On the 16th July the globe was celebrating World Snake Day. That’s right, this is a hashtag that will spread across the social media platforms to highlight this not so cuddly animal. And yes, in our software testing world, we don’t mean an actual snake, but a a unit testing framework. EuroSTAR Huddle has tons of Python related articles, webinars and eBooks but let’s highlight a few of them today. Here are our top picks:
Webinar: Scrolls of Wisdom and Magic Incantations in Python
This webinar with Kristoffer Nordstrom happened recently but you can listen to it anytime here. Kristoffer is a Test Consultant from Sweden and in this talk, he shows several different short examples of what you can use Python for when working as a tester in your day-to-day activities. With this webinar you will learn Python recipes/tools/inspiration to help you day-to-day and also learn Python ideas on what testers/test developers can use Python for to help them with their thinking testing.
This is the ultimate guide that teaches you how to use Python to protect your systems against sophisticated cyber attacks.
Learn to utilize your Python scripting skills to pentest a computer system, network, and web-application. Get proficient at the art of assessing vulnerabilities by conducting effective penetration testing. Some of the key takeaways are:
Learn to configure Python in different environment setups
Find an IP address from a web page using BeautifulSoup and Scrapy
Discover different types of packet sniffing script to sniff network packets
Nothing better than Python jokes created by The Coding Love This website has tons of amazing and humorous memes on Python, worth checking out.
eBook: Effective Python Penetration Testing
This eBook extract from ‘Effective Python Penetration Testing‘ will concentrate on Chapter 1: Python Scripting Essentials. It will begin by providing you with an overview of Python scripting and penetration testing. You will learn to analyse network traffic by writing Scrapy scripts and will see how to fingerprint web applications with Python libraries such as Scrapy and urllib2.
Material covered in this PDF eBook:
Setting up the scripting environment (Mac/Linux/Windows)
Before the era of consumerization and the advent of digitization, quality had never played a crucial role in running businesses. However, the emergence of digital technologies including the internet has empowered consumers to find out and compare an endless list of products from across the world. Quality assurance to the end-users has become an indispensable feature of attaining success with the formulation of the right digital strategy. Organizations are at different levels in the digital transformation process and at distinct speeds as well. No matter what levels they are at, their business objectives have stayed the same – delivering a superior quality product at high speed.
The implementation of digital technologies has become imperative to stay ahead of the competition in most of the industry verticals. Today’s organizations realize that they cannot retain or gain a competitive advantage unless they continuously deliver exceptional quality software faster than their counterparts. In fact, user experience and speed have become even more critical for success and survival. This is the primary reason why development initiatives such as DevOps and Agile have become a part of the digital transformation milestones and the boardroom agenda.
With time to market becoming shorter, the importance of software quality engineering has shifted entirely from the erstwhile way of waterfall testing in the SDLC. Most organizations today pursue Agile methodology that offers seamless delivery of products and services. Enterprise quality engineeringalways ensures timely release of all builds, be it the tools, hardware, data, cloud solutions, performance-related readiness, and devices. Digital quality today requires an engineering approach that is different from the traditional method to achieve agile delivery and prevent defects.
Let us look into some of the primary features of these approaches below:
Business agility and continuous testing:
Automation is not a stand-alone approach anymore where scripts are executed by respective specialists and status reports accumulated later. Automation today is synonymous with Continuous Integration and is scheduled as jobs to be run as the build arrives. The integration of automation with test management solutions achieve shortened release cycles with an automatic appearance of results save any human intervention. With shortened release cycles, the time for verifying quality also gets shortened significantly thereby impacting business agility.
According to Andy Walter, the CEO of Procter and Gamble, manual testing is no longer a sustainable method, for it creates bottlenecks for organizations in achieving operational excellence. With the help of continuous testing, organizations are able to radically evolve their ecosystems. Organizations cannot satisfy the rigorous demands of digital transformation without Continuous Testing and DevOps along with the agility and speed they trigger.
Exceptional user experience
Digital platforms help derive continuous and immediate feedback about applications’ quality. Any feature of the services and products that does not satisfy customer expectations is handled with harsh reviews by disappointed end-users. Therefore, UX has become as crucial as the application’s functionality. Software quality engineering devises and strategizes for UX assurance. User experience is a combination of various factors such as device capabilities, application flow, ease of interaction with application UI, networks and so on. As the performance of any application is paramount, every outage, crash and slowing down of the application can raise customer grievances. These, in turn, can directly have an impact on the revenue and value proposition of organizations.
The software quality engineers identify such challenges and work on accordingly. As per Vittorio Cretella, the CIO of Mars, quality assurance is critical for creating an exceptional user experience. Previously, there has been a cushion between consumer and information technologies, but now, everything is interconnected thereby placing IT in a very strategic position in any organization. Organizations need to realize how the users are responding and how to achieve an optimal customer experience with the help of continuous testing and quality assurance.
