QA blog postings

QA Postings

Earliest: November 26, 2017Latest: November 12, 2018Total: 47

November 12, 2018

Check My Links

If you're testing a new set of pages, it's a good idea to make sure all the links are working correctly. This is especially needed when a site had been sitting in a particular environment for a long time.

The worst case scenario is the CEO reporting broken links right after release.

The Chrome Tool, Check My Links, makes it super easy to find any broken links on any page. Simply click on the extension icon in Chrome and it goes through all the links on the existing page.

Description from the Developer

Check My Links is a link checker that crawls through your webpage and looks for broken links. 'Check My Links' is an extension developed primarily for web designers, developers and content editors.

'Check My Links' quickly finds all the links on a web page and checks each one for you. It highlights which ones are valid and which ones are broken, simple as that.

HTTP response codes and full URLs of broken links are published in the Console log (Found in: 'Chrome > Tools > Javascript Console' or Ctrl+Shift+J).

Google Link Checker2
Lots of links on Google.com - No broken ones! QA approves!

Notes about the Check My Links Tool

As mention above, any broken links appear in the console log. When I first started using the tool I got confused to how to find the broken links.

QA best practice is to have the Chrome console log open when testing a web application.

You can exclude URL checking by putting it in the extension option sections, simply right-click on the extension icon and select options.

If you have a lot of links on a page, Consider using HEAD as the method of request since its quicker.

If your busy regression testing, it might be useful to turn on Cache and AutoCheck. That way 'Check My Links' will run every time the page loads. By enabling cache, you'll only get real requests from new URLs on a page.

Did you know that there are 32 links on Google.com? There are no broken links!

November 5, 2018

QA October Graphic Files

October was a pretty quiet month for using Memes in the Slack channel. Most of the images were already in the library, but I did come up with five new ones. Hopefully, this is a reoccurrence for the rest of Q4.

Be sure to check out the library for all the QA Graphic files.

Best Can Do
That's the Best You can Do?
http://www.cryan.com/qa/graphics/BestCanDo.jpg

Hows Automation
How is Automation going?
http://www.cryan.com/qa/graphics/HowsAutomation.jpg

Failed Testing Sticker
Failed Testing Sticker
http://www.cryan.com/qa/graphics/FailedTestingSticker.jpg

October 29, 2018

Picture in Picture in Chrome

Chrome recently shipped version 70 of the Chrome Browser, and with that came some pretty cool features - including picture-in-picture functionality.

What Make Picture-In-Picture Special for QA?

The reason QA should be excited about the picture-in-picture functionality is that it can make learning a bit easier. Now you can have a video of some lesson open while you interact with it on your computer. You can interact with Chrome Tools while learning about the features.

J Query Picture Picture
Using Picture-in-Picture is a great way to interact with instructional videos.

Currently picture-in-picture support among popular learning sites:

  • YouTube - Works
  • Lynda.com - Works
  • Udemy - Not Working

How to Use picture-in-picture

Right click on any video and you should see an option for "Picture in Picture." Select it and the video clip will pop out of the page and to the bottom right corner.

For YouTube, you will actually need to right click twice as YouTube has its own set of right-click controls. Right-clicking twice will enable the system default to right-click behavior.

Some Notes

  • In order to play the video, you have to keep the tab open.
  • You can resize the picture-in-picture simply by dragging any corners.
  • The picture-in-picture functionality won't work when you have another application in full-screen mode. For example, if your learning Swift Programming, you can't use Xcode in full-screen mode while viewing the video.
  • When you hide Chrome, you also hide the picture-in-picture window. When working with other apps, simply cover the Chrome browser window and bring the picture-in-picture in front.

October 22, 2018

Slack Reminders

Slack is trending to be the most popular communication tool for companies. Knowing some basic commands can help make communicating information a lot easier. This can help getting the most out of Slack.

Slack Personal reminders are a practical way for QA to stay on top of communicating messages - such as Code Freeze Reminders, Stand-up or sending out the weekly release notes.

Frequent Future reminders are a good way for you to take a step back - such as a self performance reminder. Don't wait for review time to put together your self review, set up a reminder so that you can record the excellence that you do now. Chances are you may forget them six months from now.

Setting up a Personal Performance Reminder

In your "Direct Message" slack channel, setup the following reminder:

/remind me "Take note on some personal excellence that you did in the past couple of weeks." every other Thursday at 4:00pm
/remind me "Take note on some personal excellence that you did in the past month." on November 1 at 4:00pm
/remind me "Take note on some personal excellence that you did in the past month." on December 3 at 4:00pm
/remind me "Take note on some personal excellence that you did in the past month." on February 1 at 4:00pm
/remind me "Take note on some personal excellence that you did in the past month." on April 1 at 4:00pm

Some Fun Reminders:

/remind me "Today is World Quality Day - 'Quality: A question of trust ' " on November 8 at 9:00am
/remind me "Today is National Qa Engineer Appreciation Day " on April 26 at 9:00am
/remind me "Today is the Day of the Programmer" on September 13 at 9:00am
/remind me "First Instance of Actual Computer Bug Being Found - September 9, 1947" on September 9 at 3:45am
/remind me "Selenium Day - Launched on October 22, 2004 " on October 22 at 9:00am

October 15, 2018

Firefox JavaScript Scratchpad

Firefox Scratchpad is a useful tool to test JavaScript code on any website. It's different than Chrome's web Console since you can have multiple lines of JavaScript and get good debugging feedback if the code fails to run.

