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.

Read More »

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!

Using Mind Maps for Agile Test Planning

Mind maps are a creative way of gathering ideas around a central theme and categorizing them in concrete branches. Mind maps can be useful for both personal and professional life as an organization and visualization technique. They’re descriptive, easy and even fun.

In my latest post for Gurock blog, I showcase the usage of mind maps as a technique for test planning and test design. This tool’s capabilities make your documentation leaner and ideas more visual, which benefits the whole agile team.
https://blog.gurock.com/agile-mind-map/

Be it test planning in an agile team which needs entire team’s insights and collaboration, or categorization of product features, test areas and backlog, Mindmaps can be used for all aspects and phases of the project.

Testers can generate their test ideas and have them categorized in a mind map around the central theme of the feature. The visual nature of a mind map helps them find more scenarios, see which parts are more heavily tested, and focus on main areas or branches. Once done, they can have other stakeholders take a look at it and get their opinions. This fosters brainstorming together and gathers the maximum number of ideas from the entire team.

Find useful tips to create your own mindmaps, as well as some samples for your reference in agile test designing as well as test planning. Read the complete article here ->
https://blog.gurock.com/agile-mind-map/

Share your thoughts!

Making the case for Usability Testing in Agile

My first experience with usability testing was on an agile team where the product we were building was being designed with the help of an in-house usability expert. He helped design the user interface (UI) of the application and conduct usability study on the beta version of the software to determine the ease of use of the application.

Though the experience was limited in terms of the interaction we had with the user representatives and the sessions conducted, the feedback we received opened up lots of new avenues for the tester in me around the learnability, understandability and attractiveness of the application I was testing.

Usability has matured a lot over the years. It’s now an essential software characteristic in today’s web and mobile applications. In my article published at the TestRail blog, I discuss ways of performing Usability tests and developing a mindset for Usability in an agile context.

https://blog.gurock.com/usability-testing-agile-projects/

We also discuss about Usability Study , how to set it up and achieve maximum benefits from it.

To read the complete article — (opens in a new tab)”>Click here –>


Prevention is the Best Cure- for Defects in Agile

The agile methodology focuses on building in quality from the very beginning of the software lifecycle. That is why we aim to find and fix defects early on: A defect found and fixed in an earlier lifecycle phase is a multitude cheaper than the same defect at a later stage.

But how can we more easily make it possible to prevent defects from percolating deeper in the software development lifecycle by fixing them in their nascent stages?

This is the main theme of my latest article for @Gurock TestRail blog – where I explore and explain ways to foresee, analyze and thwart defects in an agile context.

The main points discussed are-

Communication

Conduct Reviews

Demonstrate Often

Static Analysis and CI

Click Here to read the complete article –>

Please support by liking / commenting and sharing the article!

Cheers

Nishi

‘Just Enough’ documentation in an Agile Project

Agile poses many challenges to the development team, most of them pertaining to time. Teams are perpetually under pressure to deliver working software at a fast pace, leaving minimum time for anything else. When testing on an agile project, learning how to write lean documentation can save precious time. Furthermore writing lean documentation can help rework efforts by focusing only on what’s really necessary.

The Agile Manifesto emphasizes working software over comprehensive documentation, but most agile teams interpret this wrong and treat documentation as something to be avoided, owing to time constraints. The manifesto states a lesser focus on comprehensive documentation, but some documentation is still needed for the project and any related guidelines being followed. Attaining this balance is a challenge.

Documentation is a necessary evil. We may think of it as cumbersome and time-consuming, but the project cannot survive without it. For this reason, we need to find ways to do just enough documentation — no more, no less.

Read about how to focus on important areas like VALUE  , COMMUNICATION and  SUFFICIENCY when documenting in your agile project – in my article published at Gurock TestRail blog –> https://blog.gurock.com/lean-documentation-agile-project/

just enough

Click here to read the full article

For example, in a traditional test design document, we create columns for test case description, test steps, test data, expected results and actual results, along with preconditions and post-conditions for each test case. There may be a very detailed description of test steps, and varying test data may also be repeatedly documented. While this is needed in many contexts, agile testers may not have the time or the need to specify their tests in this much detail.

As an agile tester, I have worked on teams following a much leaner approach to sprint-level tests. We document the tests as high-level scenarios, with a one line description of the test and a column for details like any specific test data or the expected outcome. When executing these tests, the tester may add relevant information for future regression cycles, as well as document test results and any defects.

More examples and scenarios for learning leaner test document creation are included in the full article– Click here to read the full article

 

                 Are you interested in finding the right tool for your Agile processes? Here is a comprehensive assessment and comparison of the best agile tools available! 

https://thedigitalprojectmanager.com/agile-tools/

Prepared by Ben Aston, this list may be a useful guide for finding and selecting the best tool to support your agile journey. Check it out!

 

Happy Testing!

Nishi

A Day in the Life of an Agile Tester

An agile tester’s work life is intriguing, busy and challenging. A typical day is filled with varied activities like design discussions, test planning, strategizing for upcoming sprints, collaborating with developers on current user stories, peer reviews for teammates, test execution, working with business analysts for requirement analysis and planning automation strategies.

In my article for Gurock TestRail blog, I have explored a typical day in the life of an agile tester and how varied activities and tasks keep her engaged, busy and on her toes all the time!

agile tester.png

Let’s sneak a peek into a day in the life of an agile tester — > You will go through the daily routine of an agile tester and will experience their complicated schedule in real time.

Read full article

https://blog.gurock.com/agile-tester-work-life/