My contribution to the eBook “Software People- Work From Home” -now on Leanpub

I am super excited to share that I have my first ever contribution to an eBook now published on Leanpub. This eBook called “Software People- Work From Home” is initiated and compiled by Stephan Kamper and Maik Nogens which has many software professionals from all around the globe contributing their stories, experiences and ideas on their work-from-home experiences.

In my chapter , I wrote about Speaking and Engaging from home in this pandemic-induced lock-down situation. I shared my take on engaging with your colleagues, engaging with the community and also with oneself while working from home. Check out Chapter-9 in the eBook to read my contribution. Please give it a read and support this wonderful initiative –> https://leanpub.com/softwarepeopleworkfromhome

Catch updates and opinions about the book, and tweet about it using the hashtag #SoftwarePeopleWfhBook

My Work-from-Home Desk

Another fun aspect of this eBook is getting to see all the fun ‘work-from-home’ setups and desk images shared by the authors along with their write-ups. It brings a sense of belonging, understanding and normalcy to this unique situation and helps you relate to the writer’s life and experiences. I , too shared by home desk image! 🙂

Find out how software people experienced the corona-virus-caused time working from home!

Software people from all over the planet share their insights & experiences, opinions, and tips.

The coronian times during the year of 2020 have – in fact are still at the time of the writing – proven to provide a good number of challenges for everyone.

– eBook “Software People- Work From Home”

This eBook is available for free at LeanPub. Please give it a read and support this wonderful initiative! https://leanpub.com/softwarepeopleworkfromhome

Cheers

Nishi

Four Ideas for Self-Care When Working from Home

Work life can be equally as stressful as personal life, if not more. This especially true when your home becomes your workplace. The boundaries between professional and personal life are blurred and it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Tech professionals need to tackle their daily stresses in order to be happy, healthy and more productive.

Practicing self-care goes a long way toward helping battle those stressors and can have great benefits for your mental and physical health. Don’t feel guilty about taking time to care for yourself. It’s not selfish to make your health a priority. And it’s not just for you, either: You will be better able to help others when you are your healthiest.

You cannot control everything life throws your way, but you can control how well you take care of yourself. Here are four ideas to practice self-care when working from home to increase happiness and bring back balance to your life. Read full article at https://blog.gurock.com/four-ideas-for-self-care-at-work/

Simplify Your Schedule

Although you may be frequently tempted to, it is best not to overpack your day with too many discussions or online meetings. Spending too much time talking about work rarely leaves you with the time or energy to get any actual work done during the day, leading you to burn the midnight oil.

Set a limit to spend a maximum of two hours in meetings per day. Keep your calendar open for others to see and let them know they can schedule time with you only up to that limit and within the hours you are most comfortable with. This will give you a simpler schedule and not take away your most productive hours with meetings.

Similarly, create a simple schedule for your personal tasks, chores, and things to do around the house each day and set some time aside to get them done. You will feel so much better doing things and checking things off your list, instantly adding a boost in your productivity.

Avoid Stress Triggers

Although it is easier said than done, you must make special efforts to avoid any known triggers or stress-inducing things at work, as well as while working from home. Some situations, people or types of interaction may leave you zapped of energy and feeling bogged down. If you look for these situations and learn to recognize them, you can then make an effort to avoid those scenarios, saving your energy and giving you better mental health.

Read More »

Four Goals of Testing Beyond Finding Defects

Are you testing with the sole purpose of finding defects? What if you don’t find any? Your testing should deliver more value than just finding bugs. In my article published at https://blog.gurock.com/, I examined the true goals of testing and how we can aim at achieving all four of them for the quality benefits of our software.

Gaining knowledge about defects 

While there is more to testing than pinpointing bugs, finding defects and problems is the first instinctive goal. Looking for places where the functionality breaks or does not work as expected is key. 

Testers can adopt a number of approaches, test techniques and strategies to find these problems before users do. This helps the team keep updated on the status of product quality, fix the problems, and improve the software for the users.

Proving functionality

If you have been testing diligently and going through a bunch of test cases and various scenarios but haven’t yet found a defect, it doesn’t mean it was all for nothing! If a test doesn’t fail, that means it passed, and that is useful information, too.

Another major goal of testing is to prove that the functionality works fine, and it is that proof that helps us make decisions about its future. Without this proof, we would never have a clear picture of the software’s quality, its intended functionality or whether it’s fit for use. Many teams would also get into problems with regulations, audits, and compliance without this proof of functionality.

