Tips On Software Testing As Part Of Quality Assurance

Software testing refers to the process of evaluating a software program, to know whether it has the quality and complies with predetermined requirements. Through testing, software professionals aim to single out and correct mistakes at an initial phase. It is a significant aspect of QA (quality assurance) and an essential element of software development. Now, let us discuss some tips for testing and quality assurance.

Have A Quality-Centric Business Philosophy

The philosophy of a software development company will determine how well (or bad) the development process will be. The developing software’s quality has to matter to the company, and this is something which top-quality work is based on. It takes time to produce fine code and correct bugs, but software testing is beyond an element associated with the service for which money has to be spent. It is a useful investment too, as faulty software is much costlier and does not go down well with users.

Know The Importance Of Quality

Your team of software developers must know how important it is to build a top-quality software program. The developers also have to know the effects that program errors might have for a business, especially on the applications that are critical to keeping it running.

The initial step of QA begins with programming, which has to do with incorporating a fine software concept and software design. With the right approach and top-quality coding, it is possible to prevent consequent errors and other issues in an easy way. Bug fixing has to be a smart and clean solution, rather than a temporary way of dealing with an issue. Albeit it takes slightly longer occasionally, temporary solutions that do not address underlying issues can be elsewhere in improper places.

Remember That QA Is No Stage

Neither quality assurance (QA) is the first link in software development, nor is it the final link. QA is among the steps in the continuing agile software development process. Software testing occurs in every single version of a software program, and the components of development will be executed only after testing. So, it has to be there as a standard and continuing element of daily software development.

Identify And Define All Your Requirements

Before starting software development, it is important to define the quality criteria and requirements of the to-be-made program. This must be done because every developer and stakeholder has to understand what program should be developed. Besides, another reason to do the aforementioned is that it allows bringing together many different ideas concerning quality and requirements.

As per ISO 9126, software quality aspects are categorized into requirements namely functionality, usability, reliability, maintainability, portability, and efficiency. The software testing professional have to check quality criteria and each of the aforesaid requirements. The results have to be conveyed early by means of fine documentation so that any errors that occur in development can be fixed early enough.

Have Dedicated Staff For Testing

Software testing has to be allocated to one who is devoted to this task. This assures that software testing is performed in a professional manner with focus, not casually. Testing is beyond clicking through a to-be-made software program; a cheap workforce will not replace it. Every strategy, standard and guideline should be followed in testing. Automated testing must be done as a general rule. Every relevant test has to be part of the process from the get-go and implemented without interruption. Only dedicated professionals can offer the experience and expertise necessary in methodological testing.

Use Automated Testing

Test automation is common these days. Automatic equipment has to do around 80% of all software tests. It is very helpful to have automation for standard tests that have repetitions or the ones that are not easy to perform manually.

Automated software tests can be divided into the following.

  • Unit tests
  • Integration tests
  • Component tests
  • GUI (Graphical User Interface) tests
  • Acceptance tests

However, testing everything through automation is impossible. For instance, testing related to the usability of software cannot be done using automated tools. So, manual testing has to be a vital part of SQA (software quality assurance).

Ensure Good Communication Among Team Members And Stakeholders

An extremely significant aspect of software quality management is communication. It is possible to address, reconstruct and correct software bugs only through good documentation. Besides fine communication in a team of software developers, it is also essential to have fine communication with customers. For instance, not communicating fresh specifications early enough, could just cause more costs and major delays in the software development project. Feedback has to be a frequent aspect of SQA to keep the team and customers updated on the present state of the development project.

Ensure There Are Values To Be Had For Everyone

Everybody who takes part in the software development project has to know the advantages of both testing and quality standards. If customers exit a software-based platform, like an ecommerce website, for instance, what would the repercussions and expenses be? That customer action could bring about considerable revenue loss for you. This is reason enough to put money and resources into building top quality software programs.

Finding product errors and defects allows identifying and resolving issues for both developers and customers. So, customer concepts like prebuilt design should be improved. When the concepts do not work in software usability testing, especially for mobile phones, the tester will be able to tackle the issue in time. Designs can then be tweaked, and thereby, any loss of revenue avoided.

Not knowing testing and quality requirements tends to mean a resource shortage. There could not be anything worse than interns or unqualified personnel replacing professionals or testing being canceled completely.

