Posted in Uncategorized

Have a chip on your shoulder

real-word-meaning-crowdsourced-dictionary-hip-dict-60-589c703b43341__700

As today we have #Eurovision contest in Kiev (привет! to all of my Ukrainian friends:) ) the warming up would be music-related.

Some time ago I’ve attended a workshop, on which I’ve learned that everyone is able to sing. People claim, that they cannot sing, they have no voice or they are not talented. The truth is, that if you can hear a sound – you are able to repeat it. Less than 10% of population is not able to do it it is not likely you are in that group:) )

On the other hand, the problem with singing is more in our heads than in other organs  responsible for the act of singing (like larynx, diaphragm or mouth). Since childhood, most of us is thought that some people have “special abilities” for doing artistic things whereas the other don’t. It’s just not true.

It is our inner critique that imprisons us and makes us more harsh for ourselves than for the people around. That’s why we should open our minds and get back to the natural abilities of each human being, which is shouting, screaming and singing.

The post won’t be about singing though, but about testing and learning new things.

Since the beginning of my professional career in testing I had always a chip on my shoulder that I don’t have technical education. I did my best at work, but still was missing something. People around me – testers, developers – they all had a technical degree. I believed that they KNOW some magical things, which I didn’t know.

My education was a huge obstacle for me at the beginning, but I am not used to giving up quickly :). Eventually, I did my best and learned new things by heart from the web (thank you testerzy.pl), books, workshops and meetups.

I was wondering – am I the only person in IT industry, who thinks this way? What is more, maybe even some experienced testers feel the same way when they leave their comfort zone and start new project, new job, new team, familiarize themselves with a new technology.

Even if you work in the IT industry for a while, at the beginning of each new task you always start like:

187d0444ea4c52cf99f0829950aa10b0983fca85

No matter if you are smart-ass and Technical University graduate or have completely different background (like I do).

What is my point?

Go and learn, girl! Put yourself together, boy!

There is no excuse. You don’t have technical background but want to be a tester? Learn! There is no magic. No mystery. I’ve read that IT industry has a space for anyone. Sure, it has a space for everyone… who wants to learn.

I know a bunch of testers, who graduated from different faculties, such as: English Philology, Chemistry, Architecture…. We have one thing in common – all of us spend free time on reading about agile, SQL, Java, UI, UX… and much more.

Gathering new abilities extends your horizon and exercises your brain. Think of it like of a training, which will help you remain younger and better organized.

After some time of such training you will be able to jump from this position:

e3db1da47e2a7b58f999825a0345fff9

… to be more like:

24890461356_1f932371bb_b

There is no worst thing than a tester who thinks he has enough. There is always not enough. You cannot stop learning, because the web changes, trends change, methodologies change and it is fast, rapid and happens now. If you don’t keep up – you become Windows XP (if you know what I mean 😉 ).

Today I want you to get up and search for something new each day. You’ve been thinking about familiarize yourself with SQL, but have no time for get it done? Find your time – 15 minutes a day, on the bus, in the queue – wherever you can.

If anyone can cook, anyone can sing – what stops you from being the best tester in the world? (Or, at least, in your organisation).

Go and make me proud!

Posted in production bug

Allegro: How production bugs killed small business.

the killer

After first publication of this blog post I was accused for lying, being not honest and unprofessional.

No,  I don’t work for Allegro.

No,  I didn’t contact technical team before publication to hear their side of the story.

No, I don’t know the Wide context of current layout changes.

No, I didn’t write a lie. It’s a story from end User’s – retailer’s- point of view. Not from allegro tester’s point of view.

Yes, I am a mean person.

I have nothing against Allegro as a company.

I just feel that testers and developers should fight for bug-free deliveries.

All examples are real.

Each new tester, at the beginning of his journey through ISTQB requirements, is being thought a series of major production bugs that have caused financial loses or could have damaged someone’s life. At the same time, when people hear about safety issues or hacked bank accounts – they feel worried.

What about us – testers and developers – what do we think when we experience some major production issues on someone else’s website? Does it bother us? Do we feel harmed or rather smile with a triumph thinking about some lousy testing?

This post won’t be about tools and pure testing stuff today. It will be different, based on friend’s of mine – Polish retailer – a true story – his experiences and struggle. It also will be a tale about some bad marketing decisions, too rapid changes and about severe production bugs on Polish most known auction platform – Allegro.

