Prezi UX issue

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Credit: prezi.com

In this post I will try to explain one user experience issue.

By reading my daily rss feed of testing blogs, I found out about this great Prezi presentation, Everything is connected – exploring diversity, innovation, leadership by Zeger Van Hese. I clicked on link and was redirected to Prezi. Zeger is known for his great notebook notes and he has specific design style and flow (that I have never seen before) for his presentations.

I followed presentation link and started going through presentation slides using web interface navigation buttons. By observing web interface options, I concluded that I was not logged in to Prezi (there was log in option). After I went through the number of slides, I decided to like this presentation using Like option. I clicked on it, and I was redirected to login form. When I hit back browser button, I was at the first presentation slide.

UX issue is that I lost time in order to get to position where I was when I hit like button.

Prezi is web application which means that it uses HTTP protocol. From this example it is clear that HTTP protocol is stateless. Using cookies for user state was not possible, because I was not logged in. This issue could be resolved by implementing tracking of user session state using Javascript code.

This post is example how tester, using skill of knowing how HTTP protocol works, raised an UX issue without any use of testing automation.

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Windows application memory leak in practice

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Image credit: http://www.lowflo.ie/

In my current project that involves Microsoft technology, 3rd party application has a memory leak. In this post I will explain how I detected memory leak and how I tried to override memory leak by enlarging memory space for that application.

You all probably know for Windows task manager, but to get all information about Windows process, much better and enhanced option is Process Explorer. It provides all details that you need when yo are investigating all resources that process consumes.

Application with memory leak is 32 bit application. 32 bit denotes size of address space for that application, and that is 2GB (2^31), In Process Explorer right click on process that you want to monitor, choose properties and select Performance tab. Virtual memory is memory available for that process. When it hits 2GB value, your application will throw out of memory exception. Application has memory leak if virtual memory consumption raises over time. Application was running in Windows Server 2012 64 bit edition, but as was 32 bit application, that did not helped.

My heuristic was: is it possible that 32 bit application address more than 2GB on 64 bit OS?
I found this simple utility, 4GB patch. I patched executable that manifested memory leak in process explorer, and now 32 bit application was able to address 4GB!

Process Explorer in action. Image credit: http://technet.microsoft.com/

That actually helped just for one scenario, when test run was shorter than time needed for application to hit 4GB limit.

In this problem I had 3rd party application, which means that I could not remove cause of actual memory leak. Using process explorer, I had information what could be the problem, because process explorer shows which DLLs are loaded during the application operation.

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Report on Zagreb STC #17

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Welcome to MaMa

 Last Friday, we had Zagreb STC #17, at MaMa, place that is always pleased to host meet ups from Zagreb area. Zeljko already wrote a few words about the meetup. I was happy to see that more that 10 people gathered.

We had three talks:

Zeljko explained Rubik’s Cube, that there are several algorithms how to solve it. He demonstrated his skill, he assembled it in just above 2 minutes time.

Zagreb STC library

Boris explained his dive in browser automatization using watir-webdriver. Great material for beginners, because he presented obstacles and how he resolved them. For example, Chrome developer tools interfered his ability to access DOM of page that he was testing.

Official announcement at MaMa’s door

I talked about AST new initiative, WHOSE. This will be a skills book with a sampling of skills grounded in context. I showed it on example of combinatorial explosion, explained by Pete Walen.

In the end, Zeljko presented ideas about ViaQa software testing conference. This year we did not organized it (we helped hosting CITCON Zagreb 2014). Audience reaction was positive, so we will have it in 2015.

Dear fellow testers, I wish you all the best in upcoming new year!

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Two meetups in five days

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At the end of November, I attended two meet ups, Securing Internet of things, organized by ShareIt Ljubljana, and Coderetreat, organized by Zeljko and lead by Peter.

Securing Internet of things

Tadej Vodopivec in Gorazd Božič

As I am very interested in Internet security, and Internet of things (watch, light bulb, you name it), has become a hip word, I decided to take a journey to Ljubljana. It is 130km from Zagreb, but the thing is that Ljubljana is in Slovenia so I did get a change to brush my Slovenian (slo1 and slo2 tv channels in the eighties always had better cartoons than TV Zagreb).

Yes I know, I am terrible at taking photos!

I was very pleased that I understood all security topics in Slovenian. I learned that internet providers, in context of security, are actually companies that take care of highway road maintenance. There were 40 people, and pace was very high. After one hour of presentation there was one hour of discussion, with no break. Something that is not possible in Croatia, because of cultural differences. In the end I broke the ice, and starting conversation with security experts, they in Slovenian, me in Croatian. Actually we had a lot in common. Slovenia is preparing for electronic prescription, project that I was implementing in Croatia while working for Ericsson.

Fun room!

If you are around Ljubljana, I strongly suggest that you connect with ShareIt on Meetup platform.
As excellent things always happen by accident, at the end of our road trip, Shime showed Zeljko and me Scout Irish Pub in Samobor. It has a selection of almost 300 beers and it is a paradise for me.

Coderetreat Zagreb

Coderetreat teaches you TDD practices in 45 minutes sessions on the problem of Conway’s Game of life. Every session has some constraint (e.g. make a commit every 4 minutes or delete your changes), and as sessions progress, constrains are harder.

What we learned in previous session?

I did two sessions, and I learned one interesting technique. I paired with Janko, and I wrote tests, he implemented code. As I wrote my test very simple, he wrote code implementation as simple as possible, just enough to pass my test. This was my aha moment. Write you tests in such manner that  are hard to fool.

Next session instructions

I suggest that you try Coderetreat without worrying about your programming skill level. You can only learn something. Or even better, take the initiative like Zeljko did, and help to organize Coderetreat at your location!

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