Saturday, January 15, 2022

Learn Testing in 20 days - Response turned to post

Thank you, all for the kind words.

This blog post is a comment turned to a blog post.

Original Post:

Are there useful resources in the collection?


Can it be better?


Do they need to be completed in 20 days?

Maybe not

Why did you put it as 20 days?

Thanks for asking. A short story...

When I saw the post Does this seem like a scam to anyone? Thinking of doing it in March and discussed with Rahul, we thought - we don't want to say yes/no to Codemify without knowing what they do.

Instead, what if we suggest Alexandrea Pacheco, materials (learning, practice) for 20 days (days left till March) and then let Alexandrea Pacheco decide what they want to do.

Can we complete any of the resources in 20 days?

20 days (20 * 24hrs :D - yes!

Again, completion is not THE end goal.

We all know testing is continuous learning, exploring, an information gathering activity. Here is the proof. Hours after that video was made, I had my hands on this book - Tech Simplified for PMs & Entrepreneurs by Deepak Singh

Such a brilliant book, I would recommend this book as the first book even before Explore It.

So, thank you all for your comments, suggestions, feedback. Much appreciated.

Will we talk about automation so early in their career?

My personal take: Not really. Introduce them to concepts and let them dive deep once they understand what we do, why we do and let them suggest if there can be tools to help us save time, energy and do at scale.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Part 1: Shout-out to TAU, BBST


This is a shout-out to Test Automation University and the Learning Paths. While there are many courses, trainers on YouTube on automation, this one I loved the most.

The next one is the evergreen BBST (Black Box Software Testing). This one helps you get the fundamentals right and the references, additional reading - all of them have value. Is it outdated - NOT really.

If you have not visited TAU or BBST websites till now, do check them out. If you have better alternatives, do suggest. I will be happy to learn. Hope to add more such learning opportunities in the coming weeks.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Few Chrome browser extensions


And more at Ultimate Productivity Toolkit...

Leia Mais…

Sachin's 241* and Discipline in software testing

Three days in 2004, the Master Blaster demonstrated what is considered one of his best innings.
Those who follow cricket, know it. 
For those who don't, here is a brief:
"Cover drive" is a type of shot played by a batter and Sachin's cover drive was an important shot in his range of shots. In this innings, Sachin did not play a single cover drive. Imagine if you are suddenly asked to not use your thumb and index finger while typing. How difficult it would be? And you still managed to type out an entire book.

That was the kind of discipline displayed by Sachin Tendulkar in this innings. 

Now think of software testing and the various ways in which we are tied to a certain habit, tool, behavior, approach.

Are we so comfortable working with certain people that we will struggle a lot when we switch teams?
I do understand the bonding aspect within good teams. At the end of the day, it is very rare that there are teams which work with the same members all the time. How are we preparing for it?

Thinking systems, processes, checklists? Think of the tasks that you do and how you do it. Is there a set pattern to it? Are you aware and well versed with the alternatives?
A handy guide to jiggle your thought process is here - What Do Software Testers Do? by Ministry of Testing

Process and Approach:
How attached are you to a specific process? Suddenly something changes in the process - how quickly can you adapt?

Do you have favorite tools? What if they suddenly disappear? Do you have backups?
I felt handicapped for sometime when Jing, TestBuddy decided to move on.
Start browsing and using Ultimate Productivity Toolkit sponsored by TestProject and The Test Tribe to start with.

Data and Domain:
Are you using the same data, relying on the same source and adding minor variations? Where are your new sources? You could try out five new sources and still stick to the old one. By the way, if you are looking at the next weekend testing session, we are targeting Game Testing on Mobile Apps. 
Details here: See you there.

When was the last time you tried something new? 
Unless we try, how will we know our potential and areas to improve?

The key takeaway I want to leave you with is:
Process, Tools, Approaches all help. THE key is a nice combo of Skill, Discipline and Practice.
Next time you feel too attached to anything in software testing or life in general, remember 241*

Leia Mais…

Monday, January 3, 2022

Navy SEALS and Software Projects

I woke up to Inc's tweet - titled "Navy SEALs use this 7-step process to achieve any goal. You can too."

Anything related to the military excites me like a kid gets excited with the latest gadgets.
I nodded multiple times as I read the above article and it struck me that the same principles apply well with software/any project too.

1. Ask clarifying questions
2. Identify all your resources
3. Clarify roles and responsibilities
4. Focus relentlessly on your goal
5. Think through all possible contingencies
6. Train until you're stress-proof
7. After-action review

Leia Mais…

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Cost Time Value Risk

 It has been more than 15 years since I first started testing software. From the first software I tested to the last client interaction I had, few points have not changed at all.

