Author: The Test Tribe Team

The Test Tribe
How to Start a QA Department?

The following is a transcription of the TestFlix 2021 talk by Anna Ondrish on How to Start A QA Department. Anna is eager to help you define and promote a quality mindset throughout all aspects of Testing by working with cross-functional teams to ensure that products built are delivered with the highest quality possible, on time, and within budget.
Connect to Anna on LinkedIn, by clicking here.

Introduction

Twice in my career, I have had the opportunity to be the first quality assurance analyst that was hired for a company and my role in both of those companies was to expand the quality assurance department after I got it all under control.

So, today I’d like to share with you some of my experience on how to start a quality assurance department.

Agenda For The Blog:

Implementing a Test Case Management Tool

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So, do you need test case management? Is that tool a priority? There are a lot of test case management tools to pick from and it all depends on what type of work you’re doing. It is decided by how big your company is and how many people are in your QA department along with how you’re going to scale everything. There was a lot to look into when I worked at Autoscribe, which was the first company where I was the first QA analyst. There we did not have a test case management tool. We used spreadsheets and word documents and they served their purpose at the time and that was fine.

In 2019, when I worked for Orsis as their first quality assurance lead we implemented Practitest and it was a great tool that helped keep us organized. It had a great dashboard and was integrated with our defect-tracking tool. so, it made testing very easy.

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You can still always use a spreadsheet if you can’t get a test case management tool. Some companies just are not at a point where they can get tools. The agile manifesto points out that individuals and interactions are over processes and tools. So, you need to assess how many tools you are going to implement and the value of each one of those tools because garbage in is garbaged out. So, using a spreadsheet to start with is a fine way to go.

Contractors, Full-Time Employees, or Both?

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When I started at my first company where I was the first quality assurance analyst, we went straight for full-time employees. We hired manual testers, then we hired automation specialists. I worked with offshore teams and then contractors, and later on, they came on board.

When I worked at Orases in 2019, I was a full-time employee, and we only had contractors, but we built a team and moved forward from there.

Equipping Your Team to Work Independently

qa department to work individually

It’s very important to work with your team members individually. As a group, I  suggest that you have team meetings and one-on-one meetings.

Alternating every other week, I think it’s very important that each week you have a touch point with every one of your employees, contractors, and the people that report to you because especially now in a virtual environment where you can’t see the people and even when you were in the office it is a good idea to have that one-on-one time. 

So, in your team meetings, you’re going to want to ask questions and then you’re going to want to listen.

You’re not going to want to say anything, just listen to your team members talk amongst themselves to hear what they have to say. Then you want to ask them, “how can I help you – what is it that I can do for you?”. You want to add value and then in your one-on-one meetings, you’re going to want to discuss individual contributions.

Develop individual work you want them to be working towards developing their own goals. Talk about areas of improvement for them and for the team while discussing the goals and then setting realistic expectations for their one-on-one time and for their team time because you know everybody has things that are going on in their life.  So, just try to be realistic with your expectations. 

Best Practices

qa department manifesto

The next thing in the final area that I want to talk about is best practices. Do we need best practices? 

I call them best practices, but they are the kind of guidelines that the agile manifesto says. Working software over comprehensive documentation – do you need to write down everything or do you need to write down anything? You know what is the right answer.

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See that stack of papers, I can tell you that a very long time ago when I first started out working, we used to write that much documentation. Not only did we use to write that much documentation but we used to rent that much documentation out. I’m so very grateful that we are not anywhere near that right now. 

In the documentation, I think that’s ridiculous. But I think that it is important to write down some things and things that I think are important are test plans. If you work on multiple projects like at Orsis where we do custom software, writing a test plan for each project is

having a template of a test plan. Then writing out that test plan for each project will help keep your staff organized.

If you have a test case management tool or if you’re using a spreadsheet that documented a repeatable process then you don’t have to keep telling a new onboard everything you want to be able to hand them. 

When I say best practices, I want to make sure you understand I don’t mean a written document, it can be a workflow document as well.  It can be a brainstorming document, it can be different types of documentation, doesn’t have to be like a word document only.

How do you use your defect-tracking tool? I think it’s important to write that down and that should be a repeatable process between yourselves and your developers. It can be any repeatable process that will help mitigate confusion.

You don’t want your team to be confused if they’re working on different software applications or if they’re working on one application or many different parts to it, we want to mitigate that confusion.

So, those are the areas that I want to talk about. I feel very passionate about them and I feel that there’s a lot of value in starting off a quality assurance department.

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4 Leadership Traits That Will Make Anyone An Effective Leader

There has been a lot of discussion about leadership for a long time. This blog is a derived transcription of the TestFlix talk by Raj Subrameyer that highlights the 4 key leadership traits that can make anyone an effective leader. Raj is an International Keynote Speaker, Author, and Tech Career Coach who helps people to land their dream job and become successful leaders. Connect to Raj on LinkedIn by clicking here.

 

The Story That Changed Everything

Before we get into the strategies, let’s start with a story. I got into leadership roles way back in 2013. I still remember my first leadership experience. I was working for a travel booking company and was chosen to lead the entire mobile testing division.

I wanted to be the best leader that people can have. So, I put in so much effort and made sure I was invited to every meeting. I was included in every email chain, I talked to every person and within two months of doing this whole thing, I slowly started realizing that I wasn’t finding time to do the main task that I was supposed to do. I was missing deadlines and I was under a lot of stress.

One day, when I got in my elevator, I was working on the eighth floor of the building and my direct report was in the elevator as well. Once we reached the ground floor when I got out of the elevator he said, “Hey, Raj! You seem stressed. Are you doing okay?” Then I told him I wasn’t stressed. He proceeded to ask me if he could offer me feedback.

I said yes to him and that moment changed my life. He was telling me that I was micromanaging the team. I was trying to get invited to everything and then I was trying to manage every minor detail of the project. He was telling me that it was stressing other people out. This is when I realized that I’ve been a micromanager. While thinking that I’ll be the perfect leader, I was micromanaging people. I wanted to change this behavior about myself.

So, that’s when I started researching a lot of resources related to leadership. I started shadowing other great leaders, reading a lot of books on leadership, and listening to a lot of podcasts. After years of research in trying to figure out how to become a great leader, I finally cracked the code.

It all boiled down to these four leadership traits which will be mentioned in this blog. It can make anyone a great leader. 

The 4 Leadership Traits You Need To Work On Now!

So, here are the four strategies which you need to know right now to get you to the next level.

1. Effective Communication

The first thing you need to have is effective communication and when I say communication, it hits multiple factors. First thing is, you really and truly want to follow agile practices. So, what do I mean by that?

How many of you have heard that your companies are agile? But then they don’t do a lot of stuff like daily stand-up meetings, retrospective meetings, planning meetings, backlog meetings, grooming meetings, team meetings, and so forth. 

Just don’t use agile as a fancy word but truly follow it because that’s when you involve the team and that’s when there’s effective communication. So, have daily stand-up meetings where you talk about what went well yesterday, what you’re going to do today, and what obstacles you have. 

Teams have a retrospective meeting where you analyze when people are doing the sprint, and what needs to be improved. You can have those meetings which encourage and foster communication and that’s when people feel like ONE UNIT – ONE TEAM.

  • Investing In Collaboration Tools

The second thing is investing in collaboration tools. Now, in this day and age where everyone is working remotely, make sure you spend some money to have a good webcam, a good headset, and good microphones. You must use collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Zoom and make sure that is not a bottleneck for your team to work together. That is something as a leader you want to constantly keep thinking about.

Trust me, investing in collaboration tools is going to help build high-performing teams.

  • Encourage Socialization

The next thing, when it comes to effective communication is in creating socialization.

What I usually do when I’m managing my teams is have virtual happy hours every Friday. So, people come on a zoom meeting and then they give more insights into their life like they show the dogs, their kids, we drink beer, we talk about life, and that is a setting which you want to have because work shouldn’t always be about only business and task.

Sometimes, you also need to get personal with your team. That’s why having virtual happy hours help. When you’re in the same vicinity and closer to your team, you could meet them in person from time to time. Take them out for lunch and increase their communication.

Another thing that I remember talking about increasing socialization is what one of my friends does. He’s a CIO of a startup in the Bay Area and every time he gets on the zoom meeting, he asks the same three questions to his team. 

