My experience speaking at Targeting Quality 2019, Canada

I am back from the trip to Canada which followed the big day that was #TQ2019. So, I finally have a chance to share my experiences. This event https://kwsqa.org/tq2019/schedule/ organised by KWSQA was special in a number of ways-

  1. It was my first international conference talk 🙂
  2. I was one of the few international speakers at the conference, and the one who traveled the farthest for it!
  3. I was the only speaker presenting 2 talks!

The travel was big too – with tonnes of visa processing, a 24 hour long flight to Toronto and then a bus ride from Toronto to Cambridge (which I nearly missed 😛 owing to the infamous Toronto traffic! )

Day 1 of the event was workshops that were in progress when we reached and we got a chance to informally meet the organizers at the desk. That evening they had planned a Speaker dinner which was a great idea. I got to interact and meet with all the speakers, made some friends and so the next day seemed a little less daunting having so many known faces.

24 Sep was the big conference day. Staying at the same hotel gave me the advantage to get ready at my own pace and be on time for the breakfast. The event began with a brief intro and then split into tracks. The first talk I attended was ‘Lean Coffee Facilitators Training’ by Matt Heusser. My first time hearing him speak. His session was fun and engaging and practical. I did #sketchnotes for the talk and also participated in the activity which was fun!

After that was my own session in the next room, so I hurried to setup and get ready. The best part was that the organisers had planned a 15 minutes gap between each talk for QA/Networking which gave the speakers and the delegates some breathing room and time to get to other sessions.

I talked on ‘The What, When and How of Test Automation’ which was a 45 minutes session. The room was full and there were lots of good questions and participation from the audience. I did feel that I handled it well and the topic as well as the proposed ideas were well received! 🙂 Here are a few glimpses into my talk-

Though I was relieved having just delivered a good talk, I still had one more to go! After that was lunch hour. A few participants from my talk invited me to sit at their table and we had so many discussions about work, testing as well as my travel plans 😛

Then we got back to talks- I also attended a talk on ‘Barriers in Accessibility Testing’ by Albert Gareev which I also #sketchnoted

Post that I rushed to the lightning talks track as I had to prepare for my next talk that was a 15 minute session on ‘Gamify your Agile Workplace’. As I got there I heard Richard Strang talk about ‘Implementing an Agile QA Guild’ and his experiences that were so varied and interesting. Then I got up to speak and since I was talking about an innovation game called speed boat, I had to first draw a big speed boat on the flipchart (with my limited drawing skills:P ) with a room full of people staring! I guess I managed well as the room MC Tina Fletcher (also president of KWSQA) was impressed with my masterpiece 😛 hehe

The session went well – the best bit being our Keynote speaker Damian Synadinos attending as well volunteering for the little game we played. It was an honor and an unforgettable experience. I hope the audience took back something tangible to try out gamification in their agile teams.

With both the talks done, it was now time to relax and network. I stopped by the booths by Oracle and NPM, chatted with fellow speakers and delegates, the organizers and also got real time feedback from the attendees who chose to attend my sessions.

Post the little coffee break was the grand closing keynote by Damian and it really was an experience. He mentioned in his intro that he had some improv experience and he really uses it to the best in his speaking! The talk was funny, intriguing, had loads of content, memorable quotes as well as an activity in which I volunteered! And a big Plus — Damian mentioned me and my talk too! 🙂 🙂 All in all it was an epic performance and really inspiring as a speaker. Kudos to the effort that went behind putting this together.

The best parts were getting to know so many wonderful people like Josh, Bailey and Dani, and getting to meet @Matt Heuser who I have had the chance to work with online. A face-to-face interaction makes things seem so real and people so approachable. He is a gem of a person and so encouraging too. I also made a friend @Emna who came from Tunisia to speak at the event! We roamed the streets of Cambridge and rode buses together and by the end seemed like we have known each other for so long. I surely hope to see her again at a future conference.

The organizers at TQ2019 had really worked hard and their efforts worked out so well with such a grand event pulled off with great ease, smooth flow and right on schedule. They welcomed us with warmth and helped throughout the day. At the end of the day we all got some time to cool off with a Social event where we mingled and got a chance to express our gratitude and say good byes. I would like to personally thank Greame Harvey, Sabina, Rob, Josh Assad , Jared and Tina Fletcher from the KWSQA committee who were all so helpful and kind.