Keep Improving And React To Any Change

Continuous betterment is the key in the agile software development process. The same goes for software testing.

Methods and tools for software testing to guarantee quality constantly keep emerging. If a project’s criteria changes, tried and tested processes will not go well with those requirements and can no longer be utilized together. So, testing professionals have to keep learning about new techniques and tools, plus scrutinize present processes frequently. For this, the following are useful.

  • Sharing knowledge among company teams and testing professionals; and,
  • Discussing strategies, trends, issues and their possible solutions in conferences and groups.

The aforementioned helps in adapting and optimizing software testing and other processes, efficiently.

Use Fine Testing Tools

Tools are important especially for automated testing. Besides well-structured processes and work methods, testing professionals must use the tools that help to streamline their work.

Things to Consider Post Cloud Migration

There can be numerous benefits of migrating to the cloud, like scalability, improved efficiency, simplified management, business agility and lower costs. Cloud migration can be considered the start of a digital transformation for businesses, and enables organizations to quickly adapt to the changes and latest technologies. It is important in today’s changing business landscape to be able to adapt to the changes in technology quickly. For these reasons and many others, it’s estimated that about 83% of the business workloads will be in the cloud storage by the end of 2020.

As per the experts in cloud storage, the desire of businesses to transform digitally is the driving factor for increased cloud adoption and engagement. The introduction of cloud services has changed the way information technology is consumed and delivered, which has allowed companies to reach great innovation levels. While there are many important benefits for cloud migration, there are also many challenges that businesses face after migration.

Moving the infrastructure to critical applications is a decision that businesses do not take lightly. Once the decision is made, the planning and execution of the shifting should be thoughtfully done considering the best options. However, many businesses regularly fail to take into account post cloud migration considerations which should have been done prior to migration. These considerations should be incorporated to the overall plan of cloud migration. Failure to do so can result in problems with underutilization, increased risks, confusion among employees and many more.  

Below are some of the cloud migration challenges that businesses might come across and should be prepared to handle.

Underutilization and Unbudgeted Charges

Once the migration is completed, it’s important for businesses to follow proper steps to make sure they get the most out of the cloud solutions. The agility and flexibility offered by the cloud based solutions can be very beneficial to businesses. However, it should be managed and controlled to keep issues like underutilization, increased risk, unbudgeted costs, and compliance at bay. You can follow the tips below to prevent these issues from happening.

  • Identify various benchmarks and define targets in the important areas like cost, RPO/RTO, availability, and compliance.
  • Establish business governance with continual monitoring and measurement, combined with periodic management review and oversight. In addition, operational and historical data should be maintained.
  • Employ ongoing and proactive optimization of cloud across different tiers like cost. For instance, proactive provisioning and planning to make use of the inherent flexibility of cloud storage services using features like scheduled applications, autoscaling, and environment health checks. It also includes buying reserved instances, leveraging automation and DevOps to monitor actions and environments. The actions can include division wide consolidated analysis and billing, shutting down unwanted or unused instances.
  • Educate yourself on how outsourcing to managed service providers can help you save on costs and resources.

Management of Operational and Organizational Changes

The biggest challenge might not always be technology. It is usually the processes and people that need to adapt to the technology. Employees from various departments should be involved and engaged in the migration tasks, right from the beginning, even though the degree and type of the activities will vary. Managing change, consistent with the other shifts in IT is important for a successful transformation to the cloud storage services. If you focus only on technology, it can lead only to poor results.

Executing applications in the cloud can change the responsibilities and roles of many people across teams. This includes human resources, compliance, and legal and can start new positions like DevOps engineers, cloud architects, and security professionals. For this reason, it is important for the leadership to offer proper education, ongoing training and messaging to make sure that all the employees are completely enabled, comfortable and capable doing their daily things.

Testing

Testing is a very important step in the journey to cloud migration. Proper testing in place can help avoid unwanted or unexpected gaps in scalability, business processes, database errors and server breakdowns. Above all, having proper testing in place will ensure that all the applications run seamlessly in the new environment.

Downtime

Having proper security and monitoring practices will ensure that the downtime is very low. With these measures, downtime will not be much of an issue, but should be considered a challenge that businesses should be prepared to confront. As per the results of a study conducted on downtime, it can cost businesses an average of 5.6K dollars per minute.

