Interesting Podcast Recommendation- Melissa Eaden @Maintainable with Robby Russell

I recently came across this podcast which is a very interesting and thoughtful conversation. Hosted by Robby Russell , Maintainable is a podcast hosted about overcoming problems often associated with technical debt and legacy code.  In this episode, Robby speaks with Melissa Eaden, Tech Lead in Quality at Unity 3D. She shares her experience working with legacy code as it relates to testing. Hearing this conversation, I could not help nodding along and agreeing with each word about problems in testing, requirements for a tester and the best use of existing resources, communication and collaboration for a better quality initiative in your teams. Check out the podcast and listen to the episode here ->

https://maintainable.fm/episodes/melissa-eaden-its-never-a-one-person-job

Here are some key points that resonated with me-

  • Visibility , Communication and Research are the 3 most important arsenal for a tester
  • It’s never a one person job
  • The importance of communication and making connections
  • Information gathering via offhand conversations
  • Quality is a people problem!

Hope you enjoy it!

‘Co-opetetion’ Among Agile Team Members

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-

  • Showing People the part they played
  • Have Co-workers appreciate each other
  • Measuring personal growth
  • Motivating with extra initiatives
  • Encouraging Collaboration and healthy competetion

Check out the complete article at – https://blog.gurock.com/agile-co-opetiton/ to find ways to encourage healthy competition and better team dynamics in your agile teams!

Meeting James Bach at The Test Tribe Meetup @Bangalore

I got the opportunity to meet and listen to the test expert we all look up to – Mr. @James Bach at @The Test Tribe Community meetup organized at Bangalore on 23 June 2019.

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!

Cheers!

Using Mind Maps for Agile Test Planning

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/

Share your thoughts!

Making the case for Usability Testing in Agile

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.

https://blog.gurock.com/usability-testing-agile-projects/

We also discuss about Usability Study , how to set it up and achieve maximum benefits from it.

To read the complete article — (opens in a new tab)”>Click here –>


‘Just Enough’ documentation in an Agile Project

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.

Read about how to focus on important areas like VALUE  , COMMUNICATION and  SUFFICIENCY when documenting in your agile project – in my article published at Gurock TestRail blog –> https://blog.gurock.com/lean-documentation-agile-project/

just enough

Click here to read the full article

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.

More examples and scenarios for learning leaner test document creation are included in the full article– Click here to read the full article

 

                 Are you interested in finding the right tool for your Agile processes? Here is a comprehensive assessment and comparison of the best agile tools available! 

https://thedigitalprojectmanager.com/agile-tools/

Prepared by Ben Aston, this list may be a useful guide for finding and selecting the best tool to support your agile journey. Check it out!

 

Happy Testing!

Nishi

The 12 Agile Principles: What We Hear vs. What They Actually Mean

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.

Principle 2:

Check out the complete post here —- Click Here to Read more–>

 

Do share your stories and understanding of the 12 Agile Principles!

Cheers

Nishi

Optimize Your Hardening Sprint for a Quality Advantage

A hardening sprint is an additional sprint that some teams run to stabilize the code and ensure that everything is ready just before release. Agile teams vary in their opinions on using hardening sprints in Scrum, but if your team does agree on having one before your release, there may be a lot to be done and varied expectations from the product owner, testers and developers. It may also lead to other work being delayed, leading to accumulation of technical debt.

In my article for Gurock TestRail Blog, I have discussed some tips on optimising the hardening sprint and achieving the maximum quality before release.

I talk in detail about some main points to focus on–

  • Plan Ahead
  • Perform End-to-End Testing
  • Perform Non-Functional Testing
  • Perform Tests on Other Platforms and Languages
  • Reduce Lower Priority Defect Counts
  • Use your sprint Wisely

Read the full article here — > https://blog.gurock.com/optimize-hardening-sprint/

Please share your thoughts!

Happy Testing!

Nishi

A Day in the Life of an Agile Tester

An agile tester’s work life is intriguing, busy and challenging. A typical day is filled with varied activities like design discussions, test planning, strategizing for upcoming sprints, collaborating with developers on current user stories, peer reviews for teammates, test execution, working with business analysts for requirement analysis and planning automation strategies.

In my article for Gurock TestRail blog, I have explored a typical day in the life of an agile tester and how varied activities and tasks keep her engaged, busy and on her toes all the time!

agile tester.png

Let’s sneak a peek into a day in the life of an agile tester — > You will go through the daily routine of an agile tester and will experience their complicated schedule in real time.

Read full article

https://blog.gurock.com/agile-tester-work-life/

 

ATA Bangalore 19th Meetup hosted @Coviam – Event Round Up

I, representing Agile Testing Alliance, organised and hosted the 19th ATA meetup @Bangalore on 28th July 2018 in association with CovaimTech . The event was themed as “The Future of Testing” and was aimed at bringing awareness on new trends in the world on agile, testing and devops.

Mr. Manoj Kumar Vijayaragavan (VP of QA Engineering, Coviam) gave an introductory talk about QA practices and technologies used at Coviam. We had speakers from Coviam present enlightening talks on topics like “Deployments at Scale” by Ankit Tripathi (DevOps Engineer) and “Integrating Microservices for continuous testing” by Viswanatha Reddy (Senior SDET, Coviam) , which were highly appreciated.

We also introduced for the first time in this meetup, the concept of Lightening talks, wherein we opened registrations for any interested delegate to take the stage and present any idea for a short 10-minute duration. This idea got two speakers Mr. SarathKumar M.V. presenting on Microsoft Azure testing capabilities and Mr. Rakesh Reddy talk about “Accessibility Testing Strategy”. The short and crisp talks brought out valuable discussions and garnered interest from the audience.

Our gracious hosts @Coviam had arranged for tea and we had a brief networking break.

Our third speaker was Ms. Bhavani Sruti from Moolya who presented a hands on session on Mobile App Performance Testing, wherein we engaged the audience in performing some tests on their own mobiles first-hand and explaining the various performance parameters for mobile apps.

The last segment of the meetup was the Agile Games. I along with Mr. Nagesh Deshpande from Cynosure had planned some quiz questions, and Pictionary words to play amongst the delegates divided into teams. The audience had the chance to win ATA goodies, and the teams were awarded with goodie bags! The delegates had loads of fun playing the games and thus the event ended on a high note!

Thus ending the event, we took part in lunch arranged, and discussing various other interesting ATA events coming up soon.

Here are a few glimpses of the event-

Talks-MeetupCoviamGames-MeetupCoviamFelicitations-MeetupCoviam

Looking forward to organising many more such events to encourage and bring together the testing community!

Cheers

Nishi