Role of Enterprise Quality Engineering in digital transformation
Digital quality engineering has a crucial role in the journey of digital transformation. Implementing quality checkpoints makes sure to deliver the intended business outcomes along with end-user satisfaction. Quality assurance fortifies the end product at each phase throughout the software development cycle and reduces challenges posed by latest technologies. Quality assurance plays the best supportive role in any company’s digital initiatives to ensure security and performance.
As the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to take over the organizational value chain and determine how they are interconnected, it has become indispensable for organizations to include quality engineering. Therefore, enterprises making advances towards the direction of extended digitalization already understand the associated risks and see the entire picture of quality challenges. QE makes sure that the entire life cycle stages keep a continuous check on the quality of the service or products being offered right from the beginning. Enterprise quality engineering tries to meet the three main agendas of a company’s digital transformation initiative: safeguarding brand image, demanding quality assurance and delivering client satisfaction.
Safeguarding brand image
Quality assurance measures the end-user experience across several digital platforms. This enhances accessibility, minimizes response time and enhances the brand image of the organization. Software quality engineering addresses the difficulties in testing user experience across multiple devices, platforms, and networks.
Devising test cases.
Gathering important requirements in the test set and the right coverage of end-user expectations.
Using test tools for user experience testing.
Establishing test data for customer experience testing.
Entire Life cycle Automation:
Quality Assurance expedites the transformation process not only with the implementation of application-level automation but also by speeding up life cycle automation. Apart from utilizing the conventional automation method, digital quality engineering focuses on testing the software development life cycle, thus ensuring user experience testing and cross-platform compatibility.
Advanced level analytics data support
Enterprise Quality Engineering utilizes advanced level analytics to extract data from several commercial and social platforms that can be used in productive decision making. This offers exhaustive insights into all levels of the end-user experience.
Digital channels are pushing enterprises to reach the end consumers faster with unique services and products with satisfactory results at the core. Therefore, in the modern digital economy, enterprise quality engineering experience (for customized and omnichannel experience), speed (test results as you build and even before) and iterative development (creating a viable product) are what organizations are striving for. This is where an independent quality engineering company can bring about values by successfully establishing quality assurance across the technological ecosystems such as Big Data, Cloud, Smart devices and Mobility.
If you want to design an app that will be used in the money market for funding then there are a few critical things that you need to consider and follow a specific guideline while designing it.
Remember, app development is not an overnight process and should never be done alone. There are lots of iterations that will prolong the time in building your vision. There may also be a few technical limitations, additional user feedback to be gathered and lot of other things that will shape up the road map for your app development and create a Minimum Viable Product or MVP.
All e-commerce retails, banking and money lending sites such as libertylending.com focus on two basic aspects while designing their web and app. One is viability and the second is value.
A Minimum Viable Product is ideally the basic proof of concept.
It shows your basic idea behind your app to the investors and early adopters.
This will let your app to get into the hands of these early adopters.
Previously, in case of app development, you would require to be agile and dispatch an MVP fast. This was done so that it could grow with the help of your community and testers.
However, now there are a large variety of options available to you to build an MVP and surprisingly a few of these may not even need a code. Using these options you will be able to design the best app that will give the optimal value to your users and also help you in the funding business. A few of the useful options available now include:
The ability to mock up a user flow with the help of a dedicated graphic design program and
The ability to arrange the wireframe of the app in specific tools such as InVision.
These options and approaches will help you to get the necessary feedback as well as demo the app to investors, friends, your family, and the alpha testers. However, this may not make your app so good that the users can adopt truly.
The process to build an MVP app
Therefore, you may wonder what the right process to create an MVP app is. Fortunately for you, there are lots of ways in which you can build an MVP and there is also a diverse range of tools that will help you in this process.
If you are focused on developing mobile apps only you can use useful tools like the Siberian CMS and on the other hand
If you are designing apps for the web then you can use tools such as Bubble.
These are the tools that will not require using any code for you to build the app. The fully functional software will help you to design an app that you can easily distribute to the alpha testers and your users.
The right process to build an MVP fast and accurately involves a few specific steps such as:
Identifying and defining the ideal customer profile
Identifying the problems that you claim that your app can solve effectively
Doing a comprehensive and proper competitor analysis in order to evaluate how those specific problems identified are being solved currently
Defining your user goals and the specific routes that they take to accomplish them
Listing all of the specific features of the app that you wish to include or have included that you bet will enable the users to attain their goals and at the same time prioritize them and
Prototyping the app that will help your users to achieve the core goal.
This will help you to establish a brand which will be very helpful in the adoption of the app by the users. Ideally, users adopt only those things that they like to use. Therefore, you will need to ensure that you deliver them the best possible app that they will fall in love with.
