Buy from your friends

Yes – thats what I said. BUY from your friends. I say so because I saw a marked difference in the way my business grew when my friends decided to support it.

Dont limit your support to good wishes and motivational talks and FACEBOOK LIKES. Your friend is certainly a motivated person – why else would she decide to be an entrepreneur to begin with. Surely, she has a plan, a strategy , business objective and tons of self – motivation. Help her spread the word out about her work.


Something you may not know is everytime she goes to an investor , they tell her – her first few hundred customers would come from friends and family. And surely, investors are not bluffing it. They have seen the trend and they know this is how it goes. Why should your friend not get the same level of support from you that quite few  entrepreneurs around the globe are getting from their friends.

Generally, its our tendencies to expect discounts and benefits from our friends if they own the business for the products  / services we are interested in.  And its not bad. Ask for discounts from your friends. Ask them for customizations you need. Chances are they are in a better position to serve you in those ways.

Frens business

Lot of times the situation gets comparable to elections, where lot of good people don’t vote thinking either they cant make a difference or they think someone else is taking care of it for them. Instead of not doing business with your “startup” friends – for any of such reason, do it for the SIMPLE one – You want your friend to succeed and if friends around the globe are making difference in successes or not of startups , then you dont want to be on the other side of the fence wishing you should have done all you could to support her in time.

Friends Business

Word of caution : If you think the product / service is truly something that you dont see much use of – walk upto her and tell her. Help her see your perspective. This is as important for her to know.

Happy Supporting!!

Getting in the Zone.

Media Pic 2

So – my bags are packed and all done. Am all set for my travel in the morning. I am tired but not sleepy.  This is the first time I am going to Mumbai  with a purpose  – a purpose to find all the support, guidance, help and solutions I need to scale up my PoolWallet.

I have worked hard to get PoolWallet to get some attention and finally today I feel like it was all worth  (thanks to Zone Start ups for their EmpowerZone Me program)– ofcourse if there were investors to lap me up I would feel even better but I think I am moving in the right direction. I think that will happen soon too.

Looked at the mentors list – cant wait to meet each of them and learn from them and tell them how cool PoolWallet is and what all I wish to do with it and if they support me , how far I can go with it. Even the list of start-ups participating – the 14 stars (excluding me) – they seem so cool – I am so eagerly waiting to meet them all.

Incidentally, today I also heard the song – Yeh hai Bombay meri Jaan Just listening to the song made me realize, what respect this city commands…I can’t tell the number of movies I have seen where going to Bombay meant – having a goal in life, being ambitious enough to fight for it and having faith in heart that whatever I want , I will go and get it in Bombay – the city of dreams.

Tonight – I feel that emotion. I feel bold enough to take charge of my future and I want the whole universe to conspire to get me what I so desperately want.

My kids asked me – there will be so many Cine Stars in Mumbai – Are you going to meet any?  Thinking of the place’s reality, that its home to majority of our favourite actors, does make me have butterflies in my stomach too.

Do I want to meet  them all – No. Not all.

If someone influential is reading my blog – while I am in Mumbai – I would love to meet Mr. Ratan Tata (Industrialist)and Mr.Dilip Kumar (actor).  If you can make it happen for me, please help me.

Media pic

Thanks Empowerzone for seeing something in me that has been hidden until now. Thanks for all the support and kindness you have shown. Thanks for selecting me and giving me this opportunity.  It would be so wrong to not mention a few of my friends who have stood by me always and who have believed in my abilities more than me – Thanks Shikha Suman(Medimojo), Ishita Anand(BitGiving), Sairee Chahal (Seroes), Sandy Carter (IBM) , Kanika Tekriwal (JetsetGo)Geetika Dayal(TiE),  Upasana Sharma (TiE) , Rashmi Jain and Peggy Libbey.

Wanted to say thanks to few special men too – who went out of their ways to shine light on me and make me my best version – a confident one –  Mike Lyles , Keith Klain, Matt Heusser,  Akash Srivastava, James Bach, Aman Jain, Anit Jha, Priyank Sharma, Ravi Gururaj, Pankaj Jain ( My investor in future, Yes Pankaj  – someday it will happen🙂 )  and Mukund Mohan….many many more.

