Around 60 – 96% of communication is non-verbal as per different researches
What does that mean for us testers?
The impact of this is VERY LARGE, however here was one lesson I learned and shared with my team today:
We humans are communicating or sending messages to one another all the time
Even when we are not talking to someone, we still are communicating.
Can you guess how and why?
Most communication is ‘NON-VERBAL’,60 – 90% communication is still going on depending on the circumstance.
And we do this all the time, when we someone pass by, we do instantly create an impression of that person in our head, willingly or unwillingly
That’s non-verbal, and its far more important than I used to think about it.
A tester’s job revolves around (or should revolve around) A LOT of communication, and we NEED to be on speed terms with others
To come across as an open and welcoming person will go a long way in communicating effectively with developers, support and other people in the company.
It will set the tone to a very favorable condition helping the exchange of information and ideas.
#QsDaily, #testers #communication
The object life cycle and waits
Firstly, here’s what I call the ‘object life cycle’:
In UI automation objects we use have a specific pattern that keeps repeating.
These steps are 1) Wait for object, 2) Find object, 3 Perform action on object – Repeat.
I call this the object life cycle, and it is the lifeline for a UI automation framework.
The first step wait is – Wait before ‘finding’ EVERY object.
Web communication is asynchronous, which means it all depends on the timings of user actions and responses,
That means, we can never be sure of timings for any interaction.
Therefore, according to Murphy’s law, ‘What can go wrong will go wrong’, prepare for the worst.
In our context, the object we want to work with will NOT be there, so be prepared for it.
BTW – Adding a 5 second delay (static delay) is BAD, because it’s always going to be less than needed or more than needed
Delays have to be dynamic (based on a condition), to wait for the precise time you want them to.
#QsDaily #automation #framework
I was asked a very interesting question today, ‘what is your management style?’
While I could go the leadership route, there is something else also equally valuable..
Each person is knowingly (or unknowingly) working towards some goal.
It’s like every object on earth is absorbing and exerting energy in some shape or form.
So when we say a team is not effective, it’s not the ‘absence’ of energy,
It’s more about energies being dispersed in different directions instead of one direction!
Just like the difference between an ‘unmagnetized’ object and a ‘magentized’ object (or a magnet)
When not magnetized, the atoms are not exerting force in the same direction giving a net effect of zero.
When the object is ‘magnetized’, as per ‘domain theory’ all atoms exert force in one specific direction, creating the desired net effect of pulling objects.
Bottom line, ‘align the energies’ of the team members to get the desired results.
The goals should be clear and they should have stake in achieving the goals.
I know it’s easier said than done, but IMHO ultimately will pay off many times more.
#QsDaily #leadership #teammanagement
The importance of encapsulation / wrapper layer
A question I asked the participants in last week’s training:
Usually encapsulation is understood as a way to hide the implementation details.
While that is true, there are a lot of other great benefits as well.
I learned of these working with Embedded systems and seeing ‘wrapper’ layers implemented.
Just like encapsulation, add your own ‘wrapper’ on top of the library(ies) you want to use.
In trainings and designing frameworks, one of the fundamentals I teach / use is to NEVER use ANY library directly
EVERYTHING used by the POM layer should come from the framework’s own helper library
Which in turn would call any external library / API you want to use.
This way if anything changes / needs to be changed in the way outside libraries are used, the change has to be done in only one method
Also adds portability to your framework, helps a long way in maintainability and scalability of the framework.
#QsDaily #automation #training
Discussed a lot of topics including ‘Advanced Selenium’ locators today
And here are a few tips I gave the class:
– I always try to find a parent for the area of the page I want to use,
– Then within that area find the exact object I am looking for.
– The parent reduces a lot the possibility of capturing similar elements
– Test your locators in chrome developer tools first before using them in your code
– Makes debugging a lot easier knowing you are using the right locators.
Image from the class today.
What most automation trainings are missing?
Explaining the fundamentals, and that’s where I like to start..
Starting with installing the tool is not a great way
With automation the ‘why’ is far more important than the how
Automation done well is time intensive and requires by-in from many departments
Going in for the wrong reason is the main cause of failure
I’ll be talking about this concept a couple of times in different ways over the course of the training
(Image from the previous week sessions)
“The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.” John Burroughs
Don’t shy away from spreading knowledge (more in the video – Testing Heroes)
I know how hard it can be to create content in your spare time
After a 9 – 5, spending time creating content without expectation of return is not easy
But the return is always many times more
I felt this very deeply when doing the ‘yearly’ tour of independence hall (PA) last month.
So to those who have something to share, please step up, every good deed counts..
#QsDaily #testing #automation
“Web automation training” and pseudo code – The missing piece of the puzzle
From an automation training session I was conducting last week..
In most automation trainings the course content starts directly from installing the software
While setting up selenium surely is a basic step, but a very important prior step is usually missing
I call this the algorithm design process, where the trainees learn about how to think about algorithms
The human mind works very differently than a machine,
A to-be programmer should train to think in terms of programming blocks
This is where pseudo code comes in.
Image below showing me discussing a game ‘help the robo’ to think in terms of logic building and writing pseudo code
Drivers of the testing community ?
