2019 – Review

Retrospective of the amazing 2019

Last few days of the year, In fact, this is the last few days of this decade. In about 05 days we will be heading to a new decade – 2020! In a retrospective of the last decade, It was quite an interesting one. Definitely a roller coaster ride.

Completing high school, Starting the professional life, switching different workplaces, falling love and getting married, Starting new hobbies, Getting healthier, Lifestyle changes, Forming some life long habits are certainly a few highlights of this amazing decade.

The last year of 2019 was also superb! Incredible year in terms of personal victories and achievements.

2019 started with getting an award from my workplace, 99X Technology. It was runner- up award for Technology Leadership.

Runner-Up – Technology Leadership 2018

The next highlight for the year for me is definitely the progression of the Toastmaster journey. I joined Toastmasters in September 2018. I was the runner-up in Humors speech competition in that season. But I was not able to proceed beyond the Area level competition in 2018. However, I was able to go beyond Humors competition in 2019 representing Area J4. I won the title in Area competition and represented the Area at Division stage. That experience was really amazing – certainly a post-worthy experience.

Division Contest
Toastmasters Division Conference

One of the best things that I have tried out this year was moving to Audible. Handling all the physical books was getting out of hand and it was really hard to find time to sit and read a book peacefully. Audible gives me a perfect solution. Thanks to Audible majority of my traveling time are now utilized to read (listen) to books!

2019 as a year was a good one. Most goals were met – some goals were not completed. Some KPI achieved, some were not. Some plans were executed as expected and some were not. That is how life is, we can’t predict everything as we expect!

New year will always give a new ray of hope. Plan what you want to achieve and work for it.

I wish all of you a wonderful and successful new year!

[Webinar] Become a Business + Quality Enabler

I was featured in a webinar where me and my work colleague talked about how being a business and quality enabler.

I had a chance to be a part in a Quality Engineering webinar hosted by 99X Technology along with one of my work colleague, Tharindra Jayamaha – Associate QA Architect at 99X Technology. 

First, we talked about the common misconception about the quality assurance. Many people think that quality assurance is just the testing. We explained that there are more things to the quality assurance that the testing. Then we talked about how quality assurance professionals can think differently to deliver a high quality product. There we talked about using journey maps and Personas.

We also talked about important of understanding the users. Tools that qa professionals can use to identify / understand the users. Finally we explained the importance of being a quality + business enabler to your project.

Then we had a QnA session. We received lots of questions and hopefully we were able to answer every one of those questions. 

Here is a recorded video link for the webinar

05 Things that should not be on your CV

Top 05 things that you should not be on your CV

After considering a fair amount of CVs, It comes to my attention that most numbers of CVs received are not up to the minimum standards. It does not contain information that the company/ or hiring person wants to know. So let’s talk about how not to write a CV

Curriculum Vitae is the first document which interviewer sees about the interviewee. In order to make a good first impression CV needs to be in the good standard.

1. Highlighting unnecessary information

It is really cool if you have won the best school actor award in 2006. It might really count if you are applying for a position in the similar industry, but I’m afraid it won’t add a weight in IT field.

This doesn’t mean that you should completely omit your achievements from your CV, but make sure to add only necessary and most suitable extra-curricular activities to your CV.

2. Stating oblivious/basic skills

It is not 1998 anymore, so stating the competency in Windows operating systems or Office packages would not make any sense to anyone.

3. Spelling mistakes

This probably might be the easiest thing to fix but the most ignorant thing done by a majority of people. Especially If you are applying for a position in Quality Assurance track, you should double-triple check your CV for mistakes (If not someone else will find it for you 😉

So always, ALWAYS do a proof read! You can easily do it by any word processing package.

4. Stating ‘not-so-related’ professional skills

You might have finished your ACCA (Accounting) or Marketing foundation level examinations or you may have done a course in quantity surveying in a reputed institute, but all of the above are completely unrelated to the applied position.

The bad side of having this on your CV is that person who is reading your CV might thing that you don’t have a defined career goal/career path or the understanding in IT and that may result in not short listing the CV for next round.

5. Competency Level

All above are very primitive and basic things, which can make a difference in the CV. It doesn’t take much effort/time to change the CV to support.

…….. and a Bonus point

Try to save CV by your name / or the position you’ve applied in PDF format rather sending it cv.pdf / cv1.pdf

Chamal.Perera.PDF or Chamal_Perera_QA_Engieer.pdf

Some job requirements expect you to send the CV in a certain format, If so please follow the given format.