Please note –   its not a full list, and please dont be upset if you dont see your name in it. These are just on top  of my head.

I will sleep now and stop my rambling – have a morning flight to catch. But before I go , I want to say thanks to my family for bearing with me –special thanks to my husband and kids for understanding all the times I am not there for them because I am working. Thanks to my dad for bringing me up as he did. Want him to know I am grateful to him for all the big and small sacrifices he made to make me who I am today.

I wish I could first visit Haji Ali Dargah and Mahalaxmi temple before I went for the big day at the BSE building. But it wont be possible. However, I still feel the blessings and prayers.

See you soon Bombay!!! Thanks Empowerzone!!

Do I need UX testing?

Do I need UX testing? Yes, More than what you think. We will comeback to this question again.

When should I get UX testing started ? Much before you think you do.

How should I test UX ? First research enough to ensure you understand your context – your target user, purpose of the software, the business in which your organization is, how different are the competing products……many many approaches and methods of UI/UX testing that can be applied at different stages of product development.
Wait – so many questions and thoughts about UX – But, let me ask – what is UX? Why does it even exist?
Well, the purpose of User Experience is to provide the smoothest navigation to a user from point A to point B. And there is absolutely no standard rules to design a good UX. Like its said above, you need to research. The research will help you build context for your business/app/technology/target user/purpose – and help you understand , how to build FOR a good UX. There are multiple ways to research – you need to learn those too.

Well, coming back to the first question – Do I need UX testing? Very much. Its recommended to be added to your testing strategy.
Ketchup UX

So, once the team hands me the design document and the product then I can match the UI and do the visual testing and I should be good (Expected vs Actual). What say? 

Well, even by the standards of a zombie tester – going by mindless robotic executions, I would say – no , its not good. Testing User Interface is a subset or a part of testing User Experience but UX is a whole world besides UI. You (as a tester) need to ensure you are part of the design from the day they start talking about conceiving a design. And then test each paper design, wireframe with users – at every step and …..then …..*******Folks, if you really want to continue the discussion – come to my workshop at STP Spring 2016 – Why you need to build UI/UX testing into your test planning immediately!
Alright, alright – we get the point. We will be at the workshop. But one last question – why immediately?
Well, you can do it after your organization goes down and you or your friends possibly dont work there anymore. Or after your organization finds someone to replace you – someone, who cares more about ensuring their customers don’t migrate to competitions. But if you try to learn and implement UX Testing now, you will help your own reputation and your organization’s business for sure. Your job too (maybe)!
UX vs UI

Take your call. Hoping to see you there!! Tons of challenges / quizzes / exercises await you that will give you a glimpse of how real world apps / sites evolved to where they are today and how you can contribute towards a humongous success of the sites / apps you test and ensure that these apps you test also become a professional reference for your abilities.

Get healthy in 1 step…really!!

I am going to share with you my biggest mistake regarding my health that I committed and am now trying to fix it. I have begun to feel better ever since I took that 1 step towards my health and am hopeful this will help you to identify if you are falling trap to this mistake/myth/habit/illusion – whatever you may call it and if this could eventually pose a health challenge to you too.
Here is my story – I have forever been a slim person and was one of those people blessed with magical metabolism that would digest the right things and detox my body of unwanted things.
And I am pretty sure, a lot of you are blessed with good health that you take for granted. Well, there are reasons (beyond hospital bills & insurance premiums) why its said that Health is Wealth.
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So lets hear it- straight from the horse’s mouth – what is my point that I am driving you to?
Slim is fit: This was my mistake – I believed that I am fit since I was always a slim person and with not much extra flab to shed. Well, the truth is Fit is Fit. Slim is NOT fit. Slim is not as dangerous as obese but being slim doesn’t signify the status of your health in anyway other than that you are not obese.

