My experience as a Panel speaker @LeadDev webinar

I was invited by @LeadDev organisation to be a part of a webinar where we had a panel discussion on “Building a better testing culture“. I was elated to be a part of this great group pf panelists alongside Thayse Onofrio from Thoughtworks and Marcus Merrell from Saucelabs. We had a spirited and interesting discussion and shared some meaningful ideas on the topic. I would also like to thank our host Amanda Sopkin for her really on-the-nail questions and for directing the conversation, and our organiser Olivia Christian for inviting me and for her support throughout the event!

The webinar panel was live, lasted for 45 minutes and then we had some time for Q&A. There were some great questions and discussions over the LeadDev slack channel as well.

Here is a bit more insight into the event-

The world of software testing is changing under the pressure of ‘speed to market’. The pressure to quickly get products to market means we are starting to see a significant shift towards automated tests during development. This will likely cause socio-technical complexities for orgs and teams currently involved in testing.

In order to be successful through these changes, orgs will need to have a clear strategy and processes in place that will ensure testing is a vital part of the delivery process. In this new age of testing, how can engineering leaders prevent pitfalls such as friction between teams, a culture of blame, and outdated processes?

In this panel, we examined how shift affects traditional testing set-ups, covering what a healthy testing culture looks like and how to avoid the anti-patterns that lead to uncommunicative teams and project bottlenecks. We explored how engineering teams can best work together and how to encourage a shared vision of quality and the importance of efficient and effective tests.

Key takeaways

  • Define clear roles and responsibilities for quality and testing in your org 
  • Encourage QA to be seen as necessary, rather than inhibiting release times 
  • Understand which tests to automate, and which to not

About LeadDev

LeadDev is a community of software engineering leaders that come together to learn and get inspired on all things team, tech, process, and personal development. 

LeadDev has become an essential destination for anyone in tech and engineering who wants to scale themselves and create impact. They provide a range of content that includes articles, thematic content series, video talks and panel discussions, written and delivered by the best voices in engineering.You can register a free LeadDev.com account to gain access to our free engineering leadership content, free online events and our weekly email newsletter. 

I am Speaking @ LeadDev Webinar Panel – Dec 14th

I am super glad to announce that I have been invited by the LeadDev team as a Panel speaker in the upcoming Webinar on “Building a better Testing culture”

The webinar will be held on 14th December at 10.15 PM IST. Details for registration can be found here https://leaddev.com/events/building-better-testing-culture

I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing group of panelists and chat about building amazing teams and a great team culture in this new age of testing. We will be covering what a healthy testing culture looks like and how to avoid the anti-patterns that lead to uncommunicative teams and project bottlenecks!

To top it all, this is a free event!! So, you can register a free LeadDev.com account to secure your place. Not only this, your account will give you access to our free engineering leadership content, free online events and our weekly email newsletter. 

Register here now to attend this awesome event and become a part of this amazing LeadDev Community!

See you there!

Back to work feelings…

I have been away for a while, and for the best reason ever!

The last month has been just me getting back to work, finding a rhythm raising my little humans along with working from home, navigating the changed professional environment and catching up on loads of work!

The days are filled with building routines, meal times and naps, work hours and playtime evenings, the nights are filled with meetings & calls with the US team and then struggling to wake for the midnight cries. There is a constant fight with the eternal mom guilt and lack of sleep but then there is a drive to do more each day.

There are days where I get a lot done, have meaningful conversations and make work happen, but miss snuggling the babies to bed. But there are days when they need me more and I have to hold, nurse and comfort along with managing work deadlines.

Yes, it is challenging. And Yes, I am enjoying every bit of it! The things life teaches us trickle down into our work as well – things like patience, perseverance, discipline, time management and so much more! Every day is a blessing and I am excited, engaged and ever so energised with this transition.

The aim now is to get back to my blog and get back into writing, speaking and all the community things that I love!

So, yes! I am back with a bang! And ready for a lot more in 2023 🙂

Cheers!

Where have I been?

Yes, it has been silent here for a few months now. So, here is a quick update on where I have been all this while!

I have been busy delivering the biggest project of my life 🙂 My hubby Rajesh and I are glad to announce the arrival of our twins Amay (boy) and Arya (girl). I am currently on my maternity leave and taking the time to recover as well as tend to my tiny humans who stake the claim to the entirety of my days at the moment 🙂 I am trying to soak up every moment of this glorious time! I will get back to work in a couple of months. So, conference speaking is on the back-burner for now and so is blogging.