  • If it can be done quicker, people want it to be done quicker
  • If it can be done at a lower cost, people want it to be done at a low cost
  • If you can gain more value, people want you to work towards gaining that additional value
  • If you can reduce the risk, people want you to reduce the risk. 
Think of these as four points on the circumference of a circle. It is slightly difficult to keep all four at the maximum length from the centre. You increase any one, the other three take a hit. 

Welcome to the interesting world of software testing :)

Let us dive a bit into the four points and how software testers can try balancing the four points near maximum most of the times.

If you are thinking if all four are equally important or is there a prioritised list, good question! You are thinking like a good software tester. My answer is - No, there is no one standard list. Based on the context, the priority might change. At the same time, all four are important and the margin between each is minimal.

Are people okay with a software that is too costly to build, takes a lot (I know a lot compared to what) of time, doesn't give as much value as possible, doesn't cover all the risks known? A BIG NO.
Are people okay with a software that takes reasonable cost, time, value and covers reasonable risk? Maybe Yes, Maybe No.
What is reasonable is a topic for some other day. 

Back to the four points and how software testers can balance:
As software testing is an information gathering activity and we don't have infinite time available, we should be conscious of the cost to the project every second. Every action we take or we don't take has a cost associated with it. Keeping the environment up also has a cost associated with it - relate it to the cloud services and the charges per minute of usage.

As testers, can we /try/ to be conscious of the following costs:
- cost of software used to test the software
- cost of people's time utilised for the project
- cost of repeating an action because we forgot to make a note of what was the response of the action first time
- cost of delayed action
- cost of incorrect action
- cost of not communicating our expectations 
- cost of not listening
- cost of not asking enough questions
- cost of missing the use case
- cost of brooding over a past mistake ( I remember the slip fielder in cricket who has to be focused and ready for the next ball even if they missed a easy one the last ball)
- cost of not using the right tools
- cost of using a tool because we have the tool
- cost of being in meetings even though you are not contributing
- cost of using the incorrect medium for communication
- cost of making people wait in meetings 
- cost of jumping in to test without bothering to understand the why behind the software and/or the testing
- cost of not venturing into the unknown early

Is there a specific order in which the costs need to be thought of? No, not really. You can get better with experience, if you pay attention to all the experiences. 

Somewhere all of Cost, Time, Value, Risk are so much related to each other that you can have the same questions and replace one of the four words with the other three and it would still make sense.
Ex: Time lost because something was not done right the first time (when there was the chance to do it right first time)

Maybe the following mind map will help you think about 
Cost: What is the cost of this action?
Time: What is the time needed to do this action? Can it be done quicker?
Value: What is the value of this action? Is there a better way to do it to get more value?
Risk: What is the risk of this action? What is the risk of NOT doing this action? 

I used to think on the lines of Cost, Time, Value and Michael Bolton helped me realize the importance of considering Risk too in my thought process. 

Leia Mais…

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Time for a new year post?

Everywhere there is New Year Celebrations going on. I am happy for them. I was thinking how would a tester approach a new year...If you have a computer and internet connection, you can do wonders. 

Learn about your company
What does your company do?
Since when?
For whom?
Who are your competitors?
Future plans?
What does your company avoid?
How much do you know about the management and other teams?
What are the problems your company is facing?
Who are your customers? 
What are their top use cases?

Learn about the industry
What is the industry your company is into?
What is the industry your customers are into?
What are the industry trends?
How much do you know about the history of the industry?
What problems does the industry face in general?
How have other industries solved similar problems?

Learn about your craft
What are the fundamentals?
What are the trends and the history?
If there is a topic, are there books, websites, articles, courses, workshops on it? Go through them.
Talk to the practitioners. Don't stop with the fundamental questions. Do your homework, show them your hard work and approach with specific questions.

Practice your skills
Pick up any skill that you think you want to improve and practice. Take feedback and implement the feedback. 
Understand that there are types of skills and a lot of them too.
- Problem Solving
- Learning
- Testing (Questioning, Test data generation, Using the right tools for the context, Modelling an application, Foundations, Bug Advocacy, Test Design and more like the ones mentioned in WHOSE (WorksHop for Self-Education in Software Testing)
- Pick up any session from Weekend Testing, practice and compare with others' approach.

Read Books
There are hundreds of them listed here: by Huib Schoots

Watch videos of conference/meetup talks on YouTube. Check out the list of conferences here - maintained by Chris Kenst.

Participate in contests and community activities. There are many. Check out My Testing Dreams which has references to multiple such platforms.

Make new friends and stay in touch with old friends. Check out

In short, LIVE.

Be Happy for what you have.
Learn more for growth and new opportunities
Take care of health as it is difficult to deliver at 30% energy :)
Say no to things that take you away from your goals
Think long term, start now with short term goals.
Experience the moments.

Leia Mais…