I realized this more as I stepped into my 33rd year as human on the planet. Until then I abused my healthy blessing to no ends by eating wrong….eating at wrong hours…. Countless chocolates, softdrinks as much as I pleased. I seriously didnt have any fixed timings for food. If you are thinking I am going to say – Nothing can be more wrong than this, here is the worse thing – Even with what little meals I ate – I never ate what I should. I ate mindlessly.  And for a long time I was okay (like I said – for 33 years) – my body could handle all the abuse and kept releasing digestive enzymes on my command and never acting like it was upset at me for being a complete mismatch for its expectations and needs.

And then I slowly saw the signs. I started to get tired, used to feel irritated, started to look dull. I still didnt care as much. Specially since I wasnt particularly suffering from any specific disease. I knew I could someday reverse these “temporary issues” with healthy eating habit and fitness regime and having a routine. Something I knew but I never did. Soon, I fractured my right leg quite effortlessly with just a not so jerky twist. I began to have pains in my bones. I couldn’t wear high heels as much as I enjoyed them.Yet – I didnt pay heed. I was as ignorant as one can be towards ones body.
But then I started to have massive hairfall. And this was heart breaking. I couldnt take it. I also knew – it might be something that has reached out of my control and I cant easily reverse it. This was when I started to regret my doings.

On SOS basis – I put my health on priority. I made sure I dont skip meals – as busy or angry or mad I am due to any reason – I will have my minimum 3 meals a day and at as fixed a time, as I possibly can work around. But there is something I did that truly had a midas touch effect on me.
milkAny guesses what is that one thing that can help you fix most of your health issues, besides having a fixed routine for eating and exercises? MILK. Seriously. Specially if you are pure a vegetarian like me, you have to have a glass of milk everyday. Its funny I am writing this blog at a time when people around me are talking about Women’s Horlicks -because I started taking women’s horlicks regularly since last year. And I am strictly NOT endorsing them. But it has worked for me.

My hair loss significantly reduced- milk protein and calcium has visible benefits on skin and hair – and body overall. My body pains have almost vanished. Even my toothache has reduced – not sure if its related but other than increasing my milk intake, I havent changed anything in my diet, hence building the inference. And I think better calcium intake could have helped my teeth too.

I can’t reverse or stop my aging or the health issues that will come with it. But I am glad I took charge of my health while things were still in control.

Take that 1 step in your life. Add a glass of milk to your diet. If you are one of those that dont like packed milk, go farm fresh -try Farmagic. I love the taste of fresh cow milk they send.Its a feel good factor, if i take it with health supplement (more of calcium, which my body needs) – you can take it with any health supplement you like. Eat regularly and exercise.

Test your fitness

  1. An average adult should do 30 minutes brisk walking, or walk 10,000 steps daily. Try doing this – you will know how good your health is.
  2. Look at your hairfall – is it normal?
  3. After your day long of office or household work – when you lay down – how does it feel in – your knees /  your lower back / your shoulders. Do they pain noticeably?
  4. Frequent Heartburns / Acidity?
  5. Fatigue / impatience/irritability

I do not wish to act as a health professional but I strongly believe that health science evolved based on human experiences. So the basics of health lies in us being able to hear what our body wants to tell us. Listen to it. Take rest, if it asks you to. Eat / sleep / work – as per your body’s expectations. Put yourself in a routine.

Take care of yourself. Stay healthy. Stay blessed. Dont forget your glass of milk tonight before you go to sleep!!!

Please do share your experiences – specially if you start drinking milk today onwards and comment on what effects you see on yourself.

Rahul..naam toh suna hoga?

“Rahul..naam toh suna hoga?” – This is what I related the most with the name Rahul besides having a very quiet and simple friend by that name at my work (Not Mr. Narvekar). So for a very long time I had Rahul Narvekar on my Facebook as a “friend” and had interacted a few times – always when Rahul seemed occupied and my ping seemed like an interruption. And so, being the kind of person I am , I would not want to “bother” someone who is busy. And so we never spoke much.
rahul - naam toh suna hoga

But I knew Rahul was the kind of entrepreneur I wanted to speak to and he probably had answers to most of my questions. And when I say answers – I firmly believe no one can solve one’s business issues better than they themselves. But speaking to a hands on person who has experience of failing and succeeding in ventures, can give you meaningful insights to what options had better probability of working and also at times the wisdom and strength to apply brakes / change direction / press gas pedal – as the need be.

