QA blog postings

QA Postings

Earliest: November 26, 2017Latest: March 18, 2019Total: 57

March 18, 2019

Jira new Comment Field

In the latest update Atlassian decided to move away from Media Wiki formatting to Markdown - a more popular text formating.

What this means is that typical formatting won’t work anymore. That’s really bad if you used keyboard shortcuts to paste in code or snippets. The good news is that Markdown is being used by more and more applications - such as Slack and Notion. So learning Markdown isn’t a bad thing.

Jira Comment Field

Example of Code Block

Blocks of code are either fenced by lines with three back-ticks ``` or are indented with four spaces.

Old Way

{code}
...some text
{code}

New Way

```
..some text
```

One of the things I link about the new editor is that I can paste in the Markdown from another editor and the formatting gets applied on Paste. Using the menu options seems to be good for some quick typing.

New to Markdown?

If your new to Markdown, check out the guide over on ghost.org. There are plenty of other documentations available - the best way to learn is to use a note taking app such as Notion or Bear.

What about the Graphical Emoticons?

One of the features that I liked in the old system was the graphical emoticons, especially the Green Checkmark and the white X in the red box. These were perfect for bullet points so people can instantly see what issues are not working.

These are history in the newest Markdown adaption. You'll now have to use the Emoji equivalence:

?U+2705Looks Good
??U+26A0Warning
?U+274CSomething Bad
?U+2620Danger, Will Robertson

March 11, 2019

Page Ruler Redux

Sometime QA testing involves detail testing - making sure that images and page positioning are to spec.

For this the best tool is Page Ruler Redux. It's not a tool that I used frequently, but it does help in those instances when the page elements just don't look right. It's really handy in screenshots - people can clearly see if there's an issue.

Page Ruler Redux Info

Draw a ruler to get pixel dimensions and positioning, and measure elements on any web page.

Page Tool Redux

Six Things I Learned About Page Ruler Redux

  • Easily enable the Page Ruler Redux tool by using the Alt P Short cut. This means you don't need to keep the extension icon in the toolbar.
  • Enabling Element Mode lets you select the particular element. No second guessing where elements start/end. Useful when you are trying to determine which DIV is responsible for extra space on a page.
  • When using the Element Mode, the last item in the style tree is the one most responsible for the layout. You can click on any style in the breadcrumb to see that style selected.
  • Enabling Tracking mode helps you select the right element. (Works very similar to Chrome's Select Element Tool.)
  • You can position the Page Ruler bar to the bottom of the page by clicking on the down arrow on the top right of the bar.
  • You can change the values in the boxes, so you can manually adjust the height or alignment of the selection.

Getting Page Ruler Redux

You can get the Page Ruler Redux Extensions in the Chrome Store.

Page Ruler Redux is only available for Chrome, they are working on a Firefox version.

March 4, 2019

Fun with Animated Gifs

Having some fun with GIFs.

Dont Do that
http://www.cryan.com/daily/2019/dontdothat.gif
When Developers create bugs in Production.

Meetings Chat
http://www.cryan.com/dialy/MeetingsChat.gif
When product tries to describe a feature to QA.

You can find more animated GIFs at giphy.com

February 25, 2019

Blue Button

Blue Button Chrome extension, by the Voice Group, is a handy way to get some quick information about the site you are currently looking at.

Description from the Developer

Hit the Blue Button on any web page, and get an instant, no-frills index of its building blocks. Easily access information on SEO, code and graphics components: from title tags and meta description to scripts and stylesheets to images and fonts.

Blue Button Screen Shot

Why QA should use this

  • Find Internal and External Stylesheets.

    If something doesn't look right in Production but worked fine Dev, it could be the location of a particular stylesheet or javascript file. Blue Button list all the external and internal file references. (Perhaps and Internal Script didn't get merged during the last deployment.)

  • Easily Identify Scripts

    Are you referencing the same JavaScript file multiple times? Could that be causing load issues? Easily identify what scripts are being called.

  • Alt Attributes Requirements

    Did you know that the image alt tag is required anytime an image is referenced? Blue Button makes sure all the images have the proper Alt tag. QA should note images that don't have the proper Alt tags - which will help SEO.