Generating information

Testing also generates a lot more information than just passing or failing tests. Testers generally have loads of questions occur to them while testing. They may be about the need, implementation or design of the features, their related integrations with existing features, or actual usage scenarios. The answers to these questions are paramount in making the feature assimilate well within the software. 

Read More »

Read Along- ‘Agile Testing’ Chapter-6

“The Purpose of Testing”

  • The Agile Testing Quadrants matrix helps testers ensure that they have considered all of the different types of tests that are needed in order to deliver value.

Quadrant-1

Unit tests verify functionality of a small subset of the system. Component tests verify the behaviour of a larger part such as a group of classes that provide some services. Unit & Component tests are automated and written in the same programming language as the application. They enable programmers to measure what Kent Beck has called the internal quality of their code.

Quadrant-2

  • Tests in Quadrant-2 support the work of the development team but at a higher level. These business-facing tests define external quality and the features that the customers want. They’re written in a way business experts can easily understand using the business domain language.
  • The quick feedback provided by Quadrant 1 and 2 automated tests, which run with every code change or addition, form the foundation of an agile team. These tests first guide the development of functionality and when automated, then provide a safety net to prevent refactoring and the introduction of new code from causing unexpected results.

“Appraising a software product involves both art and science.”

Quadrant-3

  • Quadrant-3 classifies the business-facing tests that exercise the working software to see if it doesn’t quite meet expectations or won’t stand up to the competition. They try to emulate the way a real user would work the application. This is manual testing that only a human can do…use our senses, our brains and our intuition to check whether the development team has delivered the business value required by the customer.
  • Exploratory testing is central to this quadrant.

Quadrant-4

  • Technology-facing tests in Quadrant-4 are intended to critique product characteristics such as performance, robustness and security.
  • Creating and running these tests might require the use of specialised tools and additional expertise.
  • Automation is mandatory for some efforts such as load and performance testing.
Agile Testing Quadrants

Technical Debt

  • Ward Cunningham coined the term “technical debt” in 1992, but we’ve certainly experienced it throughout our careers in software development.
  • By taking the time and applying resources and practices to keep technical debt to a minimum, a team will have time and resources to cover the testing needed to ensure a quality product. Applying agile principles to do a good job of each type of testing at each level will, in turn, minimize technical debt.
  • Each quadrant in the agile testing matrix plays a role in keeping technical debt to a manageable level.

The Agile Testing Quadrants provide a checklist to make sure you have covered all your testing bases. Examine the answers to questions such as:

  • Are we using unit & component tests to help find the right design for our application?
  • Do we have an automated build process?
  • Do our business-facing tests help us deliver a product that matches customer expectations?
  • Are we capturing the right examples of desired system behaviour?
  • Do we show prototypes of the UIs and reports to the users before we start coding them?
  • Do we budget enough time for exploratory testing?
  • Do we consider technological requirements like performance and security early enough?

I am speaking at the Tribal Qonf by The Test Tribe!

I am super excited to be a part of the wonderful lineup of speakers at Tribal Qonf, being organised by the awesome community at The Test Tribe https://www.thetesttribe.com/tribalqonf-virtual-2020/

It sure is going to be a great event with some awesome talks lined up by internationally renowned speakers.

My talk is going to be about “Adopting a Simplified Risk Based Testing approach” which includes a little bit of a story from my past project and a showcasing how to implement a simplified risk based approach on a new project.

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/activity-6676435963583037440-ssRp

Here is a link to the conference for you to check out the details and the agenda – https://www.thetesttribe.com/tribalqonf-virtual-2020/

Link to Register -> https://www.townscript.com/e/tribal-qonf-2020-a-virtual-conference-by-the-test-tribe-431224

Discount Code -> TQNISHI

Details of Discount – > This code is to claim a 5% discount but across categories, and as many as 50 folks can claim it. 

Here are some awesome community posts to check out!

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6666906210366820352/

http://enjoytesting.blogspot.com/2020/05/tribal-qonf-reason-2-to-attend.html

See you there!

Cheers

Nishi

Working from Home? Five Tips to Keep Your Sanity and Productivity Intact

As teams and companies across the globe are following social distancing recommendations, many workers are wading into unchartered territory. How are you supposed to maintain any kind of workflow when your surroundings (and mental state) are different from what you’re used to?

