QA Blog Posts

May 7, 2018

Vivaldi Browser

The Vivaldi is a great secondary browser for QA. It's built on the same platform ( Blink ) as Google Chrome, with some extras that QA will appreciate.

Vivaldi Display

Why Use Another Browser?

Having another browser is a good way to isolate testing. You can use the secondary browser to test certain third-party extensions for compatibility issues.

In addition, Chrome doesn't always make things easy. It's good to expand the horizons and see how other browsers make testing Web Applications easier.

Three cool Features

Here are some built-in features in Vivaldi that are not regularly available in Chrome.

Web Panels

Quickly access Twitter, Facebook or any Dashboard to find out what's going on. If the site is using responsive programming, the web panels will display the site as if your viewing it from a mobile device.

Web Panels are customizable tabs which allow you to keep your favorite sites easily accessible on the side Panel of Vivaldi. Opening a Web Panel will allow you to simultaneously view its content alongside the tab(s) in your main window.

For QA, this makes it easy to access social networks or system dashboards to quickly check to see if services are down.

Built-in Screen Capture

Need a get a browser screenshot? Vivaldi makes it super easy to get a simple browser screenshot or a full-page shot.

There are three ways to get this done:

  • Page Action
  • Quick Command
  • Keyboard Shortcut - create your own shortcut in the settings.

While there are plenty of awesome extensions that are available in Chrome, none have the multiple access that's built in Vivaldi. The quick command and customize keyboard shortcut come in handy.

Quick Commands is a tool for users that like to keep their hands on the keyboard. To access the Capture tool via Quick Commands:

  • Open Quick Commands by pressing x2318 E.
  • Enter "Capture" to filter the list of available commands.
  • Use the arrow keys to navigate the list of Capture commands.
  • Press Enter to issue selected command, or
  • Close Quick Commands by pressing Escape key.

Status Bar Page Actions

On the bottom of the browser window is an action bar. One of the cool features is page actions. Here you have the ability to make quick changes to the existing site.

Functionalities available include: Content Blocker, CSS Debugger, Filter Black and White, Filter Grayscale, Filter Intensity, Filter Invert, Filter Obscure, Filter Sepia, Fonts Monospace, Highlight Focus, Highlight Hover, Reader View, Skewed Images, Transformed 3D, Transitions Forced and Transitions Removed.

You probably think that they aren't useful, but it can help with debugging issues. In addition, combined with the screenshot functionality and you can use these actions to highlight features that may not be obviously broken.

Check out Vivaldi

It doesn't cost anything to check out Vivaldi. There's lots of exciting features on their Features page.

More more thing... Vivaldi has built-in Apple Script support. So you can run all sorts of actions against the browser.

April 30, 2018

Zero Downtime in QA

When people think of Zero Downtime, they usually think about servers and networks. They don't want their websites to go down. Something along this quote:

Data Never Down

Zero Downtime in QA

In QA, there's always something to do. There never is a "downtime." Sure when there's no ticket to test, or in between release cycles, it can seem like downtime. Truth be told there's always something to do in QA.

It's important to keep busy, even when there's nothing new to test.

Nine Things to do in a QA Downtime

This is a general "what to do" when engineering has completed a sprint and there's nothing new in the queue for QA.

  1. Update Manual Testcases - Every release brings new changes to the application. Make sure the test cases are always kept up to date.
  2. Update Manual Testcases Execution - What test cases are being run every release? Do they still need to be run? Check out the priority of weekly regression test cases to see if they are still relivent.
  3. Writing Automation - Automation writing is a continuous process. Where it's to fix application changes, or support new browser features - its a never ending process. In addition, its good to find ways to make the automation process go faster.
  4. Update Wiki - Make sure that online documentation is updated based on the latest release. (Deployment Cycle, Lessons learned from the testing)
  5. Review Tests - Was there hiccups during the last test cycle? What could have been done better to prevent the issues from occurring in the future?
  6. Review Documentation on upcoming projects - Get a jump start on the next project by reviewing the product/technical specs.
  7. Usability Testing - Go through the application and see if there's any bugs/issues that aren't being reported by customers. Sometimes features/functionaries that were deployed in the past are not working today and missed by manual testing because people are testing for functionality rather than seeing from a customer prospective. (QA Should watch some Usability testing to get an idea how customers really use the application.)
  8. Application Testing - Learn more about the Developer tools in Chrome and/or FireFox. Some techniques that you learn today may help with a future project - such as how to capture screenshots in the Developer tools.
  9. Continuous Learning - When was the last time you touch up on JQuery, SQL or HTML5? Check out some of the training on UDemy or

QA Word Cloud

I ran the above items in a word cloud generator and came up with the following.

