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Showing posts from 2012

Education Based Startups

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When we hear the word "education" the first thing which comes to the mind is a "formal system of education"- going to school, colleges, engineering colleges etc. 
I have subscribed to a bunch of blogs which I generally try to go through to keep myself updated on tech happenings across the world. Off late I noticed that there are quite a lot of education startups, not only in US but few in India as well. I have published the list at the bottom of this post which I found on Quora*. 
Problems they are trying to solve? If you go through their website, you would find that most of these startups are trying to solve the problem of : bringing the courses online to cater a large group of audienceproviding specialized courses like course on coding, K-12 learninginnovating the way courses are deliveredcommunity based learningWhat online education offers? Before I discuss if there is a market (which surely is) for online education, we need to understand what it actually offers (the…

How to set up Calabash for Android App Testing

Calabash is an open source project for testing mobile apps. It's based on cucumber so allows one to author test in business readable domain specific language. Calabash is available on Github.
I have a machine running Mac OSX (version 10.8.2) and I will be detailing steps on how I installed Calabash and got my first test running. Couple of things which you would need before installing Calabash is : Xcode, Ruby and Android SDK. 
I installed Homebrew which actually helped me upgrading the ruby to version 1.9.3 pretty easy.
Once you install Xcode, you would have to install Xcode command line tools. This would be in Xcode Preferences --> Downloads Tab, select the Command Line Tools and click on Install.

Post the Xcode you would want to check the ruby version, you need 1.8.7 or higher. If you have brew installed then running "brew install ruby" would upgrade the ruby else if you have rvm installed then try running "rvm install 1.9.3 --with-gcc=clang" followed by "…

Agile Testing & Importance of Stubs

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Generally when we are trying to develop any application which exists in the ecosystem of other applications, we tend to spend a lot of time in solving dependency issues. There are many times when these external components would be down and would stop your related testing activity.
There is a smarter way of tackling with components which do not directly impact you - which is Stubs. It has it's own merits and demerits. I will be touching a little upon the importance of stubs from testing point of view. I am trying to highlight what I have been working on for quite some time.

Stubs as defined on wikipedia is a piece of code which represents other programming functionality. 
For around 7 months, I was working on a project where in we were trying to create a product/software (let's cal it X for sake of simplicity) which would fit in a stack of systems. Product X was dependent on other systems and would need to get it's input from bunch of other systems (let's say A & B as …

Product Idea ?? I know it's already there !

What do you do when you a think of a product idea? Or your next big idea? Probably you Google ! The very moment you find something similar, it brings down all the energy and enthusiasm in you and finally you give up on that idea without giving any thought to it ! I have spoken to numerous people about this and they feel exactly the same. But somehow I am not convinced with this.

When any idea comes to your mind, you actually craft a ecosystem around that idea. You think of a business plan and start thinking of who your target customers would be and why they would want to use your idea/app/product. You actually know why your idea is going to be the next big idea. You also think of who your users will be, what could be the top 3 features of your product. Basically there is lot of thinking from your side which is gone into it, which convinces your logical mind why it's gonna be a great idea.
What if you do Google and you find something similar? Don't let it go ! What makes the diff…

How to turn your most visiting web apps into mac apps ?

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While tweeting I noticed that even though I have marked the tweets with "#in" tag to selectively push it to LinkedIn, but it doesn't go through. So I thought let me download the "hootsuite" app for Mac OS. On the download page I noticed that there is something called Fluid, which lets you run the web app as an independent desktop application. I liked this idea.



Next thing I did was download the app and tried and creating an app for Hootsuite itself, it worked fine. You might want to download the icon of the app you are trying to mimic. It's simple, very straight forward and easy to use.

By the way, I noticed this app "Fluid" because the "Download Now" link on Hootsuite webpage showed me 404 (due to my intermittent network problem; Thank you Airtel for such a wonderful timing !).

Setting up TestNG & ADT plug-in for Eclipse

Recently I have switched from "simple" Windows to "Smart" Mac, so I had to do all those basic set up of my typical test automation env which I had on Win7.  This post will detail about installing TestNG and Android plug-in into Eclipse and get started with your test.
Steps to install TestNG: 1. Click Help -> Install New Software. 2. Paste this URL http://beust.com/eclipse in the "Work with" edit box and click on "Add" button. 3. In the ‘Name’ column we can see "TestNG" -> Select this and click "Next" button. 4. Click on "Next" and click on the radio button "I accept the terms of the license agreement". 5. Click on "Finish". 6. Click on "Next" button.

Once the above steps are done, this will install the TestNG plug-in for Eclipse and it will start for restart of Eclipse. Just restart the Eclipse. You should be good.
To install ADT plug in Eclipse, follow these steps: Start Eclipse, then selec…

Install Flipboard on your Android Device

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Navigate to this website: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1644212You will find an attachment Flipboard.apkDownload that on your android deviceInstall it , thats all.You should be able to surf Flipboard.I got it working on my Kindle Fire tablet. This is how it looks.



