daily post

Passion to learn

By | July 18th, 2019|daily post|

The 900 miles journey in one night – just to meet and learn in person, that’s passion.

 

This was when Vignesh came over to meet in in NYC few weeks ago (details in post linked in comments)

 

Hard work and passion are a must if you want to advance your career

 

When I see people who don’t want to put the hours and want success, that’s like trying to learn swimming without getting into the water

 

I’ve also learned that’s not the only success criteria, you also have to be smart about what you are working towards and keep evolving your direction.

 

But by no measure does smart work mean you don’t put in the hours. There is no success without the grind.

 

If you are a tester and you haven’t been upgrading yourself, I wouldn’t lie your up for a tough time.

 

And it’s not just testers, the entire global economy is changing, t’s going to affect everyone, some a bit harder.

 

So instead of blaming developers and rest of the world, lets buckle up and get to learning.

 

More on that in the post below:

 

900 miles to seek knowledge

 

Do you need Test leadership?

By | June 17th, 2019|daily post|

I’m uncertain as to why sometimes it’s so hard to explain the importance of ‘test leadership’.

People can have a lead architect, a lead product owner, a lead developer and even a ‘lead of leads’, but having a test lead would somehow kill autonomy…

The argument is in agile world the team does the job, so they should be self-reliant, and no one needed to ‘manage’ them.

What they fail to understand is testing with technical competence is not something abundantly available in the industry.

Most companies have to manage with the few senior resources they’ve got and use them to train rest of the teams.

IMHO the root cause is this deep-rooted ignorance that testing is just a matter of doing some ‘monkey testing’ and that’s about it.

I’d argue testing and specifically automation take as much resources as developing the service, whoever plays that role requires critical thinking, strong technical skill and exposure.

One would assume after decades of blunders and evolution we would have realized why strong testing is important, no wonder restating your PC when software is not working seems to be ‘perfectly normal’.

Building context to requirements

By | June 12th, 2019|daily post|

Generally how does your team go about doing testing or automation?

Most people (in my experience) jump right into writing test cases or automate written tests… anything wrong there?

The source of tests is usually a bunch of written statements without any context from which testers start create test scenarios

Occasionally might have a chat with the BA or product owner if they find the time.

What’s missing here is the context, the understanding of what problem we are trying to solve

Now just if you wrote a ‘story’ doesn’t mean you got all the context.

It is imperative to talk to marketing, product and support to understand why we are building this product, how is our solution different from others in the market.

Understanding the competitive advantage and pain points of the consumers gives the testers context and a yard stick to gauge what’s important.

Shadowing how the customers use the product in the field is another good way of gaining context into the solution.

Any other techniques you’ve used to understand the context better?

Why Re-Orgs happen

By | June 10th, 2019|daily post|

Why do many enterprises go through Re-Orgs?

Here are a few reasons I’ve figured out so far:

  • To increase efficiencies
  • To reduce cost
  • Technological innovation
  • New management comes in with a new mandate

The root cause of most of these is large organizations having problems with adapting to change and having a hard time innovating

Could be because of:

  • People are far away from the vision of the organization, feel like a small cog in a big machine
  • Extra governance, lots of red tape,
  • People become complacent doing the same job day in day out
  • It gets harder to hold people accountable due to long and complex processes
  • People have no reason or motivation to change

IMHO the mother of all problems is lack of motivation.

Whatever course of action is taken to solve the organizational problems, if the teams are not motivated, long lasting change is highly unlikely to happen.

Give permission to challenge

By | June 9th, 2019|daily post|

Leadership lesson – Give permission to challenge

 

What does this mean:

  • People sitting at the meeting table should feel empowered to disagree with any point of view, especially if it is of the leaders in the room

 

Why is it important:

  • It is not individuals who take the day, teams are the ones to bring success. Physiological safety is the secret of team’s success
  • Unless the team feels they are empowered to speak their mind, physiological safety cannot exist.

