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Blog Category: Software

Agile Testing: It’s a new age of testing

December 7, 2021

Building software can be like creating a work of art sometimes. It requires creativity in design, and plenty of craftsmanship to do well. However, over the years, the methods of testing have evolved greatly, and this short blurb focuses on one of the current favorites, the “𝐀𝐠𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠” methodology.

As you probably know, Testing is not a phase, but an ongoing activity. all stakeholders including the developers are part of the agile testing method, which results in shortened feedback time. In agile software development in itself is driven by testing from the early sprints itself.

“Pair testing” is a notable feature in today’s Agile testing method, where a member of the QA team works closely with a member of the development team to iron out the defects found during each sprint. These informal pairs work together as and when required, speeding up the debugging process effectively. To further strengthen its effectiveness, the team collaborates with the end-user to gather feedback after the completion of each sprint cycle.

Among the key benefits of the “whole-team approach” to product development are the enhanced communication and collaboration within the team, the enabling and best use of the various skillsets that are found within the team for the benefit of the project, and perhaps most importantly, making quality the responsibility of every member of the team.

At the best, Agile development is robust and proactive. Agile testing is robust and energetic the relatively mundane, predictable modules that need to be tested can easily be automated. These include the common regression tests, unit tests, high traffic pages, cross-browser tests, and data-driven tests.

However, it is an important responsibility of the QA team to effectively prioritize the tests that can be automated while those such as usability tests, one-off tests, testing the brand new features, and exploratory tests should not be automated as they are specific in nature and cannot be reliably carried out by a machine.

These prioritized automated tests are then used by both the development as well as the QA teams. In addition, the QA team enhances the quality of the delivery by implementing performance tests and security tests as they see fit. At times, these tests would be carried out by specialized members of the QA team.

In the meantime, unit testing is generally carried out exclusively by the development team and the responsibility of the entire product does not lie with the developer or the QAE, but with each and every member of the team. Along with their formal expertise, each team member brings in his or her own individual strengths to the table; all of which are efficiently used to achieve the common goal of a perfect software product that can be implemented at the customer site.

Most importantly, working in collaboration, instead of doing so in rigid isolation, brings about the best in the whole team, in record time. The active participation of a representative from the customer ensures that there are no miscommunications between requirements and products. Good communication among all, from the inception to the completion of the project, ensures that much time and money is saved and a great piece of software is created.

Authored by Dhara Jayasinghe @ BISTEC Global

Calculating Employee Turnover in DAX- In and Out

September 21, 2021

Employee turnover is a term that is widely used in HR analysis. Even though I am not an HR Professional, I know that people define Employee turnover differently.

And I’m going to go with the formula that is frequently found on the internet. (I’m pretty sure that if you learn this one, any other turnover formula will be easier to calculate using DAX 😉)

To start your employee turnover calculation, you should divide the total number of employees left during the given period by your average number of employees in the given period. Then, times the total by 100.

This formula seems pretty easy, right? Even so, calculating this in Power BI is a bit tricky.

Now roll up your sleeves because we are gonna do some serious DAX!😎

The only data we have with us to calculate the employee turnover are Employee ID/Name, Date of Appointment, and Date of Resignation (Whatever you call it in your organization)

To make everything easier, I went step by step breaking down the numerator and the denominator until the only pieces that left are the above data that I have.

I’ll explain using the DAX code itself.

Creating a Date Table

The most important thing that you should have first is the Date Table. Believe me! It is a lifesaver! ❤️ You can simply use the CALENDARAUTO() function to create a Date Table. (There are some other functions too if you want to try them out.)

You’ll need the date table to refer to Employee start date(Date of Appointment) and Employee end date(Date of resignation).https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=7641001261280701347

So I am using an Employee Table which consists of Employee ID, Employee Name, Start Date, End Date, and other HR-related data.

Now let’s discuss how we can calculate turnover per month. You can tweak the code a bit to make it annual.

Make sure to add a column that calculates the Month and Year.

Defining Variables

First things first, defining the variables! Put it simply, you need two main variables which you will be used to create other variables.

  • Month Start Date: Calculates the first day of the month

var MonthStartDate = STARTOFMONTH(‘Date'[Date])

  • Month End Date: Calculates the last day of the month

var MonthEndDate = ENDOFMONTH(‘Date'[Date])

Calculating Number of Employees Left During the Month

It’s time to get your hands dirty!

Now that you have Month Start Date and Month End Date in your hands, use the following code to calculate the number of employees during the month.

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💡 You can use Start Date instead of End Date to calculate the number of employees joined during the month. (If you need it in another measure)

Calculating Average Employees in the Month

Here’s the tricky part!