Q A Word Cloud

April 23, 2018

Test Case Repository

A Test Case repository is where QA keeps test cases use for various test situations. You should be able to find tests for Weekly Regression, Performance Testing, Security Testing and Acceptance Testing.

Test- Case- Repository-is-1

Seven Things I Learned About Using A Test Case Repository

  1. Always Update! Systems Change, Browsers change. If a test case hasn’t been updated in 3 months something is clearly wrong with it. (If it’s a manual test case, then it might be a good candidate for automation.)
  2. Negative Tests are Good! QA can learn a lot about negative test cases in a separate part of the project. Helps come up with ideas on
  3. Focus on the 80/20 rule. Don’t clutter the Test Case Repository with useless tests that people would not execute because they were relevant during the development stage of a project.
  4. Prioritize Tests. There should be more High Priority / Critical Tests in the Test Case Repository than low-level ones. Chances are the low-level ones won’t get executed very often, try combining the tests so QA isn’t overwhelmed by the number of tests to run.
  5. Product Managers Should be in the Know. Share access to the Test Case Repository to Product Managers so they are aware of what tests are run on a weekly bases. They may offer feedback on an additional test that should be run - or change the priority on existing test cases.
  6. Write Good Practical Test Cases. Test Cases should be easily understood and executed. There should never be a need to contact the original author. It’s a good place for new QA Engineers on a project to start. In addition, QA Managers should point out well-written test cases to inspire everyone to write well.
  7. Audit Often. Take a good look at the Test Case Repository often. During downtime, check to see if the test cases are relevant. If it’s not be executed, find out why and decide if it’s a relevant test.


It’s not the quanity of the test cases that matter it’s the quality of the tests.

April 16, 2018

Negative Test Cases

In QA testing, Negative Tests are used to make sure the application behaves when actions are performed outside of expectations.


An example would be to enter Unicode characters in a phone field. Sure you may test for alphanumeric values - but what if someone accidentally typed in a Unicode value?

Negative Tests are a good way to see how solid the code is written. Did the developer think of all the edge cases? An example did the Developer account for not allowing a single space in a required field (users do this so they don't have to put in information - such as phone numbers.)

Thoughts About Negative Test Cases

In your Test Case Repository, you should have a lot more Positive Test Cases than Negative test cases. You should be testing more than a positive outcome will happen than negative ones.

When testing a new product, you should have more Negative Test Cases than Positive ones. QA should be making sure that there are no bad surprises when the product is launched.

You won't account for all the scenarios but can learn a lot from past projects and the way that certain developers write the code.

Most companies have done a very poor job of identifying and documenting negative test scenarios.

A good source of Negative testing data is the Bug Magnet browser extension.

April 9, 2018

Happy Path Testing

Happy Path defines the success of every QA test - the user should be able to run through the functionality without having to encounter any errors.

Wikipedia Quote

Defining the Happy Path

The QA Project lead should start out building out a test plan that defines the happy path. While the path may seem obvious - it does help identify risk area.

Only One Happy Path?

Some QA Experts will say that there•s only one Happy Path in a project. I•ll argue that many paths may exist, for example in eCommerce you may have a Happy Path for existing customers and one for new customer.

Real World Example

A good real-world example of a happy path is going to the grocery store and getting everything on your shopping list.

Can you think of ways that a Happy Path would not be accomplished?

Some things that could cause an unsuccessful Happy Path

  • Store isn't open
  • Department is closed (Deli or Bakery is closed)
  • Product isn't available
  • Product is hard to find or not reachable
  • Shopping is taking too long
  • Checkout can't accept Credit Card transactions

Figuring out all the possibilities that could prevent someone from having a Happy Path is a good way to build test cases.