In order to do that you will need to define, strengthen, and promote your brand. This will help you to dictate your terms to the type of users as well as investors that you want to attract. You will need to clearly define the foundation of the brand of your app. This can be any small firm, personality of a founder and even the people they surround them with.
When you consider the most basic aspects of creating a consistent brand, you will need to consider and get together the following assets:
The name of the app
The domain of the app
The color palette
The font palette and
All other social assets such as the header and content templates.
In addition to that, you should also take some times and look at your competitors, the industry you want to work in, the types of users, and the brands that may have caught your attention. All this knowledge will help you a great deal in the product data analytics.
Few points to remember
An MVP is the perfect app to build if you are aiming any developers or any other datadriven professionals. However, you will need to be a bit cautious about the copy as well as the product name as these will be a bit more technical in an MVP as compared to any standard app. It will also differ in several other aspects such as the:
Visual depth and
Just make sure that your MVP is able to capture the sci-fi feeling that is the most synonymous with the data science. Consider what you specifically want your app to evoke with the look and feel and the tone of voice your users would like to respond to.
Lastly, consider the feedback from MVP launch market research further to refine your app as you go.
The world of data warehousing is shifting into a digital, agile and fast-paced era and development of SQL is nothing new, there is a constant increase in the demands to generate reports quickly and help in guiding data-driven decisions. However, this is creating a lot of pressure on professionals to create consumable server data for the growing demand with several layers of technical expertise and access credentials. There is also a pressure to allow self-serve BI in a secured, easy and controlled way.
Here are few points to consider:
“Victory in agility” means demands on many people with access to the same insights at the same time
A company having bottlenecks to prepare, process, acquire and serve data may lead to prime decisions made on decisions
The data is available in volumes of petabytes, and the businesses have a high demand for reliability and availability
The new data types and the existing data sets need to be joined quickly
The data types to be queried but the data mainly resides in separate silos
The quick change in business needs fine-tuning or changes in the existing questions and reports too
Security integrations, IT budgets, scale, efficiency, ease of access, etc., are existing data warehousing entities stressed by these demands and trends. Serving the business efficiently is another stress reflected on the SQL developers and end users. Cloudera Data Warehouse – a modern data warehousing compound launched by Cloudera is designed to help optimize the mentioned and majority stress elements.
It is easy to operate SQL Developer Workbench: Hue, widely adopted and specifically designed to meet the needs of skilled modern worker.
Benefits of Hue: SQL developers Workbench
You need not worry where the data lies as hue helps navigate to the correct data be the data in cloud or on-prem
100% expertise on your data is not required as hue with guiding intelligence helps choose right indexes, files and tables to work with accurately and confidently
You need not be a backend SQL expert as hue suggest optimizations, warns about bad query designs, allows the query to execute wherever compute is available (i.e. in cloud or on-prem)
Learning new skill is not required as hue gives familiar and same experience of SQL Workers on the Cloudera’s platform.
Here are some highlights of the latest Cloudera Enterprise (C6) realized, a Hue 4.0 is enabled here by default that aims to simplify and expedite common job for modern SQL user:
Data is ingested via data engineering pipelines, to satisfy customer needs, Cloudera comes with many integrated tools like Kafka, Flume, cloud service option, Flume, and optimized partner solutions from Streamsets and Informatica. Some data i.e. few tables in an external DB and few files on S3 are common to lay for a SQL user. Bringing in files and tables is well guided and easy via Hue, it also connects to backends like S3, ADLS, MySQL, etc., to streamline the jobs of important ingesting extra data sets.
Data Exploration and Discovery
To find the right data for a large organization to work, several ways are implemented to expedite discovery or data and exploration. It is easy to search for namespaces, tables, databases, collections, views, and even files for the customer in a C6 simplified data browser. Additionally, it is easy to sample and preview the data for validating that you have relevant assets for working.
Cloudera Navigator tool (that is a part of Cloudera Data Warehousing portfolio, helps with lineage, auditing, and catalogs) with distinctive integration allows us to see the most commonly utilized tables (crowdsourced). It is helpful information that indicates which table to work with in case you are not sure, it cuts the discovery phase by several hours. The search function has tags so that you can easily find the datasets at your next visit – once you find the correct datasets.
The SQL users often have to revisit the coding, to avoid this we provide the best of both the worlds – to save queries and see query history, to fasten the procedure of getting started. With this SQL workbench, the users can design queries iteratively. In case of an arise of a new business question, you can conveniently start from the saved query, copies/sections of previously executed queries to start new query design.
There are many helpful tools throughout this query design procedure to assist, an auto-complete functionality to allow typing both table names and commands, it helps dynamically with suggestions too. Auto-complete speeds up the process by 10x and it also proposes tables depended on frequent use.
Optimization and Visualization
Navigator Optimizer is another tool in this Data Warehousing portfolio to allow users to access the SQL statements potency quickly. This tool warns on non-good query design and suggests optimizations to achieve better performance. Using the Navigator Optimizer, a proactive SQL adds flexibility to the whole service, it prevents the memory-intensive query to hold services that can be utilized for query execution and other users.