You know that Average Employees in a period is calculated by dividing the sum of Employees as at the beginning of the month and Employees as at the end of the month by 2.

So I calculated these two separately.

Let’s talk about how we can calculate the number of employees at the beginning of the month. And you’ll be able to figure out the second by yourself.

Here’s what I did. I calculated ALL the employees joined until the beginning of the month. Then ALL the employees left until the beginning of the month. And got the difference!

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Done? There you go!

You can do the same thing to calculate the number of employees as at the end of the month.

Calculating Employee Turnover per Month

Now you have all the ingredients. You cut and chopped and mixed it well. Now go! Bake it in the oven. 🤪

Here’s the recipe again, in a nutshell!

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TaDa!!!!!! Now you can use the Month and Year from the Date table and the Employee Turnover from the Employee table in a visualization!

Pretty dope right? 😌

Authored by Maneesha Wickramasinghe @ BISTEC Global

9 reasons why your business need “Extended Teams”

July 4, 2021

The concept of ETM is a strategic advantage that has been lost in the chaos of offshoring. The concept of offshoring started in India more than 3 decades ago and already spread across many countries across the globe.
So what is ETM and why it is different?

I cite this article in Forbes talking about this concept without the branding in 2010. Now it is reality!

Imagine the team in your head office, spread throughout the globe. This gives the ability to extend your team to reach the human talent that is not available locally, but you can find it through a partner like BistecGlobal.

Having a remote team in an offshore context can be a strain to you mainly because of the lack of transparency. Most often offshore providers use the team on multiple projects and you may find yourself working with different people than who was initially assigned to you just when you were just getting started.

ETM takes the best offshoring minus the bad experience. It gives you the control you need while you retain better financial and logistical benefits. It provides you total integration with the remote teams and also with your business. With ETM you are able to synchronize all of your “well-tuned” processors, practices and values, into your Extended Team making it a fully functional branch office with a similar design and identity.

The advantages of an Extended Team Model

“At Bistec Global, we’ve had different experiences working with a verity of engagement models, including ETM and we thrive in this particular environment, and here’s why”

  1. Constant control of time and effort of your team
  2. Growth opportunities without distracting the home team.
  3. Having an access to a wider knowledge base
  4. Cost-effectiveness
  5. Common contribution to success and equal responsibilities.
  6. Employee training throughout the enterprise
  7. Reduced staff fluctuations
  8. Increased global market reach
  9. The Time Zone advantage

1. Constant control of time and effort of your team
You have the flexibility where you can apply any time or task-driven mechanism/tool to your extended team. Thereby measuring performance with 100% transparency and synchronization.

2. Growth opportunities without distracting the home team
You might have a successful project that your in-house team is working on and you plan on them continuing to complete it. You can delegate all the new projects to your extended team. Or you can focus on moving some of the work your home team is doing to the ETM while the home team takes on high-value customer-centric work.

3. Having access to a wider knowledge base
Not being tied down to a single location is a great thing. By using the ETM you can have a team in another location of the world, with a wider knowledge base of technologies, local markets, and other skills that your business can benefit from. Having different kinds of people working globally, using their knowledge, will lead to creating a startup environment that can take a solution or application on a global market easier than having a centralized local team.

4. Cost-effectiveness
An extended offshore team can save time and money and yet give the expertise that you need to make your application or solution work.

5. Common contribution to the success and equal responsibilities
The extended team is involved in the complete cycle of a job/project, not just an isolated part of it which makes for better transition and continuity.

6. Employee training throughout the enterprise
Your corporate image should reflect through all your products and service. This can only be achieved by extensive and continuous team training throughout the company and your extended team…

7. Reduced staff fluctuations
An extended team is part of a bigger team and employees associate better to their job roles with larger companies which reduces the effect on turnover and dependencies. It leads to a steady workflow and become resilient to changes in the cooperates which otherwise would be difficult to manage.

8. Increased global market reach
A global team means that you can easily have a presence in more than one market. Of course, in today’s world, you can have global reach just by having a great solution and great marketing, but to have people in different parts of the world, that know the local market and the local mentality can always help you build a market reach faster.

9. The Time Zone advantage
Your business generally requires extended hours of work which can result in overworked and demotivated employees. Overlap of work hours with your extended teams is important and the part that does not overlap will work to your advantage when planning your project delivery, especially at peak times.

The use of a global talent pool has gained popularity over the last decade. The Extended Team Model is the next stage of outsourcing. Affiliation of your business rather than a group of contractors. ETM offers more flexibility and a new level of dedication. Your extended team may extend according to the objectives set and the resources you require while maintaining your core values and identity.

 
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