I am thankful for getting this opportunity and look forward to staying connected with such awesome people. I am also thankful for my supporting hubby who tagged along so that we could make this into a trip – got a chance to explore Toronto, Montreal and Quebec city and of course the majestic Niagara Falls! 🙂

Cheers to @KWSQA #TQ2019 and many more to come! 🙂

I am speaking at ‘Targeting Quality 2019’ , Canada

I am super excited to be speaking at this grand event TQ2019 being organised by KWSQA on 23-24 Sep in Canada!

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!

Check out the detailed agenda here – https://kwsqa.org/tq2019/schedule/

Follow me at @testwithnishi, @KWSQA and #TQ2019 on twitter for more updates on the event!

Also check out & support other initiatives by KWSQA at https://kwsqa.org/kwalitytalks/

Wish me luck! 🙂

My Talk & Sahi Pro Booth @World Test Engineering Summit

I got a chance to present a talk at the World Test Engineering Summit organised by 1.21GWS @ Bangalore last week and it sure was a great opportunity! My talk title was

“Layers of Test Automation” wherein I presented about test automation framework creation and best practices on creating a sustainable framework. The talk was appreciated and I had great personal feedback and chats with many delegates.

It was amazing to share the stage with renowned speakers like Mrs. Renu Rajini, Mr. Mostafa Awadh from Egypt, Shivaji Raju , Sanjay Kumar and many more.

My team at Sahi Pro also decided to partner with the event and setup a demo booth, where my colleagues Pratik and Satish showcased an informative demo of Sahi Pro tool and all of its awesome capabilities. The Sahi Pro booth was a hit, appreciated by the inquisitive participants. We also held a Quiz for people visiting the booth, and the winners were awarded with fun goodies at the end of the day!

Here is a glimpse into the event-

My Talk —

Sahi Pro Booth–

Felicitation for the Quiz Winners and honoring the organizer Nitin Naveen-

So much fun and networking–

Overall this was a great experience! We would love to collaborate with 1.21GWS again in the upcoming events!

Cheers!

I am speaking at the ‘World Test Engineering Summit’, Bangalore

I am pleased to announce that I will be speaking at the upcoming ‘World Test Engineering Summit’ being organised by 1.21GWs at Bangalore. It sure is an impressive lineup of speakers and I am glad to be a part of it! Check out the details of the event here-

https://1point21gws.com/testingsummit/bangalore/testengineering/

I will be speaking on –

“Layers in Test Automation – Best Practices for Separation and Integration”

About my topic –

Often a testing team consists of a mix of subject matter experts, some manual testers and testers with some automation experience. Writing tests in the language of the business allows all stake holders to participate and derive value out of the automation process. If you are a nervous beginner or an expert at test automation, you need to know and understand the layers of test automation and how to separate the code from the test. Let us discuss the best approaches and practices for creation of a robust automation framework with correct separation as well integration of these layers. We will also see a demo on how to implement this with a case study!

Also, Sahi Pro is partnering with the event and setting up a demo booth at the event! So, we’ll have our team there to showcase the capabilities of the unique tool and answer all questions.

Be sure to stop by the booth to chat and catch a demo!

Looking forward to a wonderful event! 🙂

Four Questions to ask yourself when planning Test Automation

Test automation poses its own challenges different from manual testing. Teams struggle to get the most out of their test automation due to many hurdles along the way.

Good planning can act as a solid foundation for your test automation project and help you fully reap the benefits. Consequently, there are many things to consider and discuss prior to jumping into test automation to ensure you are following the right path.

In my article published at Gurock TestRail Blog, I have discussed four main questions to ask yourself before starting with test automation-

  1. What is your team’s goal for test automation?
  2. What about implementation?
  3. What is your execution strategy?
  4. Who will focus on maintenance?

Read the full article here to find more on each of these questions and how these help to finalize on a test automation strategy which will help lead your team to success!

Please give this article a read and share your thoughts!

Cheers

Nishi

Automation Test Suites Are Not God! 

Earlier this year, one of my articles was published at http://www.agileconnection.com , wherin I highlighted the role and use of automation in an agile context and the irreplaceable importance of manual testing.

Here are excerpts from my article – for the complete text , visit 

http://www.agileconnection.com/article/automation-test-suites-are-not-god 

          Automation Test Suites Are Not God!