The first one is that he asks his team how they are doing.

The second thing he asks is what is something they are happy about.

The third thing – what is that one thing they are looking forward to this week? He then spends the first five to ten minutes just talking about that with all his team members and that brings the human connection as well. So, effective communication is the first piece you want to work on, and the things I mentioned come Under the Umbrella of effective communication.

2. Empower Your Teams

I believe in empowering leadership and that’s my style of leadership too. I’m super clear on what is expected from each person. So, I set goals, expectations, and deadlines. Then I motivate the person to develop them. Post that I let the person run the show while I’m in the background supporting them. I check on them and make sure they’re getting all the necessary resources to perform their job better.

I think that’s how work should be and that’s the type of leadership that is going to help motivate your team as well. So, empowering teams is something I’m focused on. Talking about empowering teams, here are some strategies that I’ve followed that work wonders for my team.

  • 1:1 Meetings
  • Rotating Responsibilities
  • Peer Coaching

Have 1:1 Meetings

First thing, make sure you have one-on-one meetings with your team. It’s so important because, in this setting, a lot of people open up and they talk about what are they going through. Whether they’re liking their job, or what are some obstacles they’re facing. Those are some things you want to focus on during one-on-one conversations.

Rotating Responsibilities

The next thing, I used to do about empowering teams is to have rotating responsibilities. So, every Sprint was usually a two-week sprint and in every Sprint I used to rotate the responsibilities of people. So, if there’s a tester I would ask him or her to be a scrum master for a sprint, and if there’s a developer I would ask him or her to be a tester for a sprint. Of course, we planned the tasks accordingly as well. 

We used to carve out some time for the other person to shadow the actual person to get insights into what their life looks like daily. In that way, a lot of things happen. One is people get insights into another person’s job, the second thing is they figure out different interest areas, and lastly, they get more empathy when they see a tester doing their work or when a tester sees a developer doing their work or the developer sees a scrum master doing their work. It is something that helps to increase transparency and then get new ideas.

Peer Coaching

Within the team, another thing I used to do was peer coaching. Just a thing folks, say you’re a team of 10 members, instead of looking for training elsewhere you already know that there are a lot of strengths within.

Your team itself has a lot to offer. For example, a developer would be really good at Android development and a tester would like to learn Android Development. So, why don’t you just pair up the developer with the tester and let the tester learn from the strengths of the developer?

So, what I used to do was I got peer coaching or buddy coaching into the system. There I’d assign people based on their interest areas with each other and they learn together. It could be during lunch, it could be after work, or you can have one hour of time every week just for buddy coaching sessions and that helps to empower your team. 

3. Feedback Loops

The third thing to make you a great leader is effective feedback loops. Feedback is really important because you need to know how you’re doing from the strength perspective and improvement areas as well.

So, here are some ways you can set up effective feedback loops as a leader. You could give proactive feedback and reactive feedback.

Proactive Feedback

So, what do I mean by that? Proactive feedback is when, for example, a person who is one of your direct-reports is going to give a presentation in a meeting. You can proactively tell that person by saying hey I know you’d like to go into data quite a bit but in this crowd, we have business folks. So, talk more about the impact on the customer. 

Now, we are proactively telling a direct-report and giving him or her feedback such that they can act based on it. So, that is proactive feedback.

Reactive Feedback

Then comes reactive feedback. Reactive feedback is when a person does something and then you immediately give feedback. So, for example, let’s take the same use case. 

Suppose, the person gives a presentation and then he focuses a lot on data. Then you get out of the meeting and say, “Raj, could I talk to you for a second.” So, take the person to a corner where there’s no one else and tell them they did a great job on the presentation but there are some things they can improve at for the next time. Go on telling them if it wasn’t an audience of business folks then they probably want to focus more on the business impact rather than just focusing on the data because that’s what they relate to. That is reactive feedback. You are reacting to something which happened and then you’re giving feedback. It is something you want to keep in mind.

Managing Collective Feedback

We already talked about one-on-one meetings which are a great way to give feedback as well. Another place where you can give feedback is to have an all-hands meeting with all your team and then have open discussions about what’s happening in the project, and where the company is going, and then encourage questions from people that really help. During retrospective meetings, at the end of every sprint, use it as a venting session where you say what you want for the next hour.

Let people know that you’re gonna talk about any feedback they have and whatever they say stays within the four walls. Nothing goes outside when you give that psychological safety to people. It encourages more feedback and helps the team get better. So, those are some things you could do from an effective feedback loop standpoint. 

4. Increasing Visibility

The final thing is increasing visibility. This is the thing folks; when you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing; people do not feel motivated to do things. That’s why you need to increase the visibility of people’s work. So, what you need to do is periodically let people know how what they’re doing is leading to progress in the project.

What I used to do is utilize different tools. There was a progress tracker and it was mapped to the overall project goals and objectives. It would show through a bar graph how each person’s work is helping contribute to the overall goal of the project. There are many tools to do that and in that way when people visually see how their work is contributing to the project. It makes them more motivated to do things.

That’s why focus on increasing visibility. Make sure everyone’s work is heard and everyone knows why they’re doing what they’re doing. Let them know how it aligns with the project goals. So, those are some ways you can increase visibility.

Summing Up:

So, in summary, if you want to be an effective leader, or if you want to get into leadership roles and make an impact in your organization keep in mind that you have to follow these four leadership traits:

  • One is to have effective communication;
  • The second is to have effective feedback loops;
  • And then empower teams;
  • Finally, increase the visibility.

I have a blog post mentioned at the end of this post. When you click on it you’re going to see the eleven leadership traits which I follow regularly. They would be a good add-on to these four traits which I just talked about here, and it gives you insights into how to become the effective leader you want to be. Stay inspired!

Raj’s Blog: https://www.rajsubra.com/blog/2019/03/20/11-essential-traits

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AMA on All Things SDET with Sahil Puri

Welcome to the session on all things SDET with Sahil Puri, Tech lead Manager, at Zupee.

Before beginning the blog we would like to thank “BrowserStack” our exclusive sponsor for all events and Premier sponsor for all our conferences.

Sahil is a seasoned SDET professional with about 9.5 years of experience. He has worked with some of the Marquee companies like Adobe, Samsung, and dream 11, on which some of you would have made a team right now also Farm companies like Google.

Sahil is currently managing and leading a team at Zupee to create Best Class quality in the automation ecosystem, is extremely passionate about user experience, user First Development approach, engineering productivity principles, quality culture, processes, and CICD Pipelines.

Find Sahil on LinkedIn

Let’s get started!

Who is an SDET?

There are a lot of myths or different forms of definition that we’ll find today when we talk about what exactly and who exactly is an SDET.

Let’s take 2 minutes and go back in time and understand how this SDET role came into the picture.

The term SDET was initially coined in early 2000 by Microsoft and then subsequently picked up by other companies. This was the time when the agile Manifesto was being framed and introduced. 

The industry was going through a transition to improve the release velocity and also to be able to deliver to the client or the in a much more agile way. Testing was a phase, which is that part of the funnel where things became slow. So, any improvement here would have increased the overall Tech speed. 

So, the SDET role was introduced to bridge the gap between QA and Dev. This bridge would have constituted automation, coding, reading and writing skills, shift left, shift right, understanding the test pyramid, unit, integration, contract testing, and many other skills that would have ultimately helped in improving the overall release velocity and feedback times and so on.

Over the years, this role has evolved a lot and has been used in many forms across the industry finally able to see some consensus among the companies over the roles and responsibilities of this role right.

So, a very apt definition of an SDET is, “An SDET is an engineer who can play almost every agile role with a focus on quality and user experience.” 

What are the skills required to become an SDET?

If you see any job description for an SDET role it sounds like a wide list and in reality, also there’s a wide list of skills that companies expect when you apply for this role. However, the top few mandatory skills you definitely should have before applying for such roles are:

First and foremost the fundamental core of this role is that you should be a great tester/with your testing skills.

Before learning anything, you have to clear your concepts of the testing fundamentals, like –

  • what are the levels of testing,
  • what are the different types of testing,
  • how to follow the testing pyramid,
  • and what are the different new processes that you can bring to test better?

The second is where coding comes even in this order.

