Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just thinking ..... on a different note

Was reading something on greats like Plato, Aristotle etc. today. It described about their lives, works and other aspects of their existence. There was so much of mention about how each aspect of their life is understood and interpretation of what proof led to this understanding.

Suddenly a thought came, how will people of this generation be understood few centuries later?
We, in this generation  have moved away so much from paper. We love our small machines and prefer to do most things electronically. We also chat in our local languages using English to represent it.

I actually just do not remember when was it last in recent times since I have started working that I used a proper paper and pen to write something that I really want to represent as my individual thought. Whenever I feel like writing my first choice is type off and so I am sure do many more of us. So are we leaving any footprints for our future generations or just leaving a space for them to re-discover everything all over again.

Huh! something to worry for future?

As I type this post, I also get reminded to think about India's glorious past.
for example -

  • If you read Ramayana, there are instances like the 'vimana' in which Ravan took Sita away and later Ram and Sita returned to Ayodhya in. Was is anything different that modern technology planes or helicopters?
  • Both Ramayana and Mahabharata have so many 'astra's' and 'yantra's' used in war. How different are these from our modern day missiles?
  • 'Muni-Rishi's' just taking some water in their hands from 'kamandals' and creating blessings or curses.
  • 'Narada Muni' travelling across worlds in seconds. Was this not teleporting?
  • 'Trishanku' hanging between stars of 'saptarishi mandal'. Was this not related to managing gravity?
And are we not re-discovering these all over again now coz the world did not have the technology transcripts?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Make a difference : Bring an edge to your project delivery ! [My Learning : #1]

[My Learning : #1]

How can you do more efficient project delivery ??
There are many instances when projects go in crisis. Mostly the crisis situations fall into 2 categories
  • Either the client expectation is not met on time or
  • There are delivery quality issues -  in other words client expectation is not met
A general observations that I have had around where slippages are mostly hapenning and can be easily corrected with more focus and attention are
  1. Requirement Freeze - Ensure that the requirements for test are clearly defined and signed off from all stakeholders.
  2. Code Freeze - Insist on a code freeze from Dev team and deployment to QA environment that is completely stable.
  3. Dedicated QA Environment - Ensure that a dedicated QA environment is available with latest and stable build deployed for testing. During the period of a testing cycle, this code should not be updated. Have all the release notes available handy against each new code update deployed.
  4. Risk Based Testing : The approach is one of the better ones to start testing on. It can be either used as a direct approach or can be used as a parallel approach to exhaustive testing that needs to be undertaken. It also helps to prioritize and build a strong traceability avoiding defect slippages.
  5. People Dependencies : People are the biggest keys for successful project deliveries. Understand the key people in your project. Understand what they are involved with and what are they doing. Help them improve with your experience and do better.
  6. People Competency - Invest in your people and their competencies. Give them space to develop their skills and create scenarios where they can upgrade and learn.
  7. Reaction – only after crisis - Do not react only after crisis has hit you and you get into either multiple blame games or cover-up activities. Pay close attention to track deliverable against expectation matching for cleaner output in sync with desired client expectation.
  8. Role of a Team Member as a 'TESTER' - As a tester, don't be a checker be a tester ! Try unconventional testing. Look for avenues to do the exploratory. Keep a keen eye open for critical defects. Bring in a thought process as end user. This will help you crack the hidden issues and potential defects.
  9. Role of a Team Lead / Test Manager - Be innovative in building your test strategy. Gather your application / product details technically as well as functionally. Show your team members how to be innovative in test approach. Build your test oracles strong. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Neither hesitate to insist on logging an issue and not sweep it under carpet on behest of development team.
  10. Role of a Manager - As a manager don't just sit there and watch. Only metrics numbers will not give you a better and cleaner tested product or app. Don't also just fall into the trap where you feel that few web apps and trackers that you maintain or the jazzy reports that you can stir up with MS office packages will take you and your teams to places with clients. Make your hands dirty along with your teams and lead from front to deliver a better tested deliverable.

Lessons of Learning : from leaves of experience

I intend to start writing a series of posts that will be in the tag line "Lessons of Learning - My learning #".
These will mainly be focused around my experience in life as I have evolved through my journey of testing experiences.
These will primarily be short notes to start with and will slowly grow into bigger writing pieces.
Will look forward to comments from you to add on your experience leaves to the same :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Experiential Learning

I picked up a new mobile handset some weeks back but did not have time to configure it up due to free time unavailability ........ started to do it in bits and pieces....managed to set up a few basic accesses.... finally realized that there is an issue when I try to access mails. It just refused to open up any of my mbox ..... tried many approaches, mobile store and googling too but was just NOT getting the appropriate info to set it right..... I was so irritated at the user unfriendliness and was wondering if it was worth spending the bomb of currency notes on it ....

Then I remembered that AJ had a older version of a similar handset, and this weekend (14 May 2011) when I pinged him, I asked him if he could help me on....... and there started our virtual paired testing :)

We set onto identifying what he had on his handset over skype chat and I tried to see if I could replicate or find some near about alternative to what he was suggesting ........ he built up scenarios for me based on his user experience and I tried to see if I could replicate it over my new handset with new functionalities and modules..... visa-versa I told him of my user needs and he tried to initiate it on his cell and tell me the scenario which I again tried to replicate.
The first trap I unearthed was that I cannot access coz the software's pre-installed on my handset are old ones and the new apps don't support them any more. AJ suggested that I needed to set up an application that will help me access all that I needed from a single screen. AJ further suggested I use snaptu for it as he found that very comfortable. He sent me a link and I downloaded and installed it was an older version and after installation, I had to again upgrade it up...... but then started my series of unearthing multiple user unfriendly scenarios and setting each one of them up as per my need......

The worst of all traps was that my logical thinking and the way the mobile functionalities are mapped had no sync. For example : I assume gmail to be a social networking, but the system accepts it as 'utilities'.... with this experience, I expected  hotmail also to be 'utilities'..... but found it is under 'entertainment' mail and You Tube was also found there .....
Also found that Yahoo and Hotmail were listed under 'news' too :(

Long and short of it ... had to really spend time looking for navigations that were not so logical in approach ....

And finally after 3 weeks of buying the handset I am operational in mobile over my required net access on the move :)