How to Improve Your Continuous Testing While Balancing Velocity, Coverage, and UX Risk

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A stage-based methodology

Continuous testing is one of the keys to the DevOps kingdom.  Your pipeline needs to move fast to keep up with ever-shrinking release schedules but you can’t afford to sacrifice quality or UX in the name of speed. The solution? During each stage of development, Development teams need to balance testing every scenario against the amount of time needed to generate meaningful test results.  However, it’s understood that a “test everything” approach isn’t practical;  therefore, you’re left with a balancing act for teams to negotiate. This blog focuses on a continuous testing methodology to determine which devices to test at each stage of development.  The highest-performing teams are the ones whose game plans match target platforms with each development stage; this stage-specific testing strategy is fundamental to meeting your fast feedback needs while ensuring a great UX.

Breaking Down the DevOps Team Processes by Stage:

  • Unit Testing
    • Developers execute unit tests to get fast feedback – “does the code I just wrote behave as expected? Is it ready for integration and more rigorous testing?”  Maximizing platform coverage in this stage is inefficient and unnecessary. In this early stage of development, unit tests executed before or after a commit often use emulators and simulators to provide a quick thumbs up or down on whether the code works. In later test phases, most top teams agree that moving to real devices is required to assure user experience.
  • Acceptance Testing
    • Teams typically focus on verifying that new functionality- as well as old-  works according to the user story, and tests are executed over a large set of platforms that mirrors realistic customer patterns.
  • Test in Production
    • Many teams adopt DevOps; testing in production becomes part of the continuous testing scope. Once code ships, the objective changes from “does it work” to “is it still working as expected?” Teams recognize the value of leveraging hourly testing of key flows to create an early warning mechanism. Early awareness of production issues jump starts resolution efforts while (hopefully) few users are negatively impacted.

Factors: Your Coverage Crib Sheet for Continuous Testing

We’ve established that it’s important to know which platforms to test against, in which environments, and when to execute, in order to streamline the continuous testing process.  Everyone involved in the product release should understand both the testing trigger points that must be defined in each stage and how their tests fit into the overall pipeline in order to meet project schedules and reduce UX risk.  Perfecto’s Factors reference guide gives you a head start with guidelines for determining which platforms you need to cover and how to fit them into your DevOps process.  The table below summarizes the Perfecto’s research.

Our methodology:

  • Unit testing should be executed by devs on a small subset of platforms that may include emulators and simulators, and should be triggered pre- and post-commit locally against the developer workstation.
  • Build acceptance tests should be executed on a larger number of platforms (real devices and web platforms) daily and as part of the continuous integration (CI) process.
  • Acceptance tests should be executed on the full set of platforms in the lab to get maximum coverage and quality visibility. These cycles should run on a nightly basis, orchestrated by the CI process.
  • Production testing should run hourly and continuously to detect regression defects, outages, or performance degradations in the service. Such tests should not focus on maximum coverage of platforms;  select the top 2-3 platforms from the web and mobile and execute against these.

Up Your Application Testing Game Plan

In this blog, we’ve taken a look at DevOps team quality objectives and highlighted the differences in coverage levels required at each stage. In addition, we provide a methodology for tailoring platform coverage for mobile and web for each development stage in order to enhance continuous testing and minimize UX risk.  Perfecto’s Factors reference guide provides invaluable insight into developing your testing methodology as well as the current data you need to make critical coverage decisions.  Whether you’re a dev tester, a developer, or an R&D manager, it’s a tool that you need in your toolbox.  Grab your copy today!

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Snapchat May Risk Connecting Apps, Despite Facebook Uproar

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Snapchat soon may have a Connected Apps feature that is similar to the functionality at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica brouhaha, which has Facebook writhing under congressional scrutiny and consumer backlash. The latest beta features a new Connected Apps tab within the setting page. The page displays the following text: “These apps are connected to your Snapchat account. Choose an app to control what it has access to.” Snapchat already allows Bitmoji and Shazam apps to connect directly to users’ Snapchat accounts.
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Here’s Why A California Court Requires Cancer Risk Warnings on Coffee

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Coffee: life-giver, day-starter, conversation-lubricant… cancer risk?

Don’t pour out your cup of joe just yet.

A California judge has ruled that coffee companies must display a warning that this morning pick-me-up carries a cancer risk. The ruling, levied against 91 coffee companies, specifically concerns a chemical called acrylamide. Acrylamide is, indeed, found in all coffees. It’s also used in industrial processes, like making plastic or paper, and can be found in cigarette smoke. According to the American Cancer Society, lab-based studies have found that acrylamide increases rodents’ risk for several types of cancer when given doses in their drinking water.

