How to get your Team together and be a Happy Unit

Get your team together Testers in Blue #ZyQualSquad
Testers in Blue #ZyQualSquad

If you are a leader(with a title or without title), I am sure you must be thinking often on how to get your team together. How to juice productivity with visible vibrant energy and free-flowing passion across the team. You must be thinking of conducting some awesome team building activities, present(or receive) content of great help to your entire team so that they would feel that they are learning in some way. My mind is often occupied with such thoughts. Not just because I lead a team, but because I naturally love to push people to get their best, to grow together. And of course, I equally love to learn from the people around me. 

Weekly Wednesday session is one of those many initiatives me and my team took as our efforts towards making the above possible. If you do not know what our weekly Wednesday session is about, you can get a glimpse of what exactly it is here. Ok, so I am not really going to directly tell you the ‘how to’ here as the title might have conveyed, but I am surely going to share few practical hints on ‘what can be done’. Wednesday is a fun day for us. It stays eventful and it stays productive. It acts well to burst away midweek blues if any. However, last few sessions were going bit unplanned and though we were having fun, the feeling was there that we can juice more productivity and fun if we plan it properly. Taking people together, engaging the audience is a skill. Content too has to be different.

Time was for me to get the matter in hand. I informed the team that I would be presenting throughout the session and have interesting things lined up for them. We usually meet for around two to two and a half hours every Wednesday, so I wanted to adhere to the schedule and still cover a lot of variety which I want all my team members to focus on too in future. I spent some 45 minutes to put my mind mined stuff into a PowerPoint presentation. Here is what all was there:

  • Testing Trends: 

how to get your team together ZyQualSquad TrendTracker

I decided to start with something related to Testing. Need and challenge of any IT professional these days is to stay up to date with what is happening in the industry. The case with us, the testers is no different. What could have been a better choice than quick talk around State of Testing Survey 2017? Thanks to PractiTest and Tea-time with Testers for conducting this awesome survey with well defined and well-directed questions. The report talks about many things such as where the overall testing industry is heading, what tools they are using, how important now is to break the comfort zone and learn something new for testers, how the career shifts are happening and so on. If you haven’t had look at it yet, you can check it here.

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Leadership vs Positive Leadership. Choose later one. 

ZyQualSquad Testing Leadership
Positive Leadership

Got this personalised hand-written pic-note and this #Instagram themed magnet note from couple of my Squad members. They have just left/about to leave my team to take on future goals. Such words coming from someone who have nothing to do with me as far as their immediate professional growth is considered, is much bigger sense of satisfaction and achievement than anything else. The positive impact I created on lives of people around me will always be my favorite achievement.

#FarewellJagrati #FarewellHamza #ThankYou

My new love: Ethical Hacking : Post#1

 

New love: Ethical Hacking

Hope the post title don’t annoy my wife :p . It shouldn’t I guess, as long as the love is for learning something very good.

The Start:

We all face dilemmas in a day to day life. Sometimes in personal life, sometimes in professional. In the later category, I was facing one from last many months. And worst part being in dilemma is sometimes you either end up doing nothing or you do both the things. What happens then is you end of thinking about two things and end up working on two as well. This delays your achievement, this reduces or rather diverts your focus frequently. Being someone who always ends up getting a lot of new ideas on daily basis regarding new things to learn, try and implement it sometimes becomes very tough to select one and finish it completely.

The dilemma I am talking about was with respect to the choice of new skillset to learn to advance professionally and to make the days count even better. It was between two things which are booming nowadays and probably they are here to stay- Automation and Ethical Hacking/Security Testing. I worked on both of these and have basic or intermediate knowledge of both. Or you can say I am logically clear on both. But to implement the ideas, solve the problems or make your logic work, you also need to have in depth of technical knowledge of the task at hand, you should know how to. And putting my efforts on both things was delaying my expertise on either.

The choice was finally made as I understood my natural inclination towards the unknown. I am curious by birth, like to explore. So Ethical Hacking was definitely my thing. It’s like an endless road, you can go on and on and on. I have just started on it and will try to share my experience here as I progress. Let’s see how it goes.

The pre-requisite:

It is not necessary to be from software and networking background to learn Ethical Hacking I think but it will definitely help. At least it helps me when I read stories of other hackers or incidents and can understand at least 70-80% of those technically. Again the area to test is so vast that even your preparations or pre-requisites differ according to your target. If you are going to test mobile devices, you will have to gain knowledge around that, if you are going to test web applications your preparations shall differ and so on. I will surely update about what exactly to do and from where to start once I reach some level.