  •  While the first was being a great Tester, the second is about having an end-to-end product understanding, and this product understanding should be from the tech perspective – the engineering perspective. Like, what’s happening behind the curtains?
  • So, this includes knowing your front-end or web application framework. Knowing your middleware, what cache layers, what DB layers, what servers, what’s the backend architecture that you’re using, and then applying all of that to your daily test plans and test strategies.

The third skill is product understanding, but this time from a non-technical, that is, business and marketing point of view.

There is one more aspect that most of us miss which is the requirement of being very comfortable with coding. It’s like the ability to read and write code, having your fundamentals revised, OOPS concepts revised, and we always use this term revised because we have all gone through the OOPS concepts and the fundamentals of coding at some point or the other in our education years. Then comes the practical knowledge of at least one automation tool, be it front-end or back-end or any form of automation that would give an idea about the 5H and 1W of automation like – when to apply, where to apply, what to do, and so on.

Last but not the least, it’s the kind of a role that has its edges around all the other different cross-functional roles, so you have to have clear, concise, and confident communication. And finally, the curiosity to learn and continuously evolve.

How many coding skills are required, and are DS questions on LeetCode enough to prepare for SDET Roles?

Let’s spend a few minutes and go deeper into the aspect of coding. So, first, you have to be comfortable around code, as mentioned earlier. It’s seen sometimes that test Engineers have a sort of repulsion and kind of fear of code. First, be fine around reading the code.

For that, what you can do is start reading the code of an existing automation infrastructure in your company. Or better than that, start reading the code of your developer on the ticket or the feature that you are testing. Ask for the PR from the developer, and understand what code is written. At the start, you might not understand anything, so it might take a day or a week or a month, or even a year for you to start understanding, but once you break that fear or that barrier in your mind, you’ll be more comfortable in having that urge now to write your own 10 lines of code or first code.

So, that’s the way you can be very smoothly introduced into the world of coding. That’s like the first part where people face repulsion, and they’re not able to cross that barrier.

How much coding or how many DS questions are required depends on the kind of role company that you are applying to. If on a generic level in the industry, having a logical mindset or approach is very much necessary.

For example, if in an interview someone is asking a coding question based on a tree or a graph or a simple array, they are judging you on three or four points and they are even marking you on three or four points. So, it doesn’t matter if you are not even able to reach a solution you might pass the interview. 

Some areas where you might be judged in a coding round, how many questions you asked after the interviewer tells you the original coding question; what’s your approach, are you comfortable with time and space complexity. Things like, are you comfortable adopting a new approach halfway; what is your patience level as a techie; then after you have written or tried to write a code or think of logic, what are the test cases you’re able to see because after all, you’re in SDET – a test engineer. So, what are the test cases you’re able to think of and your way of communicating, and so on?

These are all the soft skills and personality traits that you are being judged on even in a coding interview. So, you must brush up your logical skills every day either on LeetCode or any such platform, and slowly and steadily you will reach that point.

For someone slow in understanding the code, how can they stay motivated and keep learning?

Look, it’s like learning how to swim. It might take a day, a week, or a month or greater than that. But once you break out of that fear of water you’ll start playing in it, playing with it, and you will develop your method of swimming. That’s exactly the anecdote we want to portray for coding.

Yes, it might take a day or years or months some days would be you’re not able to think of anything or even understand anything. The next morning, you can understand everything depending on the state of your mind. So, to keep yourself motivated, foremost you have to change your mindset. You have to be ready to be out of your comfort zone and find the right sort of mentors for you. Having platforms, having paid subscriptions, and training is all one part that is very much required. But having the right set of mentors who motivate you in times when you don’t feel confident is the key to being up in the low times.

How to get business, technical or product knowledge when you enter a new company?

The meaning of this question has changed, especially in work-from-home scenarios. Normally when you go to the office you overhear and sort of develop your knowledge by just entering into the groups or having lunch, and some coffee chats, but in a work-from-home scenario, this has become exponentially difficult especially when you enter a new organization and too when you enter a startup with less or no almost no documentation and already set up processes. So, what is preferred is if anyone joins a team, the first thing is to understand the product, download the app, install the app and as a user try to use the entire end-to-end product so that you develop the user experience and user understanding.

Then use some debugging tools, again this might be very much specific to the product having front ends but use some debugging tools Charles or Fiddler so that you can see what network calls are being made. Now what we are doing is connecting the product or the business to Tech, now we are seeing, how the application or the product looks on the front and then trying to go into the back end to understand how that works.

The second most important aspect is collaboration and communication, so you have to be kind of a professional extrovert here and go out and reach out to people, leads and service owners from each team and not just Tech, from marketing, from a product, from project management and customer service and understand their role understand what are the key highlight problem that they are facing today and what can you solve, what can you bring to the table, and once you start that kind of Channel, open those kinds of channels and start collaborating with all the cross-functional teams including Dev, that would open a like a flow of the river of information for you both ways, and then you will be able to swim from there yourself. 

How can you transition to an SDET role from a QA, and how to gain the required skills?

Let’s start by not assuming it to be a completely different role than a QA. They have an overlapping boundary, you have to understand that, so they are not the eastern and westernmost points of the earth, so let’s not overwhelm ourselves by seeing it as something like that.

The second is we have to be very clear and break the myth that SDET is not just about automation. Yes, automation is a very integral part of SDET, but it is much more than that. It’s a bigger role, it’s a universe.

Let’s also discuss how to make the transition while being on the job or playing your current role.

First, change your mindset. Be ready to get out of your comfort zone and find the right reason. Find your reason to be an SDET, that would keep you motivated.

Second, we can all start from even tomorrow. Go to the office tomorrow, and do what you have planned but, one level deeper. Test whatever you have planned but one level deeper and connect it to three nodes. These nodes are engineering, user impact, and last is business impact. Understand how whatever you are doing is working from the engineering perspective and the coding perspective. Determine how it is helping your company to create value, to create the business, and to create revenue.

Find out how the user experience will be enhanced when you release a feature to production. So, when you compare or dig anything with these three nodes you will be able to find better, complex, and hidden scenarios. It would help you to bring value to your organization and this is the first step of being enlisted.

The third is coding. Be very comfortable. Start with reading and writing code, take small patches of code that you can write and understand, starting from Loops to conditional statements, etc. and then try the platforms like leet code, and hacker rank, to solve more complex data structure-based algorithms.

After all this, you can start asking questions, and try to find that opportunity to advocate quality in different phases of a software development life cycle – from product management, to project management, to DevOps, and customer service agent. Try to build those channels, especially if you’re working in a product company. Making use of those channels as holding the flag of quality is everyone’s responsibility, that’s our ultimate motto. You have to ensure to build a quality-focused culture in each of these cross-functional teams as well as functions.

When you will be doing all the above points that we discussed, you will be falling short of time, you will be craving for something that gives you more time or saves you time and it is the best time to introduce automation. So, what you can do is start learning a Tool as per the project you’re working on parallelly and start automating it with hands-on experience. It would be the best way and that would also help you save time and apply it to some meaningful tasks in transition in your project.

Last will be the books – the resources. Which way you find your passion and find your habits linking to. Be very updated about what is happening in the industry, subscribe to newsletters, to keep yourself updated, watch Tech talks, join these communities, attend events, and invest your time. It is helpful because that would keep you relevant, and updated on what’s happening in other companies along with what other SDET Engineers are doing and how they are implementing their skills in their organization such that you can take inspiration and tweak it according to your project.

The book that everyone should read is Leading Quality, and Perfect Software: And Other Illusions About Testing, there is also one book by Pradeep Soundarajan Buddha in Testing: Finding Peace in Chaos.

Any specific language/platform to focus on while entering SDET?

There is no specific answer to this question. It depends on your current project. You can use the language that is being used in your current company as that can help you contribute and bring value which is the whole motive. Coding is a way of communication; you can choose any language. If you can learn how to communicate, you can either code in Java or JavaScript, you would not have any difficulty switching later.

Easy, intermediate, or hard? Which level of DS on LeetCode is sufficient to solve the SDET role?

Irrespective of the role, any task, if there are three levels – easy, medium, and hard, anybody would want to start with the hard first, but always start with the easy one. That’s the best way to go and once you have completed the easy ones you are ready to start with your interviews.

Start with applying, and parallelly you can keep on practicing the medium ones, and yes, hard ones are rare to come by, especially when talking about the SDET rule. But there can be exceptions, so you can parallelly continue your effort but easy ones are very much mandatory so you feel confident about life. 

