As coronavirus spreads like crazy these days, many companies are encouraging and allowing their employees to work remotely. But you, as a tester may not have experienced remote testing before. In this blog post, I’ve tried to give you some useful tips about remote testing, which can be helpful in your daily work. If your hand sanitizers are ready, let’s begin.
One of the biggest problems about remote working is the lack of verbal communication. Some people love to keep in touch all the time. They send you an email and just after they come to ask you to check your inbox. Remote working could be a real pain for those kinds of people. I do think that, testers have a side role of measuring the heartbeats of their teams; as a consequence, remote testing definitely becomes more challenging to them. Developers don’t want to get disturbed (as always) and testers are the ones who disturb and interrupt them the most. If you are an ask-too-much type of a tester rather than a problem solver, you will have hard times to adapt yourself to being alone.
The 6th principle of agile manifesto is emphasizing that “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.” Oops!
I am not pretty sure if you and your team members are keeping your team boards updated and clean. On the other hand, while you are remote, you don’t have any other chance but to be up2date. Because you’ll have limited human interactions especially like the rituals as daily standups, grooming sessions etc., as a tester you need to make sure that you and your team members are continue conducting these meetings by using a proper video conference tool and by updating your ALM (application lifecycle management) / issue tracking tools on a timely manner.
Timebox your testing sessions.
You already know that, we, testers are always in search for something special; Bugs! And you also know that, there is always one more bug! (Lubarsky’s Law of Cybernetic Entomology). So when do we stop looking?
This matter is deeply complicated to be solved in a glance but the issue here is, while you are working from home, you definitely want to finish your work faster and continue to watch your favorite tv series or even worse, you’re watching it already while you are testing. Since, you may probably have more attractions at your home then you have at work, you may get distracted very easily. To prevent this problem, I suggest you to timebox your remote testing sessions. Before each test activity, identify the duration that you need to conduct your exploratory tests and give a break after the time limit is passed. You will see that this will improve your focus and efficiency in the search for precious and critical bugs.
Make your reports clean-er!
Your most visible outputs are your bug reports. While you are working remotely, you cannot assume that your reports are visible and understandable enough. You need to rely on your own bug reporting maturity. Remember that, when you report a bug the bug is like a case file you present to the court and you are the lawyer. So, you need to make sure that the case file is filled with enough and accurate information and should also be consistent by all means. If somebody (in most of the cases, a developer) asks you about a missing information in your report, this is not a good sign. And even worse, on remote testing, the long-lasting conversations about a missing bug report is a waste of time and can ruin your test efforts very easily.
The squeaky wheel will scream!
These times are good indicators for your team to reveal the inner quality perspective is distributed well over individuals. If the code is not readable or understandable for everyone in the team or if the developers distract too much, test tasks will be pushed and squeezed to the end of the sprint. If your continuous integration pipeline is not that efficient or automated, you’ll lose control over your tasks. Working remotely moreover, gives you the chance to test and self-check, how mature are your SDLC processes and how strong is your organization culture based on the communication.
I hope the situation of coronavirus won’t last long, but in the mid-to-long term make sure to initiate improvements over your development, testing and release cycles. And please always keep this in mind, “Sorrow prepares you for joy.”