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!

Why Sri Lanka needs a good talk show ?

The talk show is a popular television programming concept in the modern era. Mainly one who does TV shows discusses various topics, from politics to gossips to sports. It is also a part of a reality TV concept. This concept has gained a major attraction in the western world, in many cases; the shows have made their
hosts famous. Ellen Degeneres, Jimmy Fallon are classic examples for this.

But, how this is going to fit into the Sri Lanka? Do we have a need for this?

Truth to be spoken, We don’t have a great television crowd as US/UK (or even India) have. Our television crowd used to watch a news program (on a preferred TV channel according to their political taste, of course!) and watch a couple of teledramas (more likely some dubbed Indian soap operas or Sri Lankan ‘mega teledrama’ influenced by Indian soap operas) and go to sleep. On a special day, they may watch a special program/ or a special movie (31st-night program on televisions/ or 31st-night movies).

So, is there a chance to break into this routine? From what I believe, Answer would be yes. Even though people stick into the above-mentioned routine, Most of them are not satisfied on what they watched (or rather forced to watch).

If someone breaks this box, most certainly people will love and follow that trend. Sirasa Super Star / Derana Dell Studio / Sri Lankan “Mega Teledramas” are good examples for this.

When Sirasa launched Sirasa Super Star, they didn’t have a very good start. In fact, It started as another typical program with an average attraction. But after a point, it had gained the attraction. People started to enjoy the performances of the contesters, Critical comments by the judge board. Program slowly picked the game changing flavors.

Derana Dell Studio is also not your average musical program. It is about adding a new value to the existing musical arrangements. Totally new concept to Sri Lanka, People liked that concept – they love the color of the program. If I’m not mistaken, the program was aired at 9.30p.m, but then Derana decided to move it to the 10.30 p.m. slot. But that didn’t affect the program. People still liked it and still watched it.

Unfortunately, nothing good to talk about Sri Lankan mega teledramas, but whether we like it or not, it is also a part in day-to-day Sri Lankan life. Initially, this has started as an alternative to the Indian soap operas (Sinhala dubbed Indian mega dramas). There was a time when TV channels dedicated their most popular time slots (8-10p.m) to Indian dramas. This affected the local television drama industry. So local directors/producers decided to create the same concept in Sri Lankan flavor. But unfortunately, the alternative has made the situation worse. Now we barely see a good local tele drama. But whether we like it or not, this trend has made a huge impact in local television culture.

So, What I was trying to imply is that, if there is a will to make a change, we always have the vacant slot. Coming to the topic, If someone makes a good TV talk show, It would most definitely a hit program. What should be the structure of the talk show? What are the topics to talk about the talk show?

As Simon Frodo said, Human is a political animal. Whether we like it or not, we need to talk about politics/ We love to talk/listen about politics. Not necessarily about crossovers/ corruption charges against previous governments etc, But about how politics/politicians effect in general life.

On another hand, We may never run out of topics to talk. We are life in a country with full of controversial things. Look around, you may find zillion numbers of topics to talk.

So Who is going to host? What would be the most appropriate time?

Hosts on a TV talk show play a vital role. As I mentioned, in most popular cases this program makes hosts more popular. So the selected host should definitely be a talented individual, who has a sound knowledge of current affairs. He/she should have the sense of humor, which is also another vital factor to keep the momentum of the program.

If I have to suggest a person, I would suggest Chathura Alwis, Kamal Addaraarachchi for this
position. For the time slot, It definitely has to be on a weekend. Any time slot around 7-9 would be good.

Now all of above are my imaginations, I don’t know whether anyone ever going to implement this or not. But I would be thrilled to see the above in action in Sri Lanka!

…. And I need to sleep right now!


Colombo Performance Test Meetup – April

It’s Meetup season again and I was privileged to do a session on Performance Testing in Colombo Performance Test meetup organized by the PerfTest Initiative of 99X Technology. It was collaborative session conducted by me and Nipuna Madusanka, a fellow Xian.

Chamal's Blog_PerfTest Meetup

What we talked…

Since we wanted to do something different for the meetup, (Other than the generic topics that we usually see in meetups), We thought of doing something about continuous integration (CI). CI is not a new topic, but CI integration with non-functional testing is kinda of new and cool (At least for us: D)

So after a couple of deep discussions, we decided the structure of the meetup. It was decided to have a theoretical session and a practical session. In theory session, we planned to explain the back end of a implemented solution and importance of having the CI environment.