When starting out testing a new product, QA brainstorm ways that could prevent users from successfully completing their tasks.

Release Day

On release day, all new products should have a successful Happy Path.

April 2, 2018

BrowserStack Screenshot

When working with the product team, it's helpful to share how a particular site looks in different browsers. Getting a screenshot can help confirm or raise display issues that may be unique to a certain browser configuration.

Browserstack Screenshot

That's when Browserstack Screenshot comes in handy for QA.

Website Screenshot

Browserstack's Screenshot website is a useful tool to create screenshots of websites on different platforms. You simply enter the URL and in minutes see what the site looks like in 30 different possible settings.

There are plenty of browser configuration to choose from - 11000+ browser combinations. However, you can only select 25 browser combinations at a time. (Seriously why would you need more than 25?)

When you first arrive at the site, your automatically selected the most popular browser configuration available. So, in most cases, you simply put in a URL and then go.

After the images have been completed, You can download the collection and attach it to a Jira Issue. The filenames have the OS, Browser Version, example: macelc_firefox_45.0.jpg

Technical Notes

This is useful for non-login testing, basically to make sure the general site loads.

You can't configure if you want an only the visible part of the page or the full page. In my test, the page size was 1024 - 9819.

The Local Testing functionality works really well, you simply run a small program that you download from their site. Then browse around like normal.

March 26, 2018

QA Meme Pictures update

There's still no good graphics library for QA. It would be great if there was a library go to find that perfect image.

I have about 200 files in my Evernote Graphic library. I thought I start sharing some of the graphics that I use.

New this week are six graphics that I created/found for Quality Assurance. These images help add a bit humor when things get a little stressful.

This is a sample of some of the graphics that I added to the collection.

Release is Delay

Release Delay

If QA finds an issue, it's good to let the team know that there's going to be a delay.

Release Deployment

Release Deployment

When Release Management has been quiet about the release. Wake them up with the Adele Meme.

Ship It and Revert

Ship It Revert

When the release deployment just didn't go as planned. It is time to roll back and try again.

Checkout the QA Graphic Library

Checkout the complete graphic collection over at my QA Graphic Library. Many of the MEME images came from the Imgflip.

If there are any images that you would like to see added, let me know. I'll added it to the collection.

March 19, 2018

5 Ways To Win At Mobile Application Testing

Mobile Application Testing

Mobile application market is extending incessantly and broadly these days.

World's most outstanding geeks are appeasing the hunger of the most dedicated IT mobs by supplying them with latest and super-sophisticated mobile apps. For roughly a half of these "helluva creations" prove to be totally lame, a hypothetical mobile apps validity center has been running a testing procedure targeted at selecting the coolest apps among the usual "wannabees" and giving the former the green light to remain winners in the mobile market.

Application Testing is a rigid and meticulous process requiring high functionality and usability of an app. In order to pass it, app developers should be familiar with some tricks and useful suggestions on how to hit the score at the testing. Before we tackle the guidelines of a successful app testing completion, let's plunge into the proper understanding of the paramount challenges mobile application testing has. The most common challenges are:

1. Device fragmentation

Apps are normally used on various gadgets and platforms like iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc. This is called device fragmentation that is a little burdening for developers as they have to always disperse their work and attention to check if the app functions properly on each device and platform. Furthermore, different operating systems contain their own peculiar features and principles which makes it hard to manage them.

2. Availability of testing tools

Testing apps in-house bring a severe headache due to the lack or total absence of necessary tools. Moreover, if there's a multi-device app tested, the whole testing process gets even more complicated as businesses have to deal with the requirements of assessing the app on different devices and platforms.

3. Application lifecycle testing

The methods mobile application testing uses need frequent upgrades of an app as consecutive updates make developer follow compatibility. This makes mobile app testing even more complicated and hard to comply with.

To perform greatly at mobile application testing, you need to comply with a strategy consisting of important steps and techniques ensuring your success at the assessment procedure.

