Quality Center/ Test Director an edge for wing to wing Test Management

I am sure using the word QA would make you think of processes we go by standard definition. But you all would certainly agree that testing and QA are quiet interchangeably used. Working in Software services since start of my career and mostly with onsite and offshore model I have worked in both SDLC and typical third party QA practices where the SDLC is being conducted in a distributed framework (Requirement and Design is done by one company, Coding and Unit testing by another, QA by another and final support is done by some other company). 10 years back I felt a dearth need for an end to end test management tool which would reduce confusion and chaos during the QA\ Testing process. To fulfill this I feel Quality Center is a perfect tool. I have implemented and used Quality Center (earlier called Test Director) in various projects across different organizations.

HP Quality Center is basically a web based test management tool which if used and implemented correctly would help you right from specifying testing requirements, planning tests, executing tests, and tracking defects.
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Test 2008 – Testing Conference

“Test 2008” is the first testing conference organized by ‘Pure Conferences’. I happen to know the people behind this and these are the same folks who run ‘Pure Testing’, a testing consulting company, so when I got the invite for being there, I was not surprised.

Vipul, founder of Pure Testing, worked with me earlier at Adobe and while I still continue to test more software out here, he has moved on to pursue his dream of making the world better at doing ‘Software Testing’. After reading the invite and the envious list of speakers, I could not stop myself from writing this small post on the conference.

Test 2008 would be held on Oct 15-16 2008 in Delhi and the theme for the first conference is ‘Agility in Testing’. Speakers from around 10 countries, such as USA, UK, France, Sweden, Canada, Italy, Netherlands, including India will deliver keynotes, tutorials and papers during the conference. Apart from this, the organizers are also trying to make Test2008 a ‘green’ conference as far as possible.

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What is ‘Open Source’ ?

As software developers, you must have encountered this term at least once. Since most of us work for profit-making companies, this phrase ‘Open Source’ sounds like a dangerous word. While many of us may not understand it fully but probably most of us would associate this phrase with ‘free’ or ‘non-commercial’ or a sort-of ‘free tools’, ‘utilities’,’linux’, non-microsoft and many other things. To share honestly even I just discovered that I knew so little about it. So, may be a good enough topic to write on it.

‘Open Source’ at core is about making the ‘source code’ open or accessible to all. Since the code is open, it can be modified (with some conditions) and can be re-distributed. It can be a commercial activity (look at vendors who are distributing Linux) and it has been there for a long time.

The above definition is what I could make after reading at many places. If you look at the definition by the organization called Open Source Initiative‘ (OSI) then its much more laced with adjectives and euphoria. Here’s what it says, for your quick reference

“Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in.”

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How to insert Photos in WordPress 2.5

I have this travel website which is powered by WordPress 2.5 and occasionally I get queries around adding a picture to a post. So I thought that I would write a small primer which may be helpful for a wider community.

1. Collect all your photos in one single folder on your local machine. This would save you time when you are uploading since you wont have to pick and choose. So if you have shot 80 photos (just 80) on your last trek, and if you want to share 10 (just 10) then identify these 10 photos and copy them in some temporary folder. Remember to copy these 10 files, and dont move them. Always keep your originals safe.

2. Once done, re-size them using some Image Editor program. Usually pictures shot from a digital camera are pretty heavy, large in size. The actual size depends upon the site design. For Ghumakkar, 500 pixels BY 350 pixels look good. This would help to have your story come up quickly. In general choose something like 1024 X 768.

2.1 In Windows XP and Windows Vista, select all these photos, do a right click of mouse and choose ‘E-mail’. You would get an option to resize. Choose 1024 X 768. After a while you would notice that all the pictures have been attached to an e-mail message. Select all of them, Right click, copy, paste in the original folder.

I am attaching the screen shots for Vista. On XP, it would be similar though it might look a little different.

Select all the pictures. Right Click and choose e-mail

Choose a lower size like 1024 X 768

Attaching to an E-mail

I use Microsoft Outlook for e-mails. So here’s how it looks.

2.2 Download a free s/w like Google Picasa or Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition and use it to resize.
Google Picasa – Click here
Adobe S/w – Click here

Even if you dont do this step, you would still be able to move ahead, its just that it would make the page heavy and readers of your story would need to wait a little extra time to view all the pictures.

3. Now lets come back to ‘Compose’ window under ‘Write’. click the ‘Add Photo’ icon which is just after ‘Add Media’ in the top icon-toolbar.

Click this button.

You would get a new window. Click ‘Choose Files to upload’. Select all the files in the folder where you have copied all the pictures in step1. The window would look like this

Now you are done with uploading all the files.

If you would notice then there are three options on the top in the above window, viz.
1. Choose Files
2. Gallery
3. Media Library

First is for adding more files. 2nd is for accessing the files associated with current post and library is for all the files which you have uploaded so far.

Now go to ‘Gallery’ and then click ‘Show’ against the file which you want to insert.

Add a relevant caption , notes. Choose a size. For Ghumakkar I would recommend that you choose ‘Full Size’. Word Press Administrator can control this size. And you are done.

There is another good feature in WP which is about ‘Inserting a Gallery’ and I would briefly talk about that later but as of now, we are done as far as inserting a picture is concerned.

Let me know if this write-up is missing or confusing or could benefit from some more clarity. I would act on that and would try to improve it. Of course, if its works for you then leave a happy comment. So enjoy and happy photo-showing at your next WP Post.

Where do I host my websites ?

This is a question which I am asked many time and then I give them the name and they forget and ask me again. As part of this conversation, they also ask me queries like

* how many e-mail accounts I can have ?
* How much space
* How much data transfer
* Is the service good
* How long you have been with them and how would you rate them
* and so on

So I thought that I would write a small post.

I host my sites with
and its been almost one and a half years. I was referred this place by someone who has been running a site for a while.

My requirement was very simple. I wanted a host which can allow me to do almost everything by myself. The worse thing which one has to do in this business is call someone and then ask them to publish something or get DB access or whatever. Also, it has to offer a rich set of tools like databases, blogging s/w, billing s/w, e-mail clients, scripting support and so on. I had setup many sites at my work and the most frustrating part is when you can’t install a new Perl Run-time because the server belongs to someone else and he would want you to port your code in Php or Python.

Hostmonster has all of this. I pay USD $ 100 every year and as part of that I get unlimited domain hosting, hundreds of e-mail id and so on.

You can also get shell access which is really handy. Though I haven’t used that so far since I am able to get everything done through the UI itself.

I have not used any other hosting directly in the past but my experience so far makes me recommend this provider. Click on above link to know more, also if you do sign-up then I get a cut 🙂