Hello! I'm Chamal Asela Perera.

I test code for living.

Persona Based Testing

People who involved in software quality assurance are increasingly being challenged to provide a better coverage of the tests. They are often asked to think like the end users, Be in customer’s shoe in order to deliver a high-quality product.

One of the best and interesting way to increase your product quality is to do persona based testing.

What is Persona? What is Persona based testing?

A Persona is a fictional character/user profile created to represent a user type that might use a product/or a service in a similar way.

Persona based testing is a software testing technique that puts software testers in front of customer’s mind and determines use cases/scenarios that customers will execute.

How to create personas?

There are many ways to create personas. The best way to think like the end users/or to be in the customer’s shoe is to get to know with your end users.

Below 03 questions can be asked in order to get to know with end user behavior.

  1. Customers of the product who use it as intended
  2. People who are not current customers but for who it is targeted and who will use it as intended
  3. People who are not current customers but for whom it is NOT targeted and who will NOT use it as intended

Let’s look into this by an example.

There is an application which serves the purpose of employee management. The application can be used to apply leaves/fill out appraisals and many more employee management activities. This application is also accessible to the entire company.

Let’s think of typical users who will use this kind of system.

  1. Management
  2. HR
  3. Employee

Now let’s drill down above user types further and add a few characteristics to them.

Management – Management won’t interact with the system often, But they will interact with the system to use specific functionalities. They probably use it in between meetings. Because of this management users are very impatient. They might use the quickest workflow to use complete actions. They use shortcuts, they want fast interactions.

To spice up things, Let’s add a name for our manager character, or else If you are super interested, let’s go for a theme – Superhero theme. I’m going to pick Nick Fury as my manager.

Characteristics of Nick Fury(Manager)

  • Won’t’ interact more often
  • Impatient users/Need faster responses
  • Using quickest workflow to complete action

Let’s look at some possible users for HR. Let’s assume they use the same workflow each time when they interact with the application,

  • They may focus on mostly used features
  • Complete each and every field possible
  • Be patient with slow responses

Seems good candidate for Black Widow(HR)

 

Likewise, we can go think many possible scenarios/many possible personas from different angles.

For the employee sections, Let’s think of an old user with a lesser knowledge in computers and always has trouble with the system.

That user probably;

  • Use the application really slow, takes the time to read each and every information available on the screen.
  • Using Internet Explorer 7.0 and no intentions to update it at all.
  • Maybe using zoom functionality of the browser to read out sections

Perfect candidate for Flash in Zootopia(Old employee)

 

 

 

Like this, you don’t need to maintain any limitations when creating personas.

Do not hesitate for someone like this……..

……….If your persona has characters such as;

  • Try to enter invalid data to input fields
  • Try to get error messages by doing various things
  • Going further beyond by entering SQL Injections or trying any methods to break the application.

In action

Once you are done with creating personas, then it’s time to be in end user’s shoe. Now, remember that you are no longer testing you usual test cases/test scenarios. You are executing your test cases/scenarios like Nick Fury the manager, Black Widow the HR, Flash the old employee.

You can arrange your test case/scenario document like this to make things more attractive;

TestScearoio_ChamalPerera.com

By using this kind of the way, it will not just make the whole testing interesting, it will also help to cover the real user behavior.

Note: This post was inspired from the Ministry of Testing, This is not afflicated with MOT

#HappyTesting

#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

Web Accessibility Standards – What, Why and How to Test?

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is an initiative by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The main responsibility of the WAI is to work with the global software community to develop and publish guidelines on web accessibility. In 1999 WAI published the first version of the guideline, named Web Content Accessibility Guideline ( WCAG 1.0 ).

In 2008, WAI published the WCAG 2.0, which is the latest version of the guideline. WCAG 2.0 have been widely accepted as the definitive guidelines on how to create accessible websites

WCAG 2.0

WCAG 2.0 organized under 04 main principles and 12 guidelines. Each of these guidelines has testable criteria. It basically covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these.

We need something like this because an estimated of one billion people in the world have some kind of disability. 39 million people are blind in the world and around 246 million people around the world have low vision. More importantly, it is not only for those with disabilities. A fully accessible website is designed to be flexible and responsive to all people.

WCAG 2.0 principles and guidelines

  1. Website must be perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive
    • Guideline 1.1: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language
    • Guideline 1.2: Time-based media: Provide alternatives for time-based media.
    • Guideline 1.3: Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
    • Guideline 1.4:  Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.
  2. Website must be operable  – User interface components and navigation must be operable
    • Guideline 2.1: Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
    • Guideline 2.2: Provide users enough time to read and use the content.
    • Guideline 2.3: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures
    • Guideline 2.4: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.
  3. Website must be understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
    • Guideline 3.1: Make text content readable and understandable.
    • Guideline 3.2: Make web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.
    • Guideline 3.3: Help users avoid and correct mistakes.
  4. Website must be robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
    • Guideline 4.1 – Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.
More details on the above guidelines can be found from official WCAG 2.0 – Documentation

Right, So what is for developers or testers? How to do the accessibility testing?