The leading strategy of winning at mobile app testing

  • Device selection

    Establishing the ways of testing an app is the primary step you should take to begin testing. The most important testing method you have to choose is directly related to the market so you had better be precise and thorough. There is one crucial choice two you have to make in order to complete testing successfully: select the device. Experts suggest regarding the following factors to make the right choice:

    • Test your app on all credulous OS versions;
    • Try a customized screen version to assess by size and resolution;
    • Providing your app is compatible with with tabs and smartphones, test it for form peculiarities.

    It's not the full directory of the factors you need to take into account when selecting the device, these are only the major ones. You can also consider connectivity option, memory size, etc.

  • Genuine devices and emulators

    To reduce the chance of failing the test, you can choose whether you want to use physical devices or emulators. The latter is advisable in the initial development stages since emulators are really good at providing quick testing. Moreover, they are cost-effective. However, the perks of using emulators shouldn't prevent you from utilizing the physical device, too as it's an inherent component of having a full comprehension of the app performance in a real-life dimension. All in all, the most accurate and effective results can be obtained from so-called hybrid testing, meaning it's best to use both emulators and physical devices.

  • Cloud testing

    Using the cloud to test an app facilitates the testing process and enables you to draw more precise conclusions about the app performance. It creates a web-based environment, allows you to manage your app in various ways, and provides instant access to different mobile devices. Cloud testing also cuts project costs and increases ROI.

  • Network connectivity

    This factor is highly important as the functionality of most mobile apps depends on it. It's strongly recommended to test application within a network to have a proper understanding of how an app functions. You get numerous tools for network simulation to test your app for speed, connection failures, etc. One of the critical factors determining the success of an app at testing is being consistent in various networks.

  • Performance testing

    App scalability and performance are its key characteristics. If an app has a great storage capacity at reasonable prices, the chance of enticing more customers rapidly grows. Users tend to store many programs relevant to your app which may slow down its performance. This testing has to consider all the possible aspects connected with these programs as well as their range.

Bottom line

Passing Mobile App Testing will make your app stand out amid other applications and win over them. Once you follow these key guidelines, your app will end up with unprecedented success and popularity among today's capricious users that are very hard to please.

Short bio

Helen Morrice is a copywriter and content developer at IDAP Group, an app development company having its headquarters in Kyiv, Ukraine. She is a talented and promising writer keen on of delivering valuable and unique content. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter

Helen Morrice

March 12, 2018

Browser Extensions for QA

Browser Extensions are a great way to enhance the browsing experience. It’s a good way to get a lot more out of the browsers.

There are plenty of great Extensions that can help QA test websites. However, don’t be greedy and install too many extensions. It can slow down your browser experience and give you false testing results!

Browser Extensions

Awesome Screenshot: Screen Video Recorder

Screencast, record screen as the video. Screen capture for a full page, annotate, blur sensitive info, and share with one-click uploads.

A fast way to get a screenshot of the current page. You can even add all the popular annotations after the screenshot. The nice thing is that the capture is in a different tab, so you can keep testing and then go back and make any comments.


Bug Magnet

Right-click context menu to help with exploratory testing

Bug Magnet helps validate user-entered data. Make sure that the field supports all Unicode, Email and Phone standards. All the different text combinations are available with a simple right click.


Tag Assistant (by Google)

Tag Assistant helps to troubleshoot installation of various Google tags including Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and more.

This is a great way to see what tags are installed on a page. Useful if your debugging Google Tag Manager and want to make sure that it’s enabled.


Window Resizer

Resize the browser window to emulate various screen resolutions.

This is a fast way to make sure the browser is set to the correct dimensions. In addition, you can use the command Alt-Shit-T to display the current browser size. Very useful when you're debugging a layout issue with a particular resolution.


Form Filler

This extension allows you to fill all form inputs (textboxes, textareas, radio buttons, dropdowns, etc.) with **random/dummy** data.

The purpose of this extension is to help developers test their forms quickly and easily.


Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts for Extensions and Apps

Did you know that you can set keyboard extensions for Extensions? This is a great way to quickly access Extensions that you use all the time. Especially during regression test cycles.

If you go to chrome://extensions and click on the Keyboard Shortcuts in the bottom right of the page.