Businesses can consider adopting multi cloud or multi location environment to avoid outages. There should be adequate backup, disaster recovery, and availability strategies in place. It’s always better to have workloads across varying locations, as it can add resiliency and cut down the downtime risks.

Security

Data breaches and thefts are occurring at a very big rate and the risks that are associated to protect and guard data are legitimate. It can be nerve wracking for businesses to offer the control of proprietary and sensitive data to a third party. To get rid of security concerns after cloud migration, you need to make sure that the cloud service providers offer user identity management, secure authentication, and access control. When functioning in a hybrid cloud environment, it’s important for the team to focus on the physical security of the complete database and the environment.

Practicing secure data storage is a necessity, as most of the data breaches and violations are caused by either human errors (unintentional or intentional) or due to a failure in identity and access control, data storage and data management security. Moreover, those businesses that select a public cloud provider should understand that the security standards have increased much in the last years. Security inside the public cloud should involve partnership between the user and the service provider. This means that it is very much important to have good understanding on the ownership areas for security.

In the case of public cloud storage systems like AWS, the well accepted and recognized security model is a shared responsibility model. In this case, the service provider is the one who is responsible for making the cloud secure. This includes hardware, physical infrastructure and software, whereas the customer will be responsible for all system security above platform, data, applications, operating system and network traffic. Customers should be able to find out the best ways to handle post migration responsibilities. For instance, they can use procedures, tools, and managed service providers who have experience in cloud services.

You need to understand that migrating from legacy infrastructure to the latest cloud storage is a serious transition. But, if the businesses have an idea of the potential challenges after the migration beforehand, they can be prepared to take the necessary actions and steps to prevent it. Planning out the migration process and coming up with a timeline designed to find and fix the problems quickly when they arise can ensure a smooth transition.

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Why You Should Consider a VPN for Your Business

The technology field is developing tremendously every single day. This has paved the way for working remotely allowing employees to better manage their work-life balance. Note that nowadays, people can work from their home or any remote area they prefer. There are many people who log on during their transit as well. All that is required for this is an appropriate device and a reliable internet connection.

According to some studies conducted in the field, professionals feel that they can be more productive when enjoying flexible time shifts or working out of their regular workplace. Even though working from other locations or home is a great way to increase the productivity of your company, it comes with its own risks. Note that connecting to the client or company data over an unsecured device or network can pose major threats to your business. Unfortunately, this is one of the major scenarios that occurs at companies boasting working remotely or time shifts.

Most people tend to use their personal devices for both private and professional business. Without any doubts, logging in with a public network using your mobile phone or other personal devices will create weak links in the cybersecurity of your enterprise. This can attract cybercriminals. Thankfully, there are ways to tackle this issue. One of the simplest and cost-effective measures for this is a Virtual Private Network or VPN.

What is a virtual private network?

VPN is one of the best innovations in the technology field that will let a person create a secured network connection even if he/she is using an unsecured home Wi-Fi setup or a public network. In this case, the data that can be easily hacked by cyber culprits otherwise will be encrypted even before your public Wi-Fi or internet service providers can see it. Then, the data is sent to the destination from a virtual private network server without being clubbed with the information of your device.

Note that even if a hacker tries to check out the data you are sending or receiving thru a VPN, they will be able to see only the encrypted data rather than its raw counterpart. This way, you can provide an extra layer of protection to your client and company data against cyberattacks when your employees are working from remote places.

The significance of VPNs

The cybercrime rate in the business world is on the peak these days. In fact, ransomware attacks leading to the destruction of companies have become a common issue nowadays. Note that DDoS and malware attacks are reported to be the most popular and common methods used by hackers to sabotage a company. You will be amazed to know that the United States of America is one of the countries that holds a top position when it comes to security breach issues. The country witnessed thousands of ransomware attacks resulting in data loss and huge ransom demands in the past few years.

Furthermore, cybercriminals are most likely to attack small businesses because of poor security measures since it will be easier for them to steal the data. Plus, startups will pay the ransom without much bargaining if possible since they will be more focused on expanding or growing their business. Sadly, business owners who run small establishments often overlook the significance of VPN networks making the task even easier for hackers. According to some studies, the average cost that small businesses in the US had to pay for cyber attacks range from $84000 to $148000.