If you ask me, I collected basic knowledge around networking, protocols like HTTP and https, Linux, HTML, javascript over years at my Job. That shall help I guess. Apart from that, I follow a lot of hackers on Twitter. Their stories, tweets, and interview are of great information. Reading their experience feels like watching a sci-fi/mystery movie. I love it. And yes, I am also reading The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook as my first book purely into Security Testing.

And yes, one more important thing. Did I mention that you should be having a Mentor? It is always necessary and helps a lot with anything in life. I am not saying you should have one for everything, but there should be someone whom you look up to when you do some good work in some field. It is applicable to life in general as well. I am lucky to have few. And here guess with whose help and guidance I am learning to hack? Santhosh Tuppad. If you don’t know him already(which is rare if you are into the testing world), you should read his bio and know about his work.

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Why software testing? Here is the answer you want

perfect answer to why software testing

It wasn’t a first time someone said something about testing and it troubled me. It is just that the recent event pushed me to change something about- why software testing? It went like this.

It was just another call from a computer science graduate who is looking for job opportunity. This time the call was from one of my relative.

Part of conversation after initial greetings-

She: Actually I got my results last week and looking for job. Please let me know if you come across any.
Me: Sure! Tell me what interests you. Development or Testing ?
She: (Laughs…) No no, not testing(still laughing), Development only.
Me: Ohh! (Tongue-tied)(She didn’t knew/know I work as Tester of course)

You see the problem? Problem is not that she choose development over testing, that is absolutely fine considering the choice factor. Problem is her reaction when I said “Testing”, rather a question- why software testing? why should I even think about it?

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Why you should attend more and more Testing Hackathons

Testing Hackathons Bugasur
From Bug-a-Sur, Mumbai chapter

Allow me to start my answer to ‘Why you should attend more and more Testing Hackathons with a small story.

It was usual Saturday afternoon which otherwise I would have spent lazily at home. But this time(on 26th of November) I was at a co-working place Workloft to attend a Testing Hackathon called Bug-a-sur(named after a demon Bakasur from Indian epic Mahabharata, demon who used to eat food and the person who used to bring him that food) with some of my awesomely talented team members from Zycus #ZyQualSquad (that’s what we call ourself). Full marks to the title, very well thought. The event by the way was hosted by Ventursity.
From my previous experience of attending a Testing Hackathon in Mumbai, I was expecting less9er crowd(Mumbai being quite passive for Testing meetups) at some compact place. I was wrong. When we went there, an entire floor half full of testers were waiting there and event management committee members were working hard to make it big.

Event started at 2 pm with introduction of Ventursity, hosting committee, products which we were supposed to test and their representatives. There were three apps/products which were supposed to be tested across platforms(mobile browser, desktop browser and app).  PricebabaHaptik and Flyrobe were targets of 60-80 gathered testers. Rules, guidelines, product links were shared and at 3’o clock the attack was on.
We were 7 from Zycus,  accompanied by one more tester from Androsonic which made it four teams. Duration to test was three hours. Of course less to test such a big and complex products but that’s how Hackathon works, aggressive targets in crunched time.

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Sixth work anniversary at Zycus 

First job is always special, isn’t it? Six years back, on 29th of November 2010 I joined Zycus. As a fresher. 

I won’t lie. I was unsure about the path and future ahead. I didn’t knew if I will enjoy there. I didn’t knew if I will enjoy Software Testing. 

I wasn’t sure if I will achieve whatever tiny bit I have achieved. I wasn’t sure if I will see any success. Only thing I was sure about is I will do something I will be proud of. What,  how and when is something only journey told so far and same will be the case ahead. 

It’s been some experience. Six long years and one journey. I am proud of most of the work I have put so far. I am proud of the products I have helped in delivering. And I am super proud of the team I have built from scratch. I feel fortunate that I could meet some super talented professionals and learn from them. 

Many people have contributed to my journey so far. My friends, my mentors, colleagues who inspired me, critics,  everyone have contributed. I will like to say a Big Thank You to each of them. 

5 Major Problems with Large QA Team and How to Handle Them | Article#2 for STH

It was my second article for Software Testing Help community and the subject was something very close to my natural interest, i.e. Building high performing teams. The topic was Major Problems faced while managing Large Testing Team and the Remedy.

I talked about five major problems which you are likely to face if you are leading/mentoring/managing large QA team. Let me assure you that this article is not only for Managers or Leads but it will also help any junior or entry-level tester to perform good in such team.

List of major issues I talked about:

  • Maintaining Good Quality consistently over time
  • Centralized Knowledge and Expertise
  • Making Work Fun and Interesting
  • Work Distribution/Assignment
  • Maintaining Appreciation and Motivation

You can read full article on below link. Excited to know your feedback fellow testers. Feel free to share it in comments section. Happy Testing.

Read full article here