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Methods & Tools - April 2022
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*** Updates ***

Last Articles Published on Methods & Tools Website

A Manual Tester's Guide to Effective Bug Reporting One of the main responsibilities of a manual tester is to find and report issues with the software. We call these issues "bugs". Bugs can be found everywhere. Some are obvious while others are harder to find. It is up to the manual tester to thoroughly explore a given app or website, and look for ways to break them. Or in other words, expose bugs that can lead to a bad user experience. However, it's not enough to just know a bug exists. You need to properly report the bug, by writing a bug report, in order to get it fixed. Think of it this way—the better your bug report is, the higher the chances of getting the bug fixed. Read more...

*** From The Archives ***

Articles from Methods & Tools' Archives

Using Stakeholder Analysis in Software Project Management In a project, it is the people that are the main cause of problems. Time schedules, financial projections, and software goals may be abstractions, but it is the flesh-and-blood people whose work determines your project's status. It's the programmer that misses a deadline and holds up everyone else, it's the financial manager that goes berserk if you can't produce some good budgetary indications, and it's the key user that doesn't give a darn but didn't tell you about his dismal lack of motivation; these are the folks who can cause serious trouble. Read more...

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*** Quote of the Month ***

From my experience, successful KPIs follow the following six rules:

Rule 1 – A KPI should be measurable. Don’t settle for boolean ‘yes or no’, or something amorphous that you can’t measure. Let’s say that you want to get into fitness. Let me ask you, what does ‘getting into fitness’ mean to you? Is it running a marathon? Is it cycling for three hours without stopping? Is it the ability to lift 50 kilograms? If you can’t measure it over time, or it only has two states of ‘yes or no’, you will not be able to track your progress. This means you cannot ensure that what you are doing is actually pointing you in the right direction.

When thinking about goals and KPIs, the first thing most people do is think about the goal they want to achieve. Really, you need to do the opposite. Think, instead, about what you want to change and how you can measure that. Great! You’ve found your KPI. Now you can attach a goal to it (which we will explore later in the article).

Let’s go back to the ‘get into fitness’ goal. Without thinking about what ‘getting into fitness’ means to you and how you can measure it, your goal is almost like a wish. There’s nothing wrong with this, but to be proactive in reaching your goals, think about your KPI first. Set a goal second.

Rule 2 – The meaning of the metric’s direction on your KPI should be obvious. There should be a clear understanding that your KPI’s direction is either good or bad. It shouldn’t be vague.

Rule 3 – Your KPI should reflect the value you are trying to bring and not the value’s outcome. Earnings are the outcome of a great product. Fewer pager duty alerts are the outcome of improved quality in design, code, and testing. Team velocity is the outcome of fewer dependencies and a smoother development experience. It is easy to set the KPI on the value’s outcome, but try to avoid this because the outcome can be achieved in different ways, and it can hide the thing you really want to change.

Rule 4 – The metric on your KPI should frequently change, at best daily, but no more than weekly. This is so you can track what you’re doing, and react fast to adjust your plans when things aren’t going according to plan.

Rule 5 – Your KPI’s metric should be something that you and your team members have the power to move. If your KPI depends on someone else, it will hurt your team’s ownership and accountability. Replace it with a KPI that has a metric you have direct influence over.

Rule 6 – The KPI should lead to action and not staleness. For example, the best way to reduce the number of bad deployments is to not deploy at all. If you choose a defensive KPI, it will lead to fear and staleness, and will not drive your team into action.

Eric Rabinovich, How to measure and improve success in your engineering team,

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*** Software Development Linkopedia ***

