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7 old tools teams need to dump in 2017 for better ones, to develop better

Today’s post is about migrations from old tools and technologies to new and better ones. One cannot ignore how quick our technology is progressing, one small change in workflow saves enormous amount of time which otherwise is overlooked. When I say technology I do not mean technology on conceptual level, but technology which empowers common users and teams like ours.

We often get comfortable with the set of tools we work with daily, even though we really need to be more transparent and more objective with such decisions. We at Test Collab are often guilty of the same thing. It’s crucial to get some external feedback to see things more objectively. So that’s why I’d like to share some tools you need to dump and why, along with their newer and better alternatives.

#1 CI System: Old self-hosted Jenkins to any new cloud hosted tools.

Out: Jenkins

In: Shippable

Why?

Jenkins is a mature project and while it was a great tool few years back, it no longer works with essential requirements teams need today. The absence of pipelines and branching as first class citizens, and stricter environment level provisioning – Jenkins no longer works for moving up the ladder of continuous deployment maturity.

Apart from getting old, other issue is cost. Computing costs have gone down and most of the cloud tools provide a lot of functionality and builds at free of cost – at a starter level. These new cloud tools are extremely scalable and provides great ROI.

Other alternatives:

Travis CI, Semaphore CI

 

#2 Version control: SVN to Git

Out: SVN

In: Git

Why?

In beginning, I was a bit skeptical about the gains it would offer compared to the cost it would require to migrate. So I set out to do some experimentation and was pleasantly surprised by source code push/pull speeds and merging. Git uses compressed network transfer mode which made pulling out 2500 or so files in seconds as opposed to minutes in Subversion.

Although SVN is still an active project but I doubt they’ll push something as innovative as Git – so this seems like a good move.

Alternative:

Mercurial

 

#3 Project management: JIRA to any Kanban tool

Out: JIRA

In: Trello

Why?

While JIRA and similar tools make good issue managers to dump all your bugs in, they make a terrible project management tool. Really, think about it, what project really is? First there’s your product and any iteration you do on it is a project. Now in order to be kickass with your iterations you need to see where everything is, along with their respective statuses and if something is being worked upon for too long to quickly identify issues. JIRA and such tools don’t offer that (at least they weren’t created for this purpose)

With new Kanban board tools, you get to see full picture every time you open them instead of dead index of issues. I don’t know about others but I’m urged to push forward when I see the bigger picture.

Alternatives:

Kanban Tool

 

#4 Test Management: Spreadsheets to Test Collab

Out: Spreadsheets

In: Test Collab

Why?

Okay, we maybe a little biased here but hey, we gotta pay our bills too. Spreadsheets doesn’t work well for test management tasks. Spreadsheets don’t delegate… Test Collab does. Spreadsheets doesn’t integrate with your issue managers, Test Collab does. Spreadsheets doesn’t track testing time and quality metrics, Test Collab does. So I guess that’s enough reason to at least try us. huh?

Alternatives:

HP Test Manager

 

#5 Development environment: Desktop to C9

Out: Desktop

In: C9

Why?

Why code on your laptop when you can code in browser on remote workspace? Wait did I say workspace? Try tens or hundreds of workspaces. With tools like C9 you can launch as many workspaces as you want with clean OS and nothing else. Finally, you can focus plainly on all things creative instead of resolving dependency hell and desktop issues.

You can experiment more on OS level and quickly install / uninstall so many packages. Desktop lovers might be thinking, so what? We’ve got VM’s and now Docker, what’s the big deal? Yes it is a big deal – I can open 10 parallel workspaces and play with them without watching my laptop hard-drive go crazy. And another lovable fact: your packages download super-fast without hurting your bandwidth.

Alternatives:

Code Anywhere

 

#6 Webhooks: Custom coded to Zapier

Out: Your hacky custom coded stuff

In: Zapier

Why?

There’s no reason to code several connectors among different web services anymore (well in at least 90% of the cases now). Because any service you can possibly imagine will most likely be found at Zapier and you can make your own integrations very easily. It has never been this easier to connect 2 or more services together and make data flow through them – it just works wonderfully.

Alternatives:

Automate.io

 

#7 Hosted servers to Server-less computing

Out: Hosted servers

In: AWS Lambda

Why?

I haven’t seen a similar company as Amazon. These guys are so disruptive that they disrupt their own products – Lambda is such a product. AWS Lambda removes the need of always-on servers altogether instead your code runs in the cloud and you just manipulate the result. Migrating an existing API to AWS Lambda has steep learning curve and also requires some kind of shift in team’s mentality but it’s totally worth it. You can cut down your costs as much as 50-60% in some cases.

Alternatives:

Google Cloud Functions

How to organize your test cases – lessons learned from some of our most successful customers

A small project can sometimes grow really fast in today’s marketplace. It can really be an unpleasant experience (instead of a positive one) to some teams who are less experienced or launched a start-up for first time. It helps to prepare upfront and this article is all about that: To equip you with the knowledge upfront which you can use now and in future.

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Introducing Test Collab Docker image for self-hosted users

We’ve just launched our Docker image to help users who like to self-host Test Collab. It speeds up whole setup process to another scale, so we’ve been looking forward to this from sometime now.

We’ve also removed Test Collab VM appliance as they make little sense to maintain after Docker image. Besides, running VM as production required some configuration changes which often confused users. With docker all of that goes away.

Get started with your self-hosted free trial with Docker image today!

9 things I wish I knew about CI/CD pipelines during first year of my start-up

We’ve been installing some upgrades to our release pipeline here at Test Collab. Such upgrades give you a good opportunity to find your past mistakes and eliminate them altogether. While doing so, I thought it’ll be good to share what I learned about continuous integration during lifetime of Test Collab and before.

Continuous Integration is a key element of your software. If not planned carefully and correctly, you’ll most likely have higher risk exposure to bad releases and bugs, resulting more costs on your business. Continue reading

The biggest lie by test automation tools vendors: Record & forget

While working with some of my clients, I realized how easy it is to push a test automation tool in organization. Managers are suckers for productivity tools, including myself. If you can prove to me that $x improves my team’s productivity by y%, there you go, you sold me. No questions asked! Right? Test automation tools fall under same category, easy to showcase and sell, but hard to implement.

Why hard to implement? And what you really need to know before you acquire a new tool or planning your test automation strategy?

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New tool for Load Testing: Load Xen

We’re proud to announce launch of our load testing tool, Load Xen. You can use it to generate high amount of traffic to your application and figure out how your app did. Load Xen collects number of performance metrics during your test which will help you understand how your application performs under stress.
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Using Docker to manage and replicate test environments

About 5 years back I started this business, Test Collab, ever since then I was fortunate enough to work with so many developers, managers and testers. From micro-ISVs to Fortune 500 companies, I just loved how different people can give you so many diverse ideas.

So today I’m going to talk about an idea, or let’s call it a solution, if you will.

 

The problem

When you are manually testing an app, you have to deploy it again and again. To save time, some teams use shared testing environments, i.e. one app instance is used across whole team for testing (Not good – as it increases false bug reports).
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Unexpected downtime: 1 August 2016

Update: As of 9:20 AM GMT, 1 Aug 2016, all services are up and running normally. Thanks for your patience!

Today, because of bug in our server cleanup system few of the instances suffered data loss. As a best practice to ensure data integrity, we have decided to rollback to a backup of few hours ago. This migration will be over within 2 hours (By 8.30 AM GMT, 1 Aug 2016) and all services will be back to normal.

Meanwhile, We’ll be online on chat and reply any emails if you need any more information.

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