I would like you to get familiar with a series of production issues on a platform, which most of you, readers, may have never heard of. Those issues damaged or ruined several local companies, harmed hard-working people and their families. In the end – no one feels responsible for it.

If you ever wonder how your production bugs might impact business – keep on reading.

What is Allegro

allegro-oszust-oszustwo-falszywa-wiadomosc

Allegro is a younger brother of Amazon and Ebay.

At first,  for several years, Allegro operated exclusively on the Polish market – now it’s a really big player in eastern Europe.

It started from being an online flee market and evolved into platform dedicated mostly for local retailers. It offers a space for selling and buying products and become a beating heart of Polish small business.

However….

Selling products on Allegro was always expensive for retailers, and really profitable for the portal itself. Some shops, apart selling products in their own e-commerce spaces, were using Allegro more as a commercial tool than main sell target. On the other hand, there were shops, that were selling things on the platform only and became very dependent. That made Allegro  huge player on Polish e-commerce market – it is the best known, it made also Polish market resistant to Ebay or Amazon influence. This quick overview will help you understand how strong position it has at the moment.

The Retailer

A friend of mine – Garry – is a small retailer. He sells small electronic parts online. Garry owns an online shop – but majority of the sales goes through Allegro. He runs his business for several years now with a great success. Last year he even received a prize for being such successful brand in e-commerce market.

Issue No1

work safe

One day Garry wakes up, logs into Allegro and realizes that his auctions doesn’t work.

He checks all of them – all switched off. He checks all his bills – everything is fine – checks his timetables – all auctions should be on – but THEY ARE NOT.

Garry tries to switch one auction on and receives a popup:

” Account locked.
Your bill was not payed.
Amount : 0,00 PLN”

You could just imagine how Garry was … surprised.

In the background – I can just imagine this failing database or fantastic live migration left by devops for the weekend.

Account locked: 3 days
Garry’s loss: several thousands PLN
People feeling guilty or apologizing from Allegro site: 0

Funny fact: It wasn’t one time event.

Issue No2

work safe (1)

Strictly connected with the first one.

After writing and calling to Allegro without success (well done you, Support Team!), Garry decided to transfer small amount of money to his Allegro account –  in order to have his account unlocked.

Guess what?

He was not able to transfer any money to his account, because there was no debt.

0937a8b33a690d9bc7943edb11b29be6

Account locked: 1 week
Garry’s loss: First time his costs were grater that his income
People feeling guilty or apologizing from Allegro site: 0

You can only imagine that Garry was not the only person harmed with those issues. Unfortunately, it was just the beginning of his troubles.

A chain of disasters

work safe (3)

At the beginning of 2017 Allegro decided about UI changes and strict regulations for all retailers. I believe (this is my assumption) that it is also connected with their mobile app that is being constantly improved for several months now (well done Allegro mobile Testers – the app is really cool – like… Really).

Spider’s web wrote some doubts about logotype changes here.

All retailers were obliged to change the overall look of their auctions:

  • remove logotypes
  • remove watermarks
  • remove branding
  • make all picture’s backgrounds pure white  (RGB 255, 255, 255)

Imagine retailers having over 1000 items on a sell, mostly using AI to renew the auctions, facing this one great challenge now: prepare all of your auctions from scratch. Enjoy.

On one hand I understand Allegro – white – in mobile design – is the best you can do. Agree.

On the other hand – removing all logotypes and retailer’s names from the pictures, auction names and so on – made them invisible.
Before that time – if you had 10 identical items on the list – you was able to distinguish the sellers and buy several items from the same person  – or – from your favorite retailer. Now – the only distinguish factor is THE PRICE.

As you can imagine – this extremely brilliant PR (or whoever decides about it at Allegro’s site) decision – promoted the biggest players – who can offer prices below the market rate. All other offers went down the list. What is more, the rumours said,  that those who can afford promoting on Allegro homepage – gain the most at the moment. (I don’t know the exact prices, as it’s top secret).

If you go to Allegro app right now – you’ll find just list of pure white identical images – and a sea of boredom. But they achieved what they wanted. Probably…

I also like Allegro’s sense of humor when replying to people complaining on new design and requirements (this information comes from Allegro’s support:

FB_IMG_1493819584223

“We are testing the new design. We switch it on for random group of users, examine the influence on buyers. We compare the results, and improve if necessary or change the look of certain elements. For the next couple of weeks you’ll see your offers in different versions. We’ll choose the one, which will be the most convenient for the users”.