Are (IMHO) the testing heroes..
In my recent visit to Philadelphia I realized something new, importance of heroes
Every idea, change needs a change agent, a leader or group of leaders
Without those leaders the movement / change dies
Our testing community is no different, our thought leaders (heroes) have been one of the main cause of evolution in the field
Linked video in the comments has a few of my thoughts around why they are important..
I recently explored TestProject
And here’s my experience:
Every tool focuses to solve certain problems in automation
While the scope can be wider, most tools have a specific few problems they are really focusing on
With TestProject, a platform for developing automation scripts, one problem is setup time
They have tried to make the setup for automation very easy and quick
While there are other features of the tool as well, this is one which might benefit the most for beginner users.
More in the article linked in comments.
The foundation of relationships
In some industries measuring success is very easy
The ‘work done’ is quantifiable, which makes managing the job easier
In other cases, like the software industry, most of the work we (are supposed to) do is intellectual
Quantifying the ‘work done’ in such cases is quite bewildering and confusing
While the end success will be measured in dollars and cents, tying every activity to those sales is sometimes impossible
While as a community we are trying to find great measures to quantify ‘work done’, trust will remain the most valuable currency
By the way, these measures too eventually generate trust, which is what the economic system is built on
A brand can charge many times more for the same product just because of trust
And many of us would gladly pay the extra price
Learn how to build ‘genuine’ trust, this would ensure long lasting success
An automation framework analogy
Thanks to Ryan Bedino for reminding a slide a prepared 4 years ago
If we give the analogy of a car, Selenium WebDriver would be the engine
An engine alone does not do the job,
You need a lot of other parts for the car to run
And a lot more to make the ride smoother and more comfortable
And that’s what an automation framework will do for you,
Add a lot of essential features on top of the core functionality (browser automation)
Image illustrating the concept
The law of reciprocity and office relationships
Here’s what I have learned:
Sometimes office relationships can be tricky to deal with
But mostly they become as tricky ‘as you make them’
At one point in my career I had to make a decision,
Should I keep my own interest the first and only priority? Or keep giving my only priority, and my interests second?
That was the turning point, and thank God I decided to make sharing my highest priority
Since then I have received many folds in return from places I never expected
And that’s my philosophy on office relationships too,
Spread the good without expectation of return, great things will eventually come your way
The only important thing is to keep your faith, it’s easier said than done,
But that’s price you have to pay.
Browser automation vs Automation in test (Test Automation)
What is the difference?
In many cases folks assume both are the same, wherein the real problem lies.
Automation of tests can be done in MANY different ways,
One of them being ‘browser automation’.
On those same lines, Selenium is a ‘browser automation’ tool,
I might not classify the WebDriver library as an ‘automation tool’.
Once the difference is understood, then the inquisitive mind will ask for:
What else do I need beside a ‘browser automation’ tool even if I’m doing just UI automation..
And that’s where the fun begins.. ‘Automation Framework design’,
Explaining structure of a program
Here’s an analogy I like to use in training:
Software programs are grouped in different layers to give them structure
It also makes them easy to maintain, port to other platforms and many other benefits
An analogy I give is about a library of books and a software program ‘library’
The analogy might not fit 100%, but is a good start
The screenshot is a picture from a training session I am in the process of preparing for Web Automation
But before I talk about automation, I discuss the fundamentals of programming
This section specifically comes under ‘Introduction to Java’
More fun stuff coming up..
Strongly typed vs loosely typed languages
What is it and what’s the difference
Some programming languages have more checks at the compile time (while building the code), and have checks on method calling, data types, return types and so on
In short you cannot ‘loosely’ use variable types and change them on the go
Examples of such languages would be Java and C#, each variable must be declared with a specific datatype
The opposite off course is loosely typed, where there are no such checks on the compile time
A major reason for that is some languages don’t have to be ‘compiled’ to build code
Never give up
You are defeated only when you give up
I always give an example of a little kid and a wrestler
If the kid keeps coming back to fight, no matter what happens, or how long it takes, eventually he will win
Persistence and being tenacious are fine qualities
A quality of ‘Winners’
In the words of the Great Muhammad Ali:
“I don’t count my sit-ups; I only start counting when it starts hurting because they’re the only ones that count.”
As he said, ‘float like a butterfly and sting like a bee’
While learning automation, I feel it’s important to learn:
What is programming?
While there are many metaphors people give, most cannot fit 100%
I am too confused (was confused) how to define programming
A LOT of people just run away from learning to code
One reason is, IMHO, we don’t necessarily teach it in the best way
And a good place to start it, what is programming?
The best answer I found is:
It’s like writing, you take an idea in your head and you write it down
Similarly, in programming you think of an algorithm and write it down
If we broaden this definition, I even call playing Real Time Strategy games ‘programming’
Sure, you’re not writing code, but you are thinking of an ‘algorithm’ to beat another person or ‘algorithm’ (Computer as a player)
A link to a GREAT video I watched on the subject (added in the links)
Automation batch issues
Passes individually but fails in the batch..
