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.

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.>

3 Ways Technical Debt Can Actually Help Improve your Sprints

“Debt” is not a pleasant term. It brings to mind a burden and generates a feeling of anxiety. The same may also be true for technical debt, or the extra work that we incur while developing our software in the form of missed quality targets, pending tasks, or skipped points from our exit criteria checklists. Like monetary debt, technical debt happens when we make a decision that is quicker in the short term but will hurt us in the long term.

Though we may try our best to limit this debt, it will still happen. And while we will need to pay back the debt one day, we can also use it as a lesson to help improve ourselves and our processes. If it ultimately helps our development, it doesn’t even always have to be a bad thing.

In my article published on the Ranorex blog site, I examine three ways technical debt can actually help us improve our sprints.

Better Estimation

Though the first time incurring technical debt due to an inability to complete an activity as planned may not be pleasant, it should consequently improve the team’s estimation and planning.

Let’s say we had defined developers’ tasks for all user stories with estimated hours, along with a mandate of peer reviews being performed for all code being written. But the end of the sprint saw that though the developers marked their development tasks as done, none of the code had been peer reviewed before check-in. It could have happened due to lack of time or ownership.

The next sprint, the team then decides to have a separate sub-task for peer reviews under the development tasks, each of which is assigned to a peer with an allotted time of 30 minutes. This helps the team plan, have clarity around what tasks are pending, and see how much effort is being spent on the tasks.

So, even though you may begin to accumulate technical debt early on in your sprints, understanding the cause and having a plan of action may improve the team’s overall performance.

Sequencing and Prioritizing

If you find yourself at a point where release is a couple of sprints away and you have a number of unresolved defects, even though they are lower severity, the team may decide to reduce open defect counts for a sprint rather than adding new features. The technical debt incurred in the form of defects can urge the team to refocus and shift priorities.

Or, let’s say your team agreed to 70% automation of regression testing in the beginning of the release cycle, but after four sprints, the scripts they created are showing signs of being unmaintainable or not scalable enough. This may affect delivery in the end, so some testers may take the call of focusing full time on reworking the scripts and adding new automated tests to them, while the other testers take up functional and regression tasks.

My team once found out at the end of our fifth sprint that our developers had not been performing static analysis of their code or creating the reports that were mandated for every sprint. Whatever may have been the reason, this meant that running those reports now was leading to hundreds of errors or warnings all pertaining to code formatting, naming conventions and comments. Even though these were minor issues, it required time to get them all corrected with thousands of lines of code.

Read More »

10 Lessons When Moving from Waterfall to Agile

Many organizations take up the transition from waterfall to agile with the best intentions in mind. Like so many other companies, you might also be seeking to replace your traditional waterfall processes with agile in a quest to shorten the time-to-market and deliver high quality applications.

The road to agile, though, can be a rocky one! That’s why, in my latest refresh post for Ranorex blog, I have put together a few lessons and tips that will help you in succeeding in moving from waterfall to agile successfully!

The article was published at https://www.ranorex.com/blog/10-lessons-when-moving-from-waterfall-to-agile/

Here is a quick list of lessons we dive into-

1: Embrace the agile culture first

2: Adapt roles and responsibilities

3: Take a whole-team approach

4: Test early and often

5: Remember that agile is iterative

6: Encourage transparent communication

7: Make test automation your friend

8: Commit to early feedback and re-planning

9: Include the whole organization in the agile transformation

10: Adopt tools to enable team collaboration

Check out the complete article to read in detail about each of these learnings that can help you succeed in your agile transformation.

Cheers

Nishi

Defining Your Definition of Done

The success of your team and the release depends on everyone getting their individual parts done in time. But how do you define being “done”? What indicates a finished task and differentiates it from a half-baked one?

It is all about having a clear definition of done established and agreed upon within the team from the onset of the project. Check out my article published at https://blog.gurock.com/definition-of-done/ – Here I talk about some good ways to define your Definition-Of-Done

Brainstorm with your team

The person who is going to work on each task is obviously the best person to comment on how and when it will be closed. So, the first step would be to discuss and list the obvious things these people deem would need to be done in order to be able to say that their task is done. Sometimes, you may be surprised how different these “obvious” points may be for different team members.

For instance, Tester 1 may say that after executing tests on their user story, they also spend an hour doing exploratory testing before completing their testing tasks, while Tester 2 did not consider that as part of the task. They completed the test execution task once done with scripted tests and later, if time permitted, would perform some exploratory tests.

By doing this exercise you are baselining your expectations from each task, independent of its owners.

Consider quality goals

If you are seeking to come up with a definition of done, there is probably an area you are trying to improve and some quality goals you are trying to achieve, so consider them now. Think of what seem to be your team’s problem areas, or the source of their delays at the end. Now add a part of those quality goals in the relevant tasks.

For example, let’s say your builds seem to fail too often, and that leads to a lot of rework and retesting within the sprint. After some analysis, you found that the build failed because of developers checking in buggy code, mostly lacking integration tests.

Read More »

4 Exit Criteria your User Stories must have

Planning and developing new features at the fast pace of agile is a hard game. Knowing when you are really done and ready to deliver is even harder.

Having predetermined exit criteria helps you be able to make the decision that a feature is truly ready to ship. In my article published at TestRail Blog, I compiled a list of exit criteria you must add to your user story to make it easy to bring conformity and quality to all your features.

All Tasks Are Completed

This first one sounds obvious, but it may not be. I still see many teams struggling with getting their testing done within the sprint. Developers work on a user story and deem it done, while testers are left to play catch-up in the next sprint.

Put that practice to an end once and for all by making sure that no user story can be proclaimed done without having all tasks under it completed, including development tasks, testing tasks, design and review tasks, and any other tasks that were added to the user story at the beginning.

Ensuring all tasks are completed in a sprint also mandates that you begin thinking in depth about each user story and the tasks necessary for each activity to be completed, so that you do not miss out on anything at the end.

Tests Are Automated Whenever Possible

As our agile teams move toward continuous delivery and adopting DevOps, our testing also needs to be automated and made a part of our pipelines. Ensuring that test automation gets done within the sprint and is always up to pace with new features is essential.

By having test automation tasks be a part of a user story delivery, you can keep an eye out for opportunities to automate tests you are creating, allocate time to do that within the sprint, and have visibility of your automation percentages.

I have used the following exit criteria:

  • At a minimum, regression tests for the user story must be added to the automation suite
  • At least 50% of tests created for the user story must be automated
  • Automated regression must be run at least once within the sprint

Depending on what your automation goals are, decide on a meaningful standard to apply to all your user stories.

Read More »

Top Cross Browser Testing Challenges and How to Overcome them via Automation

Have you ever wondered how to successfully automate your cross-browser tests? With the number and type of mobile and tablet devices available in the market increasing daily and the crazy combination of browser types and browser versions making things even more complicated, if you are a website or web app developer then making sure your application renders and functions correctly on all those combination of browsers, devices and platforms is often enough to make you want to pull out your hair! Add things like compatibility and browser support for IE11 to the mix and things can get pretty tense. However, with the recent advancements in cross browser test accelerator technologies today we can perform these cross browser tests more reliably and more extensively than ever before.

Before we delve deeper into different approaches to automate your cross browser testing efforts, let’s first see what Cross Browser Testing is all about, why performing cross platform compatibility testing is often inadequate because of the various challenges associated with it, how to mitigate these challenges via test automation and finally, all the features to look for when comparing some of the best cross browser testing tools to automate such testing efforts.

What is Cross Browser Testing?

Cross Browser Testing is the type of testing where we verify to ensure that an application works as expected across different browsers, running on different operating systems and device types. In other words, by performing this type of functional testing a tester checks the compatibility of a website or web app across all supported browser types. Thus, by conducting specialized browser testing, you can ensure that the website / web app is able to deliver an optimal user experience, irrespective of the browser in which it is viewed or accessed.

Major Challenges with Cross-Browser Testing

Let us face it! Testing a web application across all major browser/device/OS platform combinations can be a seriously daunting task. One of the major pain-point with performing thorough Cross Browser Testing is that your testing team would have to test the same website or web application across all the different browsers, operating systems and mobile devices. This is when each browser uses their own different technology to render HTML. Mentioned below are some of the major aspects that make cross browser testing challenging.

1. It is IMPOSSIBLE to test in All Browser Combinations

Let’s assume that your contract with the client mandates that the website or web application being developed should support Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. While this may rather seem a little too formidable at first, it actually is pretty manageable:

macOS: 4 Browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera)

Windows: 4 Browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

Linux: 3 Browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

That’s a total of 11 browser combinations.

But not all your end users are expected to be using the very latest version of each of these browsers. So it is often safe to test using at least the latest 2 versions of each browser.

macOS: 8 Browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera)

Windows: 8 Browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

Linux: 6 Browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera)


That’s a total of 22 browser types.

Now that we have taken the latest 2 versions of each browser type into consideration how about the latest versions of each OS? Surely, people upgrade their OS far less often than they upgrade their browsers, right? So to be safe, let’s test across the latest 3 versions of each OS platform.

macOS Catalina: 8 Browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera)

macOS Mojave: 8 Browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera)

macOS High Sierra: 8 Browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera)

Windows 10: 8 Browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

Windows 8.1: 8 Browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

Windows 8: 8 Browsers (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

Ubuntu 20.04: 6 Browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

Ubuntu 19.10: 6 Browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera)

Ubuntu 18.04: 6 Browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera)


That’s a total of 66 browser combinations.

What started out as a manageable list is now already a substantial and daunting list of browser combinations to test against even for teams with a dedicated team of a good number of QA specialists. Add to the mix the possibility of testing across 32x and 64x variations of each OS type, testing across various possible screen resolutions and the fact that you’d need to retest across each of these combinations every time there is a bug fix, it is easy to feel frustrated and even give up!

Read More »

Top 3 New Year Resolutions for Testers!

Here we are gearing up for another new year! As time flies by, we may start to feel stuck in one place, unable to move forward in our careers. Testers can get bogged down by too much to learn, too many directions to take, and so many tools and technologies.

But that’s no reason to stagnate. By making some goals now, you can aim to start improving yourself and your career development right away on January 1st.

Here are three goals testers should have for the coming year. Make it your New Year’s resolution to achieve them, and go for it with an action plan in hand! Read the full article at –> https://blog.gurock.com/new-year-resolutions-testers/

Improve your Mindset

The first resolution should be to create and maintain a healthy mindset. Mental peace and team harmony should be the goal.

Continue Learning

There must be a routine, a drive to better oneself and a constant search for improvement. All testers must resolve to take up some kind of continuing education so they can always be adding to their skill sets. Learning cannot be a one-time activity.

Get Better at Networking

The next resolution a tester must make is to participate in the community in some way.
The knowledge you have is better shared with others, and the pace of learning in a community will be much faster than alone.

Read More —>

Mental Health for people in tech

The technical industry is characterized by high stress, long work hours as well as workplace pressure. This demanding environment blurs the line between your professional and personal life.

Your mental health suffers a lot in the constant social pressure to network and make a name for yourself. Here, are certain ideas to implement at your workplace to take care of your mental health.

Speak your mind

Speaking your mind can help you maintain your mental health. Don’t consider sharing your feelings as a sign of weakness; it’s a part of taking charge of your wellbeing.

Though it’s hard to talk about feelings at work, but if you have colleagues you can talk to, it can really help. Find your tribe at work who can be your peers with whom you can share your day to day problems, issues and seek advice, or open up with family and friends outside work.

Identify triggers

Everyone has different triggers for anxiety in the workplace. It could be doing a presentation or writing reports or going to a company function. You must track situations that make you uncomfortable in order to prepare.

Read More »