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!
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 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.
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–
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.
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
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/
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!
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-
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/
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.
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.
Every year we see the software industry evolving at a rapid pace. This implies changes in the way testing is conducted within the software lifecycle, test processes, techniques and tools, and the tester’s skill set, too.
I’ve been into agile for more than a decade, and I’m still learning, changing and growing each year along with our industry. Here are five of my key lessons and observations from 2018. I hope they help you in the coming year!
In my article published on Gurock blog, I talk about the 5 key learnings for Agile testers from the past year and how they will be key in planning your road ahead in 2019. The key learning areas discussed are —
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.
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.