White box testing

White box testing is where you test a software, while taking its design, code, and internal structure into consideration. In other words, you will be verifying the input, flow of data, and the output to verify that the system is working correctly. The main objective of white box testing is to improve usability, security, and design of software. As a tester, you will be aware of the code.

There are numerous reasons available for you to go ahead with white box testing. For example, if you want to discover internal security holes, poorly structured paths, or to understand the behavior of specific inputs that you pass through code, you should do white box testing.

White box testing is quite complicated when compared to black box testing. You should initially understand the source code. This is the main reason on why not every tester can proceed with white box testing. You should have the understanding of a programmer to proceed with testing. Then you should create the test cases and execute them.

There are multiple techniques to follow as you do white box testing. For example, you should do statement coverage, where you test each and every statement within code. Then you get into branch coverage, where you check all possible paths in the code.

There are few types of testing that you perform in white box testing as well. Unit testing holds a prominent place out of them. This is where you test each block of code or unit in order to verify its intended functionality. In agile software development environments, you also test for memory leaks. To improve security of the application, you do penetration testing. On top of that, you even do white box mutation testing, where you try to discover whether best coding practices have been used.

— Slimane Zouggari

Black Box Texting

Black Box Testing is a method of testing software, where you will conduct a test without having a good understanding about the internal code structure or any other implementation details. You will just be focusing on the input to the system and output that you receive from the system for testing. In other words, black box testing is driven by specifications and requirements of software.

For example, assume that you want to test a login page of a website. Your inputs will be username, password, and forget your password link. You will not know how these functionalities are programmed. You just focus on the outcome that you get as you execute your test cases.

Even though black box testing sounds simple, there is an approach to follow and get your work done. You should begin with understanding software requirement and specifications. Then you will need to select valid inputs. Based on the understanding you have about the system; you can determine the output for desired inputs. Upon writing test cases for it, you can execute them. Then you can compare the results you got with the desired results. This will eventually help you to locate defects and raise bugs.

When it comes to agile software development, you can discover three main types of testing. They include functional testing, non-functional testing, and regression testing. Likewise, there are numerous techniques that you can follow for black box testing as well. If you want to minimize the total number of test cases, you can proceed with equivalence class testing. Or else, you can take a look at decision table testing, where you evaluate causes and results in a matrix, or try boundary value testing, where you focus on the values at boundaries. If understanding code is not a must, you may take a look at black box testing.

— Slimane Zouggari

A/B Test

A/B Testing is where you conduct a comparison in between two or more variations of a variable to determine what variable delivers the best results. This variable can be a web page, an element of a web page, or anything in between.

A/B testing removes all of the guesswork from website optimization, allowing experienced optimizers to make data-driven judgments. The ‘control’ or initial testing variable is referred to as A in A/B testing. B stands for ‘variant,’ which is a new version of the original testing variable.

Numerous reasons are available for you to conduct A/B testing in an agile environment. One of the key objectives of A/B testing is to understand the pain points of visitors who visit your website. You will be able to provide a better user experience to them after your series of A/B testing efforts. The end results will provide you the opportunity to secure a better return out of your investment from existing traffic. On the other hand, it will assist you to reduce your overall bounce rates. That’s because you are making your website more appealing for the visitors. You can also make low-risk modifications to your website with A/B testing. You can verify the improvements you achieve out of A/B testing statistically.

The success of your company is determined on the conversion funnel on your website. As a result, every piece of content that your target audience encounters on your website must be optimized to its full potential. This is especially true for items that have the ability to impact the behavior of your website visitors and the conversion rate of your business. Some of the elements that you can subject to A/B testing on the website include headlines, sub-headlines, body, subject lines, and the overall design layout.

— Slimane Zouggari

Selenium

It is important to ensure quality with the deliveries in an agile development environment. Without ensuring quality, it is not possible to deliver a satisfactory experience to the clients. This is why it is essential to focus on quality assurance.

The testers who work in an agile development environment would have access to a large number of tools, which they can use in order to proceed with testing. One of the most prominent tools out of them would be Selenium. The main objective of Selenium would be to automate testing. Hence, it is possible to use Selenium and validate web applications across different platforms and browsers in an automated mode.

