My interview with Thomas Cagley featured on SPaMCAST

I recently had a chance to chat with Mr. Thomas Cagley in an interview for his wonderful Podcast channel SPaMCAST. We talked all about Agile Testing, its differences from the traditional approach of testing, Agile Pods and the upcoming trends in the testing world!

It was a wonderful experience and I am grateful for having the chance to talk to one of the people I so look up to in the industry. Here is the link to the podcast show notes and info

http://spamcast.libsyn.com/spamcast-516-agile-testing-and-more-an-interview-with-nishi-grover-garg

Here is the link for Direct Playback: bit.ly/2QKvPvm

 

Hear it out and do share your thoughts!

Cheers

Nishi

 

This website is now featured in the 75 Best Software Testing blogs!

It’s a big day for me as my personal blog has been featured in the ’75 Best Software Testing Blogs’ by 🙂

Check out the complete list at ->

https://abstracta.us/blog/software-testing/75-best-software-testing-blogs/

Elated and Excited! Please give a thumbs up and follow me for testing and agile related articles.

To follow this blog –> Add your email ID on the right side panel, and receive periodic updates with new articles and posts!

Listed in top 75 blogs

Thanks a lot!

Nishi

I am speaking at the ‘Selenium Summit 2018’ @Pune

Hello!

Check it out!

I am speaking at the Selenium Automation Summit 2018 being organised on 22nd March 2018 by ATA @ Pune.

Find more details about the event at : http://seleniumsummit18.agiletestingalliance.org/

I will be presenting a 90 minute- hands-on workshop on:

“Selenium with Cucumber for an extended BDD Framework”

Are you interested in looking into the trend of Behavior Driven Development? Would you like to see it in action using Cucumber? Would you like to integrate your functional tests in such a framework using integration of Selenium within Cucumber? Then this is the workshop for you!

This workshop will cover

  • Practical issues faced by most testing teams
  • Behavior Driven Development – the definition and need
  • Extending the Agile User stories and acceptance criteria in BDD scenarios
  • Cucumber as a BDD tool
  • Integration of Cucumber with Selenium in order to perform functional tests
  • Demo using Cucumber with Selenium with a real use case
  • Usage and Benefits of BDD In agile teams

Let’s meet there!

-Nishi

Better Software Design Ideas for the Hawaii Emergency Alert System

Continuing the discussion on the Hawaii Missile Alert which made headlines in January 2018 and turned out to be a false alarm and ended up raising panic amongst almost a million people of the state all for nothing, (read here for detailed report) I would like to bring back the focus on implications of poor software design leading to such human errors.

Better software design is aimed at making the software easier to use, fit for its purpose and improving the overall experience of the user. While software design focuses on making all features easily accessible, understandable and usable, it also can be directed at making the user aware of all possibilities and implications before performing their actions. Certain actions, if critical, can and should be made more discrete than the others, may have added security or authorisations and visual hints indicating their critical nature.

Some of the best designers at freelancer.com came together to brainstorm ideas for better software design and to revamp the Hawaii government’s inept designs. They ran a contest amongst themselves to come up with the best designs that could avoid such a fiasco in future.

Sarah Danseglio, from East Meadow, New York, took home the $150 grand prize, while Renan M. of Brazil and Lyza V. of the Philippines scored $100 and $75 for coming in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Here is a sneak peek into how they designed the improved system :Read More »

Conducting a Webinar on “Strengthening your Agility using BDD”

As a part of the webinar series by Agile Testing Alliance (ATA) , I will be conducting a webinar on the topic  “Strengthening your Agility with BDD – A Demo using Cucumber”. Here I will discuss the practical issues in agile teams and the use of Behavior Driven Development to overcome them. I shall also demo a basic BDD framework using Cucumber as a tool and showcase a practical test scenario.

The webinar will cover –

  • Practical issues faced by Agile teams
  • QA issues in fast paced agile
  • Behavior Driven Development – the definition and need
  • Extending the Agile User stories and acceptance criteria in BDD scenarios
  • Demo using Cucumber
  • Usage and Benefits of BDD In agile

Find more details about the webinar at https://www.townscript.com/e/webinar-on-bdd and register soon!

—-UPDATE—

The recorded session is now available at ATA Youtube channel at

 

Thanks

Nishi

 

Hawaii False Missile Alarm – was it entirely a Human Error?

Software impacts human lives – let us put more thought into it!

Here is what happened and my take on how software design may have been partly responsible and could be improved >>

Miami Shocked!

Miami state in the US received a massive panic attack on Saturday the 13th of January 2018. More than a million people in Hawaii were led to fear that they were about to be struck by a nuclear missile due to circulation of a message sent out by the state emergency management. The message sent state wide just after 8 a.m. Saturday read: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

DTcOgHyUQAA5R4A

The residents were left in a state of panic. People started scrambling to get to safe places, gathering supplies and even saying their goodbyes. Some took shelter in manholes, some gathered their kids into the most sheltered rooms in their homes like bathrooms or basements, some huddled in their closets and some sent out goodbye messages to their loved ones.

Turned out it was a false alert. Around 40 minutes later, the agency sent out another message saying that it was a false alarm sent out by mistake!

The questions being asked was – how could this happen and why did it take 40 minutes to check and issue an all clear?

 

Why Did This Happen?

Investigations into the incident were revealed and the governor stated that It was a procedure that occurs at the change of shift which they go through to make sure that the system is working, and an employee pushed the wrong button.”