How to improve logical skills in coding effectively? Many times we get stuck in simple problems for a long time and are not able to think of a solution.

Everyone has faced this and has gone blank thinking about a logical solution in a coding interview. So, the one thing that you should always do is practice.

It’s like mathematics, the more you practice, the more patterns your brain or mind will create and the better you will be in your logical thinking and problem-solving skills, keep practicing.

If you see a new question that you are not able to break, kudos to you, that’s like an achievement for that day because you have learned a new pattern. Your mind has learned a new pattern and tomorrow, you’ll be able to solve 20 such questions based on that pattern. Don’t leave it, come back from the interview, solve that one and feed your mind with that pattern then you’re good for the next interview.

Can people with basic knowledge start building a framework from scratch by watching videos and learning concepts parallelly?

This is the way to go. Whenever you are trying to build a framework, don’t try to build something which is top-notch or something that touches the level of perfection of development. Start with a very simple framework, start with what it is, and what to do, run your test cases and then build upon it. It’s kind of a continuous improvement loop.

If you follow Udemy or Youtube, there is a lot of content. The content is not in order, so choose wisely, and digest that content. Build your network and ask people one to one specifically. Sometimes you can understand a concept in one hour that you are trying to understand for months. So, be selective about how you choose your learning source.

What does a typical day of SDET look like?

Be it as SDET or any Tech Role, it’s very difficult to plan out a day because even a single production glitch can spill water on all our plans but here’s what an average day for an SDET looks like:

  • The first 5-10% time should go to your Stand-ups on daily updates and not more Than that.
  • The next around 10-20% would be going to meetings or collaborating with cross-functional teams that include your developers, your DevOps, your project management, and all sorts of different teams in an attempt to ensure that the right quality and culture are being maintained, and everyone is working and setting up goals with the right mindset – a quality mindset.
  • Then around 10% of your time would go into debugging and maintaining your automation scripts and builds. This is to focus because many times we leave our existing automation to rot in while creating new automation suites on a better framework. So, spend at least 10 percent of the time making your current automation relevant, maintaining and correcting the failures and fixes because of the flakiness.
  • The remaining 60% can be broken down into two major buckets. One is 30 percent of your time would go in actual testing. Using your intelligence to test a feature, running automation, reporting bugs, and then sending out the reports to all the stakeholders and risk reports, etc.
  • The remaining 25 to 30 Percent would be spent on a focus time, and you would be either coding like programming and trying to automate whatever repeatable pieces of the process and test execution that you can.

 

What are the leadership roles or personal growth paths for SDET? 

The current trend is that many test engineers with 6 or 8 years of experience look out for different roles like TPM, and PM. Many SDETS are concerned about their paths in leadership.

Ideally, there was always a requirement for test leaders and managers. What has changed with the advent of agile methodologies and with the kind of overhaul or the skill enhancement of the SDET role is that there is now a lesser demand for pure people managers and a higher demand for tech-savvy leaders. You can say that there is a need for technically strong leaders and managers who can guide the team through automation fundamentals, automation designs, testing fundamentals, and so on.

There are hundreds of openings for the role of Lead, EM, AVP, and VP in SDET and quality on LinkedIn and other platforms even today. So, there is no scarcity of leadership growth in the testing domain plus the companies, right from the startups to MNCs have to create a ladder in order to sustain the role for a long time.

The only thing to do is that you have to now keep yourself updated and be updated with the technological advancements. 

For an SDET, is the way forward only to become managers or can somebody grow as an individual contributor (IC) also?

Suppose you don’t want to manage a team, definitely, there are roles in the industry like staff SDET or principal architect, enterprise architect, or test architect. These are sort of architect roles, as long as you are ready to technically guide the team, and share your experience and knowledge of what to do and what not to do, you can bring value to the team and the company. So, even if your company doesn’t have this role, if you talk to your leaders and manager, they’ll surely carve out a separate ladder for you if you bring enough value in any way possible. So yes, it is 100% possible to stay in the IC role.

Is the pay scale for an SDET role significantly higher as compared to a testing or automation profile? Is there any difference?

Pay scale is in direct proportion to the value that you bring to the organization and to the leadership.  We discussed the SDET role – the sort of skills, roles, and responsibilities that SDET must possess. It surely is bound to bring enhanced value to the leadership. So, we would not shy away from saying this, “Yes, once you know the role of an SDET, it is on the higher pay scale charts of every organization”.

In the past, testing has not always been at the top pay scales as compared to its tech counterparts. But now things are changing because of this rise in the demand for SDET roles and quality engineering culture by most companies and leadership teams. The SDET role is reaching and breaching all the pay scale levels. It is a piece of good news for us, that’s the thing to celebrate for everyone in our community.

However, it has an effect, it might have created some internal segregations that are transitory. It is certainly for the good that it personally gives an inspiration to upskill ourselves every day and keep ourselves updated, bring more value and reach the standards which the SDET role has now created for all of us.

Anyone can follow any tutorial video on an open-source GitHub project and start with a very simple framework. Start with what you are required to do and that is just basic enough to run your automation suite. There is no need the starting to follow all the design principles at once or to build something that is so top-notch that it takes months for any new journey.

So, start from a very low level, from the very scratch. It will be an improvement of the framework as well as your own skills. It would help in building a true top-notch framework that takes around two to three years to build. That’s why you have to start from the very basics and not be in a rush to use everything and anything that you see in your framework from the very start.

What kind of DevOps concepts should an SDET know?

The boundary between SDET and DevOps roles is overlapping. A very practical example – after you build your 50 or 100 test case automation suites, the questions like, where do you run it, how do you run it, when do you run it, would come from your DevOps knowledge so you have to enter that world. You have to keep yourself very open to learning tools like CI tools like CircleCI or Jenkins. 

Be very comfortable around AWS, and tools like docker and Kubernetes, since they are very necessary nowadays in order to not only create but maintain your own test environments, which is one of the very important aspects of your tester automation engineering. So yes, all in all, you have to keep that space open and there is an overlapping boundary, do learn about these tools when the need arises in your current project.

SDET is much more than automation. Automation is not a separate role in itself because without having that knowledge of testing or the product, you can’t be a good automation engineer. If it was separate then you will not have the answers to what to automate and how to prioritize it. Automation is a subset of a larger SDET role. That’s the practical version of the actual comparison between these two roles. 

Examples of roles of SDET beyond usual automation tasks.

SDET uses automation just to improve the release velocity and save their or the team’s time while having the regression or sanity or the feature testing. But the core value of an SDET is to do testing in a better and deeper way. So, let’s connect everything that we do when we are testing to check user impact, business impact, and engineering. 

The second is bearing the flag of quality. Being everyone’s responsibility and implementing it practically according to the structure and the size of your organization by opening channels with cross-functional teams is something we must do. Understanding the entire SDLC model in different phases along with contributing in whatever way we can in these different phases, holds more importance than the automation here.

How the SDET role will evolve in the next few years?

Let’s quickly go to the growth of the SDET role. We can agree that SDET’s role has now been able to do what it was brought for, and also to show us a bigger picture for quality, testing, and other aspects of user experiences and so on.

It would not be sustainable for the industry to have two parallel roles of QA and SDET with so many overlapping boundaries. Five years or seven years down the line and we’re expecting these two roles to merge into one a much larger quality engineering or even larger and a combined role.

If we discuss, what’s the future of testing then given the competition in the market, given the choices that the user has, today – the leadership and the companies are investing heavily in quality engineering or in routine. So, the prospect and the future of testing as an entire role are very bright, promising, and better than ever provided. We keep ourselves evolving.

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Mindful Leadership: 3 Crucial Aspects of Being A Mindful Leader

When do you think was the first time that you saw the leader in you opened up?

What has been the strongest impression of you being a leader? 

Now, a lot of you will possibly recollect one of those meetings where you excelled. You will possibly go back to the days when you led a team at work and had some deliverables being done. 

Or, you could go back to those times when you were leading an organization strategy and you were driving the organization towards doing certain things.

But I ask you again…

When Was The First Time That You Thought You Were a Leader?

If you retrospect a little, you will realize that we have all been leaders right from the time we were children. Whether it was about making rules about lagori or deciding what we all prepare and bring for our cooking at a potluck when friends meet. We have seen that as children all of us have exhibited these traits of leadership, isn’t it?