I miss “Enjoy” at the end.

Issue No3

work safe (2)

Layout change caused some “unexpected” issues – missing auctions.

Due to constant improvements (and probably some migrations) random items kept disappearing from retailer’s list of items. They were able to see them from admin site – but they were not visible for Allegro users.

Oh, two missing items? No one notice, we’ll fix it in the next sprint. – Does it sound familiar?

For some of the retailers – auctions were available – but their new images were missing for days (sic!). It seems like testing images on production is not always the best practice, isn’t it?

Some people skipped their orders, because not all of the items they wanted were available.

Garry’s loss: several thousands PLN
People feeling guilty or apologizing from Allegro site: 0

Summing up

Garry has already lost a lot of money.

His company started to fall, as all new regulations and constant production issues damaged his income. He had to dismiss his employees, as there was not much work to do for all of them. He has closed his office and had to look for some additional job.
This is not just a story – it’s a fact.

Your production issues – Allegro testers – caused someone’s unemployment.

It seems just unreal – because Garry’s company was successful for several years! All happened because of too rapid and reckless changes on the online platform. Imagine youtubers, dependent on their one and only communication channel, facing some unexpected platform changes. I bet some of them will loose their audience and income as well.

The sad fact is – Allegro doesn’t care. No apologies. No regrets. They’ll get the income anyway.

Will hundreds of people like Garry influence the general income of Allegro? I have no idea.
I just feel sorry for Garry – a hard-working person who lost (for some time) his life joy. Because of bunch of production errors and rapid marketing decisions.

I’m not against Allegro testers. I believe it is a good lesson for all of us to think wider. Not only within the sprint or release frame.

There is a real user out there.

Posted in databases, scripting, Unix

Unix – I did my best

1nnpyr

Hi Boys and Girls!

After my previous Unix-related post some of you complained that it was too short, to little knowledge and more meh than wow. This time I decided to do my best and fulfill all your Unix desires 🙂

One of my biggest discoveries about Unix (and command line in general) is that
YOU HAVE TO KNOW.

You have to know where your file is.

You have to know what is the path to the folder in which your file would be stored.

You have to know how to do things.

In order to know things – I’ve gathered bunch of tips and commands that might be useful. 🙂

At first – commands!

File management:

  • cat – Concatenate and print files
  • chgrp – Change the file group ownership
  • chmod – Change the file modes/attributes/permissions
  • chown – Change the file ownership
  • chattr –  Change file attributes
  • cd   – Change directory
  • cd – – Change to previous directory

(hint: cd without provided directory will take you back to home catalog – with the specified path will take you to that directory.

It is also possible to move up step by step or several parent directories at once, for example:

cd ../../../   – will move you 3 cataloges up)

  • df – Report free disk space
  • echo – Write arguments to standard output
  • file –  Determine file type
  • find –  Find files
  • gzip – Zip files
  • gunzip – Unzip files
  • ln  – Link files
  • ls – List directory contents

(ls –color will list your files with selected color)

  • mkdir – Make directories
  • more – Display files on a page-by-page basis
  • mv – Move or rename files

For examlpe – if you wanna rename test1 file into test45 – your command would be like this:   mv test1 test45

  • pwd – print working directory – Return working directory name
  • rcp – Transfer files to the remote host
  • rm – Remove files and catalogs
  • rmdir – Remove directories, if they are empty.
  • split – Split files into pieces
  • touch – Change file access and modification times
  • umask – Get or set the file mode creation mask
  • unlink – Call the unlink function

File system management:

  • badblocks – badblocks control
  • df – Report free disk space
  • dd – Convert and copy a file

Process management:

  • at – Execute commands at a later time
  • cron – Regular process run during given timeframe.
  • fg – Run jobs in the foreground
  • kill – Terminate or signal process.
  • killall – Terminate or signal all processes with given name.

Sounds Metallica-ish, doesn’t it?

  • ps – Report process status
  • watch – Monitor command result

(For the watch 😉 )

  • nice – Invoke a utility with an altered nice value

Users and systems management:

  • clear – Clear console / terminal
  • login – Log in to the system
  • passwd – Change password
  • su – Log into other user’s account
  • sudo – Run process with root rights
  • who – Display who is on the system
  • whoami – Display what user are you currently using

Text editing:

  • cut – Cut out selected fields of each line of a file
  • grep – Search text for a pattern
  • head – Copy the first part of files
  • more – Display files on a page-by-page basis
  • vi – Screen-oriented (visual) display editor

Comment time

People usually don’t know all Unix commands by heart – they collect the most useful ones in random txt file and use them (or use history command), believe me. To use Unix – you don’t have to know them all. Take it easy.

