Author: Tribal Bot

The Test Tribe
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 TestResolution 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 130+ 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?”.

 

 

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

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.

TestFlix 2020 Global Software Testing Binge

TestFlix 2020 Global Software Testing Binge

TestFlix 2020 Global Software Testing Binge

 

Continuing to think outside the box, we are supporting planet Earth now.
Have a look at what we gifted our amazing Speakers. 

Wonderful, isn’t it? A tree on the name of every Speaker 🙂

Thanking Our Proud Sponsors!

TestFlix 2020 Global Software Testing Binge

TestProject | AI AppstoreTrigent | Sauce Labs | Testsigma | Mozark | Testvox

And our Community Partners!

TestFlix 2020 Global Software Testing Binge

 

And of course, Thank you for showering so much love on TestFlix and making it a historical one.

Few Stats to reflect your love:

TestFlix 2020 received

  • 4.69 Audience Rating out of 5 
  • 4.64 average Speaker Rating out of 5
  • ~5200 registrations from 91 Countries, representing 2400+ Companies
  • Attended by 2148 Testers from across the globe

Is #TestFlix fever over? No, not really! Who knows, we would come again and come even better. 😉

Meanwhile, as I mentioned before, we have shared all the individual videos on Youtube, please access the playlist here https://bit.ly/testflixyt2020 

We encourage you to subscribe to http://bit.ly/TTT-YouTube for accessing more videos from across the events we have conducted so far.


Last but not least, in case you do not know much about The Test Tribe yet, we feel it is important we talk about Origin. In my opinion, one of the most interesting books in a tester’s life could be ‘Word Power Made Easy’ by Norman Lewis. One of the core concepts of this book is understanding the ‘Etymology’. One of the meanings of this word from Oxford is ‘The origin of a word and the historical development of its meaning.

On the same lines, you may find our ‘Origin’ story an interesting one to read at https://www.thetesttribe.com/the-test-tribe-story/ and our development in the last two years at https://www.thetesttribe.com/about-us/ 

To summarize,

#TestFlix: A Feedback-driven whole Team effort with the magic ingredients

Continuous Communication, Development, Testing, Delivery, Integration, and TRUST. 

The core team and volunteers, consisting of Visionaries, Strategic Planners, Doers, Editors, Reviewers, Feedback providers equipped with multidimensional skill sets, made this event succeed as a seamless user experience. Weeks of hard work, coordination, ownership, and excitement. We encourage you to read more at http://bit.ly/ABonTestFlix.
Ajay beautifully summarized the Whole Team Effort in the post and more to come up. 

Just to let you know that post #TestFlix, some of us had conversations around our targets and how a well-coordinated, well trusted, well-motivated team did all the work. Each and every deliverable was reviewed very well and feedback incorporated back to the work items, even on the day of the event.

It was like magic and the magic that required tons of effort! #TestFlix

About the Author:

Sandeep GargSandeep Garg TestAway by The Test Tribe

A professional software tester and Education investor (self and other tester’s) with diverse working experience (Bidding, Development, Management, Testing) in the software industry for more than a decade. Learned from the excellent people and organizations in software testing domain be it Testing Philosophy, Modelling, Good Practices, Technical Testing, Problem Solving, Automation, Business, and Communication. Though certified by boards like ISTQB and QAI, the Context-Driven paradigm greatly influences how Sandeep sees himself to learn and perform software testing.

 

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My Experience at Cignithon Testing Hackathon

Cignithon Testing Hackathon, A mega testing hackathon in India was organized by Cigniti Technologies on 9th Feb 2020 at T-Hub (IIIT Hyderabad) and was powered by The Test Tribe Community. It was a rocking start to the New year for the testing community, especially from Hyderabad’s point of view. A sleepy, cozy, overcast Sunday was not sufficient to dampen the spirits of the Hyderabad Testing community, which came forward to constitute one of the biggest testing hackathons of India. More than 118+ testers from 52+ different companies turned up for the event which was fun-filled and challenging at the same time with opportunities for making cash, friends and a reputation. 

Some key highlights of Cignithon Testing Hackathon:

  • 3 Products to test from varying domains and on different platforms
    • Oropocket – A universal Investment platform wherein you can invest in precious metals
    • Hisab – An online Accounting Application
    • Younify – A social network to connect students across University campuses
  • Prizes worth 2 lakhs up for grab
  • Opportunity to network with 118+ testing professionals
  • Potential hiring opportunity with one of the leading pure-play testing companies in the world Cigniti
  • 1600+ bugs found ( A mind-boggling number by any standards)
  • Testers from 52+ companies participated
  • 9 winning teams across 3 products
  • 3 miscellaneous awards
  • Lots of fun, networking, SWAG, and smiles. All around.