In the practical session, we decided to use the Jenkins (a) Because everyone knows it (b) Everyone at least heard about it, Also as an additional bonus point, we decided to add Blazemeter integration part. Now, this part was something that I and Nipuna found out after a couple of research and we thought it was a really cool feature.


Apart from countless hours of rectifying the errors in the presentation, we ran into a couple of configuration issues related to Jenkins, which was not easy to fix. However, we managed to fix those by the eve of the meetup 😀

Meetup Day

It was thrilling to have a good turnaround for the meetup. There were lots of questions from the crowd, which were really interesting (That may also be an indicator that we didn’t bore the crowd )



It is absolutely thrilling to see the increasing number of performance enthusiasts in the testing arena, We’ve received lots of positive feedback on the meetup.com. Lots of people tried the things we presented at the meetup, which is again really wonderful thing to see. Thank you very much 99XT Performance Test Team for the opportunity to talk in this platform.

In case If you missed the session, Here’s the link to the presentation.

Updating Lumia 920 to Windows 10

Windows 10 – For mobile has been there for awhile now, but haven’t had a chance to get familiarize with it. Yesterday I thought to update my Lumia 920 (which runs on Windows 8.1). It’s a pretty smooth process, no
hassle.Before proceeding to the upgrade, I should tell that below steps that I’ve tried are for a Lumai 920. In general these should be the same for other windows devices. You need to take risk of updating the device ( and its consequences )

Prerequisites/Things you should know before the update

  • Download Windows Insider – We are going to update our device from an application called, Windows Insider. (It’s basically the ‘Developer Preview’ application), and these builds are not official releases by Microsoft. So there can be scenarios, where your phone might not work as it should be (bugs). So by enrolling in the Windows Insider, You are agreeing to accept these risks. This can be done by simply going to the Windows Store and
search for Windows Insider.

  • Backup the device – It is always, ALWAYS recommended to back up the phone before doing an upgrade. In case, anything goes wrong you can  easily restore the backup.
  • Windows devices recovery tool (Optional) – If you are unsatisfied about Windows 10, you have the option to rollback to Windows 8.1 (or whatever the OS you have before the upgrade). So download and install this on your computer, In case of emergency.

Right, Let’s start update

Open up the Windows
Insider app, Select Get preview builds option.
There you will get two options,
  • Insider Slow – By selecting this, you can get the most
    stable build. But this build may or may not have latest updates. Also If there
    are any problems, there are workarounds for those. This is basically a risk free option.
  • Insider Fast – From this you can get the latest release. But
    on other hand, latest release might not be the most stable one. This may have
    bugs and unexpected scenarios. Also If you found something fishy, there is
    chance you may not found a workaround for that.
In my case, I’ve selected Insider Fast. Because I like to take risks 😀

Right, You will get a screen like below depending on your selection on above step, then it will start downloading the OS. Note that your device may reboot after this step.

What you need to do is, Go back to the Phone updates & check for an update ( Settings -> Update ). Then you will see something like this.

Once you tap on the download button, you may direct to the below screen. There you can see the version number of the build that you are going to download.

Tap on download button to initiate the download button, If you have a good internet connection, then your OS will be downloaded in 10-20 minutes.

After the download, You may get a screen like below. Once you tap on Install, Phone will install OS update and
that would take around 20-30 minutes.

After that you will navigate to the data migration screen, this may also take another 20-30 minutes (all depends on
number of apps you have / amount of data on the device)Remember to do a device reboot after the data migration.
After all of this (If everything goes well) , You will have a device with Windows 10. After the installation, You have to update all of your apps ( You need to go to the new Windows 10 – Store and update the apps )

2016 Goals – As a Tester

One would argue that creating a set of goals or a set of tasks should have done before a new year. But considering other factors around me on this period, I was not able to complete this. So here’s my wish list for 2016 as QA professional.

  • ISTQB Exam – I’ve completed ISTQB foundation level examination in 2013 and I had a little plan to do the next examination, which is the advance level examination in 2015. But lack of preparation forced me to not take the hurdle. So I’ve decided that I should take advance level examination in this year, unless something important factor stops me from doing it.
  • QA Dummy – This is the latest addiction of me ( What is QA Dummy ? ), I am going to pay some serious attention to this because a) It is kinda fun thing to being an “administrator” of a web site 😀 b) I’ve invested/paid $18 to get the domain c) I seriously like the idea ( of course, that is why I’ve created this thing ). So I’ve coupled plans defined me with me and I will start executing those stuffs as time permits for next 10 months. ( PS : How QA Dummy started )
  • Pair Testing – Though I have not 100% tried this method in real work, This sounds pretty amazing ( At least from the stuffs I’ve read ), this is something I am planning to apply in real work.