The results obtained (be it from a structured query system, impala in this case or unstructured query system, Solr), can be viewed easily in a simple drag-drop dashboard. It helps the workers visually and quickly share their insights.
To share the results with other customers or audience directly, you can find simple methods of posting created queries or views to GitHub. The border between ML-focused data scientist and traditional SQL analyst is slightly blurring, thus, a collaboration between them is important. Sharing these assets between a tool and these groups like SQL Developer Workbench and Cloudera’s Knowledge Worker enabling a seamless transition is also important.
This trend of modern data warehousing services is currently in a boom, it nothing but collaboration and self-service at multiple stages. It is being enabled at the query level with Hue. The user experience of Cloudera’s SQL is based on valuable and unique integrations, this SQL Workbench permits users to optimize, troubleshoot and design queries iteratively and speed up the overall process. Hue, carries your work, fastening the SQL users to start new projects.
The SQL Developer Workbench which comes with the Cloudera’s Modern Data Warehouse is an exploration, development, leading discovery, and collaboration tool today. Hue is easy to use and key choice of modern data warehouse users.
In matters of personality assessment, there is the open field for the participants and they can realize the executable solutions and this is sure to follow the fixed briefing. The sort of competition will not only make strong the innovative strength of the company with the introduction of the fairly new concepts. You have the best of advantages to enjoy and you are sure to learn more about the benefits of assessment inventory. The kind of assessment is known to be the sort of collaborative software and it is also a part of the hardware development process.
For a considerable period of time competencies have been put to use that does help employees to focus on matters that is important for an organization and contributes to better levels of success. In fact this provides a common platform to harmonize where you are in a position to select and even develop talent. For the managers and even the employers the message is crystal clear where in the long run it would benefit the organization. This applies the skill sets of an individual to undertake a job with comparative ease.
In the software industry in USA the investors are busy using the method from the middle of 2000 and this has helped in the development of the new programs or the prototypes of the perfect and the realized concepts. These days more of the European organizations and the companies are making ways for personality assessment inventory. For instance, there are worldwide companies to have conducted the event of smart coding and this is sure to make things absolutely easy in the process.
Within the span of 24 hours, an unleashed field for the candidates should be developing their best of assessment ideas and this will help in making life easier for the programmers and the general public dealing with the concept. It is not necessary for the participants to have the programming skills. The technical equipment being delivered by the organizers will make possible for the programming via the method of personality assessment and this is sure to be used from the time of the initial recruitment process.
There is the deliberate low entry threshold and this is enough to make sure that specific male young nerds will take part in the event successfully. Among the 60 candidates you have the group of ladies and there are even people beyond the age of 40. The best of the 13 teams have developed on their own and things are formed based on the event itself. As part of the proper assessment process the participants from the various destinations are working together in one single spirit. It is known that the test will not only help the companies in providing with the research and the development sections with the whole new world of the fresh concepts that indeed works in actuality.
At the time when you are organizing for the personality assessment inventory yourself or when you are participating as a partner then you can really take account of the persistent advantages. The same will help in discovering the needs and the problems of the candidate. This is the perfect and the prospective tool to help one get introduced to the new project management methods. There is the development and the hobby scene and it is considered to be creatively technical, fast, brilliant and unconventional. Here you have the prototypes that work as part of the valid community.
One can make use of the power point presentations in order to illustrate the fast working of the assessment procedure. The same scene is considered to be technically brilliant and creative and at the same time it is fast and unconventional. The candidates can even manage and convince the rest of the audience of the 90 seconds based concept. There is the perfect inventory assessment culture and it provides with the valuable impulse in case of the entire company. In the process, you can send a part of the employees to the inventory event just for observation.
It is time for you to get fascinated with the sort of goal orientation and some of the coding qualities of the participants and they would prefer to integrate them in the daily work schedule. There are companies to make use of the similar measures as part of the recruiting system. The participants along with the potential owners will make a show of their abilities regarding what they can offer and how they can tick on the basis of the concrete and the steady progress of the project. The methods are able to attract the attention of the companies in case of the certain profession does not even include in the radar.
The specifications can even appeal to the participants outside their own regime and the national borders. There are traditional recruiting methods and this can make things difficult to reach to the professionals. The assessment is the sort of public event which you can make use in case of marketing. However, based on the nature of the task one can hope that users and the press in the social web can well address the method? In most cases, the inventory assessment will come with a specific tradition. It is still considered to be contemporary and workable in the part of Central Europe and can make contribution in the specific company brand.
This is the right solution and things are suitable in terms of the SMEs. The perfect example will show that things can lead to the conclusive results that can really pay off in case of the companies. For instance, the Like Button of the Facebook was developed as part of the assessment process. The recruitment comfort is mostly used by the medium sized companies in matters of the smooth running of the organization. In certain case, there are several rules to follow and this makes it easy for the SMEs in particular to offer with the options along with the partners or the short-circuit digital based initiatives.