Register for Cignithon 2022 – by Cigniti Technologies

The day started at 11:30 AM with the T-Hub auditorium completely jam-packed. An enthusiastic lot of testers, TTT volunteers and Cigniti leadership were geared towards making this event a great success. Paras, our host for the day, wove his magic and was the thread that held the entire event together. Cigniti leadership led by Subhendu and especially Raghuram set the ball rolling. Raghuram’s enthralling rendition of the history of software in the Indian context and especially the part on software testing captivated the audience as it is always good to know how the career you are a part of came into existence. 

As a precursor to the actual bug hunting, Mahesh walked us all through the Event format, followed by a brief overview of the products provided by the three Startups I mentioned above.

The teams of two were allowed to be formed and asked to give some unique name to it. Teams were told to determine their strategies as to how to go ahead with their bug -hunting activities. Ajay provided his valuable inputs on how to go ahead with the bug-hunting activities with the intent of winning the hackathon. Then the teams took a break for lunch (which was quite delicious) where there were umpteen opportunities to network and form teams if not already done. 

The actual bug hunting exercise then started at 2:15 PM. The teams were all set. The product URLs, instructions and good luck wishes were shared with the teams, and the actual hackathon began. Teams deployed multiple strategies to outwit the competition and put their best feet forward to claim the prizes. Strategies ranged from picking up a single application to picking all applications with a time-boxed approach, going through the instructions in detail or directly jumping into testing. So on and so forth.

The apps were from varying domains with a mix of platforms(Web/Mobile) and that enabled people with different skillsets and experiences to leverage their strengths. Teams with a varying mix of experiences definitely had a stronger chance of winning. 

The time flew by and soon the ending was near. Teams rushed in to scour through any untouched areas and logging bugs in a hurry. The battle continued for a good 3.5 hours. Testers were not ready to stop. No time to look at the clock. Fingers waving their magic as fast as they can on the keyboard, logging as many bugs as possible. There were tea and snacks to enjoy in between the testing duration, but were we ready to stop and enjoy it? No, all we wanted is to log as many good bugs as possible.

Like all good things has to end, the hackathon window got over and bug submissions were stopped. We all were tired but super happy. Who says you can’t feel adrenaline rush while you test? 

There was a breather finally and we all were actually relaxing for the first time after a good 3.5 hours of intense work. This was also a very good opportunity to network with other testers out there and learn from them.

A whopping 1600+ bugs were logged in the process by 118+ testers in a matter of few hours. If you are in the Software world, you know how huge is that number.

The sheer number of bugs meant evaluating was a huge challenge for the product teams and this meant needing more time for the same. Hoe to engage the team. In stepped Paras and then there were a few sets of fun events to enable people to collect swag and goodies. Ample games to network with others out there of course.

When the final results were to be announced there was excitement all around. Some of the teams were extremely confident of winning while some were skeptical. However, the confidence or lack of it was not the deciding factor but the efforts spent and the quality of bugs raised that differentiated the winners from the rest.

Finally, the results were out:

Oropocket

  • Winner: Team Bug Eaters (Pottumurty Manikant & Sandeep Jinde from Qapitol QA)
  • 1st Runner up: TribeTesters (Ashwin Chordiya from HCL & Saurabh from ZenQA)
  • 2nd runner up: SomethingFishy (Vaibhav P & Shaik Rahman)

Hisab

  • Winner: Amigos (Rohit Anney & Laxminarayana Boga from CBRE)
  • 1st Runner up: Da Vinci (Arun Nandireddi & Vishal Vala from EPAM Systems)
  • 2nd Runner up: Phinox (Rajesh Nemani from Cigniti & Suneetha Garlapati from First Tech Consulting)

Younify

  • Winner: Automatons (Sandeep Uppala from Ebix Software & Satheesh Valluri from EMIDS)
  • 1st Runner up: Team Autobot (Nadimpalli Babu & Venkatesh Salagrama from Sureify Labs)
  • 2nd Runner up: anOnymOus (K.V. Yoganand from Innominds Software & Surya Krishna from VMax E-Solutions)

A big congratulations to all the Winners. However, anyone and everyone who turned up was a Winner as they chose to spend the Sunday in a worthy manner as compared to the lazing or other umpteen ways they could have. The success of this event would not only stoke the fire of passion that burns in the Hyderabad testing community with respect to their trade of testing but would also act as an encouragement for the thousands of other testers who were not able to take part but may take heart from this and chose to participate in future events to keep the flag of testing flying high.

Cignithon Testing Hackathon

Meanwhile, a lot of testers also shared their feedback for the event and about the things they are looking forward to from The Test Tribe. Tribals also agreed that there has to be a way to stay in touch with each other and there it was, official The Test Tribe Facebook Community. If you are a Tester and reading this, Join the Tribe NOW- http://bit.ly/tttcommunity


About the Author:

Ravi has 12+ years of experience in software testing with expertise in test automation. He has worked for Infosys, TCS, Expleo Group and currently working as a Test Consultant at Microsoft. He is a keen and avid learner and on the lookout for learning new skills primarily related to technology.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ravishankar1985/

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5 Tips to win your next Software Testing Hackathon

My first Software Testing Hackathon (or Bugathon, or Testathon) was way back in 2009–10 and it was known as Zappers and conducted by TCL. My team won the first one and We were thrilled. The next one we lost, and we again won and this continued with many other Software Testing Hackathons. I won most of them and lost a few on the way. Winning gave the money and losing taught me the most. I also wrote a book called 50+ tips to win testing contests. 