And, why is it that, this gets subdued when you talk of leadership?

My humble opinion is that when we talk of leadership, since natural leadership is so innate to all of us, the game changer in today’s industry is mindful leadership and that is our topic for this blog.


What is Mindful Leadership?

Normally, when you talk of leadership, you talk of high outcomes. You talk of big changes, turnkey projects, turnkey revenues, and the number of people increasing, and that’s great! It’s amazing because that’s what as business leaders you have to talk about.

But, the good news is that the world is opening up to forms of leadership that require leaders to have that extreme emphasis on being mindful, of how they are leading, and not just what they are leading. This is mindful leadership for you.

3 Crucial Aspects Of Mindful Leadership

In my opinion mindful leadership consists of three key parameters. This consists of being extremely self-aware, the one with being journey-focused, and being an inspiration. Let’s pick up each one of these to discuss in a little more detail.

Aspect 1: Being Extremely Self Aware

The first aspect of being an extremely mindful leader is how self-aware you are when you lead the people around you. 

Are you living what you’re talking about? Are you practicing what you are preaching?

Are you taking them toward being aware of what are the thoughts in their head?

Organizations and corporations are spending so much on behavioral studies of their employees but what is a missing gap is the aspect of how your leaders are being groomed to become self-aware.

Yes, we talk of top brass being extremely self-aware. But, when you’re talking of managers being created who are eventually going to grow up to become industry leaders your self-awareness journey has to start from there. 

What Are You Self-Aware About?

When we say self-awareness, you should be aware of what you’re thinking, how you’re thinking, why are you thinking, and the way you are thinking and then translating that into actions which means that when you’re a mindful leader it is not just about being empathetic but it is about being completely aware of how that entire journey of empathy works for your particular teams and your particular employees. How you can put into practice what you are thinking.

Let’s face it.

The more self-aware you are as a leader, the question you’re going to be asking is what best can I do right now? When that happens you’re going to be looked up to as a go-to person in times of crisis.

You’ll be trusted when there are critical and tough decisions to be taken, and most importantly your employees would want to stay loyal to the organization or to the team that you are leading.

Therefore, I strongly believe that the first key parameter of mindful leadership is being self-aware.

Aspect 2: Being Journey-Focused

The second aspect of mindful leadership is how journey-focused you are as a leader.

Being a leader, outcomes must be given the focus. The outcomes should drive you as a leader.

The vision and the strategy are planned but in that whole journey of you being extremely outcome-focused, are you mindful as a leader? Are you completely aware as a leader of the journey that your employees or your team members are taking? 

Are you aware of the hands-on challenges that they are facing? 

Are you aware of not just the challenges but how they are feeling when they are handling those challenges? 

Are you aware of what they are learning along the journey as they deliver that outcome that you are inspiring them to deliver?

Ask yourself this is a leader: 

How focused on the journey are you versus how focused are you on the outcome?

Asking these questions yourself can be great mindful leadership exercises. We are so groomed, we are so tuned towards focusing only on the outcome. A lot of leaders claim that they give you the freedom to do what you want, to get the desired outcomes. That’s great as long as it remains freedom. But the moment you become aloof as a leader, then we have a bad boss problem.

So ask yourself this, to be in line with the second aspect – 

How focused are you on the journey as much as you’re focused on the outcome as a leader? 

The moment you become aware of this you will focus on making that experience better for yourself as well as your team members.

Usually, people and culture teams, even the HR teams are having exorbitant budgets to make sure that employees feel connected and engaged.

But most times it becomes very late in the whole story. So, when that happens, that one thing that can make a difference is that you are focusing on the journey of the whole thing versus just the outcome. This will make sure that your team members look up to you as a mindful leader again. 

You will become the go-to person when they are stuck for directions in that journey.

Aspect 3: How Much You Inspire People?

The third aspect of mindful leadership is the acts that show how much you inspire people. We have so many motivational talks and inspiring people in our society who drive us towards being inspired by them.

As a leader, you will move people to be inspired by you. But as a mindful leader, you will create employees in such a way that they become benchmarks for themselves. They become inspirational personalities such that they feel good about themselves.

They are bringing out a better version of themselves every time they are under your leadership. When that happens, what automatically comes is better productivity. It results in better efficiency, better belongingness, and better loyalty to the organization. It evolves the team that you are leading. 

Therefore, being a mindful leader is not a luxury in this era, it is a requirement of the day. It can become something that will question the very survival of leadership in the industry when we talk about it.

Summing Up

The three key aspects of mindful leadership –

  1. Be self-aware. Ask yourself how self-aware you are irrespective of what level of leadership you have.
  2. Be journey-focused. Keep a check on how journey-focused you are in your leadership endeavor.
  3. Be Inspirational as you create your teams.

With that said we’d like to wish you extremely good journeys as a leader and of course urge you to be mindful.

This blog is a transcription of Atomic Talk on Mindful Leadership by Sreekala Sunderrajan at Testflix 2021.

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TestFlix 2022 – A Round-up of the Biggest Virtual Software Testing Binge

TestFlix’22 was the third edition of our flagship conference, TestFlix – The annual software testing binge. The love, support, and feedback from the global testing community for the last two editions have been nothing but surreal. While we take pride in the love and support from the community, we also take deep learnings from the feedback we received.

With the feedback on one side and the quest to deliver a better TestFlix experience on the other side, we chose to tweak the format of TestFlix a little bit this time. The number of speakers was reduced from 100+ to 60+ while the length of the talks was increased from a maximum of 8 minutes to a maximum of 15 minutes. 

With renewed energy, and an endeavor to deliver better and a new format, we launched TestFlix CFP. With over 60+ entries submitted, around 25 made it to the final conference, which is nearly 40% of the overall speaker lineup. 

In terms of registrations, we kept a target of 10000+ registrations this time, roughly 40% more than what we had achieved in the previous year. This is not just an empirical target for us but had a larger significance in terms of the reach we wanted to achieve this year. 

GSPANN was the first sponsor who showed support for TestFlix as a Gold sponsor. We would also like to thank BrowserStack who was the premier sponsor for TestFlix and is our annual sponsor as well for all the community events.

When we as a team decided that we would be targeting 10,000 Registrations for TestFlix 2022, we all had our doubts and lots of uncertainty. Still, one thing that the entire team was aware of was that this feat will require a lot of hard work and all of us were ready to put that in just because we believed in the vision and the rationale behind 10K registrations.

Over time, a lot of other sponsors like ACCELQ, LambdaTest, and Opkey showed their support for TestFlix in different sponsorship tiers.

The initial steps included a lot of brainstorming sessions and also conducting our first ever ‘Evolve’ (Our offsite program) where we as a team brainstormed a lot of ideas and decided the path that we’ll have to follow to reach our goal.

Evolve - The Test Tribe Offsite

On 29th September, exactly 1 week before TestFlix, we got our 10,000 registrations while all of us were over the moon, we were aware that the work is not yet completed because our goal was not just getting the registrations but was to provide value to our community members and make TestFlix 2022 something from which they can benefit a lot.

One interesting thing which happened in this year’s TestFlix was a lot of Indian Startups and Unicorns showing their support for TestFlix to Satisfy their hiring needs. We are thankful to PhonePe, Yubi, and Fasal for their support here.

Fast forward to the 1st Day of TestFlix 2022(8th October), we got over 12000 registrations from 119 countries and 4000+ companies and this made TestFlix 2022 the biggest virtual testing conference ever. The conference included 61 atomic talks and was categorized into 14 themes and covered topics like Web3.0, Leadership & Management, Automation, AI/Ml, DevOps, and much more.

The first day of TestFlix (8th October) began at 2 PM IST and the event was hosted by Paras Pundir. The first talk of the day was given by Dr. Andrew Brown who presented on the topic ‘Why adding more processes may not improve quality – The Peltzman Effect‘ where he demonstrated how the Peltzman Effect applies in software development and how people can raise the bar on quality in an organization by changing the relative weight of the goal of the project rather than by adding more quality phases.

The day continued with speakers presenting on a lot of trending topics which were received well by the audience. We had Geetima Dutta who presented on the topic ‘5 Challenges I faced as a new QA Lead‘ and she also demonstrated how people can handle these challenges as a new QA Lead and how to handle the team better. We also had Raj Subrameyer who presented on the topic ‘4 Leadership Traits that will make anyone an effective leader‘ and how people can apply these traits in their day-to-day jobs.