A cup of coffee in a blue cup on a sheet of burlap scattered with coffee beans. The science over whether this cup or those beans increase your cancer risk is still shaky.
A morning pick-me-up, or a cup of roasty, delicious cancer? Image credit: acekreations / Pixabay

But that’s hardly justification for making people afraid of their lattes. Acrylamide is not just found in coffee; it’s found in lots of other foods, from toast to french fries to baked goods. That’s because the chemical is produced naturally when starches in foods are subjected to high temperatures (above 250 degrees Fahrenheit, or 121 degrees Celsius). The same process (it’s called the Maillard reaction, FYI) that produces acrylamide is the same one that gives roasted, toasted or baked foods their distinctive brown crust and warm flavor. Mmm, acrylamide.

CNN reports that the California court stated that coffee contains a “high amount” of acrylamide, but it doesn’t seem to be comparing that amount to anything; the FDA currently does not suggest maximum recorded levels for acrylamide in any products.

A 2013 study found that roasted coffee contains an average of 179 micrograms per kilogram (µg/kg), or about .45 µg per cup. For a comparison, another study found that a slice of toasted wheat bread could contain between 11 and 161 µg/kg acrylamide, while a slice of toasted rye bread could have 27 to 205 µg/kg of the chemical. Potato products, in particular potato chips, can have much higher levels — some chips can reach nearly 3900 µg/kg. (Keep in mind that because this measure is by weight, so an individual chip will still have very little of the chemical. Whew.)

The decision to single out coffee, therefore, seems rather arbitrary.

What’s more, in the few animal studies linking this chemical to cancer risk, rats and mice consumed way more than humans normally would get from their food  between 1,000 to 10,000 times more. The American Cancer Society reports that, since acrylamide was discovered in foods in 2002, dozens of studies in people have examined whether eating this chemical in food is associated with any increased cancer risk. And most cancers don’t seem to have any causal relationship with the chemical. There have been some mixed results related to kidney, endometrial, and ovarian cancer, but nothing so straightforward as an eat-this-then-boom-cancer relationship.

In short, as we’ve pointed out before, it’s unscientific and unrealistic to say a specific food causes cancer. The most reliable, proven research indicates that cancer is caused by a multitude of factors, including your genetics and your environment throughout your life.

Requiring that coffee companies put a cancer warning on their product will just contribute to unwarranted paranoia about what we eat. Too much coffee makes us anxious enough as it is.

The post Here’s Why A California Court Requires Cancer Risk Warnings on Coffee appeared first on Futurism.

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Amnesty International presses Apple to warn Chinese iCloud users of government snooping risk

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Amnesty International is calling on Apple to inform Chinese iCloud users that their data might be at risk of government prying after the company migrated regional accounts to China-based servers, a move designed to conform with local laws.
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Motorola is more at risk of becoming irrelevant than ever – can it be saved?

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Motorola is in trouble. As it has been, frankly, for much of the past five-plus years. The Lenovo-owned smartphone brand once known for its positively prodigious portfolio hasn’t announced a new phone in well over six months. That was the Moto X4, which received a mixed reception and has gone on discount so frequently of late that it seems poor sales are probably a given (granted, it’s horrendously overpriced). But the X4 was never really competitive in its segment, and its reason for existence remains something of a mystery to me.

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Motorola is more at risk of becoming irrelevant than ever – can it be saved? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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SquareTrade claims Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+ at lower risk of cracking than iPhone X

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Device insurance provider SquareTrade recently ran its usual barrage of stress tests on Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ handsets, saying that while the phones are more durable than Apple’s iPhone X, they still crack when dropped.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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Amazon Recalls 260,000 Units of AmazonBasics Power Banks Due to Fire and Chemical Burn Risk

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You will find plenty of power banks on Amazon for cheap albeit mostly from lesser known brands. That’s why most people end up buying the AmazonBasics power bank. These power banks are made and sold directly by Amazon thereby instilling a level of confidence in them. Continue reading
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260,000 AmazonBasics power banks recalled for fire risk

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Amazon is recalling six models of power banks in its AmazonBasics line, totaling about 260,000 units, due to 53 reports of overheating in the US. One of these reports caused chemical burns, and four caused property damage.

The official hazard listed by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is “The power bank’s battery can overheat and ignite, posing fire and burn hazards.” The six models in total that are being recalled, all of which were produced by Guoguang Electric Company Limited, are as follows:

  • 16,100mAh
  • 10,000mAh
  • 5,600mAh
  • 3,000mAh
  • 3,000mAh w/ microUSB cable
  • 2,000mAh w/ microUSB cable

Amazon has pulled all listings from its site, and if you click on the page via Google, you’ll be greeted with a large “Sorry we couldn’t find that page” and a picture of a dog.

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260,000 AmazonBasics power banks recalled for fire risk was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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260,000 Amazon Basics power banks are being recalled for risk of overheating

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Today, Amazon has issued a recall for its self-branded line of power banks that it sells. If you have any of the following power banks by Amazon Basics, you should head to the link at the end of this post to check its product ID number against the ones listed on the site. The 260,000 affected units include the following mAh capacity models: 16,100 / 10,000 / 5,600 / 3,000 / 2,000. These units have been reportedly overheating and there have already been reports of damage to property and at least one report of a chemical burn. If your power bank leaks liquid, this is battery acid and you…

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