Apart from that, I should keep this blog space busy ( Even though I’m writing/editing stuffs for the QA Dummy ). So hoping for a good and awesome 2016 !>

QA Dummy – Starting point

This is basically a blogging platform to enable others to contribute. This concept is widely used in global arena but not in Sri Lanka. So this is my take on to implement this in local industry.What I’ve understood from the past couple of years that, Sri Lankan QA professionals are somewhat isolated among others. Especially when comparing with the other IT professionals. They are just known/recognized as set of bunch who do some verification of the application/software, or rather a final go-to-person to give OK to a release. But If you dig bit deeper, QA department of most companies is representing 10% -20% of the revenue. But we are the least recognized, Sadly!

Also when QAs are allocated to a certain project, they are there for a long period of time. On plus side, they can master the domain and be an expert on that particular domain. But again this leads to the first step of being isolated. Nobody knows what you are doing. You don’t get the recognition for the stuffs you did.

So this idea first came to address above issue. Then when I think more about this, I’ve got several ideas and I’ve decided to write all of those ideas on a piece of paper.

So basically, I’ve 05 main ideas;

  1. Blog articles – Ideas is to be a common platform to anyone to write. May be you are a QA lead or a QA engineer or a Trainee, Designation doesn’t matter. Complexity of the article/post doesn’t matter. If you are passionate about writing about your experience then this platform will provide you the space and publish the post with given recognition/credits to you.
  2. Provide help on exams – Everyone of us would like to do / plan to do the famous ISTQB exam. But most of us are postponing that because of a) We don’t have time b) We don’t have resources c) We don’t have the motivation. So this platform will provide the necessary motivation/resources to do. Maybe we can combine all good ISTQB resources to a one place, So anyone can refer them easily without spending hours on google.
  3. Meetup coverage – Nowadays we have so many meetups. SLASSCOM quality circle is organizing some valuable meetups. But truth to be told, it’s bit difficult to find the time to attend those meetup. Sometimes we are having major release or a client call or may be a personal commitment. What If someone ( from the participant’s point of view ) can write ( or give a coverage ) about the meetup / or upload a video of the full meetup. then the people who missed the event can access it and get something from it.
  4. Create a forum – We have so many question about our job, Testing methods/ Automation opportunities ? So here, we can post our problems and we can point them to right direction/right person to answer.
  5. Expert article series – QA industry is matured, we have people over 20+ years of industry experience. We can interview them and share their experience about testing. Perhaps this will benefit to the newcomers to select the right path.

Right. So missions are defined. Then I needed a good name. I’ve got different names/ideas but finally decided to go with QA DUMMY. Of course, I was inspired by the “Dummy book series” 🙂

So with all these, I’ve sketched the basic structure. I have ( had ) a WordPress site ( http://qadummy.wordpress.com ). So rather than creating a separate web/blog site, I’ve decided to change some content of my old wordpress site to suite to new requirement.

Then came the investment part. I knew that It’s not going to work, If I go with the wordpress.com extension. So then I’ve searched for the hosting options and most of them are going to cost me around $30 – $40. After considering so many things, I’ve decided to buy the [.]com domain for a one year. ( If it is goes well, then fine – But If it is not, the also it’s fine. Simple If-else saves the life )

So when everything is done, I’ve informed my ideas to few of my immediate leads and I was received good and positive feedback. Most of them were really keen to write/contribute to this, which makes me really thrilled. Then I’ve shared this idea with my peers in my company and some selected colleagues outside the company. Good feedback from everywhere 🙂

So, My initial ideas was to run this thing for one year ( at least till [.] com domain name expires ). I will contribute to this as much as I can and I’m sure that most of my fellow QA folks will do the same. After all this is all about us 🙂


Why I became a tester ?

What do you want to be when you grow up ?

When someone asked me that question,  I always tell  I wanted to be a software tester!

No, Absolutely not! In fact, even in university I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be. I had a subject in software quality assurance in my degree, which impressed me immensely at that time. But after that when I was looking for a job, I got an opportunity from a well reputed company in the Quality Assurance track, and I grabbed that opportunity without any hesitation.

Today I am happy about the decision I’ve made on that day. I’m having a career that I love and I make lots of wonderful memories, experiences from it.

Like many other in the industry, even though I became a tester because of the opportunity I was given, now I am a software quality assurance engineer because I feel passionately about Testing. It kept me challenging everyday!