As someone who has participated and won many Software Testing Hackathons, I want to share five actionable tips to help you win your next time you participate in a Testing Hackathon.

Tip 1: Keep your Weapons ready

For testing a product, one needs good test ideas, good devices, and tools. I have seen many testers come to the hackathon with laptops that always need to be plugged in for a charge, mobile phones with low battery, no cables to transfer data and the highlight of all, only 1% come with their own internet dongles or WiFi hotspots. I mean why would you take that risk? Why would you want to rely on venue Wi-Fi which will anyways be shared by 100s of participants? 

Here is my checklist for a hackathon:

    1. My laptop — I know which keys work and which don’t. There are no surprises.
    2. My mobile devices — I exactly know the device settings and the bugs on my phone. I know the speed at which things happen on my phone and I know the passwords for all the accounts on this phone.
    3. Chargers for both laptops and mobile phones
    4. Spare power banks (fully charged)
    5. Pen drives
    6. Internet dongles
    7. Test data — Accounts, images, files of varying sizes and formats

Tip 2: Practice Probable Bugs Exercise

Tell me a feature or element and I would give you a list of what can go wrong. I call it the probable bugs list. I consciously practice it when there is no need for it. What can go wrong with Pagination, what can go wrong with Search results, what can go wrong with file upload, I already have a list in my mind. No wonder the list of 400 common software bugs by Dr. Cem Kaner was an inspiration. You can access the PDF here. Go through the pdf and have a mind full of probable bugs for the next testing session/hackathon.

Tip 3: Practice filing bugs

I find it strange when testers take their own sweet time to file bugs in a hackathon. Especially when you are also judged for the duplicates. The one who files the bug early gets the credit. The focus is not on the details but just enough details and move on to the next bug. There are testers who write ten steps for a simple bug. They don’t attach screenshots or videos. Even if they attach, the video is of a few MBs in size and takes forever to get uploaded on the slow network. Amazingly, the tester is watching the upload progress and not focusing on filing the next bug. Some testers are not even aware of the tools other than the default ones available with the OS. Also, what if your favorite tool failed? One should have 2–3 tools for each category (screenshot, test data generation, note-taking, file converters and so on.

Tip 4: Focus on your Strengths

Hackathons are not for trying out new techniques or quality criteria unless you are fine losing the top prizes at stake. Each one of us is good at specific quality criteria and should dive deep in that during the hackathon. Also, know the tools that can give you an overview of the quality criteria you are not an expert at. W3C checklists, GTMetrix, Quixxi, WAVE are some of the tools for Compliance, Performance, Security, Accessibility respectively. 

Tip 5: Know your speed and Never Give Up

If you have practiced enough times, you would know how much time you would take to know an application, how much time it takes to upload a screenshot and how many minutes would you take to complete a bug report. Without knowing your current speed, you would not know if 20 bugs are enough or 40 bugs is a good performance. Practice so much that you can file a bug within 30–45 seconds and you can find a new bug every 60 seconds of testing. This would ensure that you can easily file 30–40 bugs every hour and you can easily touch 60 bugs in two hours. It is a decent number considering that many participants are first-timers and might not even cross 30 bugs. Having such a steep target also forces you to think of diverse ideas and attack the same application in multiple ways. 

Bonus: Do not waste time discussing bugs with your partner. Find it? Log it.

You may also want to read my free ebook — 50+ Tips to Win Testing Contests

Hope these tips were useful. See you in the next hackathon! Register for the Upcoming Hackathon – Cignithon’22.

Join The Test Tribe Community here to stay updated with future Testing Hackathons amongst other events.


About the Author

The Test Tribe Testing Community

Ajay Balamurugadas
A graduate of Problem Solving Leadership, BBST Courses by AST, Rapid Software Testing, Rapid Testing Intensive workshop, Lean Software Testing Workshop, Ajay doesn’t hesitate to spend on his learning. Starting his career as a software tester, he continues to be a hands-on software tester along with training new testers, meeting testers in person, presenting at conferences, conducting workshops, and sharing his thoughts via blog and tweets.

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TestAway Shimla- From Attendee Perspective

“This is an amazing, amazing, amazing experience!”, exclaimed Subham as Mahesh trained the camera at him. Mahesh was live streaming the experiences of the participant testers of TestAway Shimla on Facebook as the fifteen of us strolled from the playground, back to The White Haven in Shimla.

Although poor Subham was targeted for his antics on live camera and earned himself the nickname “Amazing Subham”, what he said reflected the thoughts of everyone at the end of the event.