So thanks to Sahiba Sethi of HelloMeets and our facebook chats where she understood my need to meet new entrepreneurs to introduce them to Poolwallet and she invited me to her series of GrowthTalks. And since Rahul Narvekar happened to be the key speaker – I decided to pounce upon the opportunity to meet him and pour out my long list of questions and in my mind I was prepared to be shameless in asking his help.


Tanmay was a wonderful, warm and energetic host. The ice breaking was done in the most traditional way of introductions but nothing was conventional about the details asked and any of the responses. All shared their passions and what they were upto these days and what bought them to Hello Meets.

As Rahul starts to speak, I am anxiously waiting for his stories about NDTV Indian Roots and Fashion and You. And we are half way through the meet and no mention of these yet. And yet, I don’t want the story telling to end. His humble beginnings, his entrepreneurial pedigree, his music channel Oxygen, significance of his birth date (1st Oct 1972), his first meeting with his now wife Pallavi Rao  (who was a rockstar RJ at Radio mirchi and is now heading the CSR there)….the story goes on and Rahul literally details out all the major milestones of his life.

He kept on sharing his step by step learnings and I was busy absorbing each of them. And he agreed that he realized it very early in life that he could entertain and that he also realized that one who can entertain will always be seeked by the folks around.I finally decided , this was not the day I could ask him for any discussion on PoolWallet. I wanted to talk more about his experiences. Wanted to learn as much as I can from his experiences.

Let me share my collection of learnings from the meet :

  • Perception Management – Whatever you are going through inside as a leader, as an entrepreneur – it should not show to your team unless its positive.
  • Never believe your own PR – I cant stress how important this is to keep one on the ground.
  • Wife / Mistress Syndrome of consumers – There are places we take things for granted and we treat it as a wife. We refuse to give premium for any service there. And then there are places we pay a premium because we want to be special there and we want to hold that attention at every cost. We are not sure if we are the only special ones so we do all we can to be one.
  • Don’t keep the baggage. Move on – For people and work in your life. Move on once you see things not working as desired. Don’t just keep the baggage and stay with it. When people change their attitudes based on your success / failure – don’t be bothered. Take it in your stride.This is how the world works – accept it. If you hold on to the grudges, its only going to pull you down.
  • Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. You need to have faith and keep moving.
  • Sometimes its also about being in the right place at the right time or coming across that one key person who simply changes the entire game plan for you.
  • There are no templates to success.Things could work in your favor with some effort or not work for you even with all the efforts put in and management. External factors can’t be planned. An entrepreneur has to be ready to pivot really fast as the market factors change.
  • Investors don’t invest purely based on excel sheets. They invest on the person, on the team that is running the start-up. So build a great team that can handle situations when things don’t go as plan A. This ability to pivot also tells investors their money is more likely to be safe and growing with such teams. Be fundable as an individual.
  • Ask for help – people like helping others. They just do. Even without ROIs and having no agenda – there are many worthy and good people. Seek.

dont underestimate the power

As he explains how he went through the ups and downs of life and his career with Pallavi firmly by his side, in my mind I could see them both hand in hand sliding the sine curves – always smiling and having faith and keeping a brave face forward even when they are in the troughs. And that made me think of another Bollywood dialogue more apt for Rahul than the previous one – “Dont underestimate the power of the common man.”

ThinkTest 2015 highlights & acknowledgements

Finally – we did THINKTEST on 5th December 2015 that we were planning to do in 2013. I had so many emotions coming up through the entire month, that I purposely delayed writing the blog on ThinkTest , so I could give time for my thoughts to settle down and I only write what I truly mean . Frankly, this is not unlike me to get attached to my work but this event made me feel very different than my usual work.  I could be at risk of being called highly dramatic, but, I have to admit – the event almost felt like my third child – A feeling that probably Rosie Sherry or Peggy Libbey could share with me.