This month at EuroSTAR we have planned some great webinars to ensure that your testing is ahead of the testing game.
We are excited to have Paul Gerrard back with us with his webinar Future Skills of Software Testers. With the software testing industry constantly evolving, the tester needs to evolve too. Change in the industry means testing and tester skills need to change too. The current training that is there for testers is simply not enough- certification and courses available will not excel your testing and Paul is currently working on building a tester skill programme designed to meet the current and future needs of the testing community. With this webinar, learn to think for yourself!
We are also thrilled to have Ken Johnston with us from Microsoft with his webinar AB Testing is Hard: But You Should Do it Anyway. Experimentation, often called A/B Testing, has been around as a common practice for web sites for more than 20 years. With Microsoft Windows and Office, people now AB test not just UX Changes but also bug fixes. One thing we find all the time, it’s easier to mess up an AB test than it is to get it right. Everything from designing the test to actually prove the hypothesis to getting a proper distribution. It really is hard but even so, you need to get great at it and you just need to do it. Join Ken Johnston this month to learn how to build an experimentation culture, design good experiments and develop actionable data.
Writing a resume is something of an art form, and can often depend on using the right keywords to get your resume shifted toward the top of the “heap.” Testing tools are sometimes the essential or relevant keywords that can make all the difference in your application noticed or filed without being read. You might associate testing tools with laboratory experiments or with software development, or you might have seen them used in game development. They can be used in almost any setting where teams are working together to produce a product.
Learning to Use the Tools
You don’t have to be in the research and development department to realize value from these products. Human resource and management teams can also use them, not only to stay in touch with what is going on in R & D, but to keep up with your own team’s trial and error processes.
Here, in alphabetical order are 7 testing tools to mention in your Software developer resume to get the job. You don’t need a paid subscription to learn how to use them. Most offer trial subscriptions and directions for use on their home page.
Bugzilla – Here is a quotation from the Bugzilla copyright documentation, “You can download it, install it, use it for any purpose whatsoever without the need for a license or payment. Isn’t that refreshing?” It is refreshing, but it isn’t perfect. It is “free” in the sense that it can be downloaded, improved, integrated and a number of other things. But you might have to pay for the original software. It is open source, which means that you are allowed to go “under the hood” and tinker with the programming. There are a number of versions of Bugzilla, and if you can master using it, you are certainly ahead of the game. The catch is that it isn’t necessarily user-friendly for the average computer user. It is capable, however, of doing all the things that the other programs on this list can do. You just might have to tinker with it a little bit.
JIRA – This is a user-friendly bug tracking program that can be used to keep up with who is testing what when you are working on a project. It was developed by an Australian company called Atlassian. The name is based on Gojira, which is the Japanese name for Godzilla. You can use it to assign tasks, track whether things are done and, yes, what happened when you tested a portion of a program. Practitest and Zephyr work with it.
Practitest –An application management program “designed to help you control your testing and development process.” With Practitest, you can assign tasks, identify tests to run, view results, and create reports. It can work with JIRA or with Bugzilla – which, just incidentally, means that not everyone on your team needs to know how to use Bugzilla, while allowing your development team to use the open source flexibility.
TestPad – This is a super simple test tracking program set up to look like a sheet of paper with columns and check marks to show when something is done. It is incredibly user-friendly so it can be used by your development team and your office teams alike. Over time, it can be set up to collect data about projects and the way they are going.
TestRail – Works a lot like TestPad, but is web-based, making it super easy to share across geographic locations, a feature that is valuable for international development teams. It is easy to scale to the size of your company, so if you have only a few team members, it will work well for you but it can also be scaled up for larger companies.
Tricentis – One of the older DevOps testing programs, it was created in Austria in 2007, using Series B funding from Venture Partners. It has several software trial management programs that work together for various tasks. In many ways, it is the grown-up big brother of all the other software testing programs.
Zephyr – Zephyr is very user-friendly program that interfaces nicely with Jira to track testing, group projects, and create reports.
What Exactly Do These Programs Track?
These software programs are frequently used to track testing of various parts of software programs. They could be used to track and manage other sorts of testing as well. Tracking software, however, is their biggest strength since some of them are set up to run programs and auto-test portions of them. This is often done at night while programmers are sleeping.
Why They Will Look Great on Your Resume
Facility with these programs often means that you have worked on a team using the program. Not only will the company not have to train you to use the software, it is a possible sign that you are familiar with the R&D testing process. Furthermore, when electronic document readers scan your resume and find one of these used as a keyword, it can pop your resume into the right selection list.
A Word of Caution
Familiarize yourself with one or more of these programs before using them on your resume. Sign up for a temp position that uses one of them and get your feet wet with the test process. If that is not possible, download a trial version of the program and just play around with it.
