Stairs help for blind people

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This post is follow up on my post about traveling to CAST 2016 as software tester. In that post I mentioned that I noticed at Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport metal pattern at the top of the stairs. Using Google, I tried to find out the purpose of that pattern, but with no result. Then community kicked in and I got response about the purpose of that pattern (tanks to another_one and Bruno Prsa).

That this pattern helps blind people to identify where stairs begin. This  blog post describes testing techniques that could help me to get to that conclusion by myself.

Michael Kelly article: Taking a tour through test country presents application tours that helps to get to know with the application. Two tours could have helped me to identify purpose of the pattern: user and scenario tours.

Kelly states:

The first is the user tour. In this tour, you attempt to imagine five users for the product and the information they would want from the product or the major features they would be interested in. The second tour is the scenario tour. Here, try to imagine five realistic scenarios for how the users identified in the user tour would use this product.

In BBST Test Design, you can learn about James Bach Heuristic Test Strategy Model where one of test technique is user testing.

Are you ready to enhance your testing craft?


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Google maps offline mode scenario testing

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As I was traveling to CAST2016 in Vancouver, and roaming cost for 1MB of data traffic using my Croatian operator is 10 US$, I decided to use Google maps in offline mode.

Why you did not buy Canadian sim card with data plan? I investigated that option, and I could not find on web simple explanation how to do that. Also, doing business in Croatia is rather complicated, and putting that expense on my company account would be very complicated. So I decided to go with Google maps offline option, and using wi-fi where possible.

Day before travel day, I downloaded Vancouver map. In iOS Google map application, you need to search for Vancouver, and select in main menu offline areas. Touch big blue plus sign, and hit download.

Offline content is valid for one month.

First surprise is that route feature is only available for Cars option, bus and walk is not available. My heuristics is that this is because of security implications for walk option. Google only wants to guide you for walking using up to date information. For example, you do not want to go through some riots area.

Bus option is not available because bus timetables need to be up to date all the time to have the most accurate routing.

My current location works in offline mode, but only when airplane mode is off.

And one interesting scenario (BBST scenario testing) happened. On Paris airport, I enabled data roaming, because those prices are acceptable (Croatia is part of EU). On plain I switched on airplane mode on, with data roaming enabled. Next stop, Toronto, Canada. And guess what, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO TURN OFF DATA ROAMING WHEN AIRPLANE MODE IS ON.

I was afraid that I will get some data traffic after I turn airplane mode off. But, luckily, my phone was not able to connect to any of Canadian mobile networks, so I could turn off mobile data roaming without any cost.

Scenario testing is very important part of professional testing activity. It is unfairly called manual testing, giving the impression that it is low skill activity.

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Tester on a journey

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I traveled to Vancouver, Canada, in order to attend TestRetreat and CAST 2016. Here is the experience from the tester’s point of view.

First issue I found was at Zagreb Airport. Boarding card reader is only used just before you enter the Gate. Boarding card reader failed, and just in front of me, it was restarted. Scan of my board card returned “unknown flight” error. Despite that, I proceeded with boarding the plane.

In Paris CDG Airport, I took the picture (featured picture of this blog), because every step at the top of stairs section have this metal endorsement. I do not know why, I just documented that pattern.

While waiting for flight to Toronto, I did one exercise from book programming elixir. I was connected to Internet (only wifi connection), and started my Mac terminal. Exercise was a small program that is accessing the github api. I run it, and got ssl security exception, github certificate mismatch. This is security exception for man in the middle attack, and it means that you do not have direct connection with a server.

I opened Chrome and noticed airport wifi provider page where I needed to accept terms of service page. After that, I got direct connection with github api server.

Tester should never be bored during his journey.


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Example of fast decision making

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It this blog post I will give an example of fast decision making and explain why the skill of making fast decisions could make you better software tester.

Olympic basketball tournament started great for Croatian national team. They won over Spain, one of the best teams in last decade. Decision was made with last ball, when Dario Saric, new signed Philadelphia 76ers blocked one of the best world Players Paul Gasol.

What caught my attention as software tester was Dario’s statement about that block:

I saw that ball is not going to Nikola Mirotic (second center position Spain player), SO I JUMPED  BEFORE PAUL got the ball in order to block him.

That was fast decision (less that 1 second), he gambled a little bit, but with his observation, gambling was very justified.

He blocked Paul Gasol, and Croatia had an excellent start in Olympic tournament.

In order to be a better testers, you have to make a decision (for example, should I deploy to production this code change) in your context that is based on your observations. And it is important to start practicing your decision making by doing observations. You can start with your daily environment, it does not need to be connected with some software product.

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Django time machine

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In my previous blog post, Simulating time in Ruby on Rails framework, I described how to travel in time in both directions by using Ruby on Rails console. In this post I will describe same feature for Django framework.

Here is example how to update in django shell user table last_login column, using Django active record classes. User is filtered using email column.

cd to_root_of_your_django_project
>python3 shell
>> from sl_models import user
>> user_instance = user.models.User.objects.filter(email="user_email value")
>> user_instance.values()
>> from datetime import timedelta
>> from datetime import date
>> user_instance.update( - timedelta(days=7)) //we are traveling by days, but it is also possible to travel by other time dimensions. Check python timedelta documentation

I wish you happy time traveling in Django!


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