Do what is right, not what is easy.

In my current role, more than twenty testers report to me. All of them were fresh college grads when I joined as project manager two years back.

They are constantly encouraged to blog, use mindmaps, share their learning and apply heuristics while testing. All important testing conferences, testing articles and testing contests are shared with the team regularly. And, I regularly discourage them doing QB certifications, even though company encourages certification.

Recently, One of the testers from my team attended an interview. The interview was for an American IT services giant. During the interview, he was asked why haven’t he done any QB certification, according to the interviewer that is just 40 simple questions to be answered and it’s easy to get certified. This guy replied if that is the case, can he become a doctor by answering 40 simple medical questions. I felt very proud of what he did and what I am doing to the young testers.

Amma.jpg.001

Oh! Curious to know the interview results?

He got selected. The trend has changed. Now, having a QB certification is too mainstream. Testers who don’t have any certification are very less and they are standing out among the crowd.

Happy Doctors’ day [ India celebrate National Doctors day on July 1st ]

NYCTesters July Meet

I was invited to do a two-hour workshop on mobile application testing at the #NYCTesters July Meet. I was thrilled and excited to speak in the gorgeous New York City.

The workshop was on Modelling Mobile Apps and the LONG FUN CUP model. So, started to shape model the session and planned to cover these during the seminar.

StoryBoard

The background of the audience was unknown, so explored the Meetup RSVP to model the audience first and then tried to structure the workshop to benefit a variety of audiences.

DinosaurWhisperer

The modelling of the audience helped to recognise that some people are new to testing. So, it became necessary to explain what is a Model and why modelling is required during testing, before the start of the workshop.

The venue was not hard to find, Google Maps helped not only to reach the place but also to explain about model &  the importance of modelling. Followed by a demonstration on how to model a mobile app & apply LONG FUN CUP test model to it. Later, the audience was given a mission to work for 40 minutes, then debrief.

Intro

Exercise

I acted as the stakeholder, and the debriefing was interactive,  participants discussed enthusiastically with lots of observations and bugs. Personally, it was a good learning for me in many ways, as I was doing it for a totally new audience. Later the discussion continued in the nearby bar with some bottles of IPA. That’s the beauty of hanging around with passionate professionals.

Now, looking forward to me full day tutorial at CAST 2015.

User’s Mistakes and his experience

Typing on the mobile device keypad is harder compared with a physical keyboard. An app that gets minimum input from users will easily win users’ heart. The reasons are the keypad is smaller & user needs to toggle between alphabets, numbers, special characters and to change the letter case. Because of this, the password setting pattern is changing after the popularity of mobile apps.

I stumbled upon a claim from a To do list mobile app, that it is the simplest To do list mobile app, so decided to give a try. The tester instinct within me never sleeps, especially if I see these two words mobile and simple. Being a big fan of Jony Ive, I always look for the simplest and cleanest of things.

In general, most apps work fine if the user makes no mistake. But, the user experience starts degrading the moment user makes mistakes. This is true for most of the apps. I make this conclusion based on the apps I test and use. My user experience test report always includes the experience, once when the user never makes any mistakes and once running the same scenarios by making all possible mistakes.

When I tried with a password that didn’t meet the app’s password rule, here is the error message I got.

Error Message

It took close to a minute to read and understand the rule, then dismiss the message to create a new password. I have already lost a minute, but haven’t completed setting my password. Now, when I started typing I was not sure and again failed to meet their policy. Unlike the web, I cannot keep the error message window and type the password. Finally, after two minutes of struggle I was able to register into the app, that claimed the simplest of all. In mobile world two minutes is a long time. Two minutes in mobile is like two hours in web (Please refer Nolan’s movies like Intersellar or Inception ;-))

For those who still think, it’s fine and the message is not so bad, users has to read and dismiss the message to enter the text, there are better solutions.

Wait!

Before scrolling down to see the embedded video, think for a while if we can provide a better solution.

This is how  Dashlane app solved it. It didn’t take more than 20 seconds to set the password. More importantly, the app avoided user from making mistakes.

This is how a Context Driven Tester thrives, always exploring, observing, relating and learning.

Also, the mobile application testing needs a different approach compared to traditional desktop softwares. My CAST 2015 tutorial on Mobile Application Testing has more such things to offer.

A Full Day Tutorial on mobile app testing & mindmaps at CAST 2015

CDT Blogpostand CAST are always close to my heart. I have had a fantastic run with the CDT community and take pride in being a part of the CDT family. I always enjoy meeting and learning from this community that does what is dependable, but not what is easy.

In CAST 2014 I gave a 40-minute lecture and met a lot of wonderful testers. This year I am taking one full day tutorial on Mobile app testing and mind maps. This tutorial was a suggestion from the master, James Bach after he sat through my talk in CAST 2014. This is what he stated after my talk “DS; this content is worth a two-day workshop.” The workshop will be a blend of my last year talk and the tutorial I conducted in 2013 EuroSTAR.

I am glad that I am capable of doing a full day tutorial in CAST 2015. This year’s theme is moving testing forward, and I believe mobile testing is a moving forward topic. This and This blog post would give an insight of what you can expect from this tutorial. Apart from this, I blog exclusively on mind maps here.

Catch you at the beer city of US 😉

Producing Software Is Not The Purpose Of Software Development

Think Different

Producing Software Is Not The Purpose Of Software Development

[Tl;Dr: All too often we can all get so wrapped-up in the joys and frustrations of creating software that we lose sight of the real purpose.]

I often invite my conference audiences to spend a few minutes discussing, amongst themselves, some question or other relevant to the session. One of the questions which I regularly pose is:

“What is the purpose of software development?”

This question tends to confound the audience for a few moments, prior to their entering into animated discussions on the subject. It always seems like a few minutes is nowhere near long enough to do the question justice.

I ask the question for a number of reasons, not least because of Dan Pink’s assertion that the three keys to intrinsic motivation are autonomy, mastery, and purpose. I rarely come across people and teams who can articulate their purpose.

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Testing != test execution

Jeff Fry on Testing

Testing includes:

  1. Building a useful mental model of the application under test, including what value it should provide and what risks could threaten that value,
  2. Designing powerful tests, using that model to investigate important questions about the application’s quality,
  3. Test execution (which might be automated entirely, partly, or not at all),
  4. Analyzing the results to determine if there’s a problem, how severe it might be, or otherwise answer stakeholder questions, and
  5. Test reporting that clearly communicates the impact of the bug, and how to quickly reproduce it.

We often talk about testing as if it’s only test execution, yet often the most interesting, challenging, skill-intensive aspects of testing are in creating a mental model that helps us understand the problem space, designing tests to quickly and effectively answer key questions, analyzing what specifically the problem is, and communicating it effectively.

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