It is possible to use different programming languages such as Python, C#, and Java, to go ahead and create test scripts on Selenium. Then you can use the Selenium testing tool to proceed with testing. You should also understand that Selenium is not just a single tool. Instead, you can call Selenium as a suite of software, where each piece would cater to the different testing requirements that a tester would have. Along with the Selenium suite, a tester can get the Selenium IDE, Web Driver, Selenium Remote Control, and Selenium Grid.

The main use of Selenium is to receive assistance with developing web applications. However, the functionality of Selenium is powerful, and it would not just limit the testers to testing web applications. It is possible for all the testers who use Selenium to go ahead and develop robust regression automation suites. This would help the testers to proceed with regression testing effectively, without spending a considerable amount of time. This would eventually support the agile developments, through the delivery of functional releases without bugs. Moreover, it can support quick releases of the developments to production as well.

— Slimane Zouggari

Coaching dojo

If you want to improve your agile coaching capabilities, you should be equipped with three important skills. They include questioning, listening, and observing. Any person who wants to improve those skills can take a look at coaching dojo.

The main objective of coaching dojo is to provide opportunities, so that you can practice listening without being impacted by any judgements. On top of that, it will help you to collect information effectively and ask various questions, so that you can figure out the real problem. If you can master these skills, you can become a competent agile coach. As a result, you will be able to use your skills to benefit the organization that you work for.

During a coaching dojo session, few people sit together in a circle and start discussing the challenges that they have to face because of work. They will limit these discussions to a time period of 10 to 15 minutes. During this discussion, each participant will need to pick one out of three roles as mentioned below:

  • Client – Client will be the person who is looking for a solution or an alternative approach
  • Coach – Coach will be the person who offers guidance and help to the clients with achieving their goals
  • Observer – Observers would be the people who observe interactions in between the client and coach

When the roles are distributed, the client would state the problem. The coach would provide coaching and the conversation would proceed. At the end of the time period, the observer will be provided with a couple of minutes to provide details of his observation on the interaction that took place in between the client and coach. At the end of the coaching session, all the participants would share information about the insights they gained and things they learned.

— Slimane Zouggari

Dot Counting

Dot Counting is one of the most prominent estimation techniques that you can find in the agile development landscape. You must have come across situations where you voted for something based on dots. You can use the same concept when estimating user stories as well. That’s where Dot Counting would come into play.

You can call Dot Counting as a simple approach available for user story estimation. It is also a highly effective approach available for following. That’s because you will be able to use dots and express how much effort you will have to put on something. Based on Dot Counting, you can go ahead and set up the suer stories visually. You can do that with one of the digital boards or on a whiteboard. Then you can assign a color to each user story.

Before you go ahead with Dot Counting, you should come up with a scale as well. For example, you can proceed with a simple scale of 1 to 5. Then you can ask all the team members to understand the scale and vote with the dots. This is where you will be asking each and every team member to add the number of dots that are representing a story. The number of dots should reflect the effort that is needed to complete the story. Once all the team members have voted, you will be able to overcome the discrepancies associated with it.

One of the biggest challenges associated with Dot Counting is preventing the cognitive bias associated with anchoring. Hence, you will need to come up with a way to hide the votes during the voting stage. Then you will be able to remove the bias, which will provide better results to you with the estimates.

— Slimane Zouggari

 

Agile Transformation Metrics

When you go ahead with agile transformation, it is important to have a good understanding on how to measure success. Then you can determine how all the efforts that you spend on agile transformation are delivering positive results to you. However, measuring agile transformation can be a challenging thing to do unless you are aware about the Agile Transformation Metrics.

There are some important metrics that can be used to measure the success of agile transformation. People engagement holds a prominent place out of them. If agile transformation is successful, people who work in the workplace would be highly satisfied with their roles. Such people would not think twice before they go the extra mile to contribute towards the job. On the other hand, agile transformation would measure continuous improvement as well. This is the ability that an organization would have in order to pursue optimizations relentlessly across the different business functions.