Day 1 had a fitting end with Alan Page presenting on the topic ‘The Tester I Was and the Tester I Could Be‘ where he discussed his development both within and outside of the testing world, and also talked about the kind of Tester he would like to see emerge from the software industry.

TestFlix 2022 - 1st Day Talks

The second day of TestFlix (9th October) began at the same time and the first talk of the day was given by George Ukkuru who presented on the topic ‘How Usage Analytics Can Improve End User Experience‘ where he emphasized the importance of gathering usage analytics, how to generate insights from usage analytics, and what are its benefits.

The day continued with Sahil Puri presenting on a unique but interesting topic ‘The Multiverse Of Testing – Beyond the Known Universe‘ where he shared why Testing is more than just raising bugs and ensuring quality as well as how people can break down barriers and explore all options to make a difference in this crucial and constantly changing role of quality engineering.

We are also grateful to TestGuild, Virtuoso, and Virtualan for their support for TestFlix as sponsors in various tiers.

TestFlix 2022 - Sponsors

Then we moved on to two power-packed talks back-to-back, the first one by Anuj Magazine who presented on the topic ‘How to write so that others read‘ where he did a teardown of great writing components, certain pitfalls that people need to avoid when writing, and some really important tactics to level up your writing game. The second one, by Ajay Balamurugadas who presented on the topic ‘Become the CEO of your testing‘ where he talked about how to increase the scope of testing, how people can add value irrespective of their designations, and how individuals can make themselves valuable in any team.

TestFlix 2022 - Day 2 Talks

Day 2 of TestFlix 2022 came to an end with the last talk of the day which was presented by Robert Sabourin on the topic ‘Risks with Ticket Driven Software Testing‘ where he shared his findings and also discussed the possible consequences of ticket-driven software testing. After the last talk, our host for the event – Paras Pundir conducted a short Q&A session about TestFlix 2022 with all the attendees and the entire team at The Test Tribe thanked the audience for attending the event and making it a huge success.

 

TestFlix 2022 - Robert Sabourin

TestFlix 2022 had some really exciting contests which are as follows:

  • Referral Contest – Participation from over 1200 people and had a prize pool of 75K.
  • Social Contest
    • Winner – Rahul Aradhya
    • Winner – Prachi Dahibhate
  • Lucky Draw
    • Winner – Vijayaraghavan Vashudevan
    • Winner – Siddharth
    • Winner – Ash

Two of our upcoming major events were also revealed during the TestFlix 2022 conference. The first, TestAway 3.0 Residence Learning Program for Testers will be held from 1st December to 4th December 2022. Second, Worqference, a combination of conferences and workshops, which will take place on February 24–26, 2023.

While TestFlix 2022 was a huge success, here are some numbers that prove the same.

TestFlix 2022 - Software Testing Conference

And with this, the 3rd edition of TestFlix came to an end. We want to take this opportunity to thank all our community members, it is because of you that the conference was a huge success. We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the sponsors, speakers, and volunteers of the event for their contributions and support. Without their help, we would have not been able to make this event happen.

We hope that you had a great time at TestFlix 2022 and we hope to see you again soon!

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The Test Tribe Newsletter #5

Hi ,

We are back with our next edition of the newsletter. We got some solid feedback from the community members on the last few newsletters based on which we thought we should do some changes in how we bring the newsletter to you.

This is a new attempt and we hope to get your feedback on how this format looks to you.

As you might recall, discord was the new home for the Test Tribe’s community last year (around this time). It feels great to see that we are about to touch 3000 members (just 20 short as I write this) on Discord.

The discord community is buzzing on discord and is discussing some interesting topics.

Top Community Discussions

Be it the framework to build a good testing strategy or choosing the right tech stack for automation, the community discussed everything. A member wanted to know the best source of learning automation and the community just buzzed with others. Another one wanted to know the things to take care of if they wanted to organize bug bashes at their workplace.

Top Upcoming Events

Speaking of bug bashes, Cignithon – a virtual testing hackathon powered by Cigniti Technologies, is back for its 3rd Edition on 28th-29th May 2022. The last edition saw more than 380+ participants vying for INR 2,00,000+ prize pool. It has already got more than 75+ registrations in less than a week, this time. (Last year’s round-up video is here)

Cignithon is not the only event we are doing in May; there are other super interesting lined up for this. On 7th May, we are hosting Cristiano Cunha for a Webinar on The New Performance Game. Also, on 7th May only, we are starting the next batch of the Automation Test Design Bootcamp by Robert Sabourin. Rob needs no introduction and is a widely respected teacher in the entire testing community.

On 21st May, we have two exciting sessions. One on Freelancing for testers by Ambika Kulkarni and the other on Benefits of CI on Automation Practices by Soumya Sridharamurthy.

But before you jump on to may, don’t forget to check out this one-day workshop on Load Testing Using JMeter by Sandeep Garg happening this Saturday. The Workshop is priced super-modestly to facilitate learning for everyone.

Do you want to know how this workshop was put in place? It’s an exciting story. Sandeep did a Webinar with us on Load Testing in February, and the members so well took it that it was stitched into a 1-day workshop. If you want to learn more about performance testing, check the entire TestFlix’2021 Performance playlist.

What’s happening in The Testing World

The funding spree of testing tool platforms continues with Strike Security, a continuous penetration testing platform that combines automation and ethical hacking to make bug hunting more accessible to small enterprises, it recently announced that it has received a $5.4 million seed funding. Read more about it here.

Also, ACCELQ, the premier AI-powered continuous test automation platform announced on 5th April 2022 the launch of ACCELQ Live, a breakthrough approach to digital assurance for cloud and business applications. Check this for more details.

Top Community Initiatives

Our Flagship conference, TestFlix, is just six months away. This time it has some super exciting themes and a slight tweak in the format. #ItsYourChanceToShine by submitting your talk abstract. Check this page for the Call for Papers details.

Speaking on Flagship conferences, Worqference, our flagship conference which is on workshop format, was rated 4.75 on a scale of 5 by the attendees. In case you missed the event, you can check the recordings of the 15 atomic workshop here.

New Testing Jobs

If you’re looking for a testing role, check out the opportunities below from our job board. In addition, companies can post jobs here.

Automation tester
Tata consultancy services
Location: Bangalore
 

QA Engineer
Liquality
Location: Remote
 

Automation Test Engineer – Selenium
Creative Business Labs
Location: Noida & Bengaluru
 

AEM QA Engineers and Leads
GSPANN Technologies, Inc
Location: Hyderabad / Gurugram / Pune / Bangalore
Experience: 5-9 years
 

Senior Test Analyst
AGS Health Pvt Ltd
Location: Chennai, India

 

We were ending this newsletter with a simple quote by “Henry Ford”, which went Viral on our Handles.

“Quality means doing it right even when no one is looking.”

Cheers!

Pravika, Rahul, Sandeep, Mahathee, Himani, Mahesh, and Ashutosh

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10 must-have Chrome extensions for Software Testers

 

For software testers, Chrome Extensions are a real-time saver. Not only do they increase testing efficiency, but they also make life simpler for testers.

 A variety of extensions for Chrome are currently available, and these extensions are intended to make testing Chrome apps as easy for you as possible. 

Here is a solid collection of helpful Chrome extensions for you to explore. Let’s dig in!

Window Resizer 

Window Resizer

This extension resizes the browser’s window to simulate different display resolutions. Using this tool, web designers and developers can test website layouts and designs on multiple browser resolutions without personally accessing those devices. Moreover, this extension allows you to customize global key shortcuts, export and import settings, and more!

Check My Links 

check my link

Check My Links is a link checker that scans through your webpage and looks for broken links. Check My Links analyzes all the links on a page and highlights which ones are valid and which are broken. Also, with one click, you can copy all the broken links to your clipboard!

Awesome Screenshot  

Awesome screenshot

Among software testers, Awesome Screenshot is the most popular screen capture tool. This Chrome extension is the most-rated screen capture & image annotation tool that allows you to capture parts or all of a web page. Moreover, the one-click upload feature allows you to add annotations, and comments, blur sensitive information, and share!

