility , Communication and Research are the 3 most important arsenal for a tester
  • It’s never a one person job
  • The importance of communication and making connections
  • Information gathering via offhand conversations
  • Quality is a people problem!

Hope you enjoy it!

4 ways Task boards can help Agile teams

A task board is a physical or virtual chart containing all current team tasks at hand and their progress over time. For an agile team, all sprint tasks can be represented on the task board, and their flow over various stages can be tracked in the daily standup meeting. Task boards are a great way to visually representing pieces of work and their status.

Besides helping to organize and track work and being the focal point of the iteration and relevant meetings, task boards can have numerous more benefits for an agile team. In my article published @Gurock, I have discussed four additional ways in which Task boards can help an agile team-> https://blog.gurock.com/agile-task-boards/

Different styles of Task boards

Main points discussed–>

  • Customize the process
  • Visualize their Scrum
  • Improve Commitment and visibility
  • Facilitate Team interactions

Click here to read more ->

My talk @Playscrum Meetup by Leanpitch- 20 July’19

I was invited to present a talk at this month’s @Playscrum Meetup at Bangalore, hosted by @Leanpitch technologies on 20th July

It was a small event with a great set of delegates who gathered to hear me talk about Gamification in Agile teams. Agile teams rely heavily on communication and collaboration among all team members. In this session, I talked about about ‘Innovation Games’ which help make all agile meetings and ceremonies shorter, crisper, more visual and open involving all team members.

It was an interactive session wherein we played many Innovation Games with the audience volunteers, which was a big hit with everyone. There was good participation, many great ideas and discussions in the group. Overall a good experience at my first Playscrum meetup in Bangalore. Would love to collaborate again soon!

Here is a glimpse of the event-

https://www.meetup.com/PlayScrum-Bangalore/events/262475507/

‘Co-opetetion’ Among Agile Team Members

Agile focuses on motivated individuals acting together toward a common goal. Consequently, agile needs people to collaborate and requires complete transparency, communication, and cooperation, within and across teams. But at the same time, individuals instinctively try to outperform others in order to stand out in their teams.

This transition from individual responsibility to collective ownership is often the hardest part of the cultural shift that teams face when adopting agile. I have looked at ways to encourage healthy competition, more cooperation, and a sense of community among agile teammates in my latest article for Gurock – TestRail blog, the main points being-

  • Showing People the part they played
  • Have Co-workers appreciate each other
  • Measuring personal growth
  • Motivating with extra initiatives
  • Encouraging Collaboration and healthy competetion

Check out the complete article at – https://blog.gurock.com/agile-co-opetiton/ to find ways to encourage healthy competition and better team dynamics in your agile teams!

My Talk & Sahi Pro Booth @World Test Engineering Summit

I got a chance to present a talk at the World Test Engineering Summit organised by 1.21GWS @ Bangalore last week and it sure was a great opportunity! My talk title was

“Layers of Test Automation” wherein I presented about test automation framework creation and best practices on creating a sustainable framework. The talk was appreciated and I had great personal feedback and chats with many delegates.

It was amazing to share the stage with renowned speakers like Mrs. Renu Rajini, Mr. Mostafa Awadh from Egypt, Shivaji Raju , Sanjay Kumar and many more.

My team at Sahi Pro also decided to partner with the event and setup a demo booth, where my colleagues Pratik and Satish showcased an informative demo of Sahi Pro tool and all of its awesome capabilities. The Sahi Pro booth was a hit, appreciated by the inquisitive participants. We also held a Quiz for people visiting the booth, and the winners were awarded with fun goodies at the end of the day!

Here is a glimpse into the event-

My Talk —

Sahi Pro Booth–

Felicitation for the Quiz Winners and honoring the organizer Nitin Naveen-

So much fun and networking–

Overall this was a great experience! We would love to collaborate with 1.21GWS again in the upcoming events!

Cheers!

Meeting James Bach at The Test Tribe Meetup @Bangalore

I got the opportunity to meet and listen to the test expert we all look up to – Mr. @James Bach at @The Test Tribe Community meetup organized at Bangalore on 23 June 2019.

It was a great talk by him on the topic ‘Testing vs Checking’ where he discussed the finer nuances of the testing craft and how automated checks are more explicit and fixed than the human brain and the thought process of a real tester.

Apart from the great content, I also observed and loved the presentation style, the ingenuity, the spontaneity, and the interspersed humor! His true passion for testing and the sheer amount of experience shines through each spoken word. We learn a lot just from being in the same room with such experts.

I tried my hands at #sketchnotes for the first time, trying to capture the gist of his talk.

Here is a glimpse into the event-

It sure was an awesome experience and a day well spent! I look forward to meeting him again and getting an opportunity to learn from him!

Cheers!