Why you might be wasting time in your testing

Software testing is important. We already know that.

But with the time dedicated to testing also being a critical commodity. You don’t want to be guilting of wasting it on activities that aren’t helping to enable a successful testing process.

You probably know about the five w’s, which are questions asked to gather information or conduct problem-solving.

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Develop a passion for software testing

Motivation can sometimes be compared to a tank of water with an outside tap. Turn the tap all the way and even though your motivation will be ever-flowing for a period of time. Eventually, you will run out and no matter how much you turn the tap on. There is nothing left in the tank to be dispersed.

This is a common trap for multiple people in different careers. Including software testers who might be very enthusiastic at the beginning. Excited to put into action all the amazing methods, techniques and technology that they’ve learned. But over-time, feel less motivated when the learning curve starts to level off and the familiarity of their work becomes second nature.

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Software testers will become more valuable

Our world is changing before our very eyes. From a moment in time in which a minority of the population used the internet to do their job. Receive educational content, interact socially and consume entertainment. We have shifted to the other end of the spectrum completely. And the online world is now truly at the centre of our daily lives.

While this isn’t completely new for us. We have slowly been shifting into this model for some time now. But It is only recently that we have had to face this new reality. In doing so, we have discovered that the current state of the online world wasn’t prepared for the demands of it. With everyone trying to access some of its services, cracks started to appear.

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Keep calm and remain productive

Following on from my previous post in which I shared some pre-morning rituals for setting-up a productive workday. I wanted to share some additional tips that you can call upon to remain productive. Feel connected with your team. And enable you to feel in control of your working day.

The coronavirus has really taken a toll on the world and it breaks my heart every time I turn on the news and hear the latest stats and figures. With social distancing the new must-do life-saving action and populations now avoiding crowded places. Software companies have had to temporarily abandon the office and encourage employees to work from home for their own health and safety.

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Do you have a morning routine?

Crazy few days.. huh?

It seems like everything has turned upside down in the world, and we’re now going to need to adapt to new ways of connecting with people. New ways of collaborating, and new ways of working.

With a dramatic shift not to home working and having online meetings with apps like Slack and Zoom. People have been dunked into a new world of virtual working. One which may be completely alien to them. And one in which they are trying hard to adjust to.

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How to be a life-long learner

Do you often learn things, just for fun?

Do you get a thrill out on exploring the unknown? Peeling back the curtain on an interesting concept or idea. Or diving head-first into a new and exciting challenge?

Then congratulations. You can consider yourself a life-long learner.

Not bound by the limitations of your existing knowledge or abilities. Being a life-long learner means that you gain gratification from constantly seeking out ways to upgrade your skills. Meet new challenges, and reap exciting benefits.

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Software quality is a team objective

When describing software quality, one of my favourite analogies is that of building a new house.

You have your project managers who gather the requirements, lay a foundation for a new structure to be built upon. The development team then go ahead and build the floors, walls, add plumbing and everything else that is needed. And all the while, testers are inspecting the work that is being done, running their tests. And ensuring those newly developed features are in line with what is in the original plan.

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What are testing metrics and how can we best use them?

When asked by management how your testing is going. Rather than responding with a vague statement that is open to misinterpretation. It is instead easier for others to digest if you have a quantifiable response to their question.

Something that they can visualise, understand and then communicate to their clients if asked. Commonly known as a metric.

When implemented effectively. Metrics for software testing efforts can be a great tool to assist managers in not only tracking various statistics like test effectiveness, performance, or team efficiency. But also helping others to understand the overall quality of the product. The risks that have been identified, those which have been tested and any outstanding items.

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The rise of DevOps and the future of testing

Software development has for a long time been a step-by-step process.

Starting with the waterfall model, where most of the development is occurs before testing begins. Software development methods based around agile then became the hip new thing.

In an agile workflow, software development projects begin with an initial idea communicated to the developers. Who then go through a development cycle (pictured below). When the development is complete. It then passes it is then onto the operations teams for final delivery to the end-user.

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How to handle testing everything

Software testers are often under pressure to ensure that the testing we do covers as many of the inputs of an application as possible.

But exhaustive testing is not possible due to multiple reasons from time restrictions, to complexities in software and variables in the environment.

There is a ceiling to testers abilities that can be a lot lower than the number of features, paths and sequence of operations in software projects.

This can often lead to a tug of war occurring, with one side being testing too much. The other, too little. A fine line we have to navigate if we are going to be able to say that we are confident that a certain feature is working.

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