PerfectPixel

Perfectpixel

The PerfectPixel software enables developers and markup designers to put a semi-transparent image overlay over the developed HTML code and compare them pixel by pixel. Some of its features include: 

  • Multiple layers support
  • Layer inversion and scaling
  • Minimalistic easy-to-use UI
 Grammarly

Grammarly

If you’re not already familiar with Grammarly, it is a great tool for proofreading texts anytime, anywhere. Grammarly detects spelling and grammatical errors while you write and highlights them without leaving your browser. This allows you to improve your writing and ensure that your words are appropriate.

Bug Magnet

Bugmagnet

A popular Chrome extension for software testing, Bug Magnet is an excellent way to find bugs. Some of its features include:  

  • Convenient access to common boundaries
  • Works on multi-frame pages
  • Open-source and customizable
  • Tiny overhead per page

 

You can learn more about Bug Magnet from the Ultimate Productivity Toolkit, an ebook by Ajay Balamurugadas and Rahul Parwal. 

Clear Cache

Clearcache

With Clear Cache, you can quickly clear your cache without any confirmation dialogs, pop-ups, or other annoyances. On the options page, you can choose exactly what and how much data you would like to clear, including your app cache, your cache, your cookies, your downloads, and more! 

WAVE evaluation tool 

Wave evaluation tool

An accessible web evaluation tool that provides valuable advice and insights on the subject. The tool facilitates human evaluation and enables software users to be aware of accessibility issues within their web applications. It provides visual feedback rather than detailed reports, and it also marks inaccessible parts of the website with icons and indicators. Know more about accessibility testing on our Youtube Playlist for Accessibility Testing. 

Loom

Loom

Loom is the fastest, easiest way to record content and stay connected with your team. Whether you’re screen recording a product demo, giving feedback, or sharing your thoughts with others, Loom lets you do it all with async video. With one click you can record your screen and camera and share the content instantly.

Here’s a sample video: https://www.loom.com/share/047d39c9cfdc441fb29a7a4425ccff30

Resolution Test Resolution Test

With this extension, you can test web pages in a variety of screen resolutions. You can also define your own resolution. It resizes the browser window and emulates the web application in the screen size you need.

 

The above-discussed extensions are some of the best Chrome plugins for testing that can be used by the testers as the most effective and time-efficient Software testing tools.

If you feel we missed out on some more important extensions for Software Testers, then feel free to leave a remark in the comment section. 

To read more exciting and insightful blogs related to software testing, visit our page – https://thetesttribe.com/blog/

How to get your organization to pay for your up-skilling?

Do you drop an upskilling course which you really want to do because of the price? Do you feel sad when you miss out on a conference due to its price?

Do you wish your organization could pay you for these expensive upskilling experiences?

If the answer to all of these questions is a yes, congratulations! For 2 things a)You are no different than the majority of learners in the world b)You have come to the right place.

This blog will talk about a framework that can help you get your organization to reimburse your up-skilling experience. 

 

Choose your course or upskilling experience wisely

As a learner you might want to learn a lot of things, some related to work and some for overall career enhancements. Companies are meant to do business. They would want to reimburse a course or conference that helps you, your team, and your work and eventually helps the company.

In further steps, you will know why this is an important step and why you should wisely choose the course or conference.

 

Do your homework well – Part 1

Before you fret about asking your manager or supervisor for possible reimbursement, do check the company policies. The policy would be located in an ideal case in the HR Policies head and Learning & Development subhead. 

In most companies, this policy would exist. These days even in early-stage startups we do see such policies, the budget might be limited, but the intent is there. The policy will talk about the amount you can reimburse, what kind of upskilling you can get reimbursed. It will have points on applying the knowledge you acquire etc.

Now, the important point. If there is a policy, great, you have a pathway to follow.

If there isn’t a policy, better. If it is not there, it does not mean it cannot be done. It can still be done (no-one might have asked earlier, maybe). It’s time to Ask.

 

Know the parties involved

I hope you have not taken Parties quite literally here. Because, if you have, you will be disappointed by what I have written next.

Parties here means decision-maker(s). If you have a policy, it will talk about whom to approach first for the reimbursement. If there is no policy, therein lies the catch. 

My recommendation would be to check with your reporting manager (In many organisations, the line manager is the first HR) about the possibility etc. He will either give you an answer or guide you through the process.

You can also approach the HR Business Partner and enquire about the policy (maybe it was somewhere else and you couldn’t find it). In all probability, HR can guide you through the answer (They might take some time, but that should be fine)

 

Do your homework well – Part 2

This step is by far the most important step of this whole framework. To make it easy, put yourself in the shoes of the decision-maker. As a decision-maker of a company whose main purpose is to run a business, you will need to know its Return on Investment (RoI). In simple terms, what incremental benefit does the company get, by you doing a course or attending a conference?

While you can always speak intangibles, like this will help us to do better testing, statements like these will not add much value to your pitch.

It is important to communicate a tangible incremental benefit from the course you intend to do to the decision-maker.

 

Example

  1. By doing a certain Bootcamp on selenium, you are confident that you can automate 25% of your current test cases and replace 25% of the manual effort. You can calculate the value of that 25% manual effort and communicate.
  2. By doing a certain workshop on Load testing, you are preparing your product for the future. Your product is expected to have 10000 concurrent users in the next 6 months and you want to be prepared right now to avoid any loss of business later.

 

Communicating this value will help in any case. If you get approval to do the course, great. If not, you will be (in all possibilities) appreciated for your approach towards communicating the value.

It’s time to talk

After doing all the homework, knowing the decision-makers, it is time to talk to them about all the homework you have done. Though this is a subjective item, some thumb rules will increase your chances of getting it done.

  1. Be respectful. You really want to make it work Vs threatening. Avoid statements like, “I will leave the organisation if not reimbursed”. Instead, communicate like, “I really want to do this course and I am confident that it will generate the value I committed, give me a chance”.
  2. Understand the other side’s point of view. You eventually want the company to reimburse you for your course and not create an experience that leaves bad blood at the end.

 

And then?

If you could convince your manager for reimbursement, great, we hope this blog helped.

If you could not, it’s okay. You learnt a lot of things in the process, go back and think a little about why it didn’t work. Think from a perspective of improving the next time not from a perspective that things can never change in this organisation.

 

I hope this blog helped you solve your initial inhibitions of asking for reimbursement and gave you a good framework to go about it.

 

Bonus Tip: Not all learning experiences are paid. There are a lot of high-quality free events happening as well. Some of them are being done by TTT, go check them out here.

 

Did you like the blog or did you not like it? Either way, do share your feedback in the comments section.

 

The Test Tribe’s Call for Volunteers for 2022

Hello Tribe! The Test Tribe completed another Year today and it is that time of year when we open our invitation to a few more passionate Testers to join our team of Volunteers. We are looking for the next Tribe Champions who want to make a positive impact in the Testing Community space, all driven by values.

This opportunity is not for the ones who just want to be seen and heard, this opportunity is for the ones who want to give back to the community first and then be assured of multifold rewards that come with time.

The Test Tribe has completed 4 Years today, have done 160+ Events in total, and have grown to be a global inclusive Testing Community. Nothing of this could have been possible without our Volunteers, or Tribe Champions as we call them. Each event’s success and each initiative’s success is backed by someone selfless efforts and drive.

You may still have a question, “Why would one be a Volunteer?” or “What opportunities do they get?”. Let us attempt to answer the same.

Being The Test Tribe Volunteer is for the ones who:

  • Want to step out of their comfort zone
  • Want to stay out of their comfort zone and keep doing new things
  • Want to learn new skills (Marketing, Designing, Content Creation, Leadership, Community Building, Event Organising, Website designing or updates, Social Media, etc.) beyond their main profession
  • Want to start fresh City Chapter of TTT
  • Want to join the exiting City Team and grow the local Community
  • Want to think of new ideas and then lead them to execution as they change lives in Community positively
  • Want to join an existing initiative and lead them to execution with the most passionate folks around (Did you know Sayali almost single-handedly made www.libraryoftesting.com a reality? Did you know Mahathee almost single-handedly handled all the initial Engagement on our Discord Community? One can do a lot, you see? 🙂 )
  • Want to work closely with The Test Tribe Team, learn from them, and learn with them
  • Want to build their Portfolio and get rewarded in several ways and just one of that can be the better Job Opportunities
  • Want to be one of the Proud and Responsible faces of The Test Tribe Community
  • Would love the upskilling support of worth INR 45K in a Year to serious consistent Contributors and Learners, through free access to our Events, Training and Courses. This should be your last reason to apply though. (Remember what we mentioned before? Selfless giving-back.)