I recently moved back to India from Australia, where I learned the value addition that networking, and community activities provide to professionals and how it helps them get better in their job and in life. I was on the lookout for opportunities to meet with the Software Testing community in India. I found The Test Tribe and took a look at their website. It was just what I was looking for. I visited their Upcoming Events page and saw that they had a workshop on Usability Testing and TestAway.

I got curious and explored further. A cursory glance was enough for me to decide that I need to be part of this. Gamifying Testing, Workshops, Unlearn to Learn, Reset – all the right words to tick off my interest. Long story short, I applied, Mahesh called to interview, and after a short while, said I was in. I managed to put all logistics together and was soon on a flight to get to the event!

I have attempted to pen down the proceedings of the event by retrieving whatever my memory could store, adding my personal takeaway and experience. I tried to group experiences to the best of my creative ability with no one sub-topic having more importance than the others. They can be read in any order. If this attempt doesn’t appeal to you, it is because of my inability to tell a story effectively and you shouldn’t undermine the effort gone into setting up the various aspects of the event, the contributions of the participants, and the impact the event had on all of us.

 

The White Haven, the chefs and the food

TestAway Shimla

A little away from the city, in a quaint neighbourhood of Shimla, stood The White Haven. Typical of many Hill Station properties, you climb down the stairs to get to the different parts of the property.

Our hosts were wonderful. I remember the name of one person I met – Ajay Thakur. The chef and his assistants who helped us were down to earth and agile. Without their support, active participation throughout three days by all participants would have been a challenge. It’s rude on my part to not mention their names here, but I have forgotten them. I could ask someone and write but I won’t, so that I remember names in future. A big Shukriya to them!

The chefs dished out rotis, sabjis made from a range of greens, selection of meats, and dal, parathas, omelette, and toast. To complement all this was a yummy pickle, dahi, salads and fruits! We loved the food so much that a majority of us didn’t want to experiment eating anywhere else on the last day when there was an opportunity to do so.

The Tribe Leaders, Introductions and the Welcome Kit

When I first spoke to Mahesh, I got the impression that this guy is doing something meaningful. In his WhatsApp DP, where he holds a mike and is talking, I could see a spark in his eyes. However, until after dinner on the first day at Shimla, I didn’t understand the full extent of this man’s passion to help testers in whatever possible way he can. Throughout the event, if there was one person keeping an eye on the clock and the schedule and keeping us on our toes, it was him. In every game and activity he orchestrated, I could see the love he has for testing and testers.

There is a saying in Kannada – Thumbida Koda Thulukola (very loosely translated, it means pots which are full don’t wobble or jump about). This is every bit true about Niraj Yadav and I didn’t realize this until we spoke, when we sat next to each other on our way back to Delhi. The number of topics about which this man could converse with ease amazed me. During the event, he went about his job of ensuring that all the logistics for each activity were in place so quietly, that you almost wouldn’t take notice of him.

Add to this, these two guys went a day ahead to setup and gave us a warm welcome! They handed us a Welcome Kit (co-sponsored by Moolya), that comprised of a surprise t-shirt and a water sipper among other things. The sipper idea was come up with, based on feedback from TestAway Goa to reduce the use of bottled water.

I had been following Ajay and his work for a while now. I met him at one of his workshops just a week before the event. He commands a focused attention in his blogs and when talking testing, but is a very humorous person. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of his jokes, puns and comments!

Tribesmen

One of the participants – Jitendra, has accurately described each participant in his article here, and that makes my job easy. He has modestly excluded himself from the list. He is an enterprising professional who understood the value he adds to organisations early in his career and has broken away from the shackles of the corporate structure.


In my opinion, the group was as diverse as it could get. The testers were of different levels of experience, from very different domains, and organisations of different sizes catering to different segments of the market. Most importantly, the group was fun!

After the first few hours on Day 1, most of us felt we knew each other well, although, by then most of us had bonded in groups of twos and threes. The rest was History!

Mahesh’s Games

Each of the games that the team had designed helped drive home a point for testers. From observing an image (a web page in reality) for three seconds, and attempting to reproduce it, to guessing a mobile app’s name by asking five questions to using the Ministry of Testing’s TestSphere card deck, to diffusing time bomb emulators, to understanding Visual Auditory Kinesthetics (VAK) learning styles by putting first thoughts about a word down as a drawing, each game helped testers understand that observation, questioning, note taking, collaboration, modeling, strategising etc. are some vital skills they need to learn and improve upon continuously.

Ultimate Tic Tac Toe and Mafia during after hours helped us to connect and have fun.

Ajay’s advice to Testers – Online Portfolio 101

TestAway Shimla

How many testers do you know? How many testers know you? How many testers do you know outside of work and outside of your social circle (predominantly engineering friends)? How many testers do you know in your city, country and in the World? How many testers do you know, with who you can randomly strike a conversation about Testing? How many people will reach out to you when they want answers to questions in Software Testing? Are you reputed enough to be head-hunted? What reputation and credibility have you built? What does a search engine return when you are looked up?

