Tech stack, money, growth or company culture, what is most important when accepting a new position?
From this list I’d say tech stack and company culture.
Technology stack is an important factor. Working on a platform which has demand in the industry certainly is more lucrative.
Company culture – Learning better ways of working is often not given due importance.
Being exposed to better ways of working where taking an idea from concept to implementation in the shortest possible time is vital. This is the core of a DevOps culture.
Money and growth are by products IMHO,
As one matures technically and learns efficient ways of working, money and growth should follow.
To transform your organization you need leaders.
And leaders are those who expect higher standards, from themselves (and others)!
The key in any transformation is to change behavior.
That requires leaders leading by example and demonstrating change.,
Then can the rest of the organization be expected to change.
Therefore leaders should put themselves to a much higher standard than others.
#QsDaily #transformation #agiletransformation #leadership101
What are daily stand ups for? giving status..
Actually, that’s not the main purpose.
The main purpose is to actively remove any impediments the team is facing.
Secondly, for the team to actively work towards a single goal, the sprint’s goal.
A stand up ran done correctly, helps in aligning purpose and gives a boost of optimism.
In Jeff Sutherland’s point of view, it’s a ceremony to create harmony between the team, what he calls ‘transcendence’
The three activities to discuss therefore are:
- What did you yesterday “to help the team finish the sprint”
- What will you do today “to help the team finish the sprint”
- Any obstacles in the “teams” way
Keep stand ups inspiring, people walking out should feel ‘hell yeah, let’s do this’..
Reference “Scrum” by Jeff Sutherland
#QsDaily #scrum #motivation #agiletransformation
Do super star individuals deliver greater results or super teams?
While we all might instinctively feel the team would do better but…
Super start individuals can sometimes deliver up to 10x results
That’s why companies tend recognize individual performers more.
However, super teams outperform other teams by 100x!
The ‘economies of scale’ come from alignment of purpose and empowerment
Now how do these 100x results come about? When scrum teams have:
- Autonomy. All the skills and needed resources reside within the team and they have no dependencies outside
- Transcendence. Alignment of purpose, everyone thinks and dreams of the exact same goals.
Reference: Scrum (By Jeff Sutherland)
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:
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’.
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 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.
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
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
- How Google works by Eric Schidt
- Chapter – Decisions, the true meaning of consensus
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.
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  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 : Rights SAFe (Scaled Agile), Illustration graphics by Quality Spectrum
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.
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.
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
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
When to ensure testability for your product?
While designing the architecture..
While mkst of us know this, very few actually see it through.
We build a piece of software and then decide how to test it,
Instead while designing it make sure you have ‘test probes’ in there.
When I worked for safety critical applications, we left test points on the PCB to check the circuit
Those points were not used for any feature of the product, but were there just to help test it.
So, testers get involved when the architecture is being designed,
Or the architects trained to ensure the system is testable themselves.
What is the difference between testing micro service and monolithic applications?
First off, the definitions:
Micro-services: Software is developed as several small ‘services’ which can operate autonomously
Monolith application: One giant software with all services within the same software package
The fundamental difference for testing these is scalability and integration.
Micro-services are designed to scale up and down as users of the service increase, so testing this scaling up and down is important.
Secondly the integration tests become more important. Communication between these services is different from a monolith and should be accounted for.
While there will be many more subtle differences in testing these depending on your context, these two areas would always be of importance.Anything else you would add to the list?
While DevOps is thought to be synonymous with tools and automation,
Actually, IMO, it has to do more with cultural transformation..
The ultimate goal of DevOps is to bring what we develop faster and more useful to our customers
While automation is certainly a big part, even more important is the culture.
The tools just fast track the thought process we have,
It’s the experimentation with different ‘thought processes’ which is the secret
I always quote “Companies to take ideas to in the hands of consumers the quickest will win”,
Because they can experiment easily, and don’t have to fear a failed experimentation.
Now if the culture is not there, experimentation will not happen.
Then all DevOps will do is to facilitate in getting more “crap” out of the production line, but just “quicker”…
#DevOps with #CulturalTransformation = Measurable business value
#DevOps WITHOUT #DevOpsCulture = Same old crap, just delivered quickly
Automation helps by doing repetitive tasks efficiently
What happens when your code is not exactly ‘reusable?..
Automation engineers sometimes are trying to script for the immediate test scenario
And forget the whole point of automation was reusability.
This is different from a script breaking from not have good selectors..
Writing similar code across the project in multiple classes / files
And again repeating that in mulitple projects across one on multiple products
So make sure to keep each component of the framework reusable
As reusable as possible, not for just your project, but if synergies exist, between projects as well.
The concept of ‘loosely coupled’ somehwat captures this idea.
#QsDaily #Automation #FrameworkDesign
More on the subject here:
A couple of ways to cope with web browser version updates,
Think about it, wouldn’t the developer be using some methods to write data in the fields? Or read data from them?