Meanwhile, I am looking forward to collaborating with guest authors for some interesting posts up here. I have had some request emails and am currently reviewing those. If you have something in mind you would like to write about, do reach out to me here or on Linkedin.

I am speaking at DevOpsCon Singapore – Nov 2021

I am super excited to announce that the DevOpsCon Singapore conference is finally here and I am elated to be a part of the Speaker lineup!

After cancellations and rescheduling in 2020 due to the pandemic, this grand event is finally happening now from 22 to 25 Nov 2021 in an online edition.

My talk that was slated to be part of the 2020 edition remains the same topic which I have worked to enhance this year. Here are a few details of the session –

Title – The What, When and How of Test Automation

Description

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, whom to involve, and when to schedule these tasks so that the releases are debt-free and of the best quality. 

  • What to automate: regression averse approach, selective approach, sanity automation, max automation approach
  • When to automate: sprint n-1 approach, continuous automation
  • How to automate – all-hands approach, shared automation expert, code-averse tool 

Let us have a look at the integration of these possibilities, the possible combinations, and what may or may not work.

My session will be held live on Monday, November 22 2021 17:00 – 17:45 SGT

To check out my speaker and session details, click here

For the detailed program and agenda of the conference, see this page

To Register for the event and related details, click here

Hope to see you there! 🙂

How To Compliment Software Outsourcing With Agile Development? 

As technology advances at a breakneck pace, speed and adaptability have become critical for fulfilling client requirements. While traditional project management systems such as the waterfall approach are incredibly precise and controlled, they do not foster adaptation or feedback.

However, firms across a variety of sectors have succeeded in transforming the way their projects are managed through the use of the Agile development technique. Businesses whose primary business is software development have profited the most from the Agile methodology. 

Today, the value of agile methods in software development is well recognized. Not to mention, the benefits are only brought to those who are clear on what precisely to expect from a software development service provider. Agile improves your development team’s effectiveness and results in a more coordinated project management strategy. Therefore, thorough research before hiring makes a lot of sense in order to work on your expectations.

Along with the increasing popularity of Agile software development, another trend is picking up quickly, and with good reason is software outsourcing. Outsourcing software development has overtaken in-house development as the second most popular trend in the industry. 

Indeed, several businesses have begun to include agile methodologies into their offshore development processes as well. Their purpose is to combine the cost savings associated with outsourcing with the adaptability associated with agile development procedures. However, this begs the following question:

Is it possible for software outsourcing and agile development to coexist?

IT  Outsourcing is a widely used method of accelerating corporate operations and making them more efficient and competitive. Outsourcing enables organizations or independent software vendors to accelerate project delivery. Given the benefits that both Agile and Outsourcing provide to the software development cycle, collaborating on a project is undoubtedly a good option.

Coordination with an overseas team, on the other hand, might be challenging owing to a lack of face-to-face contact, cultural differences, and time zone differences, among other factors. Meanwhile, if a strategic strategy is used to integrate these masterstrokes for software development, the project delivery cycle may be accelerated and elevated.

To overcome the obstacles that collaboration between Agile and Outsourcing entails, both sides (companies and technology partners) must work together. The below section explores some effective strategies for establishing a successful Agile-Outsourcing relationship.

How To Compliment Software Outsourcing With Agile Development?

1. Choose A Trustworthy/Skilled Technology Partner

A technology partner is a business that comprehends the underlying concept of the program and assists in its execution. To begin, a comprehensive investigation of the organization should be conducted, determining whether their portfolio and prior expertise are applicable to your project. Thus, a set of indicators may be reviewed to determine whether the technology partner has the capability to execute a project according to the needs and standards established in advance. 

2. Assess the Team as a Whole, Not Individuals

Finding excellent programmers with extraordinary talents is not a difficult task for customers wishing to outsource a software project. Agile development, on the other hand, necessitates a high level of team participation; it is all about collaboration, not individual perfection. Each team member is critical to the project’s success, and each member must feel at ease cooperating with others, whether in offshore locations or in their own nation. 

As a result, the programmers’ track record in a team context is more essential than their individual accomplishments. Consider utilizing behavioral interviewing techniques to pick team members in the same way that you would when employing staff for your business.

3. Interact

To flourish as an outsourced and Agile software firm, there is a need for adjustment, since these two concepts do not always mesh well. To be successful, it is necessary to carefully modify the Agile software development process as well as the communication channels between the customer and the outsourced provider.

