Bugasura is an android app and a chrome extension. it helps with keeping track of exploratory testing sessions and comes with screenshot annotation and jira integration.
Here are a couple of screenshots of the android app in action, being used for an exploratory session on our test app.
First I selected the testing session:
While I’m testing I see this Bugasura overlay which I can tap to take a screenshot and write up a bug report on the spot:
Here’s their reporting a bug flow:
And here’s a testing report after I finished my exploratory testing where I can push straight to Jira if I want:
Here’s the sample report link (caveat, the screenshots attached to the bug are now public information on the internet, so there’s a privacy concern right there), but OMG, the exploratory session recorded the whole flow too (so a developer could see exactly what I did to find that bug).
Here’s that bug report in chrome paused at screen 13 out of 18:
Some caveats I’ve found so far; the test report is public (not private by default), you wouldn’t want to include screenshots of private or confidential information.
Bugasura only works on android/chrome. There isn’t an ios version but I guess with some remote device access running through Chrome it could work? We use Gigafox’s Mobile Device Cloud at work to access a central server of mobile devices and I imagine Bugasura could work with it.
Also I think they may have misspelt Elisabeth’s name in her quote.
This blog post reflects my opinions only and do not reflect the views held by my employer.
My team is going through a beta release for our mobile app to get early feedback. We’ve noticed that our android app is struggling compared to iOS. It seems that having an extra hurdle with signing up for the android beta program impacts installations. Naturally we’d expect the android engagement to lag a little behind iOS based on the Aussie mobile usage market analysis but there is still a significant drop.
We have 428 iOS installs, and 99 android installs. That’s a 19% Android installation rate. We have roughly 75-80% successful registrations and return log ins once people actually figure out how to install the app.
Google Groups vs Test Flight
We are using google groups to manage the distribution of the android beta app and because it’s harder to use than test flight for iOS we’ve gotten less installations. It’s fascinating how an extra hurdle in the sign up process can impact installations.
Our android numbers appear to be higher than usual here but I think it’s to do with the timeframe I’m collecting these numbers over. We’ve had a few people install the android app before we officially started the beta release and I think they’ve been counted in this statistics.
Do you remember how the world freaked out over the potential Y2K bug when the year was changing from 1999 to 2000? A large mitigation factor was a huge outsourcing effort to India and it helped to establish India as the global IT giant it is today. So when not many bugs eventuated it was a bit anti climatic.
Globally; $308 billion dollars was spent on compliance and testing and it helped build more robust systems that survived the system crashes from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Well the y2k bug would only impact systems that used 2 digits to represent the year, i.e. using the DDMMYY format to save on memory.
And the world updated this and their systems every where. Businesses did a pretty good job of patching that bug before it became an issue. Bugs still did come up but the world didn’t end.
Sometimes the fix was to push it out
Some fixes people implemented was to make 00 to 20 stand for 2000 and 2020 respectively. That’s only pushed out the problem and we’ve had some cases this year of this bug coming into effect. You can read more about this 2020 Y2K bug here.
There’s another bug for 2038
However did you know there is another Y2K bug scheduled for the year 2038? Basically the way our current 32 bit computer systems count time is the number of seconds since 1970. In the year 2038 we get a bit overflow issue and that counter resets to zero. This is more likely to impact cheap embedded systems with limited memory or old legacy systems.
If we switch to a 64 bit counter, our sun will explode before we get the same issue. It’s like going from ipV4 (we are already running out of ip addresses) to ipV6 for the internet.
I like to use mind maps to help me test. Mind maps are a visual way of brainstorming different ideas. On a previous mobile team I printed and laminated this mind map to bring along to every planning session to help remind me to ask questions like, “What about accessibility? Automation? Security? or Performance?”:
As I go through exploratory testing (or pair testing), I’ll tick things off as I go and take session notes. Often this will involve having conversations with people, sometimes bugs are raised. Here is a quick mind map I’ll use for log in testing:
Heuristics for testing
This mind map approach can be combined with a heuristic test strategy approach or a nemonic test approach. Heuristics is a rule of thumb that helps you solve problems, they often have gaps because no mental model is perfect.
SFDPOT is a common nemonic that was developed by James Bach; who also developed Rapid Software Testing; a context driven methodology. James Developed his RST course with Michael Bolton.
Gene Kim is a well established author and consultant in the DevOps space. He’s written The Phoenix Project, The DevOps Handbook and now his third book The Unicorn Project. I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the series. You can see a similar talk from DevOps Days Portland on youtube here:
Day 2: Troy Hunt and we are all pwned
Troy Hunt always gives an entertaining presentation and he’s a security expert from the Gold Coast, Queensland. He runs a website called, Have I been PWNED and the answer is most definitely always yes. He’s got a similar talk from NDC Sydney here:
Graphs & Investigative Journalism by Michael Hunger
Quantum Computing by Matthew Keesan
Growing your own Design Heuristics by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
Interaction Protocols by Martin Thompson
Level Up Quality, Security and Safety by Todd Montgomery
When I start talking about diversity in tech there’s a few points I usually like to make. Because I come from both a tech and engineering background there is a lot of overlap with women in Engineering roles and women working in tech. This blog post will compare diversity in tech and engineering.
We nearly had 40% female graduates in Computer Science
Traditional engineering fields such as mechanical engineering have always had low female participation rates at the university level. Where as computer science didn’t have that problem. A common reason why people think women stopped studying computer science was the personal computer came out in the 80’s and was marketed exclusively to boys. This was also around the time when Lego changed it’s marketing towards exclusive “boys toys”. (Lego was struggling financially before this point). This video below compares Lego’s 80’s advertising to current day advertising.
