Have trouble in focussing? Few more reasons and tips to focus

As a software tester, I hope you already know the value of focussing on a specific task. There has been many studies to prove that multi-tasking is not as effective as we may think and cost of switching context in our brain is huge. That is why practices such as session based testing are so effective.

However, it's easier said than done. Distractions are everywhere. You can be distracted easily by

  • A Twitter or Skype notification on your computer screen.
  • A noisy workplace environment.
  • Your manager or a colleague.
  • A call or a text message on your cell phone.
  • Push notification from apps like Facebook, What's App, Linked-In, Emails etc.
  • Thousands of other things such as smell of food / coffee from the kitchen :-)

It's hard to maintain focus. Do you agree?

We can not remove all the distractions. We can not control all of them. However, some ...

Software testing training and experience in London

Exciting times :-)

Some of you know that I have been working on Planned Departure for a while now. Till now I was working on it on the part-time basis. However, now we have our team in place and we are moving in our own office. YAY!! My primary focus now would be to drive business and manage development of Planned Departure. If you do not know what Planned Departure is, please have a look at this one minute video.

It's a big problem. Last year, identity of around 2.5 million deceased users was stolen in US alone. Do you want to take the risk or protect your digital assets?

Goals for 2014

This is the first time I am publishing my goals for next year public. This will probably put some pressure on me and might give some ideas to you as well.. So here is my list

Things I need to learn to remain a relevant technical tester

  • Functional programming languages and NoSQL / Non-relational databases
  • Tools available for testing native and hybrid Chrome and iOS apps
  • Ops tools such as Kibana, Splunk and deployment tools such as puppet
  • Mocking frameworks & tools which give insight on automation coverage.

Things I need to do to contribute meaningfully in the software testing community

  • Make London Selenium Meetup Group more effective and organise quarterly meetups
  • Active participation in discussions on twitter, blogsphere and software testing club
  • Start writing reviews of the books I have read / reading
  • Submit articles for StickyMinds, Testing Planet, Testing Circus and TeaTime With Testers
  • Share automation code and examples with the ...

Agile Testing Days 2013 - experience report

Better late than never :-)

I attended Agile Testing Days 2013 and went to India for holidays. I am back in UK now and it’s time to reflect on the conference and share my experience.

Agile Testing Days started with a great note - some of us went for dinner and many people stayed in the bar till morning. I was relaxed because I didn’t sign up for any tutorial for the next day. I decided to take a day off from testing and explored Berlin before joining others for dinner.

Opening keynote of the conference was from Andrea Tomasini. I found it extremely fast paced and packed with.. well a lot of information on what agile is. You can find my notes from the session here . Key takeaway from the session for me were the notion of social, technical and business risk in agile projects and reasons of dysfunction ...

Automated testing of emails

Testing emails is a challenging task and automated testing of emails is even more challenging. A while back I wrote about one of the way to automate email testing using GMail and IMAP. This solution works, but has a huge dependency on the network and Gmail. If there is any problem in the network or if GMail is down because of any reason - test would fail.

Also, this end-to-end flow is important to test, but as far as functional testing of application is concern - it is not application's responsibility to deliver emails to the client. Application will send emails to the SMTP server and it’s the responsibility of SMTP server to ensure that emails are delivered. As long as application can send appropriate emails / messages to the SMTP server, it’s fine and that’s all we need to test.

If application is configured to use real SMTP ...

How to start using random data in manual and automated testing using TestSpicer?

Many people asked me to explain how TestSpicer works. This post will explain how TestSpicer can be used for manual or automated testing.

Let me start with manual testing.

TestSpicer for manual testing could be extremely useful for doing experiments with data. For example, if you are testing username and run out of ideas, you can quickly use TestSpicer to generate a random username. On the same lines, If you need currency, few paragraphs of text or need a big unicode string - you can get all of them @ TestSpicer. It is free and you do not need to sign up or create an account for generating random data manually. You can follow these steps

  1. Go to TestSpicer.com/docs
  2. Click on the appropriate GET.
  3. Specify parameters if required
  4. Get the data and off you go

This will ensure that you are not using static data, even subconsciously.

Let’s see ...

TestSpicer is live now - Embrace randomness for improved effectiveness

Some of you might know that I have been working on my pet project TestSpicer for some time. TestSpicer has a long way to go, however I am happy to announce that it is live now.

So what is TestSpicer?

TestSpicer is a collection of RESTful web services which can be used to make test automation more efficient and effective.

Please have a look at this (around 4 minute long) video to understand TestSpicer.

TestSpicer is in beta and is free to use. It would be great if you can sign up, give it a spin and let me know what you think about it.

With TestSpicer , I hope to make randomisation mainstream - as it will take the pain out of data generation, logging, reporting and will provide invaluable insight on the data used by test automation. Right now I have focussed on data generation, but reporting, logging and visualisation ...

Lets add some spices to our testing

I have been thinking about randomization and test data for quite some time. If you are interested, you can find my views on randomization here. I strongly believe that testing is a sampling exercise and randomization increases sample size. If used properly, test automation would not be a repetition and will have potential to uncover something new in every run.

Despite its numerous benefits, I haven’t seen randomization used in many automation projects. This could be because of the lack of infrastructure around it. Randomization needs reliable test data generation, logging, reporting, visualization etc and often teams do not have bandwidth, motivation or skills to do it.

I wanted to solve this problem and it got me started on my project Test Spicer - http://testspicer.launchrock.com/

My vision for the Test Spicer is to - Increase efficiency and effectiveness of testing & test automation projects

If you would like to ...