If you are new to working from home, here are five tips to help keep your sanity and productivity intact! Read Full article at https://blog.gurock.com/working-from-home-tips-productivity-sanity/

Embrace the Change

Working from home will be different from working from your office. You might miss the human interaction — the lunches with your team or the coffee breaks and informal chats. You might also feel derailed from your goals a little as you figure out the dynamics of online collaboration tools, remote meetings, and screen-sharing applications that take away time from your actual work.

But this is not the time to get bogged down by these changes. Since most of it is out of your control anyway, it is better to embrace the changes — or at least accept them — to give yourself peace of mind. Try not to fight your new situation or get negative about it.

Manage Your Distractions

Your day at home will be filled with many distractions that may take your focus away from your work. Working can be hard when you see that sink full of dishes or a dirty living room that needs a vacuum. I personally find myself rushing to the kitchen every hour to fix myself a snack, just because I am so close to it! You may also have partners, children or other people living with you who are trying to get through their day too.

It is imperative to create a routine that helps you manage these distractions. First, try to set your work hours at a time that fits your day and your family. Your at-home work hours may not be the same as your in-office work hours, and that is OK. If you can wake up early to get a couple of hours of work done before your kids are up, do that! It will start your day off on a productive note and you will feel less stressed about spending an hour feeding your toddler breakfast. Once you get them to settle down for the day with schoolwork or an activity, you can resume working.

If you have a partner also working from home, manage your time with them in mind. What are the best times to begin working? Do you both want to take a break to have lunch together? How can you split your chores so that you are not perpetually stressed and distracted with them?

Even if you live alone, having a routine and set times for beginning work, having a snack or lunch, and finishing work will help you keep your focus and get things done!

Designate Your Space

This is the most important factor when living with someone else. Being productive requires a space of your own and the feeling of being at work. Even if it is as little as setting up a desk, using a corner in the living room or making your couch your work area, you will need to make the effort! Have your laptop, books, chargers and other stuff you need at hand, and set up that area to feel like your workplace from now on. Use that space consistently for at least a few hours each day and keep distractions to a minimum. 

If you are lucky enough to have a study, home office or other separate room to work, you might need to coordinate with your partner on using the desk at different parts of your day. My husband and I use our study room alternately, mostly with me spending the first part of the day there while he uses it in the later half of the day, since most of his work calls happen at that time. If you and a partner or roommate are both scheduled for calls at the same time, decide on your separate areas and give each other space to work in peace…….

Read More — > https://blog.gurock.com/working-from-home-tips-productivity-sanity/

Published at (https://blog.gurock.com/)

My experience speaking at Testbash Home

The Ministry of Testing (MoT) is definitely the biggest and the most supportive testing community. Having heard so much about their Testbash events conducted world-wide, speaking at one was a long time goal. And I was fortunate enough to be accepted to speak at Testbash Detroit this year. But as things progressed since the beginning of 2020, travels and conferences of any kind were far from possible in light of a the global pandemic of Covid-19. Alas! our dreams were shattered. And though, it was disheartening for sure, the awesome community jumped back from the jolt and got together to bring us all an awesome online event #Testbash Home 2020.

Preparations began and I too got back to preparing my talk, which I had given up on after the cancellations! Took a couple of weekends sorting out the content and slides. Then we had a call to record the talks with the community members Heather and Diana were ever so supportive and so kind with their emails, scheduling and feedback! This was a wonderful idea to have the talks pre-recorded so that we are not hampered by any technical glitches on the event day, while we speakers get to focus on engaging with everyone and answering questions from the community.

As the day of the event approached, I prepared for my live interview. The event had more than 1000 registrations! Definitely making it the biggest audience I have ever presented to. Though the event began late night hours for my timezone, my talk was at a convenient morning hour. So that is when I joined in. Had a wonderful chat with Richard who was the Backstage boss and handling the entire livestream for the entire 24 hours! Checked on my audio & video etc and also had introductions with James who was the host for that part. And then we were live!