4. Mitigation of Risk

Everybody will claim to be agile. Therefore, if you are otherwise satisfied with the provider, condition awarding the project on a successful iteration/sprint that results in the delivery of functioning software to you. Make Certain that your sprints are brief. Define the success criteria in detail, including acceptance tests and the delivery timetable, as well as any additional criteria that are critical to you and your business. Following each sprint, you’ll have the chance to evaluate the offshore team’s performance, make required improvements, and lead the project in the correct path.

After analyzing the team’s performance and working style, you should be able to determine whether you can accomplish your business objectives while collaborating with this offshore team.

Conclusion

Embedding agile practices throughout the IT department is a journey – a lengthy one. By enlisting a vendor as a partner on the journey, businesses may alter their IT development while retaining the benefits of outsourcing. This dispersed agile partnership necessitates collaboration on a variety of levels, as well as the ability to learn from and adapt to the outcomes. The incentives are substantial for those that do it right, including much cheaper costs, access to a big pool of technology-savvy labor, and the capacity to operate constantly and fast across different time zones.

<This is a guest post by Emily Cooper.>

Author Bio – Emily Cooper is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of software development, .NET and Dedicated Software Development. 

<Image Credits – Unsplash.com>

How to create a document outlining your Test Strategy?

With the software revolution, all excellent project managers know that if you hasten into the testing process, that particular project is considered to face a lot of issues. 

Working with the best test management software and its particular strategy planned before testing starts is essential because software becomes more complicated with more sequences of code to evaluate. 

Without a definite outline to develop, the QA team might not be sure what their duties are, what type of testing should be performed first and how the project’s progress is being determined.

The initial action to developing a test plan is to understand what you are attempting to perform with the testing strategy document as it will change software testing strategies. 

According to this post created by TatvaSoft experts, the purpose of a test plan is to describe the complete scope of the QA method from both a comprehensive and granular standard. 

Let’s take a look at one of their sections and understand why they consider that having a Test Plan for every business is beneficial— 

A Test Plan is a thorough document that outlines the test strategy, objectives, timeline, estimation, deliverables, and resources needed to execute software testing. The Test Plan assists us in determining the amount of work required to confirm the quality of the application being tested. The test plan is a blueprint for conducting software testing operations as a well-defined procedure that is meticulously documented. Read More 

The software testing approach helps to create a test plan as it is one of the most essential aspects of the complete testing process, as it describes accurately what the testing team requires to succeed and how to proceed to achieve those aims. Test Strategy is a crucial part of the Test Plan.

The task of writing a whole document test strategy from start may seem daunting, especially for bigger projects. If QA managers need a systematic approach to this responsibility, however, they’ll discover that planning and compiling an efficient and comprehensive test strategy isn’t so hard.

Here are a few tips for your team’s benefit-

Steps To Create A Test Plan Using Best Test Strategies!

Understand the product or feature you’re testing

We will begin with one of the essential aspects of software testing strategy, which is having a broad knowledge of the product or feature before you begin developing a test plan for it. 

For instance, let’s assume you’ve just worked over a website redesign and need to test it before you launch it in the market. For that, you will require to know these below-mentioned factors: 

  • Discuss with the designer and developer to know the extent, goals, and functionality of the website.
  • Review the project documentation which is developed by the project manager that includes SOW, project plan, and the responsibilities in the project management tool.
  • Conduct a product examination to know the functionality, user movement, and defects.

This action provides you with the setting to write a good test strategy document, purposes and begin to plan out the sources you’ll require to create it.

Define the test objectives and their criteria

As you describe every other test you’re continuing to work on, you are required to apprehend when your test is “finished.” 

This implies establishing the pass and fail standards for each particular test, and some of the information we can discuss, such as departure and delay criteria.

To perform this, you’ll need to recognise different system metrics that you’re monitoring and select what progress means for them. 

For instance, if you were working on a performance test you need these measures to succeed:

  • Response time: Complete time to forward a request and receive a response.
  • Average load time: Average time it needs to address all requests.
  • Peak response time: The most extended time it needs to complete a request.
  • Wait time: It is the duration it needs to get the first byte after a demand is sent.
  • Requests per second: The number of requests it can manage during that one second.
  • Events passed/failed: The whole number of passed or failed requests.

Don’t worry you can proceed with testing and repeating forever. So you are required to determine what’s best for your software out and in the palms of users.

Plan the test environment

The outcomes of your test plan always depend on the point you’re testing as well as the environment you’re testing it in. 