These are few of the questions that Ajay asked the group at the beginning of the session. He went on to explain the need for individuals to have a portfolio of their work. For Testers, use of mediums like a blog, videos, GitHub, etc. can be used to publish learnings and ideas. A Github account with sample of work for various aspects of Testing can be setup so that interested people can understand the work of publisher better. I knew I had to let people know that I exist, but the question “How many testers do you know, with whom you can randomly start a conversation about Testing?”, has hit me hard!

The Workshops
Liberating Structures

Getting people to work well together is one of the biggest challenges today, across the world. Organisations of all sizes and shapes consider this as one of their top challenges. To foster a culture of inclusion and engagement, to motivate teams to work together and to generate ideas from unexpected sources, organisations need to demonstrate to their employees that this is possible (rephrased from the liberating structures website). Liberating Structures is one way to do this.

Ajay used 3 of the 33 structures to demonstrate how ideas get generated quickly for any problem statement. The problem statements were interesting enough to keep the participants involved. ‘How would you increase your company’s revenue by 15%?’ ‘If you had unlimited resources, what would you do to improve your testing skills?’


The Liberating Structures we used were 1-2-4-All and 15% Solutions. With the 1-2-4-All microstructure, individuals first come up with a set of ideas, and then group themselves into twos and compare and improve the ideas. Two groups of twos then come together to further improvise. This way at each step two sets of ideas are studied and improved. Eventually this will lead to a possible solution that has the ideas of the entire group. Although, it is easier said than done, it is possible to generate quite a few ideas within a short time. This is exactly what happened.

The 15% Solutions is structured very similarly to 1-2-4-All. However, here at each step the group votes to identify 15% of all the ideas that they generated as the best ones. Again, within a short time a lot of people’s thoughts are collected and the group decides which of them would work.

There is a lot to know about Liberating Structures. For the purpose of this event, the idea was to get people familiar with the concept.

The Testing Lab

3 Teams of 4 Testers, 3 advisors – 1 for each team, Slack’s Notification feature, 3 charts and sketch pens to write a test report, 3 hours to Test with deadlines for interacting and getting information from Stakeholders, brainstorming test ideas and getting feedback, testing and documenting, and finally writing a report. 

How did the teams fare? Below average. Not enough questions were asked to the stakeholder, which means the mission of the project was not understood. Not enough time was spent to make the test report meaningful. The teams didn’t think of who their customers’ customers were, thereby not understanding the context of where, when, why and how the testing needs to be structured.

Jitendra’s story to freedom

Like I said earlier, Jitendra understood the value he was adding to organizations early in his career, and in turn what he was losing by continuing to work for them. He decided to do something about it. It was not easy, and it usually never is, but it takes a lot of grit to experiment and make this decision. He still has challenges, but is taking them one at a time, head-on.

Ulhas’ free money advice

Ulhas is Jitendra’s partner in crime and between them, they had exciting stories to tell which stem from the bond that has nurtured their relationship. Ulhas’ USP is his way of managing his personal finances and how that has helped him partner with Jitendra to help solve interesting testing problems. Of course, here too there are challenges which the two of them are solving very wisely.

Lightning Talks – Ashwin and Pranav

Ashwin briefly spoke about using matrices to map automated checks to tests and features. He went on to explain how this helped him deal with Root Cause Analysis and communicate effectively to his management when a bug  escaped to production.

 

Pranav is a young, energetic and an eager tester. He was intimidated by the the experience around him and the rest of us by his questions. He courageously spoke when asked to, about Message Queues, their uses in a Microservices architecture and how they are effective in propagating changes between the client and the server in an asynchronous manner. 


Pranav is learning to play the flute and is discovering his learning styles and the challenges of learning to play a musical instrument. With a little prodding from Ajay, he was able to quickly try a few tunes and I realized that while practice is important, it is also important to try different things while practicing.

Ashutosh, NPV and Automation

The value of Rs. 100/- today is a certain amount lesser one year from now and we all know it. What I didn’t know is that a variant of this is used in project management during feasibility study to decide if a project makes sense or not. i.e., if we start a project based on current costs, will it have provided the ROI, by the time it matures?

Ashutosh told us that a mind boggling number of factors go into trying to make these projections. Now, Ashutosh has cleverly attempted to use this to project the value of investing in Automation projects. This is a work in progress and he has attempted to create a basic framework to establish the $ value of writing an Automated (or a Computer-assisted) Test.

TestAway Shimla

As an extension, this can be applied to everything we do in life.

Group Discussions – As One big group

Staying relevant as a tester

If you don’t adapt, you become irrelevant. However, in India, the problem is still a few steps behind. People don’t realize that they need to adapt, at least a portion of the techies. So, when Mahesh asked the group as to what he could do to help Testers in India adapt with changing times, there were a few ideas – which I can’t recollect much of. However, a few of us were of the opinion that even though there were several people extending their hand out to help, there are very few takers (including me, until a year ago). The good news is, this is changing. However, there is a lot of work to do and The Test Tribe is saying and doing the right things to take this forward. I am sure there are many smaller groups who are attempting something similar. These ideas will gain momentum and soon there will be several initiatives like The Test Tribe!

