Monday, May 2, 2011

Simple testing

Lately (actually since a while), I have been looking for ways to increase my productivity. One of the ways I recently came across is simplification. Why?

1. Better focus, especially on creative or complex tasks
2. Less stress, due to elimination of so many unimportant tasks
3. More time on hand

So, how to simplify our software testing tasks? Here are some examples. Design your own according to your unique situation.
1. Analyze your work and establish what is important in your role. Put it down in a sentence. For example, Maintaining your test suite, executing it and reporting defects may be critical to your role. Formatting your status report or pointless gossiping with your colleagues is definitely not.
2. Allow yourself time to plan. Plan simple i.e. think about the easiest set of actions that will complete your task.
3. Guard your time. If someone interrupts you, dismiss the interruption asap. If someone approaches you for help, consider helping once you are done with your tasks or say no.
4. Own your work. If some task had a problem and requires re-work, don't blame other people. They would respond with their reasoning and you would end up spending time on this exchange. Then attend to the problem. Instead, just fix the problem at once and move on.
5. Use software apps to your advantage. See examples.
a. Block your mail calendar for important tasks in advance and in order of importance. This would allow you to see your upcoming tasks for the next day, week or month and you can better prepare for them.
b. To be responsive, check your email a limited number of times in the day. If you leave it on, you would get distracted every time you get a new email. And you will have the urge to stop your current task and read/ take action on the email you got.

This was a short and simple post and it made me feel better writing it.