Archive for July, 2012|Monthly archive page

Debunking the myth – Siesta time is’nt necessary

In Siesta, Welfare on July 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Siesta, ah the very word reminds you of  relief.  Have you ever wondered why there are resting rooms provided in some organizations?  It is to take a break.  Break from a hectic day of work (which happens on most days).  I am of the opinion that siesta time should be made mandatory.  A siesta keeps a person a little healthier and fresh so that he becomes more productive.

Some developed countries have 35 hour weeks.  They ensure that their employees get enough of holidays (even Paternity leaves), to see that the employees are not overloaded.  Employees in such companies or countries are generally happier and contribute well.  I understand the the software profession is highly demanding and needs a different outlook to work and survive.  The worst case comes from , as stated by a top official in a software services company, is that the days of higher profit margins are over.  The companies have to contend with lower profit margins , and this makes them squeeze more out of their employees.  But my question is until when?  Employee burnout may ultimately lead people towards more attrition that too out towards non IT industries, where the pay is not very high but the life is much better.  Work life balance has become a myth in many of our IT companies.  There are times when IT professionals have died young, just because they could not handle “it” anymore.  This, of course, does not apply to everyone; but over a period of time I believe the toll may reach higher.  Deaths such as these are normally a hush hush affair, and people rarely know why a person could have died.  Many reasons are cited such as lack of sleep, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle all being done to favor “Delivery excellence”, but my question is if it is worth all this.

These companies can take small steps such as a siesta time.  A couple of hours after lunch is supposed to be the most unproductive of them all.  Trainings, knowledge transfer or a presentations etc. are avoided because of this reason.  So why not do away with these 2 hours?    Also they can be asked to extend these hours by adding another half or 1 hour on the day they take a siesta.

Mobile testers could end up breaking their fingers

In Mobile, Software Testing on July 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

What would be common between testing a desktop application and a mobile application?

Mobile testing is the new trend in software testing as millions of applications are being developed for all kinds of platforms.  The interfaces are touchscreen and the keyboard? congested.  So when a user wants to enter text for an email he has to struggle with different things such as switching from numbers to alpha characters, finger overlap leading to entering the wrong character on the keyboard.  Irritating huh?  Guys, the screen is just 3.7 inches to a little more in most handsets how else do you expect a keyboard NOT to be congested.  Me thinks there is a workaround for this.  Voice typing.  Interfaces to phones also contain a voice to text converter wherein the text appears on the screen as the user says it.  This could greatly reduce the frustration involved in writing.  Moreover the world is moving towards Natural User Interfaces for all we know.  So guys lets come up with ways to test a mobile phone using voice to text converter. Watch for my blogs on this.

Best practices – a bane or boon?

In Expectation management, Software Testing, Testing Jobs on July 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Many a time I have wondered what these best practices really serve.  Is it a “one size fits all ?” or is it a way to earn money from unsuspecting customers, or is it a process like taking a daily walk, eat fresh fruit and vegetables which seems to keep a human healthy.  The answer, according to me is that all the above statements can be true.  As testing becomes context sensitive, one must customize the processes according to the context/situation.  Unfortunately there are some managements which do not understand Context sensitive testing and end up listening to the consultants who they just hired, and that would be to involve unnecessary processes which only end up as a time consuming task, and leaves the tester with little time to do what they were hired for, and that is “Testing”.  Of course the other option is to always ask the testers to “Stretch” themselves on weekends, and extra hours on weekdays too.  This kind of over-activity makes the tester frustrated and she plans to quit.  Some colleagues of mine, I know, are even giving up on the entire testing career due to this. This the result of poor expectation management.  Unfortunately a very important process like expectation management is completely overlooked in the desperation to get projects.

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