Be honest about your level of familiarity with these utilities. But do learn about them. They could provide the keywords that will get the person in charge of hiring to look at your resume. Of course, you want other great skills and abilities to back up your familiarity with these testing programs.
If the Programs are New to You
If you are just learning how to use the programs, pick out one that makes sense to you, and practice. Once you know how it works, feel free to add that skill to your resume.
As important as they are, no product functionalities will be appreciated by your customers if they are not user-friendly. No one might find or understand how to use these functionalities. How to evaluate the user-friendliness of your product? How to develop a product that will be liked by users? In this article, you will learn what usability testing is and how it works.
Roles and Tasks of Usability Testing
Usability testing allows determining if a software product is suitable for use. It can be divided into dynamic verification and static verification. Dynamic testing generates a scenario or a real situation when a tester completes a list of tasks while observers make some remarks. During the static verification process, feedback about the product is gathered.
The main goal of usability testing is to monitor how people use functionalities of the product in real time, whether they like it, and if there are any serious problems. Here are other problem areas related to usability testing:
Efficiency defines how many steps and how much time are needed for testers to complete their tasks.
Accuracy determines how many mistakes are made by people while completing tasks.
Recall determines how many people remember how to use the product after a certain period of time.
Emotion response determines how a person feels after using the product and whether he will recommend it to other users.
To test user experience correctly, testers should know how their potential users look like and what they expect.
How to Get to Know Your Users?
While developing a new product or optimizing the existing one, testers and designers should use the knowledge of their users about the product they already used. People will always approach a new product basing on what they used earlier that’s why designers have to work with users’ expectations. That is called a mental model.
A mental model is based on convictions, not on facts i.e. the model of what people know or think that they know about your software product or website. Such models are formed due to regular use of a particular application or website. To comply with the existing mental models, designers should understand the expectations of users about how the product will work.
Sometimes, actual mental models developed by designers and models of real users don’t coincide. In such cases, usability testing can help determine incompatibility between a developed interface and a mental model of final users. For example, the mismatch can be eliminated with the help of simpler registration or response in real time.
The Key Techniques to Evaluate Usability
Let’s find out the key methods to evaluate usability.
#1 – Card Sorting
Card sorting is a classification technique which includes sorting of various elements of the website according to multiple categories. To conduct this type of testing, testers should make a list of parameters that will be used during the classification. Each parameter should be written on a separate card. These cards are given to users that are to group them in the most logical way. The results of card sorting are then used to organize the user interface.
#2 Contextual Inquiry
Contextual inquiry is a method of structuring an interview that is based on three basic principles such as follows:
the context in which the site is used
collaborative evaluation of the site by users and developers
focus on usability
This type of testing is best suited for evaluating the environment in which the product will be used that’s why it is carried out on the early stages of software product development.
#3 – Checklists
Checklists help make sure that a website is developed with regard to the key principles of design functionalities. Checklists are usually used at the end of testing to structure the expert evaluations according to a certain number of parameters. There are lots of ready lists, however, the decision to use one of them depends on the testing tasks. Typically, testers make a list of their own testing needs and quality criteria.
#4 – Prototyping
Prototyping is the development of a product model that allows testing its elements on any stage of the software development life cycle. Prototyping can be of two types% horizontal and vertical.
Horizontal prototyping is used mainly to study users’ interface preferences. This type of testing allows determining the best places for features and how accessible these features are for users. Vertical prototyping helps testing separate components and is focused on detailed testing of a small sector of a product.
#5 – Surveys
Surveys are special interviews with users. Users are asked questions. Their answers are recorded for further processing. Usually, the questions include demographic data about users, evaluation of the website’s content, evaluation of design, etc. Surveys are used during software development phases, marketing research as well as while identifying potential users, determining their needs and computer skills.
#6 – Self-Reporting Logs
Reports are documents where users record their actions and opinions about their interaction with a website or an application. This method is rather cost-saving since specialists are involved to process results only. The main disadvantage of this method is that it is impossible to control emotional reactions of users during their interaction with the product. To conduct this type of testing, users must be provided with access to the product prototype, task description, and a standard form to register users’ actions.
#7 – Focus Groups
Focus groups are surveys conducted within a certain group of users. Usually, such a survey takes around two hours and engages from 6 to 9 users. The main advantage of this method is that it allows determining spontaneous reactions and ideas. The main disadvantage of focus groups is that the evaluation may be inaccurate because it is based on convictions, thoughts, and preferences of a small number of people.
Usability testing helps increase website conversion rate, find hidden intents and wishes of users, make a decision concerning the development of new functionality. Every company has its own goals of usability testing that’s why metrics may vary, however, you should keep in mind that usability must be effective and productive.