When it comes to the UK, the monetary loss suffered by small organizations in 2016 alone because of the data breach is around £29 billion. Nevertheless, some sophisticated hackers may target established business enterprises as well. After all, no business is small for an online culprit to exploit. To avoid this, make sure to rely on a VPN and secure your servers and network using anti-malware or antivirus software.

Implementation of VPN

Fortunately, it is easy to implement or use virtual private networks in addition to being cost-effective. Hence, this is a great choice for all the organizations out there that do not have a dedicated IT department or an IT specialist. However, make sure that all your staff is transferring data over VPN networks so that there will be no gaps in your defense. For this, give strict instructions to your employees and ask them to install VPN software on devices such as a home computer, laptops, etc., that they use to perform professional tasks.

Additionally, check whether your team requires a mobile app version of VPN for checking emails or other necessary information on the move. In case you don’t want to deploy a VPN on the devices of almost every employee in your company, make a clear rule regarding who can access client and company data at first and act accordingly. For instance, if your team use to work from home using their laptop, make sure that he/she uses the same deceive rather than their tablets, mobiles, or any other devices even when working from other remote locations.

Other security instructions

Even though VPN is one of the best ways to tackle online sabotage, it is not the only tool that you may rely on. Note that your staff can easily create gaps in your defenses by opening a malicious email attachment or using poor or default passwords. To avoid such silly yet grave mistakes, give proper training to all your employees on cybersecurity as well as the aftermath of a successful attack.

If you are running a small business and cannot afford to put an IT expert on the payroll, take care to focus on factors such as using strong passwords, installing antivirus and anti-malware software on the devices, performing regular scans, preventing and tackling phishing attacks or any other threats, etc. In short, craft a perfect security policy for your company and make sure that all your employees adhere to it.

Essential Skill Sets To Look For In Network Professionals

When you run a business that requires IT assistance, it is always better to hire a skilled IT team or a specialist to handle the task rather than outsourcing it. Furthermore, when you hire an IT professional, make sure that the person is an expert in three areas; thorough knowledge of IT infrastructure, cloud management, and budgeting process.

Traditionally, network professionals used to look after areas such as server placement, network throughput, security firewall, device management, etc. However, with the development in the technology field, more and more companies are now embracing the concept of edge computing. Hence, an IT specialist must be a veteran in areas such as IT architecture and data management as well. In fact, these are the main skill sets that you must look for when hiring a network professional.

Thorough IT infrastructure knowledge

Mobile devices, the internet of things, and the initiatives like manufacturing 4.0, etc., are demanding more network knowledge to run a business successfully. As a result, you will have to either scale up your network to accommodate all the tasks or segment and partition a bigger network into a series of smaller networks to work in a specialized manner. However, you are likely to be wondering about questions such as will these networks ever integrate or at what point will they engage with each other and transfer significant data?, what kind of data can be exchanged among these networks?, who can access the information?, what are the security measures employed?, etc.

In fact, these are the most common and popular questions that an organization is likely to face when it comes to networks and IT infrastructure. Note that an IT professional can easily solve all such questions by getting involved in the whole IT infrastructure development process. For this, they must start interacting with DBAs and application developers in the company from the very beginning phase of system and business process design.

In short, the network experts are expected to go much beyond the traditional router, server, UPS backup, cable, and network device configuration with the introduction of edge computing. In other words, network professionals require a better understanding of business processes and enterprise systems so that they can efficiently work alongside application developers, system programmers, DBAs, and other employees who play a role in developing or designing the IT infrastructure.

Cloud expertise

There will be hardly any company that does not rely on cloud services these days. Hence, the network knowledge of your staff needs to be expanded beyond your organization. Rather, it must include bandwidth constraints and data exchanges including cloud-to-data and cloud-to-cloud exchanges and communications. Your staff must also be capable of making choices when it comes to which system needs to be operated internally and the ones to be installed on the cloud.

This decision making includes network requirements and factors such as network security, backup, and performance. For this, the professionals must have in-depth knowledge of both wide-area and internal networks. Plus, they must be capable of dealing with cloud service providers and external telecommunications that plays a key role in keeping the networks secured and running.