Working in an agile environment makes it essential to automate system testing to rerun tests in each iteration. But in the nascent stages of some systems, there are changes in the UI, product flow, or design itself in each iteration, making it difficult to maintain the automation scripts. The role of automation in agile context is repetition of regression and redundant tasks, while the actual testing happens at the hands of manual testers. The creativity, skills, experience, and analytical thought process of a human mind cannot be replaced by automated scripts. This belief has to be ingrained in every organization’s culture in order to achieve the best quality.

Talking about software testing today is incomplete without the mention of test automation. Automation has become an important part of testing tasks and is deemed critical to the success of any software development team—and rightly so, with all its benefits like speed, reliability, reducing redundancy, and ensuring complete regression cycles within tight deadlines.

But the common perception of team managers and policy makers is that automation tools are the complete package for testing activities, and they begin expecting the world out of them. A common misconception is that test automation is the “silver bullet” for improving quality, and organizations start to believe that investing once in an automation tool ends all other testing-related tasks and investments. Managers start expecting everything out of their automation suites—100 percent coverage, minimum run times, no maintenance, and quality delivered overnight. It’s basically expecting godlike miracles to happen! Hence, there arises a need to educate and understand the actual purpose of automation and the importance of manual tests in this context.

Working in an agile environment makes it essential to automate system testing due to the bulk of regression tests required in every iteration. But what makes test automation hard within an agile context is its very inherent nature of constant change. Because the system under test changes continuously, the automation scripts have to be changed so often that they actually become a task themselves instead of a benefit.

As tester James Bach wrote, Test Automation Rule #1 is “A good manual test cannot be automated.” According to this thought, it is certainly possible to create a powerful and useful automated test, which will help you know where to look and to use your manual exploration. But the maximum benefit thereafter will come out of using the experience and exploration techniques.

This is based on the fact that humans have the ability to notice, analyze, and observe things that computers cannot. Even for unskilled testers, for amateur minds, or in total absence of any knowledge, requirements, or specifications of the system under test, people can observe and find a lot of things no tool will be able to.

In a true sense, automation is not actually testing; it is merely the repetition of the tasks and tests that have been performed earlier and are only required as a part of regression cycles. Automation is made powerful by the various reports and metrics associated with it.

But the actual testing still happens at the hands of a real tester, who applies his creativity, skills, experience, and analytics to find and report bugs in the system under test. Once his tests pass, they are then converted to automated suites for the next iteration, and so on.

So the basic job of automation suites is to free up the time and resources of the manual testers from the repetitive and redundant tasks so that they are able to concentrate and focus on the new features delivered and find maximum bugs in those areas.

Therefore, it is very important to not get caught up in the various charts, coverage, and metrics of our test suites. Instead we must focus on our projects’ context and requirements and, based on those designs, our automated versus manual tests ratio.

A simple example to illustrate it would be testing a web form with multiple inputs and spreading across multiple pages. An automation script created for it would ideally open the webpage, input the values and then submit them, and maybe check a couple of validations on input fields along the way. So, the process would ideally be

Observe > Compare > Report

The automation should perform the mostly happy path of a user scenario, observe the behavior as per the set expected results, and inform whether the form passes or fails at the end.

On the other hand, if we perform manual tests on the same web form, we should try to enter the inputs in a different order; navigating to and from the pages and observing whether the inputs are retained or not; and looking for usability issues such as difficulty in locating the fields and navigating buttons, the font being too small or not clear in some setting, or form submission taking so long that some performance benchmarking might be required.

Perform > Analyze > Compare (with existing system, specifications, experience, discussions) >

> Inform (and discuss) > Recheck (if needed) >

> Personal Opinion and Suggestions > Final Report.

It shows that though the web form could have been easily tested by the automation test suite and been passed by it, we might miss out on other valuable aspects if we skip the manual and experience-based tests.

Markus Gartner, author of the book ATDD by Example, summed it up nicely when he wrote, “While automated tests focus on codifying knowledge we have today, exploratory testing helps us discover and understand stuff we might need tomorrow.” 

Automation test suites, though essential, should not be thought of as the “silver bullet” of quality. The actual test efforts still lie with the manual tester’s expertise and skills, without which actual quality cannot be ingrained into the system. We must keep a check on the unrealistic expectations for automation tests, because after all, automation suites are not God!