Above 05 points will be helpful for you to make your CV shine from rest!!

#FloodSL – How you can help

[Last Update 29/05/2017: 01:00 P.M]

Sri Lanka is currently facing the southwest monsoon and with the monsoon, like in the last year, there are flooding and displacement. As of now the number of deaths increases to 164 while 104 persons missing. Extreme weather forecasted to continue over next couple of hours/days as well, so the numbers may rise.

This year also there are some wonderful organizations/people get together for flood relief. Some techies also help them from what they can, Here is a consolidated list of the solution/options we have right now. I will update the list whenever I get more information

2017 Flood Crisis Map

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1lMTSXqIUwgT8LCfeRdTqzDKob1Q&ll=6.470581407199456%2C80.58815789397192&z=9

This is done/maintained by Ganindu Nanayakkara. You can contact him & help him with updating the data.

Relief Support

http://reliefsupports.org 

 

This is a community-driven Open Source project to support relief support activities conducted by volunteers. This project was originally created to support flood relief activities in Sri Lanka in May 2017.

So If you are a developer, You can contribute to this project on GitHub

If you see any errors on the website or If you come across in any features which you like to include on the website, You can put them here

Disaster Management Centre

There are many ways you can help to DMC. Follow DMC_lk on Twitter for more details

PickMe Support

If you or someone you know is affected by the floods and needs urgent attention, you can seek PickMe’s help. All you need to do is open up the app, select the relevant location and click on the SOS icon. This will allow PickMe to receive your request and will be forwarded to the Disaster Management Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Credit Sharing from Mobile Networks

Dialog offers a free Rs.100 reload to those in the affected areas of Ratnapura, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Dehiowita, Yatiyantota, Ruwanwella, Kolonnawa, Biyagama, Kelaniya, Kaduwela, Hanwella, Dompe and Padukka. Airtel is also offering free calls and SMS facilities to the people in the above-affected areas.

Mobitel has increased credit limit for postpaid connections by 50%, with prepaid connections getting free Rs.100 talk time and Rs.50 in credit limit(prepaid). Additionally, Hutch has provided free Rs.25 credit as well.

AirTel is extending free calls and SMS facilities for the people in the 5 flood affected districts to reach out for help

 

 

Online Donations: RedCross

http://www.redcross.lk/online-donations/ 

#FloodSL Tweet

All the latest tweets about flood situation can be found from the #FloodSL hashtag.


Featured Image Photo Credits: The Guardian – Credits to all the posts owners

Let’s make Sri Lanka Cricket great again!

Sri Lanka lost another home series. This time for Australia

Sri Lanka lost the ODI series to South Africa

Sri Lanka lost the second test match to Bangladesh

Sri Lanka lost the first ODI match to Bangladesh by 90 runs

Different opponents, different venues and the same result. It has been a very arduous time for being a Sri Lankan cricket fan. But getting thrashed by a minnow ( Pardon! This word should not be used against Bangladesh anymore ) is not acceptable and mind you, this is Sri Lanka’s sixth straight loss in ODI cricket after following the whitewash in South Africa. So certainly there is something wrong with our setup.

Sloppy in the field

Everyone will agree with the fact that Pakistan team could be the worst fielding unit in the world by a distance. When Sri Lanka won the world cup in 1996, they were one of the best fielding units in the world. Upul Chandana, Roshan Mahanama lead the fielding unit. However, Sri Lanka team at the present is the worst not-the-best fielding unit. Even in the last night, we dropped a catch of the centurion.

No match winners

To be honest, I don’t think we have a genuine match winner apart from Angelo Mathews. Now he is injured, we don’t have that option as well. Yes, We have seen a couple of excellent performances by individuals. Thirimanne, Chandimal, Kusal Janith, Asela Gunaratne all are good performers and no doubt about their talents, but they failed when it comes to delivering continuously.

Post Sanga – Mahela era / Transition period

Sanga and Mahela were great ambassadors for Sri Lankan cricket for a long period of time. But we are forever in the transition period since their retirement. Individuals who have been identified as the replacements for Sanga and Mahela are failing continuously.

As Chandimal said in the post match conference, Sri Lanka can’t continue to use ‘Transition’ as an excuse for poor performance.

Wrong selections?