To open Firefox's scratchpad window, simply type Shift-F4

You'll get a new window with the following commented text:

/*
 * This is a JavaScript Scratchpad.
 *
 * Enter some JavaScript, then Right Click or choose from the Execute Menu:
 * 1. Run to evaluate the selected text (Cmd-R),
 * 2. Inspect to bring up an Object Inspector on the result (Cmd-I), or,
 * 3. Display to insert the result in a comment after the selection. (Cmd-L)
 */

Fire Fox Scratchpad

JQuery QA Example

Here's are some example code that might be useful for QA to use in the FireFox's Scratchpad, these only work on websites that are using JQuery:

Check for External Links

This bit of code is useful when you want to highlight all external links on the page:

function link_is_external(link_element) {
  return (link_element.host !== window.location.host);
}
$('a').each(function () {
  if (link_is_external(this)) {
    $(this).css({
      color: 'pink'
    })
  }
});

Highlight a Particular Word

Quick way to see if a certain word appears on the page:

$("body").html($("body").html().replace(/Company Name/g,'Company Name'));

Show the links to all the images on the current page:

var pics = $$("img");
for (pic in pics) {
  console.log(pics[pic].src);
}

October 8, 2018

Framed! Browser Extension

Doing testing in production is very risky, and there are times when you may not be aware that you're in production. There is a tool called "Framed!", that will let you know when you're in Production. Now you'll be aware when you're in Production with a simple frame around the website.

Developer Description

This tool grants you the power to add a custom border to visually separate different web hostsFrame your hosts, avoid mistakes!

As a web developer you are probably working with a bunch of different environments, all looking almost exactly the same. Keeping track of whether you are on a more safe-to-experiment development server, or if you accidentally stumbled in on the live server, isn't all that easy or obvious.

Laptop Framed

Four Things I Learns about Framed!

  • You can use a wildcard for the hostnames, so *.company.com will handle all sites under the domain.
  • Set a custom frame id name, so that it doesn't interfere with any existing property.
  • If you're using a Retina Display, use a larger border width so it's more visible. 8px worked well in my testing.
  • The nice thing about Framed! is that you just need to set it once. If you haven't used it in a while, you may wonder why certain sites have red frames around them.

Get Framed!

The Browser utility is available for Firefox and Chrome.

October 1, 2018

New QA Images

Today I updated the QA Image library with ten new graphics. Most of these were created as a result of testing this past September. These are perfect to add a bit of humor in Slack:

Sample of some of the images, visit the QA Graphic Library for all the files:

waiting_1
QA Waiting for Developers to fix a bug.
http://www.cryan.com/qa/graphics/waiting_1.gif

Code Freeze
http://www.cryan.com/qa/graphics/CodeFreeze.jpg

Now Patching
http://www.cryan.com/qa/graphics/NowPatching.gif

September 24, 2018

Jira Sprint Board Keyboard Shortcut

Atlassian Jira is popular with Software Development teams. It's used to track issues and tasks so that everyone knows what's going on.

Sprint boards are an important part of team planning. In an agile environment, sprint boards help make sure everyone is on the same page. There are three important views of a sprint board:

  • Backlog - Issues that are planned for the next few sprints
  • Active Sprints - Follow along as the developers make progress during the sprint.
  • Reports - Detail information on how the project

Board Shortcuts

To help navigate between the different boards, Atlassian created keyboard shortcuts. These would be good to memorize since it makes it quick to switch between the different board views:

1 - Backlog
2 - Active Sprint / Kanban Board
3 - Reports

When your view a Board, simply type '1' to go to the Backlog, '2' to the Active Sprint and '3' to see the Reports. This makes it handy when your doing sprint planning and need to switch between the backlog and the active sprint board.

Here's a handy chart reminder:

Jira Keyboard Shorcut

September 17, 2018

Hide That Bookmark Bar

Last week the Massachusetts State Police department posted a computer photo which contained a map of areas impacted by the recent Gas Explosions in Lawrence/Andover/North Andover. However, they didn't hide some private details:

Mass Police Post

When taking screenshots, you should always hide the Bookmark Bar. There is no need to add any distraction to your bookmarks.

Learn the Basics

  • In Chrome, to hide the Bookmark Bar, simply type in Shift Command B.
  • In Firefox, to hide the Bookmarks Toolbar, Go to View, then Toolbars, then deselect the Bookmarks Toolbar. (There is no keyboard shortcut in Chrome.)

Chrome Bookmark

Keyboard Maestro Tip

If you have Keyboard Maestro, you could always use this shortcut so that the Shift Command B works in any browser.

September 10, 2018

10 Tips for Effective Testing with Deadlines

Unless you're infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your testing. Setting limits on how much you are willing to test helps control expectations. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

Testing Deadlines

Testing deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work for QA:

  • Use Parkinson's Law - Parkinson's Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on the important tasks.
  • Timebox - Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on specific tests. After the time is up to your finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your focus on the task wisely.
  • 80/20 - The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to project testing to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time. This is an essential tip for when doing regression testing.
  • Project VS Deadline - The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
  • Break it Down - Any project that has deadlines over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren't applied to manageable units. It can also make testing more complex to manage.
  • Hofstadter's Law - Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I've heard about software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
  • Backwards Planning - Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely. Figure out what the most challenges area will be for QA, and what things that will need to get done to have a successful test situation.
  • Prototype - If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. For example, when testing multiple currencies, test known currencies first, before expanding to more complex exchanges.
  • Find the Weak Link - Figure out what could ruin your testing and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your regression testing.
  • No Robot Deadlines - Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren't a robot. Don't schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmatches aren't healthy.