Getting the Chrome Extension

Download the Chrome Extension from the Chrome Web Store.. You can find more information from the Voice Group.

February 18, 2019

World Quality Report

Have you heard about the World Quality Report document put out by Capgemini? This is a useful document to get a snapshot on testing being done around the world.

This is a free report - you do have to fill in some contact information to get the report. I suspect that this is used to contact you to help gather data for next year's report.

Description from Capgemini

The World Quality Report, which this year interviewed over 1700 respondents from 32 countries, is the only global report analyzing application quality and testing trends. It has been produced annually since 2009.

Now in its 10th edition, the 2018-19 report adopted data collection through computer-aided telephone interviews. Based on analysis of six respondent groups: CIO, VP Application, IT Director, QA/Testing Manager, CDO/CMO, and CTO/Product Head, the report surveyed respondents from across the globe through quantitative interviews followed by qualitative deep-dive discussions.

World Quality Report

Five Things I Learned

I am not going to go through all the data in the report. The report encompasses 72 pages, and there's lots of useful information for any type of QA Testing.

  • The document is a combination of 1,700 IT Executives who took part in the research study. The Financial Service sector had the highest turnout (19%), followed by the Public Sector (15%).
  • The PDF document is searchable - so you quickly find information if you don't want to read the document completely.
  • The biggest challenge for agile testing is the "Lack of appropriate test environment and data."
  • The two two skill types most sought after are: Functional Test Automation Expertise and Production Quality Monitoring Skills.
  • Most High Tech companies are cloud-based (77%!) Knowing Cloud base testing tools is critical for long term QA Employment.

Get the World Quality Report

I would highly recommend getting the report and reading all the information. It's a good way to understand the trends around the world.

February 11, 2019

Slack Tips for QA

More and more organizations are using Slack as their main communication tool. Knowing some tips/tricks can help QA deliver messages to the team more efficiently.

Here's three style tips on using Slack:

Avoid the Noise and use Threads

Replying to issues and comments via Slack thread can help de-clutter release day noise. To start a thread, simply hover over the message and click on 'Start a thread' icon.

More tips on Threads on the Slack help page.

By using thread to manage issues, new issues won't get distracted by all the conversations of a previously reported issue.

Emoji Icons in Messages

Add the appropriate icon before your message so people can instantly know what's going on:

qa Emoji Slack

You can find some QA Slack Icons from my previous post, or at Slackmojis.com .

BackTick Branch Names for Readability

Using backticks on branch names helps make the branch stand out. That way people can quickly identify the branch when they are scanning the Slack conversations.

Example setup:

Backtick Slack

I have a Keyboard Maestro action set up so that it automatically post the build status of a Git build in a particular Slack channel. This way I don't have to worry about informing the team of the action.

February 4, 2019

What Wikipedia Can Not Tell You About Test Link

TestLink is a very useful test case repository management software. When the company gets bigger it's time to consider investing in an application that can meet the challenging needs of the company.

I like TestLink, but it just not as useful as it was when we first installed it 8-years ago.

TestLink Board

Four Annoyances using TestLink

Here are my annoyances with using TestLink. We currently use TestLink 1.9.3 (Prague).

Integration with Jira/Slack

Most competing test case repository applications have integration with Jira. This allows developers to assign test cases that they would like QA to run when testing a particular issue.

As for Slack, It would be nice to call out particular test cases from a test case repository. For example, if someone ask for the regression test of Cookies in Chrome - someone could link to the actual test case. You can not link to particular test cases in TestLink.

Easy Test Case Import

TestLink isn't fun to work with when you need to add a bunch of test case. This is a problem when your implementing a new feature and want to add a bunch of test cases. There is some support for importing from Excel documents but it is a complex process.

Also vise versa, if there was a major product change, it isn't very easy to modify all the test cases that are impacted by the change.

A Test Case repository should be super flexible so that QA Engineers will want to use it. Its shouldn't be an environment that QA despise using.

The overall feeling about TestLink, from QA team members, is that it is not a very joyful experience.

Better Management of Test Cases

It takes a while to understand how to manage test cases in TestLink. Every once in a while, I'll need to log in and go through the test cases to see which ones are still relevant. It's just a complex process of going through the test cases and removing them them from the current test plan.