Be a part of the budgeting process

Traditionally, network managers used to perform a major role in budgeting when internal and wide area networks are involved. However, the budgeting process needs to be expanded with the introduction of IoT, cloud, edge computing, enhanced network roles, etc. For instance, if you want to automate a company, the IT experts are expected to work alongside application developers to design an appropriate automated system. Note that this task does not only involve server and software design costs but also network expansion costs. The system and network professionals must be capable of scaling out both the budget and technical requirements of the enterprise.

The bottom line is that when you hire a network professional, make sure to consider someone who boasts thorough knowledge of IT infrastructure, cloud management, and budgeting rather than just the network side. Otherwise, provide on-site job training to your existing employees. The latter will be a better choice since the employees will be able to handle a broader set of responsibilities this way as they configure, support, and design networks.

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Brilliant Ways to Tackle Your Business Expenses

Running a business is not easy and it involves a significant amount of money. Haven’t you heard the phrase “you gotta spend money to earn money “? After all, you will have to look after the technical side and management side of your organization to keep the ship running. Unfortunately, business expenses are likely to spike up over time. Usually, business owners try to justify the extra expenses by tagging it as ‘marketing’ and ‘growth’. Anyhow, you can tackle your business expenses easily by conducting quarterly or yearly audits. If you’re wondering about how to tackle your business expenses, check out some amazing tips below.

Track fees

One of the main factors that eat away a major share of your business profit is fees. Note that a company will have to rely on multiple services that come with a charge. For instance, consider all of the expenses such as invoice service fees, credit card processing fees, fees to mail or ship products, etc. When you do quarterly or yearly audits, focus on questions such as where and how can you trim down this type of expense? Are you paying way higher than the current market rate on certain services? You may compare your fees expenses with that of other companies that run the same type of business for better understanding and clarity. In short, make sure you are not overpaying for the services.

Track services

Services are indispensable in order for your business to run smoothly and successfully. However, when you choose a service, you must always think about whether it’s an essential option or a ’nice to have’ one? If you practiced this method, you’ll be able to cut down a good share of your business expenses. In other words, the ability to decide between what is significant and what makes things easier will let you make the right decisions without being subjected to emotions. Such decisions will surely contribute to the growth of your venture.

Evaluate your stock purchasing

Some business owners tend to stock more number of products or overbuy thing assuming that they will need it in the future. This can spike up your overall business cost to a great extent. To avoid this, always analyze your purchasing decisions before jumping into any conclusion. Better, systematize your purchasing so that you can be in track when it comes to what your business actually demands.

Look after your business operating expenses

Another factor that contributes to the overall business expenses is the operating costs. To tackle this, review your operating expenses regularly. Furthermore, no business will run the same way and hence, never consider someone else’s style or standards when you review the operating expenses. Make sure to delve into every trivial detail so that you will have total control over every buck that comes in as well as what goes out in your business.

Why IT Infrastructure Is Significant For Your Business Growth

The IT infrastructure is an indispensable necessity in order for your business to run successfully, especially in this digital age. Still, many business owners tend to overlook this factor. Otherwise, they may simply leave the task in the hands of their IT department or network managers. However, this can be a recipe for disaster in the long run. In other words, such companies will be doomed in no time if this practice continued.

Please note that you can easily embrace multiple business opportunities and economic growth. However, you will have to embrace the technological changes at first for this. Furthermore, IT infrastructure has got much more significance and deeper meaning than you imagine. Here are a few of the major points listed below.

It is not always about the cloud

When it comes to digital transformation, the first thing that may pop into the mind of almost every employer will be the cloud. In fact, they have a misconception that digital changes and cloud are interchangeable. However, it is not always about the cloud. Note that while the cloud is just the framework with which you can enhance your work efficiency, security, and productivity, it works differently for different businesses. Hence, it’s your responsibility to leverage it in a way to favor your business and obtain maximum client-and-partner value.

Networks require constant upgrades

Dealing with network upgrades can be quite distressing, especially if it requires going offline to complete the modifications or upgrades. However, if you are taking much time of inactivity to finish certain upgrades, it indicates that you are doing something wrong. After all, this is the digital age and most companies have adapted software-based networking rather than hardware upgrades eliminating the necessity of going offline. In short, if you want to survive in the present corporate world, which is incredibly competitive, you will have to let go of the 20th-century procedures, hardware, and standards, and embrace its modern counterparts.