As a component of the test strategy document scope, you are required to decide what hardware, software, operating system, and tool compounds you’re running to test.

This is a condition where it pays to be particular. For instance, if you’re going to define an operating system to be utilised throughout the test plan, specify the OS edition/version rather than just mentioning the name.

Define Test Objective

Test Objective is the complete purpose and performance of the test execution. The purpose of the testing is to discover as many software errors as possible; guarantee that the software during the test is bug-free before release.

To determine the test purposes, you need to perform these 2 steps:

  • Record all the software features such as functionality, appearance, and GUI that may require testing.
  • Determine the purpose or the object of the test according to features

Use these steps to get the test goal of your testing project

Also, you can use the ‘TOP-DOWN’ approach to discover the website’s features that may require testing. In this process, you break down the app following the test to component and sub-component.

Conclusion

The test strategy document provides a definite concept of what the test team will perform for the entire project. It is a latent document that means it won’t fluctuate during the project life cycle. 

The one who prepares this document must have enough expertise in the product field, as this is the record that is running to manage the complete team, and it won’t fluctuate during the project. 

Test strategy documents need to be distributed to the complete testing team before the testing ventures start.

<This is a guest post by Matthew Jones – who is a tech enthusiast. and he likes to share his bylines.>

How to Decide if You Should Automate a Test Case

Test automation is imperative for the fast-paced agile projects of today. Testers need to continuously plan, design and execute automated tests to ensure the quality of the software. But the most important task is to decide what to automate first.

In my article published on the TestRail Quality Hub, I have compiled & shared a list of questions to help you prioritise what you should automate next and guide your test automation strategy.

Here is a checklist of questions to ask yourself as you decide on automating a Test Case–

*******

Is the test going to be repeated?

Is it a high-priority feature? 

Do you need to run the test with multiple datasets or paths? 

Is it a Regression or Smoke Test?

Does this automation lie within the feasibility of your chosen test automation tool?

Is the area of your app that this is testing prone to change?

Is it a Random Negative Test?

Can these tests be executed in parallel, or only in sequential order?

Are you doing it only for the reports?

********

For the detailed explanation of each of these points, read the complete article here –>

Are your Test cases really effective?

Test teams are forever designing and adding new tests, running them, and reporting results. But is your test team creating tests that are effective at finding real problems?

How do you know if your tests are actually working, and not just adding to the ever-increasing test count?

In my article published on the Testrail blog site, I discuss some ways you can gauge the effectiveness of your tests — and improve them.

Defects Found

The top and most obvious indicator of the effectiveness of your test cases is the defects you find when executing them. As you and your team execute the designed test cases, constantly ask yourself these questions:

  • Are these tests guiding me toward defects?
  • Am I finding problems with the predefined test cases? Or do I have to do more exploration before even getting close to a problem?
  • Are these tests exercising unique flows or use paths?

Metrics

You can also look at your defect lists and find related test cases for the defect logged (if you have that ability in your defect management system). This interlinking helps the team understand what test cases led to the issues found.

You can then further analyze whether that test case was created during test design or later added to the list when the issue was found.

Exploration

If your test cases are not effective, you will not find any useful bugs in test execution. That will mean most of your time is spent in unplanned exploration or ad hoc testing. So, by looking at the time spent in actual test execution versus the time spent on ad hoc testing, you can figure out the effectiveness of the test cases you designed.

If your test cases are effective, you will find issues, explore more use paths, navigate through different integrations with other features, and test different aspects of the same functionality.

If at the end of your test execution, you feel that you have not done all of that, you can infer that is because your test cases might be too simplistic or obvious, and therefore not effective enough to find any useful bugs.

History

Continue Reading here–>

My interview with Fabian Böck featured on Youtube -“Never Feel Stuck”

I was recently invited by Fabian Böck for a chat over on his Youtube channel where he frequently interviews people in tech on various topics of interest in the industry. My talk was focused on how to steer the direction of your tech career. We had a fantastic talk about how to pave learning avenues, set for yourself time to reflect, and how companies should be enabling their workforce. And most importantly, how to ‘Never Feel Stuck’ in where you are – even if you are happy or not and use continuous learning and self improvement to guide yourself to better places!

Here is a link to the video interview-

Fabian’s company Boeck and XOXO works on Tech Conventions x Matchmaking Marketplace x Tech Talks. Check them out for more interesting talks and content!

Check out the Linkedin posts here – https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6821385665146691584/

Cheers

Nishi