 

 

How will you know if you are one who would be suitable for this opportunity?

The most important part of this would be if You pass through our ‘Test of Values’. You can do this self-assessment.

Each Volunteer or Team Member of ours must possess and respect the below values to the Core:

  • Integrity: Be integral and truthful to your Work and commitment even when no one is watching. You live in accordance with your deepest values, you’re honest, and you value your word.
  • Belonging: Do you sense any belonging to the mission we are on? Do you find belonging when we say we want to help grow the entire Testing Community? Oneness. You cannot move mountains as someone who is external or is a mere passenger in this long and impactful journey we are walking. Can you get into the game and BELONG?
  • Passion: How passionately do you want to change the World around you for the better? How passionately do you do most of the things that you do on daily basis? Are you passionately into the Testing Craft or a mere passenger? No great thing possibly was ever done without passion. If you become one of us, do you see yourself contributing with utmost passion?
  • Accountability: Saying ‘Yes’ is easy, respecting that ‘Yes’ (your own word) is fulfilling, but not easy. It takes work, commitment, and Accountability. Accountability is liberating in many ways. If you are accountable, you liberate the rest of the team.
  • Quality: When you finish a task, you just finish it, or finish it with the best possible quality? Do you try to be a better version of yourself always? Do you look for the scope of improvement in whatever you do? You are a Tester, fine, but do you keep Quality as a top standard for yourself?
  • Innovation: We are known for innovative things and thinking. Do you often ask yourself questions like- “Can I do this differently? Can I do this better? Can I do something completely different and still achieve this same result?”.

 

WhatsApp Image 2022 01 09 at 6.07.30 PM

 

Are you with us so far? If the answer is Yes, we assume the ‘Value Test’ went good for you. Let’s move ahead if you answered positively.

The Skills we are looking for in our future volunteers are:

  • Good or decent communication
  • People Person
  • Empathetic
  • Values commitment
  • Self-motivated
  • Creative
  • Knows/can learn Tools around communication and Designing (plus)
  • Comfortable facing the Camera if at all needed
  • Ability to create content (plus)

We are so glad you made it this far. Final step!

Have a look at the below form, if needed again read the details we wrote above, be very sure that you want to 100% be part of the team and change things for good, give yourself more time if needed, and when completely sure, go ahead and fill below form. We will be waving at you from the other end excited to assess the compatibility of working together and make things happen. We will assess and soon contact you.

Regards,
The Test Tribe Team

My Experience Volunteering for TestFlix 2020 | Conference Roundup

The magic of an Idea, Determination, and Persistence

The Test Tribe’s Idea Generator Team had envisioned and announced #TestFlix around the start of September 2020. Soon after the ideation, the entire Test Tribe team steadily started preparation in different dimensions. As far as I can recall, to begin with, it was not known in its entirety who would work on what and when.
At the same time, we had a clear Idea, Determination, and Goal to achieve.

TestFlix 2020 Global Software Testing Binge

Long story short (I loved this phrase), we had one of its kind software testing binge on 28th November 2020.
107 software testing professionals from 44 countries got on one platform to pour wisdom and life experiences from their extensive experiences, back to back, 17 hours non stop.

From a volunteer standpoint, one thing was certain, at least in my mind, that this is another good opportunity to get along and serve the community with some useful skill(s) set. We possessed some of the required skills, had to learn a few, and coordinate with few others for the rest.

Along with the core team and City (S)Heroes team, another team was formed called the TestFlix team. Some of us were lucky enough to be part of the new team as well and we grabbed this opportunity. Today, as I am writing this, I would say that we showed up and asked how we can contribute. In the response, TestFlix has become one of the events where we learned more deeply (in this specific context) about following

  • The magic of dreaming BIG
  • The value of starting small and persisting till the goal is achieved
  • Trust and Teamwork
  • Importance of Asking Right Questions
  • Feedback and Peer-review Driven Progress (As I am writing this one too!)
  • Eat Your Own Dog Food (Metaphorically)
  • Text Documentation, Mind Mapping, Notes taking, Stage handling, Video Editing, and so on

More about this learning experience (especially mine) will be posted as a different article on TTT and if you are reading this we highly encourage you to write for this wonderful software testing community.

Nevertheless, beyond my own learning, the overall experience also was super exciting, fun-filled, and thrilling.
Be with me as I share a few glimpses!

Coming back to preparations from different volunteers and core team members. Steadily we were assigned specific tasks, with different volunteers. Initially, I was paired with Rahul Parwal, Bala Ji(I meant Balaji Ponnada but pun intended here) for two specific tasks. Since we all had time, at least I thought that I would be doing it comfortably as time passes by. Kind of Relaxed mode! 

However, One fine evening, when I called it a day for office work and started browsing LinkedIn and Twitter to see what news was floating about the #TestFlix event. I saw this #TestFlix Tweet from Jugal Patil and I smiled. At the same time ‘Likes’ started appearing from other members of the team and from the testers on Twitter. The moment I saw it, I felt excited and thought of coming out of Relaxed mode and pick up the pace. So, I called up Mahesh to get some details on what is going on and what progress we made so far and I was amazed (and stressed?) due to the number of things going on and how crucial my role was in the overall deliverables.

We are sure you have been compassionate, patient, caring, curious, excited, lucky, choosy enough to attend this event. Be it as an Attendee, Invited Speaker, Sponsor, Community Partner, or as a Volunteer. If you could not attend as a participant, then definitely we missed you there, at least this time!

But worry not, we got you covered and you can find all the 107 Atomic Talks from TestFlix 2020 on our Youtube Channel. Watch them here.

Have a high-level look at the variety of the topics covered in the binge

Screenshot at Dec 26 23 44 45

TestFlix was of course a platform for many first-timers and we are glad we could host Speakers who could never speak before at an event but had amazing information to share with the world.

The amazing host 

@Lalitbhamare (Lalit Bhamare) was our host for the day. Lait was very instrumental in conducting the #TribalQonf / TribalQonf by The Test Tribe back in June 2020. As per the exploratory execution plan, Lalit started a few minutes earlier to create a ‘Connecting and Preparatory’ environment for the attendees. Kind of a Warming up Session.

and Binge starts

The opening talk was about “8 things I do to solve problems creatively”.

You can see this talk here http://bit.ly/8TSolveProblems. A 4:30 minutes talk that has the potential to inspire a lot of testers irrespective of their area of specialty, experience, or job titles.

By the way, we also had injected ‘4 Key Takeaways’ as each talk gets concluded. We thought this could be useful for the attendees while they take notes as well. A glimpse of the key takeaways from the talk is here.

So with the first talk, the flow of 100+ atomic talks started with the rest of the 100+ test professionals from across the world helping around 5000+ testers from different geographical locations to learn and unlearn and become better testers.

We had a number of great names, upcoming great names and it would be an injustice if we mention a few here and leave others. Respecting each of our speakers either new or most experienced is a key value proposition of The Test Tribe. You can know more about who helped testers on that day, we encourage you to see the ‘SPEAKER LINEUP’ section on https://www.thetesttribe.com/testflix/

While Binge was going on…

The Chat panel of Hopin, our Event platform, was buzzing with all the wonderful interactions and appreciations as the Atomic Talks were rolling one after another.

While Geosley took care of sharing the quick Speaker Bio and engaging with Participants and Speakers, Balaji, Anees, Kunal, Deepan, Jugal, Dhanalaxmi, Rahul, Prerna, and others continued taking the audience questions and providing useful information.

Ajay was busy handling Social Media while I was also sharing my experience on Twitter.

Mahesh and Nishant were making sure that the TestFlix segments keep rolling perfectly as planned without any pause or hindrance.

Knowledge, Fun, Selfies, Prizes…

Ohh yes! There were tons of prizes to grabbed through the several Contests we were running.

TestFlix 2020 Global Software Testing Binge

 

Our core team brainstormed a lot to make the 17 hours long event more engaging by including the Treasure hunt Game (I hope you could fully utilize your observation skills here), Selfie contests, Quizzes, and some others. It was a fun-filled learning event that had diversity, learning, Q&A, Networking, Games, and much more.

We would also want to congratulate all the Winners in #TreasureHunt, #TestFlixSelfie and #TestFlix Social contest.