The duration of the talk went great. It was surreal listening to myself presenting, and looking at the live chat and questions coming from the participants throughout the talk. Once it ended, I was back live with my video. Me and James continued to discuss the most popular voted questions asked and I answered them the best to my knowledge. It was amazing to see such great comments and kind appreciation by the listeners in the chats once we were done. #Grateful

Once my talk was done, I could now continue to enjoy the rest of the live event! #Testbash Home was an absolute treat with a mix of great content, discussions, community participation, fun hosts and great conversations! It sure has set the bar really high for all online events in the future. I stayed throughout the next 5 parts of the event and only left late at night when it was absolutely impossible to keep my eyes open 😛

It sure felt like a day away from our regular stay-at-home lives, and felt like we had met up with so many people in the virtual world. Some key highlights of the day were-

  • Awesome talks by speakers
  • Black Box puzzles played live with volunteers
  • 99 second talks with many enthusiastic participants, many of whom were presenting for the first time!
  • The breakout room was so much fun – where you could select your avatar, enter a virtual room and just chit chat (and play with Ralph the dogBoss 😛 )
  • The breaks in-between parts had the background noise of an actual conference hall with people chattering and plates clanking. It was so soothing to hear (given the times we are in!) A fantastic idea! 🙂
  • The hosts did an awesome job engaging everyone in informal chats, yoga, discussing shows we are watching, things we are cooking and what not. Considering that it was a 24 hour long event, it sure was a welcome change of pace every few hours.
  • The short intros of all the MoT community bosses was so much fun to watch and made it very relatable. Now we know the faces behind the names.

Overall, TestBash home was an awesome experience, and I was fortunate to get some great feedback for my first ever Testbash Talk! I also loved the sketch-note of my talk created by Louise Gibbs

Sketch note Created by Louise Gibbs

I look forward to taking it further and engaging with this community in a live Testbash event some day! 🙂

Cheers

Nishi

Read Along- ‘Agile Testing’ Chapter-5

“Transitioning Typical Processes”

  • There are many processes in a typical project that don’t transition well to agile because they require heavyweight documentation or are an inherent part of the phased and gated process & require signoffs at the end of each stage.

“Metrics can be controversial”

  • Measurements such as cycle time that involve the whole team are more likely to drive you toward success than measures confined to isolated roles or groups.
  • Lean development looks for ways to delight customers, which ought to be the goal for all software development.
  • Metrics that measure milestones along a journey to achieve team goals are useful.

When you are trying to figure out what to measure, first understand what problem you are trying to solve. If your goals are measurable, the measurements you need to gather to track the metrics will be obvious.

  • Figure each metrics Return on Investment and decide whether to track or maintain it. Does the effort spent collecting it justify the value it delivers? Can it be easily communicated and understood? Do what works for your situation. Experiment with keeping a particular metric for a few sprints and evaluate whether it is paying off.

“Projects succeed when people are allowed to do their best work”

  • Defects tracking systems (DTS) are too often used as communication tools & entering unnecessary bugs can be wasteful. Focus on using DTS for the right reasons.
  • Whether your team decides to create a test plan or not, the planning should be done. Each project is different, so don’t expect that the same solution will fit all.
  • Regarding Audits, Processes & Models
    • Traditional quality processes & process improvement models like SAS 70 and CMMI standards can co-exist with agile.
    • Quality assurance teams in traditional development organisations are often tasked with providing information for auditors and ensuring compliance with audit requirements.
    • Examples include what testing has been performed on given software release or proving that different accounts reconcile.
    • Testers can be tasked with writing test plans to evaluate the effectiveness of control activities.
    • Work together with the compliance and internal audit teams to understand your team’s responsibilities.
  • If your organisation is using some kind of process model or quality standard, educate yourself about it and work with the appropriate specialists in your organisation.
  • Process improvement models and frameworks emphasize discipline and conformance to process.

“Standards simply enable you to measure your progress towards your goal”

  • Working with existing quality processes and models is one of the biggest cultural issues you may face as you transition to agile development. All of these changes are hard, but when your whole team gets involves, none are insurmountable.