This would be an all too common for anyone who has worked in automation
While the reasons for this can be ‘infinite’, here are some common ones I’ve observed on top of my head:
– Dependent test data. When running individually no other script can change the data, in a batch run that is a possibility
– Tool / browser reset. If the previous script failed, the browser was still in error state and the next script starts executing, resulting in failure
– Delay. Browser response time can change when running in a batch, must have dynamic delays before interacting with EVERY object
– Application down. While this might seem a remote possibility, in some cases this does happen in very sbtle ways.
Any other ‘very common’ factor you have noticed?
A key ingredient in my observation for evolution in technology:
A standard platform, here’s why
When a new technology emerges, it takes more than a few people to evolve it
A very large group of people collectively working with it helps in pushing boundaries
Take the PC for example, having a standardized OS on PC (Windows) was one of the main causes that fueled advancement in software development
On the other and, embedded devices (IoT) has been out there around since the PC, but we are far behind there
Embedded platforms were very fragmented and challenging to develop, therefore layers of abstraction were not built there as rapidly
Only in recent years we have seen things like Raspberry pi and so on
The same would go for automation, having a standard platform and building layers of abstraction on top of it would make the difference
#QsDaily #platforms #automation
Community building, the reason why humanity survived
And a core factor in any idea’s success.
One person alone is weak and fragile compared to other species walking the earth
But one of the reason why we went from the bottom of the food chain to the top is community building
For any idea to gain success, there must be a community around it.
And make no mistake, there is an idea / story behind everything,
Every product, every service and every person is telling a story (weather they know it or not)
So, if you are building a product, build a ‘tribe’ around the idea your product serves
Or whatever you are willing to accomplish, the idea should be worthwhile for at least a few select people
Then build a tribe around it.
Reference “Tribe” by Seth Godin
#QsDaily #community #tribe
My favorite interview question and answer:
Q: “How do you define leadership”? Ans:
“Leading by example”
This was asked to me when I was interviewing for my current role
I always felt a leader was the one who sacrificed his wishes and wants for his/her tribe
Probably why Simon Sinek’s book: “Leaders eat last” resonated with me so much
I was reminded of this answer yesterday when Tom Bilyeu asked LeVar Burton the same question,
His answer: the EXACT same words I gave my ‘to be’ manager 4 years ago ‘Leading by example’
And BTW, you don’t need to have a ‘lead’/’manager’ title to be a leader
‘Genuinely’ help solve people’s problems, the law of reciprocity will make you a leader
Most leaders in history were a ‘leader’ long before they ever got the ‘title’.
#QsDaily #leadership #interviews #LeadByExample #inspiration #hiring
LeVar Burton video:
Step 1: Install Selenium and implement POM? ABSOLUTELY NOT..
Step 1: Un-learn the crap which is holding you back
Step 2: Learn how software works
Step 3: Lean how to develop algorithms
Step 4: Understand what automation’s goal is and what to achieve from it
Step 5: Install the tool, libraries etc..
Step 6: Take algorithms from Pseudo code to actual running code
Step 7: Develop a simple and messy framework
Step 8: Learn programming best practices
Step 9: Revamp the framework and script a neat one
I know this might be longer and not as easy, but IMHO the right way to do it
I’d rather spend TWICE the time on WHY than on HOW
#QsDaily #automation #learning
How to manage your code for different UI?
Our automation is reaching yet another level of complexity hence the question..
Elaborating the question:
If we have an application with different versions we support
And there are UI differences across versions (off course), which means different automation code needed,
How to structure your automation code base?
Now off course it would depend on the kind of changes we are seeing.
Here are a few strategies I’ve used / seen / read aboout:
1. Automation code residing alongside production code, in the same repo (@Angie Jones).
– Sounds awesome, never used it. But Angie says it works so I will surely take her word for it!
2. Separate code branches for different versions.
– E.g. for product version 1.0, 2.0 & 3.0, automation code base with a trunk and branches: 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0
– I’ve seen this for prod code, it can get messy, but works
3. Conditions / variables within same branch
– Have conditions within the framework, data selection and POM classes to run based on app version
– I don’t like this. should work in few cases. But things can get out of control fairly quickly and become WAY complex.
Any other ideas you might have?
#QsDaily #automation #branching
From add on the fly, to using random data to saving seed data in DB (Link to the story in first comment)
After using seed data which resides in a baseline DB and restoring it when needed,
Now we’ve moved on to the next problem:
How to add data to ‘Six’ baselines, that’s right, one test which has to run on 6 different environments needs the same seed data
We have been adding seed data manually, but for 6 it’s not going to be easy
Since it does not have to be created just 6 times, but every time before we create the seed data on baseline, we test it by creating on the ‘restoring’ DB,
So the number jumps to ’12’ times
The few options we talked about to help with this:
– Use UI scripts to create seed data (for data which is simple)
– Improve the API automation and use it to create seed data, just like UI above
– Finally (which I don’t want to do AT ALL), create data to the DB directly
The last option has many problems, schema across versions is not the same, data creation is not the same, existing data might not be exactly same either..
The brainstorming is going on, but an interesting challenge to have.
#QsDaily #Automation #testdata