Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Focus on the process, not just the outcomes

We live and die by our habits.

When everything goes for a toss, we humans go back to muscle memory and what we have been doing for years. Thinking about testing, I wanted to see what those habits could be to be a sharp tester.

I tried to list out my habits and open up a discussion about your habits:

Organized Work Desk and Bag
I can close my eyes and find out my things. I know that the bottle is to my right. The charger is to the left. The book and pen are at the top right and the phone is at the bottom left. When they go into a bag, the earphones go to the first section, laptop and charger to the last section. Books, pen, mobile charger to the middle section. This helps me avoid searching for things in multiple places. The habit to note is that after using, I consciously put back the things in the same place.

Remembering and Using Shortcuts
As and when I use any application and especially if it is something that I would use often, then I note the shortcut for that feature. I immediately try out the shortcut - one to validate and two to get my muscles used to it. 
Ex: I use Mac and to format text I copied from any app, I first paste it in Spotlight and then paste to the destination app.
The order of shortcuts are
Command + C = Copy
Command + Space = Open Spotlight
Command + V = Paste
Command + A = Select All 
Command + C = Copy
Esc = To clear the text
Esc = To close Spotlight

All of these happen so quickly that you wouldn't even realise that I pressed so many keys. You might wonder how many seconds I would save by such actions. Multiply by so many applications and the number of times I would use those apps. 

Collecting Fieldstones
Any fieldstone (anything you feel is interesting and can be of help later) is collected and organised for later use. There are multiple groups in WhatsApp created for this purpose. On Twitter - they are bookmarked and they are also revisited, thanks to Bookmark of the day chrome extension. Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bookmarkoftheday/jldlnlkjghmljkcbdebeebbafjgdmllc

Routine websites
You want to visit certain websites daily to get information? Make a list and visit them - batch them. For me the list is Twitter, LinkedIn, Espncricinfo, Discord and Telegram. I do try to play the guess the number game daily on TTT discord.

Online Timer
I like the simple timer here: https://www.google.com/search?q=online+timer I have been using it to write blogs, articles and the timeboxed pressure is helping me get things done.

Laptop Stand
A very recent and late investment has been the laptop stand to ensure the display is at eye level
Link: https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B08R78CSZ5

Modeling any application
The first task is to keep the book and pen handy for any quick notes. I model any application by trying to use it in a systematic manner. Sometimes, the output is a feature map, sometimes it is an excel sheet or just notes in a notebook. What matters is the thought process and not necessarily the end result. Later, I polish the deliverable in a way that it is presentable.

Test Data
Most of the times, the fieldstones come handy here or the groups of testers who help me. Either a tool is used to generate the data or the risk is highlighted. One of the other activities that is associated with test data generation is understanding of the domain. For example, Blood Pressure of a human can have numbers field but it doesn't mean that it can take any number of digits as an input. It also doesn't mean that I will not try entering large digits. Knowing what is acceptable, within limits and what is not is an important skill in testing software.

Using Resources
Why put in extra effort when you can also take help of existing resources.
Are you aware of 
Heuristic Test Strategy Model: https://www.satisfice.com/download/heuristic-test-strategy-model
Context Free Questions: https://www.developsense.com/blog/2010/11/context-free-questions-for-testing/
77 Test Idea Triggers: https://www.thetesteye.com/presentations/REdgren_77TestIdeaTriggers.pdf
Ultimate Productivity Tool: https://leanpub.com/productivitytoolkit
Test Heuristics Cheat Sheet: https://testobsessed.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/testheuristicscheatsheetv1.pdf

Connect with the team members
Your connect with the team members should never be just for asking help. Ensure that you have a good relationship even before you ask for help. See how you can add value to them. Thank them whenever you get a chance. 

Organized Folders
These also help a lot, especially if you deal with multiple accounts, files, folders which is a given in IT industry. 

What are your habits and muscle memories that you would like to share?



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Monday, May 30, 2022

The fundamentals have gone for a toss

 25 Fundamental Mantras for Good Testing

  1. Why are you testing - Know it
  2. Ask it if you don't know it
  3. Confirm it if you are not sure about it
  4. Test it out before believing anything
  5. Listen to everyone but you take the final decision
  6. Save as soon as you see it
  7. Try for Autosave wherever possible
  8. Take backups
  9. Pay attention to the Context
  10. Pincode can have letters, names can have special characters. Study the domain well
  11. Document well, read documentation well
  12. Write clearly, Think deeply, Read widely
  13. Use tools wherever it helps
  14. Know limitation of tools
  15. Have a large network of friends and fieldstones
  16. Learn to connect the dots across fields
  17. If you can model well, you can test well
  18. Know mnemonics and heuristics
  19. Pay attention to keywords - always, never, must, should, obvious
  20. Learn Safety Language
  21. Keep collecting fieldstones
  22. Start recording and then testing. Never waste time unless it is part of a test
  23. There is no one good way of testing. 
  24. Testers can get bored easily if you keep doing mundane stuff. Add variety to your questions, ideas, routines.
  25. There is already a lot of work done by the community. Learn to search well.
  26. Organize well.

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