Some engineering fields have more diversity
What draws women to study Environmental and Biomedical engineering over Mechanical Engineering? I’d say it’s a perception thing, as a smart young women entering university, the amount of courses you could study is almost endless. You want to do something that feels like it’s going to benefit society as well as stimulate you intellectually.
Environmental Engineering definitely sounds like it’s going to benefit society more than Petroleum Engineering… Just saying.
Women and international students pass engineering degrees at higher rates
Once women decide to study Engineering they are more likely to see it through to successfully graduate. If women had some sort of innate ability that made them not good at engineering, you’d expect this number to be lower.
Some Muslim countries have better diversity in Engineering
Malaysia boasts about 30 – 40% of women engineering graduates
People tend to associate Muslim countries with oppression of women, however choosing a STEM career is seen as a way for setting yourself up for financial independence in a lot of these countries. There’s a different cultural perception of value for these careers. People in these countries don’t think that maths is a skill you a born with and only boys are good at it. They believe to be good at this skill you need to study hard. There is a blog post on cultural influences here.
Women leave the field more frequently than men
To become an Engineer you have to be a smart cookie, it’s not an easy thing to do. I know this because I tried and failed in my efforts. But once you start working there’s lots of issues that constantly chip away at your sense of satisfaction in work. There’s also tons of non engineering fields out there that value transferable engineering skills, can be just as rewarding on an intellectual level and offer better work life balance.
Research also shows that women are disproportionately likely to move away from the most technical career paths and toward roles that involve technical supervision or management as their careers progress.
We truly live in a global and inter connected society. But have you tested your app using a Right to Left (RTL) language such as Arabic? This blog post is a reflection on some of the design considerations to keep in mind when accomodating this.
Why does this matter?
Arabic is one of the top 5 spoken languages in the world with around 3 hundred million speakers and it is the third most spoken language in Australia. Even if you only release apps for the Australian market someone out there will have Arabic set as their default device language. It’s ok if you haven’t translated your app, but you should check that these people can still use it.
How do I test this?
Enable developer options and select “Force RTL layout direction”. On My Samsung S10 this is what my screen and options look like after enabling this option:
In Xcode you can change the build target language to a Pseudo RTL language to see how your app renders in this way without having to change the language on your device.
You don’t actually need to render your key pads in Right To Left, in fact it’s actually more jarring to render numbers in a RTL arrangement because ATM’s and phone pads are left to right in Arabic. Most Arab’s are use to globalised number pads. Samsung has an in-depth article on when RTL should be applied.
When I have RTL rendering set on my android phone, the log in pin screen and phone call functionality is in LTR. However some of my banking apps render their pin pads in RTL.
Common RTL Issues
I was pleasantry surprised to find out how many of my apps weren’t broken when I switched to RTL rendering. Facebook, twitter and email still look very good. Some apps (like my calculator) do not make sense to render RTL and they remain LTR:
Bug One: Overlapping labels
You will have to watch out for when labels overlap like in the domain app here:
Bug Two: Visuals doesn’t match written language
And when your text is rendered RTL but the visual cue is still LTR like in the shade bar for representing countries visitors to my blog in this wordpress statistics view:
Bug Three: Menu’s that animate from the side
In the app I’m helping build, the side menu renders pretty funkily in RTL mode, I can’t show you a screenshot of this behaviour but it’s probably the quirkiest RTL bug I’ve seen. If you find an app with bad side menu behavior in RTL please share your screenshots with me.
But here are some screenshots of the CommSec app on android (LTR on the left and RTL on the right for comparison)
Bug Four: Icon’s aren’t flipped
Often icon’s have a direction associated with them like the walking person when you get google maps directions. Sometimes it can look a little odd when they aren’t flipped correctly (as if they are walking backwards).
Have you seen these bugs before?
Please let me know your thoughts or experiences in supporting RTL languages. I’d love to hear your stories.
I attended Serverless Days in Sydney Today. Overall it had a good sense of community, the venue and food was top notch. This is a community run conference and there’s always good representation from the main serverless cloud providers here. *Cough* Google/AWS/Microsoft *Cough*. Alibaba made an appearance too.
Ben Kehoe – a Cloud Robotics Research Scientist at @iRobot gave us lessons learned in applying this mindset to more than just web applications. He goes over how as engineers we need to shift our mindset to focus on delivering business value and not get caught up on feeling like the centre of the business. Any code your write is a liability. That’s why I advocate for lean test code that adds value.
On a side note, anyone who gets to work in robotics professionally is super cool in my books. My favourite presentation is one where I present Tappy McTapface – a robot for mobile app testing. You can watch a previous talk by Ben on a similar idea here:
Did you miss out on the action?
Some of the speakers have given their presentations at previous conferences/meetup groups. Like Jessica Flanagan at YOW! Data this year. And Denis Bauer at YOW! Perth last year.
I Previously live streamed the Serverless Sydney meetup group and the Node user group on twitch (however these video’s are only stored on twitch for up to 60 days post live stream).
Serverless Icon Showdown
Who has the best logo? There’s Google Cloud Functions, AWS Lambda Functions, Microsoft Azure Functions and Alibaba Cloud Function Compute. Handsdown I think Microsoft Azure functions is the best logo here.
Are you using Serverless in production yet? what are some of the challenges you are facing? How should testers get up to speed with this technology?
Have you heard of micro services? This is like that but even smaller. What’s the smallest service you could possible deploy? a single function. Server less still uses a server, but the infrastructure is abstracted away by your cloud provider of choice. If no one is hitting your API, there’s no server running and costing you money. Cloud providers spin up an instance when needed as soon as something calls your function.