James + ThinkTest

One feeling that has not changed since the morning of 5th December 2015 though, is – ThinkTest 2015 was a resounding success!! Astounding and reverberating in every sense!!

Before I go further into my blog, I need to say this in bold & CAPITAL. THANK YOU JAMES FOR MAKING IT. I have seen your hotel bills and I have a fair idea of your travel costs too. And putting everything together, I know for sure, this was not a trip you did for commercial reasons. I am truly humbled by this respect and attention you have given me. I can’t thank you enough on behalf of the testers gathered here to meet you – they have loved your presence and your talks and would be so looking forward to seeing you here again.

full house - thinktest - james

Delhi, is typically known for being a little lazier than its other peers like Mumbai, Bangalore etc. However, the testers here broke the myth. We had the room full before James got onstage and that truly deserves a huge round of applause for the testers who made it all the way from Gurgaon / Faridabad / Ghaziabad / Noida and various far flung places in Delhi.  Besides the National Capital Region, we had testers from Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Pune and Kolkata joining us. We also had 1 tester who flew all the way from Colombo ( SriLanka) – just for the conference and the RST class – in short – just for James Bach. There was a total gathering of 157 folks, of which we had a team of 5 organizers (including me), and 11 speakers (including James) and about 6 sponsor representatives. The rest were the awesome software testers. Thanks testers for making it in such numbers.

The day before – We worked with the hotel staff and the printing team all night until 5 am of 5th morning to get the stage up and the backdrop done. The sponsor booths were put up and the standees placed. The registration desk setup. Each chair and table checked for cleanliness – Audio / Visual equipments tested.

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At Utpatang office – collecting the gift packs at 00:00 hrs on 5th December 2015.







At the venue (Holiday Inn) at about 02:00 hrs on 5th December 2015 – setting up the “decorations” for the ceremony.

Had a quick nap from 5 to 6:30 am and the day started again. Our first attendees came in about 7:30 am. Thereafter they started to pour in at the registration desk as the 2 volunteers were hurriedly letting them in with their delegate tags. There were few walk-ins who had not registered. They were initially not allowed – frankly we had seating of 120 and were okay for 130-135 folks around but handling 15 – 20 more than the already 20 additional registrations, seemed difficult. But they stood patiently and we didn’t have the heart to turn them down. They were not charged but instead given complimentary passes and allowed because they showed their keenness to hear James and learn from him. From there on, the day went by smoothly – everything that was planned went better than planned. A few unplanned situations cropped in – which I talk about, under learnings- later in the blog.

James with other speakers and delegates

Before, I started to write this blog, I asked a few participants and organizing team members, as to what should we put as THE highlight of the event. Most of the participants couldn’t have enough of James, long after he left India and so I wasn’t surprised when they were raving about his inspiring Keynote “Testing is not Test cases” and also his latest new presentation the “Question Hospital” – a concept very well received by testers and something they would like for James to continue to build on, so we get more and more examples to go through. The keynote also happened to be the most and best rated by the testers; shortly followed by Santhosh Tuppad’s “Your data is no more ONLY your data”. All the feedbacks were collected at a survey done post event and the results shall be made public shortly.


However, there was also a surprising/comic response to the highlights – one that was made by a member of organizing team – who said  – ‘I barely got inside the room, so I can’t say much what all went inside, but I can tell you that crowd outside was very interested in t-shirts and cups and all the goodies sponsors had’. Frankly – I myself couldn’t see much of the action at one place, as I wasnt stationery but kept moving due to multiple responsibilities on me on that day. But at one point, I did notice – when the lunch break had just started, that the queue for Saucelabs and Parasoft was longer than the queue for food. So, THANK YOU SPONSORS – truly – heartfelt thanks to all of you – Saucelabs, Parasoft, Software Test Pro (STP) and Srijan Technologies. I hope you do realize that it was because of your generous sponsorship that we could open our hearts to have complimentary and discounted tickets. Your contribution to the community is well respected. Our special thanks to the support sponsors – Test Insane and Moolya and PoolWallet, for supporting the event; Our diversity partner- Sheroes for promoting the conference amongst female technology enthusiasts ; Our community partner – Test Practitioner’s Club for promoting the event on all its avenues (FB / meetup/linkedin) to testing practitioners in the region; Our gifting partner – Utpatang, for making the meaningful giftpacks for our speakers and delegates; Our media partner Tea-Time with Testers for helping us spread the word amongst the right audience; and our supporters in Agile Testing Alliance and Discuss Agile Network and Unicom.