Review of KoolKart

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This post is basically the review of a new website - KoolKart. KoolKart will sound interesting to folks who make online purchases. There are couple of sites which do the same, so the idea is not unique. Uniqueness should be in the implementation. When you visit the Koolkart website:
The first impression you get is- it’s just another online retail site, which it is not. Koolkart is not a online retailer, so you don’t need a big panel on your left which shows you to “Log in”. Why would I want to log in just to see which retailer is giving me the cheapest rate. Also from a user point of view, he/she need not make 3-4 clicks to reach that page.
Basically I am coming from – whether you want to make Google like stuff where you don’t stay on home page for more than 3 seconds or you want to make Yahoo like stuff which wants you to stay on it’s website. The first half of the page is almost of no-use to me. Being a first time user, I don’t know if i will be coming back. So I don’t think I will cr…

Knowing what you don't Know

How do we claim "What we know" ? Knowing - Is it something that we have heard of ? Or Is it something which we have read about and almost forgotten it so I have just a little (almost no idea) idea about that? Or is it something which we know almost everything about? 
Most of the time what we actually know is a fraction of our perceived notion of "knowing". This is described as illusion of explanatory depth.
So what happens is we generally form a circle around things and claim that we "know" it. This prevents us from actually knowing it and let us remain in that "complacency" that we know it. So what I have learnt over a period of time is "admit frankly what you don't know", it will help you extend your knowledge. 
Next time when someone brings up some topic which you claim to know but actually don't know then make a entry in your learning diary about that word. When you reach home/office, search it on web or talk to people and try…

Installing Apps on Kindle Fire Tablet

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I bought Kindle Fire Tablet almost 3 months back and still there is no support from Amazon to install apps on the tablet if you are outside US. I figured out a way to get apps installed on Kindle Fire.  Neither you need to point to any parallel app store nor you need to root your kindle fire. Let me give you some simple steps in which you can install apps:

Turn ON "Allow Installation of applications"Open Web and navigate to http://www.4shared.comSearch for 4shared.apk file (.apk file are installers for Android based devices)Download the file and install itOnce 4shared is installed, search for anything like "Facebook for Android" and look for .apk fileOnce found download the file and install it.There would be some .apk file which might not run properly, you may want to look for some other file and install it. I tried for apps like 4Shared, Nimbuzz, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, VLC, File Explorer and it worked perfectly fine. You can definitely look for some more apps an…

Why not to hurry with your action plan !

There are different kinds of person and obviously different kinds of problem solving strategy. So where is this blog coming from? This is based on my latest project assignment. A team which has some process in place (not the best though, but people admit it and want to move to next level), some problems as perceived by me because of me being new to the team and not yet saturated with things around. So how do you go about tackling it?
Take some time in understanding why there are certain things dealt in a certain way, understand what people values and what not, what is important to them, why they do certain things in a certain way? Based on your previous experience or theoretical team (which you would have read in blogs or some books) chart out what things are already in and what else you want to get in. Discuss with your team members and get their feel on that stuff. Chart out a plan with time line attached to it and go for it. Analyzing this way and having spend some time you would kn…

10 days in UK (Ipswich)

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UK was always on my travel list. I am in Ipswich for some project work for some time. It’s a good place. I am staying in a hotel near to harbour so I get a very good view from my window. Almost all the pics are shot from my window :)

Some more pics on the way…

We call it “vodQA” and it’s free to attend!

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What is it?  vodQA is a platform for members of the software testing industry to strengthen the QA community by sharing and learning new practices and ideas. vodQA is a series of testing events hosted by ThoughtWorks across our India offices. This is the first time it will take place in Bangalore. The series is open to all testing professionals from the IT industry.
Read more details here.

“When” and “Why” about Locators

Generally when we are writing our automation test in Selenium or any other driver , the first thing we tend to do is start looking for object Id. Thought we have multiple ways of getting the hold of the object on a webpage like:
Id name Link text XPath DOM Id or name is the most simplest and easy to use locators. Advantages with them is it increases the readability of your test code. It’s also better than other locators in terms of test performance. If you are using lot of Id’s and your test code is becoming too clumsy then one suggested way of using Id’s would be to have a separate file and then probably you can rename them if they are not properly named in the page source (Google page “q” as their search box Id). Link Text is mostly used with links and limited to that. They are easy to use. However they are a little problematic to maintain because of often changing link texts.
Next is the famous XPath, simple to use (if you are using Firebug or any other add-in  to get it) but makes your t…

Testing Web application using AndroidDriver

This blog is mostly like a  “How to” post on testing web application using Eclipse IDE, JUnit and AndroidDriver. What all you need ? Eclipse (version 3.7), JUnit, selenium-server-standalone-2.15.0.jar and of course Android SDK.
Before you do anything, you need to install Android Emulator on Windows, and then install WebDriver on that emulator: http://www.nishantverma.com/2011/06/installing-android-emulator-on-windows.html http://www.nishantverma.com/2011/06/installing-webdriver-on-android.html Post the set up, you can refer below to download the sample test framework from Github to get started
https://github.com/nishantverma/AndroidThis is a test framework skeleton and can be leveraged for specific testing requirements.

Feedback

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On Friday, I just finished "Group Feedback" session. Well I don't want to blog about what happened in that feedback. This post is more from the point of view of "Why we need feedback?".

What is "feedback"? Wikipedia defines feedback as
Feedback describes the situation when output from (or information about the result of) an event or phenomenon in the past will influence an occurrence or occurrences of the same (i.e. same defined) event / phenomenon (or the continuation / development of the original phenomenon) in the present or future. When an event is part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a circuit or loop, then the event is said to "feed back" into itself. 

We work in team and the team is made up of "Individuals". The behavior of individuals influence the outcome of team , may be in a positive manner or negative! A team is constituted to achieve a certain goal and so the team members behavior is very crucial for team succes…