An agile organization would be highly innovative. Hence, it is possible to take innovation as one of the Agile Transformation Metrics as well. The agile developers will come up with creative thoughts and new ideas, which can help them to deliver better solutions to cater the existing requirements. On top of that, it would result in the delivery of enhanced customer satisfaction as well. The customers will be satisfied with the benefits, experience, and outcomes that they are getting with the service or product.

The overall productivity in an agile environment would increase. This would help a business to go ahead and make better decisions. On top of everything, the agile team will be able to work along with speed. This will help them to cater to the client requirements in a highly efficient manner, without compromising the quality of the developments under any circumstance.

— Slimane Zouggari

Aspect-oriented programming

Aspect oriented programming, which is also known as AOP is a technique, which can be used to develop reusable and common routines, which can be applied across an application. During the agile development process, this would enable the separation of primary application logic from the repetitive and common tasks. Some perfect examples for such repetitive and common tasks include logging, input validation, and error handling.

During a runtime, you will be able to use Aspect Oriented Programming in order to hot-patch the applications, which are susceptible to embed intrusion detection and SQL injection. There is no need to modify underlying code in order to offer these functionalities. Along with the centralization of all security logics, it is possible to save time when developing a product in an agile environment.

There are some significant differences in between object oriented programming and aspect oriented programming. The main objective of object oriented programming is to promote flexibility and reusability of code. In the meantime, aspect oriented programming would act as a paradigm, which will deliver all benefits that are offered with object oriented programming. On top of that, it is possible to have loose coupling, and provide applicable the chance to use pluggable aspects as required. This will help the developers to refrain from making any changes to the code in order to bring in new functionality.

Developers who adhere to aspect oriented programming will also be able to focus entirely on the business logic of the application, while weaving the aspects to the overall business logic. Among the benefits that come along with AOP, the most prominent benefit would be the ability to write the aspects once and reuse them over and over again within the application as needed. Hence, it is a great method available to reduce code complexity.

— Slimane Zouggari

Pair Programming

The concept of Pair Programming that you can find in agile software development is an approach, where two programmers are trying to develop a product while working from a single workstation. They don’t code separately. Instead, they work together and support each other as writing the code. Usually what happens in Pair Programming is where one developer would write the code, whereas the other person would play the role of a navigator or observer. This is where the observer would continuously review each and every line of code that is typed.

At the time of observing the code that is written, the observer would also determine the strategic direction on where the work should follow. He will be coming up with new ideas for implementations along with time. On the other hand, the observer will plan how to address future problems that would take place as well. This would eventually free the driver. Hence, the person who is writing the code will be able to focus only on the tactical aspects of completing the task that is assigned to him. This can eventually help the person who writes the code to overcome pressure and fully focus on the code that is being written.

Pair Programming is a proven method available to enhance overall product quality as well. That’s because two developers who come from two different backgrounds will be able to bring in different experiences into the task. On the other hand, they will be able to assess information that is related to the task in numerous ways. It will even be possible for them to stand in different relationships while catering to the problem. Due to the effectiveness of Pair Programming, the popularity of it is increasing along with time.

— Slimane Zouggari

Conversational Story

One of the most prominent misconceptions that we can see within agile environment is assuming that the product owner is creating user stories and placing them in front of all the developers to work on. This would highlight the fact that the product owner is responsible for understanding what has to be done and the product owner communicates with the developers on how it has to be done.

However, this approach is quite different in the real world. The product owner is aware about the business and he has a good understanding about the need for software. On the other hand, the developers are versed with technology and they know how to implement things. Hence, it is possible for the developers to figure out the requirements put in front of them by the product owner.

To overcome all sorts of misconceptions associated with this process, it has become important for the product owners to use Conversational Stories. A Conversational Story will help the developers to get a better understanding on what has to be done to support a business.

There are some unique qualities that you can find within a Conversational Story. For example, it would spot the gaps and inconsistencies that exist in between the stories. On the other hand, it would use technical knowledge to offer new stories, which would fit perfectly well to the vision of the product owner. It is even possible to use Conversational Stories as the base and look out for alternative stories, which can be cheaper to develop based on the existing technological landscape. On the other hand, it is possible to split the stories further, so that it is possible to plan and implement easily. Due to all these reasons, the process of creating Conversational Stories can be considered as something that would help people to invest on the stories.

— Slimane Zouggari