Being a tester by profession, I always try to write on testing related topics. Even though, I started my career in development, I switched to testing after just 6 months. Now after 13.5 years, I am looking back and thinking what could be the inherent meaning of test. I think inherent meaning of TEST is Trial of different thought processes, then Error finding, if any. Next, Solve those errors, if appropriate and lastly, it is Time bound together.
So, if I put this as easier way to understand, it will be like below: • T- Trial • E- Error • S- Solve • T- Timebound
We all know testing is nothing but trialing different thought processes and includes both verification and validation processes. These trial processes consist of different possible scenarios or scenarios based on customer/project/ market requirements or service level agreements for end-users. These scenarios can be thought of as looking at different quality attributes and overall they come under either functional or non-functional perspectives. For example, when we say functional testing, we are thinking about unit testing (done by developers), integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing (done by testers). When we say non-functional testing, we are talking about performance testing (load, stress, endurance, volume, spike testing), security testing. We need to remember that these trials are not limited, however they can be extended to compatible testing, network testing, compliance testing or even software regulatory verifications.
In a nutshell when I say trial, I mean end-to-end comprehensive testing trials. Trials should be well defined thought processes & fully covered in all the above mentioned testing aspects, popularly known as test case scenarios and it must be properly documented for future references. Trials are like experiments and confirm if there are any errors. If you conduct trials/experiments effectively, there will be less chance of potential risk in a live system and your end-user will be much happier. The more you do different trials, the more likely the product will be better. Not only that, the earlier you do the trials, the better. This is like identifying the issues/defects at the early stages of SDLC – software development life cycle, which is less costly. Though traditional waterfall methodologies don’t support early trials, recent agile/dev-ops are in favour of early trials and continuous testing.
Errors are the next step – after conducting trials (like executing test scenarios) when the actual results or outcomes don’t match with anticipated results. Normally, after finding errors, defects need to be created. Even though it is an error as it does not match with expected result, it doesn’t mean it will be always a defect which will need to be solved later. This is applicable to both functional or non-functional testing. That decision (whether it is a defect) needs to be taken with care by the application owners or stakeholders looking at the end-user perspective or project requirement perspective, or if it is reasonable. If you think about the inherent meaning of test, trial and error are the most critical stages for successful software. When developers create the system, it is expected that it will work perfectly fine, but these trial and error processes verify and confirm that the system is ready for production. Overall, these trial and error processes reduce the product risk and give more confidence ahead of deployment. It is also more cost effective.
If you found errors after trials, the same trials are executed multiple times to reproduce the same error and then a decision is made by the application owner, as discussed above, before raising a defect. Defects are well documented and kept in a test management tool for tracking and from a future references perspective. Yes, I am talking about all aspects including a functionalities standpoint, usability or accessibility standpoint or a non-functional attribute like performance, security, availability, stability, scalability, reliability or vulnerability perspective.
As a next step, application owners or stakeholders need to solve those identified defects before the production release so that end-users are not affected. The developers need to work on the defects and solve the errors. These errors can be a functional issue like a button is not working or a non-functional issue like upgrading the server-side parameter to make the response time within the acceptable service level limit. Again, once the developers are done with changes or have updated the defect to resolved in the defect tracking tool or have sent a communication, testers need to do the trial again like re-trial (or retest) to ensure that the earlier error or defect is now solved and the expected outcome value is matching. Based on the re-trial result, defects can be closed in the defect management tool. Again, we also need to think about whether the changes made by development to resolve the defects do not adversely affect the existing functionalities and also from the non-functionality perspective. Therefore, we need to do re-trials like regression testing (may not be the case for all trials) to ensure that there are no additional or new errors. If an error is found during the re-trial, then that will now need to be solved. We need to understand that this trial, error and solve method is an iterative process. Re-trial or regression test helps to ensure that there will not be any surprises in production.
Lastly, the trials, error and solve process must be carried out in a timely manner. We need to understand, this must be so as we need to deliver the product within a certain time frame. We can’t do trial, error and solve process iteratively for long durations. If you do that, then the competitor will potential get ahead, and you will be lagging behind the market. The expectation for these 3 processes is that they will consume as little time as possible. Whether it is legacy methodology like waterfall (slow and only started once development gets fully completed) or recent agile/devops methodology (fast and testing begins during development early stages like shift-left testing), testing is a timebound process. So, it must be done within a certain time and these time periods are getting shorter and shorter. This is mainly due to a fast moving, tough and competitive market. Nowadays, end-users are looking for new features and they want them now. They want them everywhere, in every medium. As a result, not only accelerated development but also accelerated testing is now becoming a requirement.
We all know automation in testing is a major trend. The objective is to create fast paced testing. If you look at the inherent meaning of test, I think automation is absolutely assisting. First in trials, trials must be executed as only then will you find defects and if there are defects then they need to be solved and then re-trials are required. As I’ve highlighted above, overall this must be completed in a timely manner. Automation is hugely beneficial for continuous regression testing. Automation testing is fully in line with what I believe is the inherent meaning of test.
