It's time for

No more work deadlines!

Archive

By: Ashley Puetz, designer / geek & creative @ wisnet

We’ve decided to get rid of deadlines.

No, that doesn’t mean we will never complete another project – we’re simply going to be replacing the word “deadline” with “finish line.”

What does “finish line” mean and why are we adopting it?

It’s just another one of the small tweaks that we’re going to be implementing to make projects a more enjoyable and successful experience for our team and our clients. Finish line has a much more upbeat and positive tone than deadline. We want our team to be excited about the projects we are working on and to be excited to complete them.

We love to celebrate all things big and small at wisnet (did anyone else celebrate National Meatball Day??) and I could see us adding finish line celebrations to our project outlines. It’s a great way for us as a team to celebrate accomplishments and for our clients to be excited about their completed project.

If you’d like help reaching the finish line with a project let us know. We’d love to celebrate with you at the end.

Delivering quality & consistency with Automation Testing and living code

Archive

By: Barton Hammond, quality assurance developer / geek & creative @ wisnet

Having a web application requires thorough testing.

Typically there are many features interrelated and woven together to deliver a seamless solution to a complex business problem.  But finding the time to test all these features when a new release is available is sometimes difficult. Taking the time to test all or most of the features is boring and not exciting at all.  

Wouldn’t it be great if this could be automated?!
Indeed!  That’s why wisnet chose to perform Automated Testing with their web applications– we’re able to test an application in minutes and obtain reports showing what was tested in plain english and also how much of the code was tested.

We use an approach called “Business Driven Development” (BDD).  With this approach, we define the features of our system being tested in plain English and in terms that make it obvious to the casual user what is being tested.  Let’s look at a sample Feature that has been defined:

The above Feature has one Scenario – that as a Visitor, I can access a campus.  The Scenario has multiple Steps and each Step performs one action such as clicking a link, filling a field with a value and clicking a button.  The Scenario is written with a few key words which include “Given”, “When” and “Then” plus “And” and “But”.

This little language is called Gherkin.  It’s a precise way to communicate between Business, Development and Quality Assurance teams so all agree upon the expected behavior.  The Features and Scenarios are defined in business terms, not with technical jargon.

And what is so beautiful about using this approach to testing is that we are testing the web application in the same manner as a human.  We interact with the app as it “comes to the glass” – a.k.a. we are testing what we can see. The automated test interacts with the browser in the same manner a person would.

The following shows a running test.

 

In the above screenshot, the system under test is on the left.  The Features are on the right. During the test, the Steps are actually executing code to perform the step.  For example, one of the steps is this:

And I fill the date “discount_Start_Date” with format “m/d/Y” for time “-5 day

Looking at the screen we can see a “Start Date” of “3/18/2018” which was placed there by the execution of this one Step.  So our BDD Features are living code: the code is not just some words in a text file – they are actually executable statements that interactively test a web application.

In the following picture we see the results of running all the tests in terms of “Code Coverage”.  We can see that one area has been tested 91% (green), numerous areas over 50% (yellow) and some areas need more testing (pink).

 

We run this test everyday and review the results to confirm everything is working as designed.

These tests provides the Development additional confidence that if they are changing code with the inclusion of new features or fixing some bug, they don’t break something else. 

We continually add additional tests to increase our code coverage. When we find a bug, we write a our test to replicate the bug and to confirm that it won’t happen again. The best part: this testing is done in plain English that everyone in our company can read and understand the intent.

The hours to test our applications manually would absolutely go through the roof. Using our Automated Testing scripts with this specific project, it takes close to 10 minutes to run 359 steps as shown below.  

The takeaway: We’re geeking out over automation testing options and dedicated to delivering the very best and consistent application products for our clients.

Maintenance & Security Update: WordPress 4.9.5

Archive

WordPress has released a new maintenance/security update this week for WordPress core: version 4.9.5. Version 4.9.5 comes with minor security and maintenance fixes which the WordPress core team deemed impactful enough to warrant a release.

For details on this release you may reference the official blog post on WordPress.org: https://wordpress.org/news/2018/04/wordpress-4-9-5-security-and-maintenance-release/

As with all maintenance/security related updates, WordPress has released patches for older functional versions as well. As a wisnet customer, no action is required on your part. Our team is already working to push out automatic updates to your site(s) to ensure they are in the next version. Our team always strives provide the most secure WordPress experience for all our customers.

Workplace culture – authenticity and putting people first

Archive

Some musings from Tracy Freund, Account Manager, regarding It’s Not About the Coffee – Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks by Howard Behar

What is the first thing you think about when you hear Starbucks? Obviously, coffee! Many think that they live and breathe for coffee but as I started to read through this book, I began to realize there is more to Starbucks than just coffee. In the beginning, it is simply stated, “We’re in the people business serving coffee, not the coffee business serving people.” This brings to the forefront that the leadership and culture of Starbucks is about people and the importance of putting people first. This includes their customers, but even more important are their employees.

Here are a few tidbits I’ve picked up as I’m at the halfway point of the book. Keep these in mind if you are in a leadership position and/or working to evolve your company culture or even in your everyday life!

1. Know Who You Are: Wear One Hat – When you have a clear vision of your values, purpose, and goals, you have the energy and passion to achieve great things. It’s like clearing out all the riff raff and paving a path to success.

2. Think Independently: The Person Who Sweeps the Floor Should Choose the Broom – People are human beings, not “assets.” We have the capacity to achieve more than ever imaginable. Get rid of rules and help encourage independent thinking. Give the person that works with the tools the authority to make a decision on what is best to use. After all, the person using brooms is the one who is going to know the most about them and what works best to complete their job, not the person who sits in the corner office and goes off of what they think is best.

3. Listen for the Truth: The Walls Talk – Take the time to listen, even when words are not said. You will start to realize what you have been missing from your team or life whether good, bad or indifferent. Knowing and recognizing this will give you energy to make change. Try this on for size: Compassionate emptiness. What is that you ask? It is listening with compassion but without offering advice or opinions. Sometimes people are not asking for help, they are just asking to be heard.

To be continued! More tidbits to come as I work to wrap up the book. I’m excited to share more!