Long queue..


At this point, it’s imperative that I mention Anand Bagmar for mobilizing Thoughtworks team towards their significant presence at the conference and the RST class thereafter. Thanks Atulya Krishna Mishra and Anmol Bagga for working on almost war footing to ensure the word reaches every nook and corner of the region, covering every interested tester. Thanks Saket Bansal and Sarabjit Singh Bakshi for guiding me with pointers and at times, simply handing me the solutions for what I needed- Thanks for taking my calls EVERYTIME I called, and answering with patience. Seriously guys – heartfelt thanks.

There is something more I need to mention, since I am thanking everyone involved in helping me towards making the event happen – I need to thank Pradeep Soundararajan. I need to thank him for various reasons but 2 important ones I will mention. 1. Thanks Pradeep for introducing India to James Bach and other global leaders, as a respectable community of testers. As much as I like my abilities – I probably couldn’t have done it better than you. 2. Thanks Pradeep for silently supporting us with sponsorship and saying – “I may not give much of money. But I don’t want anything in return. I am doing this because I have hosted James earlier and I know how it is”. I am not sure if you would have wanted me to quote you here, but I needed to express my gratitude and tremendous respect for you. Every drop counts and you knew it better than me. Your thoughtfulness for the community deserves our sincere respect.

I am consciously stopping the thanks here – apologies for missing out anyone who thinks she / he should have been mentioned here. I truly thank everyone including the hotel staff at the venue for their bit of contribution in our success. I need to move on to other aspects🙂

James with testers -STP

Coming to the learning part of the event – every session by James was very well received. Attendees would hog on every available minute with him. There were tons of amazing conversations held by the thinking testers and curious testers and those who had the potential to be one and were on their path to transformation. James was loving the talks as much as the testers around him. Amongst the other speakers – every speaker did fantastic job – Anand Bagmar , Kapil Saxena, Tarun Lalwani, Santhosh Tuppad, Ajay Balaurugaudas, Shrikant Vashishtha, Charu Jain, Sachin GoelSumeet Gupta, and Rajdeep Varma. After James (all sessions) and Anand’s morning session –  Tarun’s session was most attended , closely followed by Charu’s session. Topics covered  at the conference were – “Testing beyond test cases”, context driven testing, test estimations, asking relevant questions (and the right way) as a tester,  Continuously delivery, automation frameworks, test data management, ATDD / BDD, Mobile apps testing, testing in agile teams, tester’s role and relationship with developers, data security and leadership. It was thrilling to watch the level of participation from attendees at various sessions. Testers as well as speakers enjoyed questioning and being questioned.

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One name whose presence we missed, got her virtual presence – as James made sure her name resonated throughout the day in the room. We missed –  Parimala Hariprasad – or “A True Role Model” as James called her, at the conference. She holds my warmth as a friend and respect as a peer.

The day sDSC_0151tarted with lot of energy that DIDN’T decline through the day.  James’ intensity and passion to teach was consistent – though he spoke for most of the day. The time he was not on stage, he was answering testers, engaging with them and also getting interviewed by me. The day ended with James recommending Neha Asthana as the winner for the free seat at RST class, pulling lucky draws out of the fishbowl for 5 lucky winners who won online packages of selenium books and tutorials, courtesy: Saucelabs.

The very final episode was felicitating the respected speakers, graciously done by James Bach. Interestingly the gift packs were “black boxes” with some “white” on it – James almost made the speakers test these too.

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Presentations for all the sessions have been shared with the attendees. All the videos have been uploaded at youtube. You can subscribe to the channel Events Team to stay updated as more videos of future events are added. All official pictures of the event are uploaded at the QAZone’s facebook page .