TestAway Shimla

RPA

Ganesh helped the team get their brains around what exactly RPA is. Robotic Process Automation is being used to automate several business processes. There was a little bit of a debate that ensued. Is it like Selenium? Is it going to automate what a “Manual” Tester does? Is it building Computer-assisted tests without writing code! We concluded that no matter what the capabilities of this technology is, it won’t make the Human Tester extinct.

Heuristics

If there is one concept used popularly by several testers today that seems very simple to understand, it is Heuristics. Simply put,

Heuristic is a fallible way of learning something about an application. – as defined by renowned testers. Very simple, isn’t it? Now take a look at this.

Ajay did a wonderful job of explaining what it is in the thirty minutes that we spoke about it. In my opinion, it will take several months of testing, reading, writing, listening to and speaking with multiple renowned testers to get a good grasp of what Heuristics in Software Testing is and how to effectively use it.

Bonfire

TestAway Shimla

Amazing Subham set the tone for the evening by singing. Ajay followed it up with a spoof version of a popular Bollywood song. Ajay then put a question “Who is <person’s name>?” 

As the group sat in a circle and started answering the question, I asked myself the same question. I kept floating between thinking about what my answer should be and listening to other’s answers. The answers were fun, intense, revealed stories of courage and determination and of happiness and sorrow. Most of us are constantly looking for an answer to this question. I have realized that the answers keep changing as we grow and mature and yet can never be complete. As we learn, explore and interact with more and more people over the years, the answers will change rapidly and probably will settle down at some point.

Jugal then entertained us by reading a Marathi poem he had written. He also shared how The Test Tribe helped him find a new job, not directly, but as a result of being an active part of the community.

Playground and Yoga

Niraj had us stretch our legs a little bit by taking the team to a playground in the morning on two days. I made it just on the 2nd day. To avoid the risk of injuring myself, which I am prone to, I stat in a corner while the guys threw a tennis ball around and even played lagori. On the 3rd day, I believe Niraj introduced people to the basics of pranayama, asana and meditation.

Group Discussions – Two’s, Three’s etc.

 

Ajay, Geosley and I traveled together from Chandigarh to Shimla. Geosley and Ajay reminicised the events of TestAway Goa. I got a little more insight into what the event is about. We also shared each others’ stories.

Subham, Shubham and I had interesting discussions after sessions and exchanged thoughts and ideas. We spoke about automation, challenges of testers in terms of stakeholder communication, companies’ belief that 100% automation is achievable, that a Green looking automation dashboard doesn’t prove that there are no bugs etc.

Pranav and I had an intense discussion around Testing, Data Science, going back to college for a masters degree, getting an MBA, music and learning to learn.

Ulhas and I spoke about AppAchhi and the kind of performance metrics it captures for mobile applications.

Ajay and I discussed about Python and the challenges of breaking away from being a “student” programmer.

Mahesh and I discussed how to get better at Testing and ways in which I could give back to the Tribe.

Niraj and I spoke about work, interests, running, yoga, religion, politics, ancient systems, climate change, economics and a few more. I am still amazed at how Niraj spoke with ease about each of these topics.

My memory can recall just these conversations, but I do remember conversing with each of the rest about their skills, experience and of course Testing!

The Mall Road, Apples and Chaat

After all the learning (which in itself was a lot of fun), it was time to have some fun and explore Shimla. The Mall Road houses several heritage sites that offered a rustic backdrop for group pictures. With night falling by the time we got there, the photos came out to be mystic.

TestAway Shimla

Chaat and Rasmalai at a 120 year old halwai were delicious and so were the Apples. There was plenty of shopping opportunities as well!

Key Takeaways, Commitments, Testimonials, and Celebration

In my opinion, the best thing about TestAway is the format. With most day workshops and corporate trainings, the format is usually 9 AM to 5 PM. Since humans are very fallible, by the time everyone is involved in the event, significant time is lost. Further, as the end nears, people start getting restless, as they need to think about their families, dinner plans etc. Even though a lot of smart people take away a lot from these workshops, at an event like TestAway where people are closeted in one place for three full days, the scope for learning increases. We didn’t spend more time than in a day workshop, but the fact that we didn’t have anywhere else to get to allowed us to be relaxed and involve ourselves entirely in the events of the day.

My key takeaway from the event was a lot of inspiration and motivation to experiment with all aspects of life. I am committed to bringing about changes in the way I look at everything about Testing.  

At the end of the event Mahesh requested us to write our testimonials. We attempted to explore our creative side for doing this and a glimpse of it can been seen in the photo.

TestAway Shimla

We also celebrated the end of an awesome three days!