In few cases they are the same as the Selenium library would use, however in a few cases there would be some custom methods,
Written by the developer or provided by the framework.
Which is going to be called anyway on the mouse click / enter event, but can save you a lot of grief if Selenium has a hard time interacting with the element due to a browser update etc.
Working together with teams can be difficult sometimes,
Instead of treating the situation as ‘Us’ Vs ‘Them’, here’s what I think:
All of us have similar desires, dreams and fears.
And each person is operating under certain limitations restrictions imposed by the environment they are in.
Mostly their behavior is driven by goals and limitations around them.
Being empathetic and really trying to understand thier limitations makes things a lot easier
It’s hard, time consuming and requires more attention,
But has lasting results and builds trust.
Granted cannot mot be done for every situation,
But where taking this hard route possible, this can do wonders,
Time and again I have experienced exponentional results with this, more on that in a separate post.
#QsDaily #Positivity #Empathy
Time, Money, Freedom; What’s more important..
Time is the single most valuable asset, here’s why:
– There is more than enough money and resources to go around, we’ve trained ourselves to believe in scarcity and spend our whole lives chasing it.
– In this age I suppose freedom is a relative term now, someone is more free than the other based on their circumstance,
– But NO ONE is absolutely free of any consequence. You are as free as you ‘think’ you are!
– The asset which is truly scarce is time.
– It cannot be replicated, or bought. A second gone is lost forever.
Successful people utilize their time to the fullest. The one to manage time the best will win.
An inspiring video from Arnold Schwarzenegger where he talks about his success and how he managed his time shared below.
#QsDaily #time #success
What is the most precious asset on earth each person has?
a – Money
b – Time
c – Freedom
d – Not mentioned here..
Here are some clues:
– Everyone has it, less or more,
– Everyone needs it, but always under estimate how much they need it, and
– Most of us are easily willing to trade it for other things..
What do you think?
This is improtant for testers to learn,
It teaches us what is important, hence what to prioritize for..
#QsDaily #goals #testing
Since testing cannot be automated, therefore no need to learn automation.
While the first half is true, the conclusion is not..
While collaborating, investigating and reasoning with people cannot be automated,
The kind of applications we are building now cannot be completely ‘checked’ in person either because of:
1. Size of the applications
Layers of abstraction have made things easier to develop, and add features more quickly,
Making applications exponentially grow in size.
2. The complexity level
Desktop apps, to monolithic web apps to native mobile apps to now miro-service architectures,
It’s quickly becoming impossible to test core features of applications without a LOT of different tools
3. Required speed to do the job ‘in time’
A first mover’s advantage can mean the make or break of the company. This coupled with the drastically evolving technological landscape for software development has spiked the need for rapid deployment.
These three things are fundamentally shifting how we can adequately test applications.
We need grunt workers to do the heavy lifting for us,
‘Probes’ to get into the system which we cannot easily test,
Which all points to the need of automation and a LOT of testing tools.
#QsDaily #Automation #WhyAutomate
When non-tech people hear ‘automated’, what does that mean for them?
From past 100 years history, Automated = losing jobs. In testing however, that’s not completely true. Here’s why:
In other industries remedial and repetitive jobs are being automated rapidly, blue collar jobs.
Like car assembly lines, bank tellers, until recently driving cars / trucks and making Pizzas.
With AI and ML, some white collar jobs are also a target e.g. radiologists.
However with testing, actions to ‘test’ a software are not always as simple.
It’s not just a matter of performing some steps from a test case,
It’s more about collaborating, discussing and clarifying requirements,
Challenging the understanding held by different groups and figuring out what the business really needs,
Talking to different groups and communicating the AUT’s actual response.
There are a lot of activities involved in this, especially collaborating and reasoning with people,
Which are not based on a set of principles we can script in advance.
While that does not mean automation tools will not be used (more in the next post), I feel they cannot replace testers.
Lots of systems reusing different JSON schemas, which we need to mock,
By using JSON schema / template files to construct and push custom JSON messages to different systems..
Here’s where I have reached so for in solving it and the implementation steps:
Step 1 – Basic structure to push a given JSON file to one system
Step 2 – Add support for more systems to push messages to
Step 3 – Create library to take a ‘JSON Schema’ as a template, and fill placeholders with test data values
The need arises when we have mulitple products to push messages to, all having different JSON message structures,
For testing these systems, instead of having ‘n’ number of JSON files, one per script, I’m thinkging of having standard templates for each product
Which will hopefully make it easier to mock test JSON files, and
Instead of passing the complete JSON, just the template name and a few variable values should do the trick
Still each script might have a sort of ‘config data’ file, but should be quite homogenous within products
Any other ways you’ve tried to implement this, or thoughts on this implementation?
#QSDaily #Automation #MockingData #JSON