Having multiple test plan builds slows down the reporting process - for some unknown reason. I frequently have to cleanup old builds so that the reporting takes a reasonable time to build.

No Automation Support

Automation is now essential to any QA process. TestLink has no automation support. It would be great to have a central application that the QA can understand the coverage.

I wouldn't expect to execute automation from TestLink, but there should be a way to see which issues are being controlled by automation.

December 31, 2018

Best QA Posts of 2018

QA was a new topic added this year. The goal was to post useful tools and techniques that I use all the time.

In December, I changed the Monday post to focus more on Amazon Alexa apps that I recently created. QA Post should return sometime in January 2019.

Best QA Posts of 2018

Here is the most useful post that I found this year.

  1. Google Testing Blog - Great place to learn how Google tests their software. You can learn all about current strategies and what works in a high availability environment.
  2. Postmortem Document - When releases go bad it's good to learn what happened and come with ideas to prevent future failures. This postmortem document is a useful way to organize the Postmortem meeting.
  3. BugMagnet - A must have Chrome extension to test form fields. Great way to validate emails and credit card fields.
  4. Jira Short cuts for QA - Move around Jira quicker and be more productive. Lots of people have use this for a quick reference.
  5. EditThisCookie - A Chrome extension that makes it easy way to modify the browser cookie.
  6. Throw Away Email Accounts - Great resource for when your testing email functionality. Easy to use and validate emails.

Goals for 2019

In 2019, I plan to focus more on techniques and strategies in QA testing. Together we'll learn how an increase in features and functionality doesn't matter as long as you have a good weekly testing strategy - which includes automation.

I am looking forward to learning more and sharing some cool QA tools.

November 26, 2018

Bashrc Configurations for QA

QA tends spend a lot of time using command line commands in unix. There are some useful Bash Configurations that can make things a bit easier.

Simply add these to your .barshrc or .bash_profile, for example you may want to add multiple SSH shortcuts to go to different servers. Check your Bash .history file for examples of commands that you frequently use - you may find adding an alias may increase your productivity.

Bash Examples


# Quickly go up 'X' number of directory hierarchy. Example: use: up(3)  instead of cd ../../..
up() { cd $(eval printf '../'%.0s {1..$1}) && pwd; }


export EDITOR="/usr/local/bin/bbedit"   # Mac Users should use BBEdit as their Text Editor
alias goshh='ssh -A bravo.google.com'   # Quick Way to SSH to your servers
alias ll='ls -FGlAhp'                   # Get a nice directory listing

Tech Note: The above was created using the "Copy as Styled HTML" command in BBEdit. It's an easy way to share color syntax.

November 19, 2018

Copy CSS Selector

One of the toughest tasks with automation is figuring out the XPath for objects that don't have name IDs. This usually involves looking at the source code and counting the objects from the last established object. This slows down the automation process and makes it a no so exciting task.

There is an easy way, it's using a popular Chrome extension called "Copy CSS Selector." Here's a description from the Chrome Extension page:

Find the unique selector for any element on page.

It will find an optimal selector that's unique to the element selected. Right click on the element with mouse and select Copy CSS Selector menu item into a buffer, so you can past copied selector to any text editor.

Very useful for quickly getting selector for any element for testing frameworks like as Selenium.

Click Selector

Four Things I Learned about the Copy CSS Selector Tool

A copied selector will look like this:
div.grid__6-primary-content-homepage.grid__6-primary-content-homepage--right > div > a > div.image-tease__text or
tr:nth-child(2) > td:nth-child(8)

The "Copy CSS Selector Tool" Dev Tools is available in the Elements tab, it's the last item in the Styles window. This will show both the path and the selector of the selected element.

Google Copy C S S Dev Tools

There isn't any configuration for the Copy CSS Selector.

Google Chrome has a "Copy XPath" available. (In Dev Tools, Right click on an Element, Select Copy, then Copy XPath) This is a sample value you get:
/html/body/div[4]/div/div/div/div/table/tbody/tr[12]/td[5]

This is what you get when using the "Copy CSS Selector" Tool, I tested the same element:
tr:nth-child(12) > td:nth-child(5)

You can decide which element works best for your development needs

Getting Copy CSS Selector

The Copy CSS Selector is free and can be download from the Chrome Store.