The error occurred when, in the midst of a drill during a shift change at the agency, an employee made the wrong selection from a “drop-down” computer menu, choosing to activate a missile launch warning instead of the option for generating an internal test alert. The employee, believing the correct selection had been made, then went ahead and clicked “yes” when the system’s computer prompt asked whether to proceed.

Analysing the Root Cause

But is the fault only at human level? The software being used for such critical usage also needs to help out to avoid the possibility of such human errors.

After all triggering such a massive state-wide emergency warning should not have been as simple as push of a wrong button by a single person!

Could a better design of the software have prevented this kind of scenario from happening?

As reported, the incorrect selection was made in a dropdown – which lets imagine would look something like this-

Miami State Emergency Sample System
Miami State Emergency Sample System

After the selection was made, the system sent a prompt and the employee, believing the correct selection had been made, then went ahead and clicked “yes”.

So by this information we can assume that the prompt would have been something generic like

Miami State Emergency Sample Prompt
Miami State Emergency Sample Prompt

 

Though it definitely is a human error but isn’t the system also at fault for letting this happen so easily?

Better Design Ideas – More Thought – Improving Your Software

By putting in some extra thought into design of the software we can make it more robust to avoid such incidents.

Here are some things that could have helped design it better –

  1. Do not have the TEST options placed right next to the ACTUAL emergency options!

Have different fields or perhaps different sub menus inside the dropdown as categories.

Segregating the Actions in the dropdown into categories
Segregating the Actions in the dropdown into categories

 

>> Always have the TEST category of warnings higher up in the list

>>Have the Default Selection in the dropdown either as BLANK or as one of the TEST warnings and not the actual ones

>>Having the actual warnings section lower down and separated away from the similarly worded TEST warning would ensure lower chance of wrongful selection of the similar named option from the dropdown

 

  1. The prompt message must be made unique to each scenario and in case of selecting a real warning issue action, the prompt must ask the user to specify the emergency.
New prompt
Unavoidable Prompt with explicit message

 

>>Make the prompt appear critical with use of color and text

>>A critical prompt must catch the user’s attention and not be similar to the other screens and popups of the system, to avoid the possibility of clicking on it in a hurry.

>>Placement of Yes and No buttons on unusual sides (Yes is on the left which is not typical) avoids the click of the button – also used Red and Green to signify the importance situation. Red is the usual code for danger.

  1. Additional level of authorisation must be added to the scenarios of real emergency warnings being issued. So, for the TEST actions, user may proceed and begin the drill but in case they select ACTUAL warning then the steps take it to another level of authorisation where another employee – a peer or a senior- reviews the action and performs the final warning issue.

>>This prevents erroneous actions and also some possibility of hackers or notorious people issuing false warnings just by gaining access via one user.

>>Define your hierarchy of users or approvals for each case of emergency.

 

These ideas may sound basic but all these are components of good Usability of the software, its appropriateness of purpose and setting up basic security in usage of the application.

We are just playing around human psychology, easier understand-ability and attention spans.

Let us endeavour to give a little more ‘thought’ to the system

  • Think about its real world usage,
  • Implications of a wrong action in the system,
  • Add more practicality into the design,
  • Make space for human mistakes,           
  • Help humans make better & informed decisions,    and
  • Explore all possibilities to avoid such errors.

 

Cheers,

Nishi

 

Getting Featured in the ‘Top 10 Articles of 2017’ at Stickyminds!

Dear Readers

It is my pleasure and honor to share that my article on

                              “Let the Agile Manifesto guide your Software Testing”

published on Techwell Community forum http://www.stickyminds.com in 2017 has now been featured in the list of “Hottest Articles of 2017” , featuring in the Top 10 Most Read articles last year!

You can give it a read at https://www.stickyminds.com/article/let-agile-manifesto-guide-your-software-testing

I am happy that my thoughts, ideas and write-ups are getting noticed, and this motivates me to continue writing more and better always!

Wishing you a great year ahead.

Happy Testing!

 

Conducted a full-day “Applied Agile Testing” workshop @Singapore

Hey there!

The day finally arrived when I had the opportunity to conduct a full-day workshop in the beautiful Hotel Village Changi @Singapore on 16th June 2017, organised by 1.21GWs.

The workshop was titled “Applied Agile Testing” and was designed specifically to bring in practical agile knowledge to software testers looking for answers to their software testing dilemmas in agile teams. The agenda also included practical work, team exercises and a hands-on agile testing project with testing a live web application in sprints format. We focused on lean documentation and exploratory testing and each participant had a chance to bring out their keen testing skills and find the best bugs!

The audience was a good mix of people from different domains and varying skills and levels of experience. We had great questions and discussions during the day, enjoyed the networking over coffee and lunch, and an amazing response from the delegates. The team exercises and live project were a big hit! I received amazing feedback about the session, the topics and conduct and specially for the project.

Here are a few glimpses from the day –

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We also gave out hand-outs and certificates to all attendees for participation in the event issues by 1.21GWs-

Our delegate Mr. Rajesh Thomas from Semiconductor Technologies & Instruments was kind enough to share his feedback – here in his own words—

It was a wonderful workshop we had and it indeed helped me to learn on applying testing and its technique in Agile. The topics was very well arranged which helped us to sail gradually to the core subject. The techniques taught and applying sprint on real time project did help us to understand better”

More feedback by delegates –>

IMG_20170616_180709

It was a great experience and Singapore being the wonderful and welcoming place that it is offered us lots of love and appreciation! Hope to get there back again soon!! 🙂 🙂

Cheers

Nishi