Understanding your software

As mentioned earlier, modern businesses are usually software-based. Hence, you must have a thorough knowledge of your software. Even though people tend to focus on it during the beginning or as they install it, they usually tend to overlook it over time. You never know, your Company might be functioning on outdated software putting the security, productivity, and economy of your business at risk.

It is to be noted that software forms the perfect architecture for the IT infrastructure of your company making it extremely significant. Hence, you can ensure the security of your business with updated software. Plus, it will let your servers and devices adapt in real-time to every change through analytical and machine learning. Needless to say, it will be indefinably convenient to have a computer system in your company that can maintain itself virtually.

Networks are ever-changing and dynamic

While companies tend to embrace the changing market trends quite fast, they’re always slow when it comes to adapting changing patterns in the IT field. To avoid this, you must consider the networks as an adaptable and living part of your organization rather than just some pipes and plumbing. Keep in mind that the health and life of your company depend on keeping your network innovative and up-to-date.

How Micromanagement Can Ruin Your Business

Delegating tasks to your subordinates will never be as easy as you think, especially if you’re running a startup or a small business. In fact, many of you would have probably decided to start your own venture because of these micromanaging issues. For instance, you may think that you’ll be able to lead better than your boss. Note that it will always be hard to give one’s reins to the hands of another person, particularly if you are best at the task. However, keep in mind that micromanaging can surely hurt your employees as well as your business. Below are some of the in-depth details that every employer must take care of.

The negative results of micromanaging your staffs

Most employers might think that if they are best at something why don’t their employees follow their path and succeed in the same way? Hence, they might not find micromanaging a big issue. Unfortunately, this is not the case. On the contrary, micromanaging can cause a devastating impact on your business. Some of those major downsides of micromanagement are given below.

  • When you deal with a startup or a small business, you’ll barely have time to look after your own to-do list; let alone look after the tasks of your employees. If you’ve tried to supervise or look after every task and matter in your business, it is likely to burn you out making you less productive. This can sometimes sink your ship.
  • Happy and satisfied employees are one of the major factors of a successful business. This is mainly achieved if they are given control over their tasks. Of course, you can review their work and point out the mistakes if any. On the other hand, if you try to control or lead them every time and make them feel like a robot, they are most likely to disengage from their tasks becoming less productive and enthusiastic. Plus, you will never be able to gain their respect as an employer.
  • As mentioned earlier, dissatisfied employees who are brilliant at their work are likely to start their own business or searching for new jobs. Needless to say, this will likely make you suffer from a huge turnover.

How to figure out whether you are micromanaging your employees

Sometimes, employers might be micromanaging their employees without realizing they’re doing so. To figure this out, check out whether you exhibit the following characteristics of a micromanager.

  • Asking your staffs for daily progress reports and updates of the tasks even if they are not so urgent
  • Always asking your employees to improvise their work or never appreciating their work
  • Rather than giving a chance for your employees to take over low-value business tasks, you prefer doing it yourselves since you are much faster or you don’t trust them
  • You don’t want your employees to move on with their tasks without your approval. As a result, they are not able to meet the deadlines resulting in customer dissatisfaction.

If you are still not sure whether or not you are micromanaging your employees, follow the tips given below.

Do a one-week self-assessment year

Write down all the business tasks that you do for a week. At the end of the week, analyze the report well. Check whether you spent most of your time minding your own business or trying to interfere with your employees’ task. If you are more focused on doing the tasks that your employees can do, you have got some issues.

Demand feedback from your staff

Another way to figure out your managing skills is by asking your employees for unbiased feedback. You can ask them to avoid mentioning their name so that you can expect honest comments. If you get many negative reviews about your management style, then you’ll have to address the issue as soon as you can.

Tips to tackle your micromanaging habit

So, you have done the tests and figured out that you are, in fact, micromanaging your employees. Do you want to kick this career-ruining habit out? If so, follow these steps listed below.

  • Start giving low-value works to your staffs and work your way up slowly with more important works and build trust on them
  • Explain the objective or every task and let them decide the way to achieve the goal
  • Authorize your employees to make some decisions on their own rather than waiting for your consent every time
  • Never ask your employees to CC you on the emails that do not affect your work.