In Summary

I want to thank Mahesh, Niraj, Ajay and the team behind TestAway Shimla for orchestrating this event in such a fluid manner. I want to thank each participant of TestAway Shimla for their time, sharing their thoughts, knowledge and experience. I want to thank Pradeep, Dhanasekar and Chandini from Moolya for allowing me to take leave soon after I joined them, to be part of this event.

TestAway Shimla

To sum up the experience of TestAway Shimla, I would shout “High!” in response to someone asking me “How’s the josh?”. TestAway stood true to the Tag Line coLive. coLearn. coGrow. 🙂

Regards from Author,

 

 

 

 

 

Chidambaram Ganesan

Proud TestAway Tribal

Test Manager’s Dream Team – In a Buzzing Bees’ Way

In the current age, acquiring new technical skills are emphasised more and more. Although, it is key for career development, on a hindsight tester’s behavioural/soft skills are given lesser priority. Eventually, behavioural trait tends to last through individual career compared to short-lived ever-changing technical skills. Any test manager would aspire to have the dream test team from day one, which is very unlikely for many practical reasons. Said that there are opportunities that the test manager can adopt to make any team into a dream team.

Bees are my favourites due to their surviving instinct & discipline. In analogues to bees’ qualities within their colony, sharing my experience and suggestion to build a good quality test team. These skills are very much essential for a diversely skilled test team (i.e., if you’re managing a team which has both functional and non-functional team or different skilled test team)

Call out: Following suggestions are not only limited to test manager, test lead or tester but very much applicable to other workstreams as well. Examples considered are more testing team focus. Feel free apply the context with your workstream.    

Bee a Hive – One Team

A bee colony in peak season can house even up to 50,000 bees that work cohesively within a small confined space. In return, bees win are maximised to achieve the common goal of survival. Bees will put their life in line to defend the colony and such scarifies is possible ONLY because of their sense of belonging within the hive. 

In the tech world, fortunately, there is no need for such sacrifice. Instead, it is important for each member to be part of a team – ONE TEAM. Having a team with such a spirit makes you a winner already. The test manager should give more importance to coach ‘One Team’ ethos and monitor its health. 

Why does it make the difference?

Once an individual has the belonging to a team, team goals are prioritised over the individual. 

Few suggestions, which favoured me

  1. Instigating the belief that ‘When a team win everyone wins’ to the funny contrary to ‘Operation success but the patient died’. Supporting nature will become involuntary when realisation kick-in to help each other for all to win
  2. Inculcate the common or customer ways of working within the team as it gives clarity for everyone. Quick Tip: Remember, that each members’ ways of working could have been different from their previous experience 
  3. Organising team building activity can show the great result of inclusiveness within the team

Team Character Profile 

  • Test Manager: Must have
  • Test Lead: Must have
  • Tester: Must have

Bee Positive – Positive Spirit 

During winter, a bee colony can dwell from 50,000 bees to 20,000 that is beyond 50% loss. Still, a healthy colony stays strong and phoenix back during spring. Bees’ resistance to negative influence keeps them moving forward for their survival. 

Software development is a very complex activity with many moving parts performed by different people. Chances are very high to bump into frequent hurdles and harm the team spirit by temporary failures. Having a positive team or a member is a gold mine for a test manager. Even a few positive souls can be infectious to a team in a very good way and inspire many to follow.   

Why does it make a difference?

Positive messaging provides hope to team and assurance to stakeholder. In addition, being positive will help a long way beyond work 

Few suggestions, which favoured me

  1. Start with few key influencers within the team (esp. test lead or sr. tester) and lead them with examples while noticing any negative messaging

Just to help you understand the positive message impact. Let us perform a quick experiment. 

Imagine yourself in either of these roles (tester, developer, project manager) attending a daily stand up meeting and hearing following a voice from a tester. Which of the below voice would make you feel positive?

Voice 1: I am blocked, Cannot proceed with testing due to the data dependency. Dev team is responsible for the data. This will delay the test timelines 

Voice 2: Shall work with the dev team and need their help to resolve the data dependency. Shall assess the impact and come back, if any

Both the voice conveys the same message but voice 2 makes anyone feel positive. Try this within your team and share your experience in the comment. 

  1. During daily stand-up, pick a person and ask their positive experience that happened in the last 24 hrs and do not restrict this with work. You will be amazed to hear teams experience. Keep this rotational within the team by not stressing an individual. Come on! This should not create a nightmare for an individual 😉
  2. Assign the team to share positive quotes/story as a mailer to the team – this can be rotational activity between team members to ensure each gets an opportunity

Team Character Profile 

  • Test Manager: Must have
  • Test Lead: Must have
  • Tester: Good to have

Bee Explorer 

Honeybees are known to travel up to 13.5 km in search of nectar. While this is very instinct nature within the bee’s community, the same resides down for humans to post their learning life.

By Explorer – I mean the hunger for learning. Technology is changing at a faster rate than many skills has a shorter lifetime. A tester should always look out for the latest industry trend put in use within their project. Skill development is a lifelong activity and does not have an end state. The test manager should a play key role to encourage this quality within the team 

Why does it make the difference?