To manage your Unix account – you’ll need a login and password. Nice tool to manage Unix (or Linux) commands is Putty (such fabulous UI design) – give it a try 🙂

Command line allows you to combine multiple commands and get precise results.

On the other hand, you may be thinking how Unix will be helpful in testing activities? In the same way as in development – you are able to manage your files quickly or run shell scripts. In addition, everyone is able go through the same logs, search for useful scripts, go inside them, look around and modify, if necessary.

You can also narrow down your search results, using grep, or make sure that the log you are looking for at the moment is the same one, which has been generated
a moment ago – not last month.

Furthermore, you are able to color your results, number the rows and save all modifications. All of that  – using just pure commands – without GUI. Sounds strange – but it works – and, to be honest, a lot of people work this way.

One account – multiple users

There is a very important thing to remember when working on Unix account.

I did mention before – companies (projects) use Unix or Linux, because it is possible to work on the remote machine – even by multiple users at once. On the other hand, those users usually have rights to modify the same files. What dose it mean? You have to be precise and careful what you are doing.

I hope that my guide made you curious and you’ll experiment with Unix, Linux and command line. It is not as scary as you think.

Do you have any favorite commands? Did I miss something important? Don’t be shy – you can comment down below.

Stalk me on Twitter (@KingaTest).

Cheers!

Posted in scripting, Unix

Unix and friends

UNIX

Knowing Unix command line is definitely not something that you’ll impress a nice girl, but it might be something that you’ll impress cute geek guy 😉

What is Unix

As I wrote before  Unix is a family of multitasking, multi user computer operating systems. I was told that my definition was not precise enough, so for those of you, who are completely not familiar with Unix, I’ll repeat:

Unix is a OS (Operation System).

It is not a tool.

It consists of large number of tools.

It’s like a mother-ship for other OSes (such as Linux or you’re favorite Mac 😉 ).

In order to talk to Unix – you’ll need to be using the command line.

(I hope this time it was explicit enough :)).

crVtQK

Moving on

In Unix-like systems the commands are quite often nothing else but tiny programs, which run from command line. They are form of shells. Most of the shells can be also used as scripting language, which enables the user to perform multiple tasks and write scripts to automate repetitive activities.

There is several scripting languages available (csh, ksh, bash). As far as I know, one of the most popular in Unix is bash.

Before you start a little chit chat with your console – it is good to know the basics – and what I mean by that is to read about FHS – Filesystem Hierarchy Standars. Unless you won’t be a smart-ass.

FHS is common for Linux and Unix systems.

Examples

Having said that, let’s move on to the most useful commands that allow you talk to Unix.

One of the cutest commands I’ve ever seen is whoami. It is a real command. It doesn’t mean that Unix would reveal the secrets of life in front of you, but after several hours of coding it is good to know your name, right?

What might be more useful in real life? What do I use on daily basis?

bash  – switch scripting language to bash

pwd – show current directory

cat   – show file content

cd    – change directory

/       – hint – in Unix (in a contrary to Windows console) we use / instead of \

cp  – copy

ls   – list

ls -l   – list with rights – this command shows hidden rights to the files inside current catalog

 -a   – list hidden files

ln  – create hard link

rm – remove file or catalog

chmod  – adding/removing rights to the files

-al      – show hidden catalogs

history – this one fellow might be useful at the beginning – it lists all previous commands

Please try it at home. Next time we’ll play a bit more with Unix. I’ll show you some tricks.

As usual, stalk me on Twitter – all of your comments are very welcome.

Cheers!

Posted in Uncategorized

Happy Eastur

159554bf3fb6b0e7f9e5688574c58c0b

Hi Boys and Girls,

Today it won’t be technical or QA-ish at all.

Today is my birthday and Easter started at the same time.

It’s raining in Wroclaw and apparently there is no spring at all…

HOWEVER!

I would like to wish you all the best and simply thank you for being here and reading my blog. Each time I post something I am surprised by the number of people visiting this space.

Thank you,

Peace and love,

Winnie’s the Pooh “Happy Eastur”.

Next time I’ll go back to Unix, promise!

:q!

IMG_-f3gh6a