On one hand, automation testing is helpful to speed up the process and will ensure the timely delivery of the process. On the other hand, to make it more time efficent, I think proactive monitoring would be also helpful. Recently there are so many varieties of (standalone and combined) trials that you can possible think of, for example different types of devices, different operating systems, different browsers, different networks etc. It means there are many possible trials or scenarios that needs to be executed. Again, we are in the age of both the digital agents i.e. human and machine. So, both real user monitoring and synthetic monitoring assist to identify the errors proactively and solve those errors before it’s end-user are getting affected. This is again due to the timebound process and you can’t be late. Rather, you must deliver the product quickly for end-user happiness and do the business in long run.
In a nutshell, we can say that the inherent meaning of TEST is Trial, Error, Solve and it is undeniably Time bounded.
Arun earned a degree in Computer science from Govt. Engg. College, India (college topper). He has 13.5 years of managing E2E testing delivery experience in different types of applications. He has a keen interest in reading and writing different technical papers. He was selected in multiple international conferences; global webinars and his papers have been published in multiple forums. Currently, he is working as a Senior Test Manager in Atos-NAO & Global subdomain leader for Atos Expert: Application-Testing.
Computer Programming is vividly being popularized with the change in time. In recent years, we have heard a lot about software testing basics as it fetches personnel with suitable high paying jobs. In this age of continuous digital transformation, both software development and testing have been evolving. As the trends indicate, it is very crucial for the software developers and software testers to keep an open eye to accomplish in this competitive market.
However, software testing accounts to roughly 30% of the project effort, we cannot ignore that quality assurance of the product has been the key driver of its sales. The quality of the software is something that drives users. People often restrain themselves from taking up software testing as a career choice due to some insignificant reasons. But as this article escalates, you will notice that the scope of software testing is good.
What is Software Development?
Software development is the process of designing and creating software. Software development includes all the steps like specifying the requirements, programming the code, documentation of the program, testing and lastly, fixing bugs.
With the help of manual testing and various software testing tools, programmers can monitor their work more effectively. In this article, we will be learning all about software testing.
What does a software tester need to know?
As a software tester, you must know that your ultimate objective is to reduce risk. Software testing process emphasizes activities conducted with the intent of finding errors in software so that it could be corrected before the final product is released to the end users.
If you are a beginner, suitable videos like Software Testing tutorials, QA tutorial for beginners must help you to understand Software Testing methodologies better.
The crucial point to remember about software testing – Everything needs to be tested.
Everything needs to be tested and analysed to check whether it complies with the desired output. This helps in avoiding last-minute complications.
While we are pondering over the importance of software testing, one should also learn the techniques of software testing and the technical skills required for software testing. This could be better understood through video tutorials of how to do software testing with examples.
For now, it is essential to understand the different types of testing to become a successful software tester:
Black Box testing
While there are many software testing types, the most common and unbiased form of Software testing is Black Box testing. This testing method focuses only on the input inserted and output derived without concerning about the intimate details and implementation of the code.
White Box testing
As the name suggests, White Box testing is reciprocal of Black Box testing. In this type of testing, the source code is visible to the software tester. The tester tests the internal functionality, integration, structure, and design of the software, along with its working.
Automated testing is a testing technique where execution fo the test and verification of the output produced are automated. Automated testing is performed with the help of a Test Automation tool.
Acceptance testing relates to determining whether the software has met with the requirements desired while contemplating the software, i.e., to comprehend if the system has duly complied with the expectations and requirements for delivery to end users.
Like black box testing, functional testing ignores the internal parts and focuses only on what is being tested and its functionality. It analyses the output to check if it is as per the requirement or not.
The non-functional testing method pays attention to non-functional factors like usability, performance, speed, credibility, etc.
Regression testing is the testing done to check whether or not the changes made in the existing program or code affect its working. This can be defined as re-performing all the functional and non-functional tests on the software.
Other forms of testing
We have covered the major types of software testing above. On the contrary, the list is quite long. Other favourite examples of software testing for beginners include Exploratory Testing, Load Testing, Performance Testing, Recovery Testing, Back end testing, etc.
Every programming software needs a check before being delivered, and this process is made easy by software testing. We cannot expect to provide our customers with something with flaws and errors. It is vital to test the product that you just formulated and cannot wait to run successfully. With time, you can help yourself improve the quality with the right software testing basics, tools, and knowledge.
Manan Ghadawala is the founder of 21Twelve Interactive which is one of the best mobile app development company in India and the USA. He is an idealistic leader with a lively management style and thrives raising the company’s growth with his talents. He is an astounding business professional with astonishing knowledge and applies artful tactics to reach those imaginary skies for his clients. His company is also recognized by the Top Mobile App Development Companies. Follow him on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn