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.
The first resolution should be to create and maintain a healthy mindset. Mental peace and team harmony should be the goal.
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.
The bugs we find during
testing can tell us a lot about the application, the state of its quality and its
release-readiness. Bugs can also provide insights into our development
processes and practices — and lapses therein.
How can we study bugs to improve the overall state of our project? In my article published @Gurock TestRail blog, I have described three things to learn from the bugs you find. https://blog.gurock.com/three-learn-bugs/
As we log defects into a tracking tool or portal, teams
generally follow the practice of measuring relevant modules, components or
functional areas against each defect. When tracked over time, this information
can be real gold! It helps us track which areas of the application are having
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.
It was a great talk by him on the topic ‘Testing vs Checking’ where he discussed the finer nuances of the testing craft and how automated checks are more explicit and fixed than the human brain and the thought process of a real tester.
Apart from the great content, I also observed and loved the presentation style, the ingenuity, the spontaneity, and the interspersed humor! His true passion for testing and the sheer amount of experience shines through each spoken word. We learn a lot just from being in the same room with such experts.
I tried my hands at #sketchnotes for the first time, trying to capture the gist of his talk.
Here is a glimpse into the event-
It sure was an awesome experience and a day well spent! I look forward to meeting him again and getting an opportunity to learn from him!
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 —
The Agile Manifesto gives us 12 principles to abide by in order to implement agility in our processes. These principles are the golden rules to refer to when we’re looking for the right agile mindset. But are we getting the right meaning out of them?
In my latest article for Gurock TestRail blog, I examine what we mistakenly hear when we’re told the 12 principles, what pain points the agile team face due to these misunderstandings, and what each principle truly means.
Principle 1: Our Highest Priority is to Satisfy the Customer Through Early and Continuous Delivery of Valuable Software
What we hear: Let’s have frequent releases to show the customer our agility, and if they don’t like the product, we can redo it.
The team’s pain points: Planning frequent releases that aren’t thought out well increases repetitive testing, reduces quality and gives more chances for defect leakage.
What it really means: Agile requires us to focus on quick and continuous delivery of useful software to customers in order to accelerate their time to market.
Here we have for you another Innovation Game centered around prioritization. It is a visual and crisp way to chart out and understand priorities of upcoming tasks , features or stories.
Game : 20/20 Vision
Aim : To chart out the RELATIVE priorities of the tasks at hand
Method: The 20/20 game elaborates the prioritization of each task in relation to a benchmark task of medium priority and complexity.
Just like a visit to the Optometrist, where he makes you compare the various lenses to find the best suitable for your sight, in this game we make the team compare all stories / requirements / tasks and find the right place for them on the chart of priority in relation to the one benchmark level.
Description: Write down all stories on post-its. With the team’s consensus and decision, decide on one story which is of medium level and put in on the board in the middle.
Now the team goes through each story one by one, and places the story on the board as higher or lower priority in relation to the benchmark story. At the end of the exercise, we arrive at a visual representation of the story or task prioritization, giving us a clear road-map for future!
This game takes almost 15-30 minutes only depending on the number of tasks at hand, as compared to long planning meetings.