Few explorers can bring in the ‘Out-of-box’ thinking within a team. There could be many benefit potential such as process improvement, better testing techniques, right area of coverage, faster ways of testing etc. 

Few suggestions, which favoured me

  1. The test manager should push & guide the right member to explore

Sharing one of my best experience:

During SIT & UAT test activity, there was an opportunity to automate the input data from the various system. Automation tester did a fabulous job of using trail version UFT tool to meet the objectives. As a test manager, wanted to provide this as value to the business postproduction. However, the current implementation was not feasible due to the incurring cost of the tool. Initially, tester resisted any viable option. However, after some pushback & guidance, a bespoke option was developed which not only meet the business requirement but also was much efficient than the previous solution.  

  1. Have a monthly/bi-weekly learning session where a team member can present a topic across the team – This can be planned on a rotational basis

Team Character Profile 

  • Test Manager: Identify and Guide the team
  • Test Lead: Good to have
  • Tester: Few in the team 

Bee Proactive & Solver

If the bees’ environment becomes undesirable, they are efficient in identifying the issue and finds a better setting to relocate. Such adaptability has made them survive for more than ~40 million years on earth. Fact tip: human are known to be from ~2 – 6 million years

Being proactive is an essential quality for Test manager, Test lead. Sensing a risk and creating a controlling measure saves the project than responding after it happens. Problem solvers are another hot skill that goes in tandem from the problem identifying skills. The solving capability tends to evolve through experience. However, by careful awareness and observation within the project, this is not a difficult skill to acquire.

Quick Evaluation Tips

Following metrics can help to self-evaluate by analysing the test related RAID log 

  • Which is higher? Number of risk vs issues raised by the test team

Note: Risks are the challenges within the project before it happens. Issue are the challenges within the project after it happens. 

    • If your ISSUE count is more than RISK. Then, you must perform more homework to identify risk
    • If your RISK count is more than ISSUE. Then, you have started well. However, hold on! The sheer raising of risk is not sufficient.  Let us move to the next metric 
  • How many risks have got converted into issue vs risk mitigated without impact

This metric helps to evaluate the quality of handling the identified risk.  

    • If the ratio of risk conversion to an issue is more. Then, concentrate more on risk mitigation skills 
    • If the ratio of risk mitigated without impact is more. Then, Congratulations! You are doing a fabulous job and keep up the good work. 

At the same time, do not give a hard time for you if the risks are beyond your control line. Give the best shot to work with other workstreams to resolve and if you still could not close due to external factors, then do not worry.

You deserve to be proud of your efforts and log it with leadership as a lesson learnt for a wider project team. 

Why does it make the difference?

Remember, Good test manager not only highlights the challenges but resolves the same as well 

Few suggestions, which favoured me

  1. Firstly, schedule a knowledge session around RAID management. Highlight the need and its importance to the team. Guide them through the RAID template. Please do not assume that everyone within the team knows. The answer is NO. There is a high possibility that template & approach followed in their previous experience could be very different from your expectation. This will, in fact, make the problem worse between your expectation and team assumption on RAID
  2. Having a weekly RAID log update is good practice. At the same time, empower the team to update the same in Adhoc basis. Quick Tip: It is of NO use to raise risk, issue and keeping silent. A person who raises the risk should make the action owner aware of the same  

Team Character Profile 

  • Test Manager: Must have
  • Test Lead: Must have
  • Tester: Good to have

BONUS TIP

The test manager should make the best effort to identify & recognise those individuals who go beyond his/her call of duty. The sense of appreciation will encourage others within the team to inculcate as well.  As a leader, you might need to set an example by helping the team wherever possible. 

Hope you found this article useful. All the very best. 

Do comment your thoughts and feedback about this post.


Author of this amazing post

Sugandh has 10+years of rich cross-sector & cross-regional experience in software testing. Currently, he is working in the UK for the last 5+ years and specialize in Test management with retail domain expertise.

Blessed with varied experience in delivering small to large scale transformational program covering both legacies to the next-generation cloud solution. He has managed a multi-skilled team in both functional and non-functional testing across the different delivery model.

Sugandhraj Balasubramanian

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Burp Suite Demonstration

In this round up post, Gaurav Narawani gives us a glimpse on the Burp Suite.

When a request is sent from a browser, it goes through a series of steps before it comes back to the browser.

Burp suite can be used to modify the request being sent and capture the response received.

Also one can analyze the requests coming from the server.

Sounds interesting? Do check out the video below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZP4tT1x5ERI&t=828s

About Tools and Testers:

Tools and Testers is an initiative by The Test Tribe to give testers a glimpse of the tools that are of help in carrying out testing activities, not necessarily in the likes of automation tools.

On this thought, its helps burst the myth that ‘”Manual Testers” do not use any tools, as we believe – Tools doesn’t mean only Selenium, Eclipse and JMeter rather all software which helps us in our task.

This is more of a knowledge sharing with the fellow tribes.

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