Let’s talk about the important part of the accessibility topic. How can you develop/ or test a WCAG-friendly website, or in another word – How can you ensure your site is not violating the WCAG 2.0 guidelines? Let’s look at a couple of tools which is available for the task.

NoCoffee

NoCoffee is an extension for Google Chrome, It acts as a visual emulator and helps you to understand how visually impaired users can view the web pages.

Chamal_Perera_Blog_NoCoffee_Image

Nocoffee visual emulator in action: [This is how retinopathy patient view your web page]

Google Accessibility tools

Another handy/straightforward Chrome extension from Google. The extension will add an Audit section ( Accessibility Audit ) in the elements tab to the Chrome Developer tool.  Audit result will appear as a list of rules which are violated by the respective page

Chama_Perera_Blog:ol Google Accessibility to

Google Accessibility Tool – In action

Google Accessibility Tool

Google Accessibility Tool – Results


aXE

axeDemo_Chamal_Perera_blog

aXe in action

aXe is again an extension for Google Chrome. It’s pretty easy to use and analyze your web application. You need to go to the Chrome developer tools section once you installed the extension and there you can initiate your session. One of the advantage in aXe is that you can navigate to the exact point in your source code where it violated the WCAG standard and fix it from right there.

Wave

Wave has been there for a quite a long period of time. Wave can be used to test any public URL and not like the other tools, it gives the result on a side panel, which is easy to analyze. Wave also has an extension for Google Chrome and Firefox.

Wave-Chamal Perera Blog

Wave in action

Developers can use these tools to make sure the site they develop doesn’t violate any WCAG rules. Testers can use these tools to find out the accessibility violations.

Advantages of following accessible guideline

Other than not involving in potential lawsuits, there are proven cases studies which indicated improving accessibility could increase sales. CNET received 30% off boost in their traffic after implementing a simple change in their videos. All they did was to add a transcript to their videos. More the people that have access to the website, more the reach.

Everyone should consider about the web accessibility, not because you had to follow the guidelines. Becuase it is the only way to ensure that disabled users have the same experience that other users have. Truth to be spoken, web accessibility is likely not something we’ve spend much time unless we had to. But now we have required tools/ ways to do, So let’s make the web accessible for everyone.

Microsoft Visual Studio emulator – Best in the business ?

Visual Studio emulator for Android is a great tool for debugging/deploy Android applications in the windows environment. For me personally, this is a much more convenient android emulator comparing with the Google’s own AVD emulators. Microsoft Visual Studio emulator for android uses the Hyper-V capabilities of the host computer, resulting in a faster launch. So it’s like, No more staring endlessly at the Android boot logo.

Requirements

  1. First thing, Your computer/development environment must meet the requirements to run Hyper-V
  2. 6GB or more of RAM

More details on the requirements is here

You can download the installer file from here

Features/Advantages

  • Apart from the speed, Microsoft Visual Studio emulator for Android supports a wide range of device profiles, Including devices from Samsung, Motorola, Sony, LG, and more.
Different device profiles

Different device profiles

  • You can install the APK files by using drag-and-drop method to the emulator screen. It also connects to the ADB, so development tools can target this.
  • Powerful simulations – You can try using the camera/map on the emulator
Additional tools available in the simulator

Additional tools available in the simulator

Problems you may face ( . . . or problems I’ve faced )

  • Unable to access the Wi-Fi or mobile data – Probably the most annoying ever I’ve encountered, Basically you can’t access any network/internet services from your emulator.

Solution ( . . . or the solution worked for me )

  1. Disable any virtual Ethernet adapters that aren’t being used.
  2. Go to Hyper-V manager & set the Emulator Internal Network Adapter’s Virtual switch to Windows Phone Emulator Internal Switch.
  3. Run the visual studio emulator on administrative mood.

Some more common problems occurred in the emulator can be found here.

Some more useful tips here

Ultimately this is by far the best simulator I’ve used for the mobile automation activities, especially after a couple of bad experiences with the native android simulators. So easily recommended!

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!

Pair Testing for Mobile Projects

Recently when I was researching to find an effective way to do pair testing with developers, this little hidden feature in QuickTime grabbed my attention. Pair testing is little bit difficult for mobile projects – especially when you are working with an on-site team.

This particular feature on QuickTime will enable to demonstrate your mobile screen to anyone. It may come in handy If you want to demo a feature / explain a bug to a developer.

This how you can do this!

Requirements

  • iPhone / iPad running on iOS 8 with lightning cable
  • Mac running on OS X 10.10 – Yosemite

How to record screen

  1. Connect the device to Mac via USB.
  2. Open QuickTime Player on Mac
  3. Select File -> New Movie Recording
  4. By default QuickTime will select the face-camera. Click on the arrow alongside the record button to select the device
  5. Click on the record button & you are done!

If you can share your screen via any good screen share service, Developer would be able to see the stuffs you are doing on your device screen and that would make everyone’s life more easier.

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!