How can an event of this scale happen without any learnings or disappointments at all? Well, honestly -The only 2 feedbacks that we got about something not going well were both about time keeping. Attendees felt they missed on some parts of their next sessions because of some track speakers over staying. I learnt my lesson to have better time checks in future.  May be having a track owner, who manages the time and A/V / Infra  needs of the speakers of that track, could help. Some other learnings threw me out of my comfort zone as an ethical entrepreneur – but I learnt that when someone comes with a surprise act and that thing bothers me and I want to say NO to that activity, I should say NO. Instead of giving into the pressure (of respecting guests) and then feeling resentful later.






Sometimes people surprise you with their lack of ethics and working in certain environment helps you see their strength of character more clearly. When working with immature / ignorant people, every detail should be in black and white, since they do not understand the common language of ethics, which defines what they can do but should not. Keeping it legal might help keeping the relationship strain- free. Speakers agreement and Sponsors agreement are good things to have – small but key learning.

The only disappointment I personally have is – not having enough women speakers. We tried to do everything we could, but we failed. We need to continue to work on this aspect.

Women Speakers@ThinkTest

With all the experience and learnings as a tester and organizer that this conference gave us, one thing that I could finally conclude as the highlight of the event , the best outcome of it, for all to notice – There are serious testers in the NCR region. Serious to make things happen. Serious to learn and grow. Serious to defy the law of gravity and move upwards in their career path and learning curve. Thanks to each tester who attended the ThinkTest 2015 with the intent to learn – YOU WERE THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE EVENT. KUDOS TO YOU – YOU MADE IT HAPPEN!!

Data – Making decisions one byte at a time

data In terms of data, anyone who says – I have nothing to hide, has just not thought long enough. So what is data to you? Your address book, contact lists, email lists, bank account details, your list of favorite sites you visit, your blood pressure trend this week, your sugar count in last 5 days, your heart rates, how many cigarettes you smoke, how many steps you walk, how many calories you ate, how many calories you burnt, Your emails, your presentations, updates from friends (FB) and colleagues (Linkedin / Twitter), weather updates, traffic updates, navigation to a place, news, community updates, music, pictures, jokes and forwards on whatsapp… on and so forth.

Any or all of these could be “data” for you. How does it make you feel to think of a day in life without access to any of these? Even worse – how would you feel if instead of you, someone else is browsing through your data?

On whom does the onus lie to protect this data? You, Your device manufacturer, your ISP, your app stores, application owners? One may not be able to say for sure who does as a generic rule. However, its easy to figure out the security ownership in a proper context. And this needs to be clearly identified.

All huge companies are protecting their data and fighting for more, they say : “Data is the new Oil”. The start-ups are also giving data its due respect, their perspective: “Data is the new Middle Manager”. This makes it imperative for the data to have high integrity, availability and reliability.

dilbert data

As part of testing community, what is our role in the wide world of data?  It is our job to ensure that our clients and organizations are reaching every goal set forward for data.  We must ensure that we thoroughly test the accuracy of the data, the building of the data, the storage, the security, and the presentation of the data.  Retailers and other organizations are becoming more and more complex in their approaches to how they use data, and we, as testers, must ensure that we are keeping up with the changes and the needs.

Does your testing team work with data?  Are you building data adhoc?  Or have you implemented a methodology that supports data creation, testing, security, and implementation?  If your work is adhoc, I strongly recommend you to think about changes within your team which will improve how you look at data and the testing of data.

My advice for you, as a tester, is to investigate the basic concepts of Big Data, Enterprise Data Warehouse, the ETL Process (Extract, Transport, and Load), and Business Intelligence.  You will see an immediate improvement to your testing practice and your product delivery if you are able to derive and approach to how you handle data.

data scientist

So you may be asking, “How can I best learn about these concepts”?  I would suggest that you look at the upcoming STPCon conference, which is coming to Boston on October 5-8 this year.  I will be conducting a workshop on the concepts of data and data testing called Maximizing success with data testing: one byte at a time on Tuesday, October 6 from 1-5pm.

Hoping to see you at STPCon!