Honestly, I don’t think we are selecting our best players to the squad and the match. We have tried so many different players across all formats since 2015 and found only very few successful candidates.

Another point related to this could be that we don’t have specialist players for the different formats ( I’m quite not sure where we can put Thisara Perera, specialized pinch hitter may be? ), There are certain players who can play better T20 cricket than Test or ODI. But we tend to pick same team/ same set of players for all formats. The only exception was the last Australian tour, we picked ideal T20 players for the series and result was in our favor.

Politics / Domestic structure & First class cricket

This has been another hot topic for a very long time and nobody has a genuine plan / or solution for this. It’s no secret that the gap between first class cricket and test cricket is massive. Former captain Mahela had given a proposal for a domestic structure and apparently, it’s not gonna happen in this lifetime.

On top of all these problems, Sri Lanka is now facing a danger of not qualifying to 2019 cricket world cup. So we have a problem!

We all love cricket as a nation! We all are passionate about the cricket! We understand that this is a game, We can accept defeats, but with a fight!

So humble request to everyone, including Sri Lanka cricket board, selection panel, anyone who can make a difference – Let’s unite and Let’s make Sri Lanka cricket great again!

Windows Update Cannot Check For Updates ?

Rather quick post about a problem which I’ve encountered recently when I tried to set up a test environment of Windows 7 machine, I wanted to have a test machine with the latest windows updates. Each time I tried to update the test machine, I couldn’t go beyond the below screen, which was very annoying, considering the time I tried to do this task.

Google suggested few alternative ways to overcome the issue ( like restarting the windows update service from command prompt ) but sadly none of them were working form me.

Finally when I tried to give up updating my test machine, noticed a solution posted on a thread which actually worked for me. Here’s what you actually need to do If you ever encounter such a problem.

  1. Goto start > type services.msc
  2. Scroll down to find Windows Update service
  3. make sure Windows Update service is stopped, else right click and stop it
  4. Go to C:WindowsSoftwareDistribution and delete all files in it
  5. Come back to services.msc and start Windows Updateservice

 

Here’s the link to the original post 

Working with a Mac OS – 1

For the last couple of days I had the luxury to work with Mac devices, which was bit tedious at first. However just like the other cases, It gets quite interesting once you know more about Mac OSs. Here in this blog post, I would like to share few tips which could helpful for anyone who are about to start working on Mac OSs.

Note – I’m using Yosemite OS and Mavericks OS to perform all these tasks.

Taking a screenshot

This is not Windows OS. So obviously, ALT + Print Screen combination won’t work, In fact there are no Print Screen button available in Mac keyboards. But Mac keyboard has a unique key just as in Windows keyboards, that is Command key – with a symbol of bowan knot, which can be use to take screenshots.

In order to take a screenshot,

  1. Press Command Key + Shift Key + 3 ( Number 3 on the keyboard ) at once.

Screenshot will be saved to desktop automatically.

  • Taking a screenshot on a specific place.

As a testers, Most of times we need to take a screenshot of certain places on the screen. ( Example is where UI elements are not properly aligned on a web page )  You can achieve that task by following below method,

  1. Press Command Key + Shift Key + 4 ( Number 4 on the keyboard ) at once.
  2. You’ll see that the mouse pointer turns to icon which looks like a ‘target’. 
  3. Take the mouse pointer to the specific place where you want to get the screenshot.
  4. Just like using the crop functionality in Windows- Paint, crop the area  you wanted to take.

Cropped area will be saved to desktop automatically.

Access denied – Call ‘chmod’, May be ?

Have you ever experienced a message saying politely that you have no privileges to perform an action? I am pretty much sure that all of you may have that experience. Like for an example, suddenly your DB server stopped you have to restart the server to continue your work, but the remote user which you are using has not the right access which Oracle ( DB user ) has ( Yes, We had faced a related situation recently! )

Since we are dealing with servers & most servers are Linux based machines, we need to figure a way to handle permission related things on Linux. So then our speaker, ‘chmod’ comes to action.

There are few things you needed to know before you proceed,

  • r – Read permission
  • w – Write permission
  • x – Execute permission
  • + – Adding permission
  •  – – Revoking permission

So let’s  say you want to give the permission to everyone to access this file, Here is the way to do ,

You can check the revised access permission by simply type,

ls -la <file_name>
In this case, It should be,  ls -la test1

Likewise you can revoke access permission by following below command,
 chmod u-rx <file_name>