Now you can set your own shortcuts when you need them. This makes it really easy to access your extensions when your testing websites. This is also handy when you have Extensions hidden in the Chrome menu.

For example, you can set a shortcut to open the Tag Assistant - making it easy to validate the tags when you need to. You may have this hidden because it’s not an action that you may need to do in every test.

March 5, 2018

Google Testing Blog

Google Testing Blog is a great resource to the latest 'hot' trends in QA testing. You get a perspective on what technology/process is working at Google.

I would recommend at visiting the blog and at the very least, click on the "Subscribe by Email" to get the latest post emailed to you. The good news is that they don't post every day - so your email box won't blow up.

The emails/post that is posted contain a lot of very useful information that may help your organization test more effectively.


You'll Learn Something New

You can certainly learn a lot from one of the most innovated organizations in the world. Just some of the things I learned:

  • Strategies on applying comments in the code, especially in automation. There is such thing as ineffective comments.
  • How the size of test cases can make a difference on how effective it can be.
  • Building Test Infrastructure that produce real results.
  • Speed is key in creating the best testing tools and to win at Continuous Integration. If it takes a long time for a test - "There’s a tremendous difference in hackability if it takes 5 seconds to build and test versus one minute, or even 20 minutes, to build and test."

Eleven Years and Counting

The Official Google Testing Blog has been running now for 11 years. They have about 100 to 200 views per month. They are a good resource for tips/tricks to the technical/business side of testing.

February 26, 2018

Opera and Maxthon

Having a second dedicated browser for production testing a web app is a good idea.

You can configure bookmarks and predefined cookies set up to easily test production functionality. So if someone complained about a bug you can quickly test it in production and not have to worry about logins or cookies from my dev environment testing.

I use Chrome and Firefox for all my development testing. Having multiple browsers doesn't slow down the system or use up disk space. The only problem that I have encountered is remembering keyboard shortcuts.

Chrome Leads the Browser Field

Chrome is the most popular browser used by consumers. It would make sense that a dedicated production-only browser is based on the same underlying platform.

Chrome uses blink as it's web browser engine.

There are two good browser options that use Blink - Maxthon, and Opera. Both of these are excellent choices for testing production as if your using Chome.

Blink Browser


Maxthon Cloud Browser is built on the Blink platform andhas over 670,000,000 users world-wide.

Main Features of Maxthon for QA:

  • Ad Blocker
  • MaxNote - Get away from standard bookmarks
  • UUMail - Create numerous "Shadow mailboxes" for testing
  • Snap Region - Screenshot in the toolbar


Opera Browser is built on the Blink platform and has over 350,000,000 consumers.

Main Features of Opera for QA:

  • Snapshot icon in the sidebar, making it easy to capture bugs and issues
  • Dev Tools - Works like Chrome
  • AppleScript Support - Create AppleScripts that interact with the Opera Browser. Great AppleScript Support!
  • Extensions - Lots of enhancements to make Opera work for you, including support for Awesome Screenshot and Evernote Clipper

The Better Browser?

You'll have to decide which browser works best for your testing.

February 19, 2018

Chrome Window Resizer

Chrome's Window Resizer gives you more control of your Chrome Browser

Window Resizer is a great tool to test a website functionality in various browser widths. Basically to test a website responsive design.

Widow Resizer also has the ability to show the current browser size - via a hotkey. This makes it easier for QA to identify a problem on the page using a particular resolution.

Window Resizer Extension

Developer Description

This extension re-sizes the browser's window in order to emulate various resolutions. It is particularly useful for web designers and developers by helping them test their layouts on different browser resolutions.

The resolutions list is completely customizable (add/delete/re-order). You can set the window's width/height, window's position, preset icon (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop) and even the option to apply the new dimensions to the entire window or just to the viewport.

Tips and Tricks

Various things I have learned using Window Resizer:

  • It's useful to change the tooltip timeout from 3000 ms to 5000 ms, that way it will stay long enough for screenshots. (You can change this under Settings -> Tooltip.)
  • In the Setting you can change the layout presets. Remove items that you never plan to use. That way it doesn't clutter the Window Resizer menu.
  • There are four very useful tooltips to remember, see the above for the most commonly used shortcuts that are worth remembering.
  • You don't need to have the Window Resizer Extention appear in the Chrome Extention viewer. Simply right click on the icon, and select 'Hide from Chrome..' and you can still access the features via tooltip.
February 12, 2018

Postmortem Document

Part of the responsibilities of the Quality Assurance team is to find out why things go bad. This is typically done after the project gets deployed into production - otherwise known as a Project Postmortem.