Text: Generative Team Design There is a lot of talk recently about the importance of psychological safety in relation to teams and innovation. This talk is largely stemming, it seems, from a NYTimes article covering new research from a team at Google. While I think it is wonderful that people are starting to think and talk about the importance of psychological safety and indeed empathy, there is more to these cultural practices than meets the eye.
Text: 58 Product Owner Theses The following 58 Product Owner theses describe the PO role from a holistic product creation perspective. They cover the concept of the Product Owner role, product discovery, how to deal with external and internal stakeholders, product portfolio and product roadmap planning, and the Product Backlog refinement. The Product Owner theses also address the Product Owner’s part in Scrum events from Sprint Planning to Sprint Review to Sprint Retrospective, and the Daily Scrum
Text: Applying Session Based Exploratory Testing to Gaming “Anyone can cook” was the saying that Chef Gusteau from Pixar’s animated movie “Ratatouille”, used to mention. And that, indeed, can also be applied to testing. “Anyone can test” is something that is heard in many companies, from different actors and players. And that is true. Testing is one of those disciplines that does not necessarily need a specific background or knowledge to start working and obtain a decent performance while doing it. However, if you want to be a professional and get the best results, you need two basic things: to be prepared and to train and gain expertise in certain abilities that will help you excel in your task.
Text: How to Make Good Code Reviews Better I have been doing day-to-day code reviews for over a decade now. The benefits of code reviews are plenty: someone spot checks your work for errors, they get to learn from your solution, and the collaboration helps to improve the organization’s overall approach to tooling and automation. If you’re not currently doing code reviews in your organization, start now. It’ll make everyone a better engineer.
Text: Stop Writing Overdone Test Plans I would much prefer a more lean and up-to-date approach to test plan documents. Looking at what we know now, a separate test plan is more of a sign of missing trust between parties than a collaborative value add for the business needs. If you have to write too much down, and debate the documents over and over – it might be an organizational maturity issue, but it’s most likely a people problem and a trust issue.
Text: The Challenges of Managing Virtual Teams Remote work is on the rise and has definitely come to stay. However, when you are the project manager of a virtual software development team, there are some common challenges that you have to face. Learn here how to overcome them with some specific skills.
Text: Lessons Learned from Building a Design System Although it has been among the trending topics for a few years, the Design System subject doesn’t seem it’s vanishing from discussions between designers and developers anytime soon. And there is a reason for that.
Text: Ultimate Guide to Penetration Testing For an Application Every business needs to be on the lookout for cyberattacks. The unfortunate reality is that there are many hackers out there looking for vulnerable targets. If you want to find vulnerabilities in your system before a hacker does, then it is time to learn about penetration testing.

Video: Rethinking Reactive Architectures Modern web software architectures are amidst a paradigm shift — more and more web applications are built upon asynchronous and reactive patterns. This movement is understandable, as it takes scalability, resilience, and real-time integration to an elusive new level. Unfortunately, we observe that many new customer projects only use parts of this paradigm shift sensibly.
Video: The Worst Programming Language Ever There is something good you can say about every programming language. But that is no fun. Instead, let’s take the worst features of all the languages we know, and put them together to create an abomination with the worst syntax, the worst semantics, the worst foot-guns and the worst runtime behavior in recorded history. Let’s make a language so bad it would make people run screaming to Visual Basic for Applications.
Video: Do You Really Do Functional Programming in Java? Many Java developers believe that Functional Programming (FP) arrived in Java 8, with the addition of first-class lambda expressions and the Streams API. But is this really true? This presentation discusses what FP really is, examines whether Java can really be said to be FP or not – and considers whether things have improved with more recent versions, as well as some possibilities of how you could have done things differently (in another world).
Video: Four Steps to Move from JavaScript to TypeScript You have got a JavaScript project and you are coming round to the idea of TypeScript. You like the idea of static typing and improved IDE experience. It is finally time to make the move, but how do you go about it? Is this going to be a big and inconvenient change to the codebase? What if you could take it step by step? What If you could stop halfway and still gain a lot?
Video: Firing People in Software Development Teams Software developers don’t talk about getting fired. We come up with euphemisms: “I am funemployed!”, or “I am looking for my next journey!” That’s strange, when you think about it, given that it is a fairly normal event that happens from time to time in software development projects.
Video: Increase Quality of Testing Leveraging Security Tools Security testing is often seen as a mysterious and foreboding domain, where people enshrouded in hooded masks wield mystical powers to influence technology in ways that should be impossible. Vulnerabilities, hacks, disclosures, exploits and other spooky concepts seem to be the primary powers in this dark digital Mordor.
Video: LeSS – an Agile Descaling Framework Although LeSS is an Agile scaling framework, in reality it requires organizational de-scaling. It is also an organizational design framework that helps to address core elements of organizational design: HR policies, finance/budgeting, vendor management, site strategies – areas that are not too comfortable for many companies to address.

Tools: Mobile Security Framework (MobSF) is an automated, all-in-one mobile application (Android/iOS/Windows) pen-testing, malware analysis and security assessment framework capable of performing static and dynamic analysis. MobSF support mobile app binaries (APK, XAPK, IPA & APPX) along with zipped source code and provides REST APIs for seamless integration with your CI/CD or DevSecOps pipeline. The Dynamic Analyzer helps you to perform runtime security assessment and interactive instrumented testing.
Tools: Dakka is an open source Chrome Extension which helps to generate end-to-end tests for Cypress, Playwright and Puppeteer.

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