Mentions and Recognition

Featured in the top QA list by TestSigma on Linkedin & Twitter

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6654394104824328192/

____

My articles featured by the Testing Curator in Weekly Testing Bits

Four Exit Criteria to Determine When User Stories Are Done-Done
And
Read Along Series- ‘AgileTesting’ Chapter-8
http://blog.testingcurator.com/2020/07/12/testing-bits-testing-bits-july-5th-july-11th-2020/
Fighting Defect Clusters in Software Testing http://blog.testingcurator.com/2020/06/07/testing-bits-testing-bits-may-31st-june-6th-2020/
My experience speaking at TestBash Homehttp://blog.testingcurator.com/2020/05/10/testing-bits-testing-bits-mary-3rd-may-9th-2020/
Read Along- ‘Agile Testing’ Chapter-4http://blog.testingcurator.com/2020/04/19/testing-bits-april-12th-april-18th-2020/
Understanding Burnout Symptoms in Tech Workershttp://blog.testingcurator.com/2020/02/16/testing-bits-february-9th-february-15th-2020/

_____

Articles featured by Five_blogs

My Article Featured in Top reads at-
Four Tips to Write Better Bug Reportshttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/07/29/five-blogs-29-july-2020/
Four Exit Criteria to Determine When User Stories Are Done-Donehttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/five-blogs-16-july-2020/
Raise Your Exploratory Testing Gamehttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/07/06/five-blogs-6-july-2020/
Things to Do Before the Sprint Planning Meetinghttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/five-blogs-30-june-2020/
Fighting Defect Clusters in Software Testinghttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/06/16/five-blogs-16-june-2020/
Four Goals of Testing Beyond Finding Defectshttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/05/18/five-blogs-18-may-2020/
Four Ideas for Self-Care When Working from Homehttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/04/24/five-blogs-24-april-2020/
Four Things That Can Sabotage a Sprinthttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/04/14/five-blogs-14-april-2020/
Do You Have Blind Spots in Your Software Testing?https://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/five-blogs-20-march-2020/
Become a Self-Taught Software Tester in 2020https://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/02/24/five-blogs-24-february-2020/
Four Natural Personality Traits That Make a Great Testerhttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/02/07/five-blogs-7-february-2020/
The Partnership of Testing and Checkinghttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/01/23/five-blogs-23-january-2020/
Three New Year’s Resolutions Every Tester Should Makehttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2020/01/03/five-blogs-3-january-2020/
Three Uncommon Metrics Your Agile Team Should Be Tracking
and
Three Metrics Your Agile Team Should Stop Using
https://5blogs.wordpress.com/2019/12/09/five-blogs-9-december-2019/
Defining Exit Criteria for All Stages of Your Agile Projecthttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2019/11/12/five-blogs-12-november-2019/
Overcoming Barriers to Effective Communications in Agile Teamshttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/five-blogs-22-october-2019/
Three Ways Agile Testers Can Use Walkthroughshttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2019/10/16/five-blogs-16-october-2019/
Three Things to Learn from the Bugs You Foundhttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/five-blogs-11-september-2019/
Scrum, Kanban, and ScrumBan: What’s the Difference?https://5blogs.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/five-blogs-13-augustus-2019/
Four Ways Task Boards Help an Agile Teamhttps://5blogs.wordpress.com/2019/07/26/five-blogs-26-july-2019/

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Other mentions and features of my articles

http://blog.practicingitpm.com/2020/02/16/new-pm-articles-for-the-week-of-february-10-16/

A Mention by The Pirate Tester!

https://thepiratetester.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/2019-06-18-should-istqb-exist/

Being Featured in the top 75 Software Testing Blogs

https://testwithnishi.com/2018/05/11/this-website-is-now-featured-in-the-75-best-software-testing-blogs/

I am speaking at TestBash Home 2020

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! None better example of this than the zingy, sweet lemonade under preparation by this awesome community at @Ministry Of Testing , bringing the ‘testing’ flavors of the entire world right to your home!

Despite cancellations of a number of events due to the ongoing pandemic, this community has come back together to create an amazing online event. I am super excited to be speaking at TestBash Home 2020 – the first online software testing conference by Ministry Of Testing. It will begin on the 30th of April 2020 and run for a full 24 hours into the 1st of May 2020, traveling all timezones so that everyone in our truly global testing community can get involved. 

I am honored to be a part of such an awesome line-up of speakers. These hours are going to be packed full of interactive sessions including talks, panels, challenges, plus we’ll relive and reflect on some classic TestBash talks.

Speakers List – TestBash Home 2020

The agenda is live now-

Checkout more details about the event and schedule here –https://www.ministryoftesting.com/events/testbash-home-2020

Follow the updates on Twitter—

Register now for loads of fun and learning and engaging with a worldwide community of testers right from your home!

Cheers

Nishi