The goal of a Postmortem isn't to blame people or processes. The goal is to highlight the issues and then come up with suggestions to fix the problem so it doesn't happen again.

The postmortem shouldn't just benefit the team working on the project, the data gathered should be shared so future projects can learn from past mistakes.

Bad Release Book
Download the One Page Cheat Sheet.

Postmortem Document

A few years ago, I put together a reference document as a guideline for a typical Postmortem. This is useful in starting the conversation and get some fresh ideas flowing.

Download the PDF version of the document and feel free to use it for your next Postmortem.

Some Postmortem Tips

I find it more practical to send out the document to the individual team members a few days before the meeting so they can have some time to think about the issues and come up with viable solutions.

Schedule the meeting at least a week after the incident. If you wait too long some issues might get overlooked. This issues may come back to haunt another deployment.

Remember: Stay on track with the conversation - it's very easy to get side track. Use the "Parking Lot" to shelf ideas that are off topic.

February 5, 2018

SQL Mate

Part of any QA's job is documenting tests in a test case repository system. The goal of a test case repository is to have a central location of test cases that are run during Smoke Test / Regression and other test cycles.

TestLink is Very Popular

TestLink is one of the most popular Test Case Repository that some startup use. Startup teams like TestLink, primary because the application is opensource and is pretty easy to install. Commercial Test Case Repository systems can be expensive for a startup to justify the cost.

It does take a while to understand how to use TestLink. ## How Old ##

Keep the Test Fresh

A test repository is only as good as the test cases. If QA isn't maintaining test cases, then the test case repository system isn't useful. It's very important to keep the test case repository fresh.

At times, this can be very time to consume and overwhelming because of the amount of backlog. Using the TestLink data entry editor can be very confusing. Management may not be open to switching to a different solution.

Welcome SQL Mate

SQL Mate is a new service that hopes to fix the data entry gap. They provide a simple interface to design test cases and then import the XML into TestLink. The good thing is that it will look like the test cases were designed right in TestLink.

SQL Mate puts the power of Markup Language into test case design. Allowing QA to focus more on the test case and not on the layout.

SQL Mate is still in beta, so if you want to get on the ground floor, this is the time. They haven't announced any pricing, but I am sure that beta users would get a discount - plus you'll be testing out their service and providing feedback to make it better for your situation.

Sample Design

This is a sample Test Case entry to verify that Google Calculator correctly adds 2+2:

T Validate 2+2=4 in Google Calculator
!Visit the Google Calculator Page
* Using Chrome goto:

!!Validate that the page loads

! Click on the '2' key
! Click on the '+' key
! Click on the '2' key
!! Validate that '2 +2' displays in the calculator status area

! Click on the '=" key
!! Validate that the number '4' appears in the status area and that '2+2' appears above the status area align to the right.

Results in SQL Mate and in TestLink:

S Q L Mate View

January 29, 2018

QA Style Sheet

If your testing a website style, it doesn't hurt to put it through a good CSS tester for compatible issues. There's plenty of sites that are available to validate a website CSS. I have found that 'QA Style Sheet' is a good quick check on CSS compatibility.

In my test, the 'QA Style Sheet' check has done a good job finding out of date style. The nice thing about the project is that you can make a Bookmarklet so that anytime you need to check a page style, simply click on the bookmark. This is really handy when testing a page that is deep in the login process.

Q A Style Sheets

QA Style Sheet Project Description

The QA style sheet highlights specific HTML problems like use of deprecated elements, inaccessible images, layout tables, empty elements, or styling-related maintenance issues. Theoretically, it is "unobtrusive" in a sense that when everything's fine it won't cause any visible changes.

New Owner Needed

The folks over at QA Style Sheet are looking for a new owner. If you're a CSS expert and have some time to spare, it might be a good way to give back.