 

How to do it:

  • The leader should not share his / her opinion at the outset, so everyone feels comfortable to share their opinion
  • Probe people to challenge the status quo
  • Do not let anyone feel punished for challenging the status quo – ever

 

Trouble shooting:

It is possible you might sometimes face confrontation for the sake of it and not for improvement. In such a case:

  • Time box the discussions and assert a decision must be taken before a set deadline
  • Try to use as much factual data as possible
  • If a decision is being taken against what the data says, bring back the discussion to deciding based on data

 

Reference material:

  • How Google works by Eric Schidt
  • Chapter – Decisions, the true meaning of consensus

 

Developing software an art

By | May 9th, 2019|daily post|

While redefining the QA function at work, I keep coming back to this question:

What is Software Quality?

If we deliver exactly what the requirements / user story says, is that quality?

We’d say that’s validation, so we must also do verification which is ‘are we building the right thing’,

The problem there is, in a large organization a bunch of ‘groups’ have to sign off.

Now the ‘end users’ (if you will) don’t align to a single version of what’s expected.

That’s why I sometimes feel developing software is not a science, it’s an art.

It’s an art to bring a vision of a select group of people to life.

The details of the vision for all might be different, but they all might be connected with a common emotion.

Therefore, in the end, it’s about answering to that shared ‘emotion’ of the stakeholders.

SAFe DevOps Health Radar

By | May 6th, 2019|daily post|

Going through the SAFe DevOps course I realized there were a few good points.Going through the SAFe DevOps course I realized there were a few good points.

Again I don’t believe in following any Agile framework to the book and take them as just guidelines, but the SAFe DevOps section does help to put things in perspective.

The image [1] attached is called the ‘DevOps Health Radar’ depicting the different stages of how an enterprise can deliver value to customers from:

1. ‘exploring’ an idea, to

2. Development, testing at speed through continuous integration, to

3. Deploying to a subset of users through ‘dark launches’ and ‘canary releases’, with sanity tests in prod,

4. To finally ‘releasing’ to all the customers on demand and validating the assumptions business had in the exploration phase

Reference:https://lnkd.in/fcZB5sB

[1] : Rights SAFe (Scaled Agile), Illustration graphics by Quality Spectrum

Dark Launches / Canary Releases

By | May 2nd, 2019|daily post|

The new UAT: Dark Launches and Canary releases

Here’s what they mean and the difference:

Before that, UAT (User Acceptance Testing) is where once the software is shipped from IT, business / end users have a look and run their own tests to see if the product is as per expectations.

Now that was inefficient and UAT sometimes takes a lot of time, which can skyrocket time to market.

How the industry is solving it?

productionize the software, but to a user’s subset

Launch to a certain few clients / users of a certain market segment. The Idea is to get ‘real’ users actually use the product.

This way feedback from customers is quicker and as real as it can be.

The catch:

To do dark launches or canary releases, besides the obvious of having scalable infrastructure,

You need to be able to roll back and fix forward real quick, for which you need CI/CD in place.

Because there is always a higher chance of something being missed, so we must be able to fix it real quick.

QA Role at Enterprise level

By | April 22nd, 2019|daily post|

If you were to describe what QA’s role would be at an Enterprise level, what would you say?

Here’s my thought so far:

Fundamental goal: Validate goals set by business for the end product are achieved and highlight any risks to decision makers. This can be done by:

– Help POs, PMs and business in making sure the articulated user stories fit the purpose (question requirements)

– Ensure testability within the system architecture

– Foster a ‘quality first’ culture / build ‘testing acumen’ by promoting and teaching the test mindset within the whole IT organization

– Test the holistic system from end to end’s functionality, usability and non-functional requirements (performance / security)

– Ensure tests among different integrated systems and low level components are done

– Enable CI/CD pipelines to significantly reduce time to market

What else would you add?

#QsDaily #Enterprise #Testing #TestingAcumen

Mindset change to go Agile

By | April 19th, 2019|daily post|

Universal truths to ‘internalize’ to really go agile:
1 – We cannot estimate effort
Without accepting this, we try to ‘accurately estimate’ the amount of work and run into the same trap

2 – We don’t clearly know the requirements
Again, instead of focusing on getting the product out in the hands of the customer ASAP, we sometimes try to ‘refine’ the product

Off course this is easier said than done. To significantly reduce time to market a lot of enablers would be needed.

However, without the mind set change, all the tools in the world wouldn’t bring about the desired results.

#QsDaily #Agile #estimation #requirements