Ivacy VPN's stunning Cyber Monday deal is still live — save 90%

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SAVE 90%: Ivacy VPN offers high-speed streaming and P2P support for torrenting. A five-year subscription to Ivacy VPN is on sale for £44, saving you 90% on list price.

We go on and on about how ExpressVPN is probably the best service for streaming, and with good reason. This is not to say there aren’t other options out there though. The likes of Ivacy VPN offer high-speed streaming and P2P support for torrenting, at a lower price point than ExpressVPN.

A five-year subscription to Ivacy VPN is on sale for £44, saving you 90% on list price. This heavily discounted plan also includes a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can recover your cash if you’re not totally satisfied. We know that a five-year plan represents a massive commitment, but when you consider the features on offer, it makes a lot of sense.

Subscribers get 10 multi-logins, malware protection, 256-Bit encryption, unlimited bandwidth, and apps for all leading operating systems. This streaming-friendly VPN can also reliably unblock BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix.

Save 90% on a five-year subscription to Ivacy VPN.

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Stream more content from around the world with a discounted subscription to Surfshark

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SAVE 83%: Surfshark offers protection for all of your devices with a single account. A two-year subscription to Surfshark is on sale for £1.66 per month, and includes an extra three months for free.

What sets Surfshark apart from all the other top VPNs on the market? Surfshark ticks a lot of boxes, but it’s the fact that you can connect an unlimited number of devices with a single account that stands out. If you have a lot of devices that need protecting, Surfshark should be something to seriously consider.

Another reason to consider Surfshark is that it has a strict no-logging policy, meaning it does not keep any of your personal information or data. VPNs are all about protecting your identity, so you should only consider services that do not log your information.

A two-year subscription to Surfshark is on sale for £1.66 per month, saving you 83% on list price. This discounted plan is fully refundable for 30 days and comes with an additional three months of coverage for free.

Secure your online world with the best deal on Surfshark.

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How to open different iPhone camera modes fast or by default

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When you need to take a video like right now, your default camera mode doesn’t cut it. The moment has passed and you didn’t capture it.

It’s that feeling when stumbling for the video button once you’ve managed to open your iPhone’s camera. Somehow you can’t get to it fast enough and the funny song your baby niece was singing has deteriorated into whining. But you can get to that video speedy quick next time.

Instead of opening the camera just give the camera icon a long push. You can do the same thing with the camera icon in the control center. That’ll pull up a hidden list of options like video, slo-mo, or even selfie mode. Click on what you want and it’ll open up the camera ready to go in that mode.

The iPhone homescreen with the camera icon pressed.

Long hold on the camera icon for more options.
Credit: Sasha Lekach / Mashable

Camera settings on the iPhone screen.

You’ll find this after clicking on the camera in the control center.
Credit: Sasha Lekach / Mashable

If other camera settings like changing your photo aspect ratio or exposure time or the damn flash keep resetting too often, then you need to think about switching up your default settings.

I recently discovered that the way I prefer to set up my camera (on photo mode with no filters, no Live settings, no flash) can always appear as soon as I open the built-in Camera app. For those more video-inclined, you can set the video recorder as the default mode. And for those who are always Instagram-ready, keep the square setting for every camera moment.

It’s just a few settings away:

  1. Open Settings

  2. Head to the Camera menu

  3. In the top section click on “Preserve Settings”

  4. Toggle on the settings for “Camera Mode,” “Filter,” and “Live Photo”

Camera settings

Here’s where you’ll find it.
Credit: Sasha Lekach / Mashable

Preserve settings option.

Click it on.
Credit: Sasha Lekach / Mashable

If you just want video or another camera mode to show up, only click Camera Mode to pull up the last settings used. Other settings will reset to the default.

The newest iOS 15 has even more camera settings and features to explore. Once you find what you want to show up ASAP on your camera screen, preserve it and never let the moment escape again.

Elon Musk claims feature from Hummer EV is coming to quad-motor Cybertruck

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Elon Musk teased a new feature for the delayed Tesla Cybertruck that sounds heavily borrowed from a different electric truck.

During a tweeting spree Friday, the Tesla CEO delved into details about the first Cybertruck, expected to be produced at the under-construction Austin, Texas gigafactory by the end of 2022. The e-truck was initially expected by the end of 2021.

He tweeted about a “4 motor variant” with independent motors at each wheel. Until his tweet, the highest-end version was a tri-motor configuration starting at $69,900.

Musk then explained the premium pickup will have both front and rear wheel steering and “it can drive diagonally like a crab.” GMC Hummer EV announced its CrabWalk abilities more than a year ago on its electrified Hummer truck. Musk didn’t make any mention of Hummer and its diagonal driving. Hummer has used “crab” in the name for the mode and in marketing imagery to describe the feature since its reveal.

Tesla removed all details about the Cybertruck from its website in October after production delays were announced. The Cybertruck was first revealed in Nov. 2019 with single, double, and triple motor configurations.

Smart Technologies to Digitalize Your Hospitality Business

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Digitalization has taken the tourism and hospitality sector by storm globally in the last few years. Travelers no longer rely on brick-and-mortar travel agents; instead, increased mobility has raised their expectations for a perfect resort that matches their comfort level—on their terms. This is due to digital players like Airbnb, Kayak, and TripAdvisor that are setting benchmarks to deliver the most innovative hospitality and travel experiences. 

The level of mobility and contactless operations further increased after COVID-19. Travelers are more inclined towards contactless travel operations such as lodging, check-in/check-out, room booking, tourism, and food services —precisely, to get things done quickly through their smartphones. After 2020, traveling while also avoiding any health hazards has been a top priority of consumers. 

To meet the customer expectations and demands, the hospitality industry needs to be on top of its digital game. A whopping 73 % of travelers believe that hospitality and hotel stakeholders would need to accommodate the latest technologies for a safer travel and hospitality experience amid the pandemic. 

According to a survey by Statista, executives in the travel and hospitality industry consider adopting new technologies as a business priority for better customer and supplier services. While 84 percent of the respondents claim to already have significant technologies adopted to meet the criteria of the digitalized world. 

The hospitality business has eventually become a blend of ever-increasing customer expectations and digital transformation. Stakeholders need to realize the prevalence of the right technology to meet the digital experience trends. Let’s explore the top technological beats that are impacting the hospitality and travel industry big-time.

Internet of Things (IoT) and hyper-personalization

The combination of IoT and mobile is enabling hotel rooms to adopt smart devices and features to partly meet their guest’s expectations.

For example, many Asian hotel chains now also referred to as ‘unmanned’ hotels, are reshaping their business model through the adoption of modern technologies. Smart rooms are becoming the top-tier option to provide contactless customer services via a hotel’s mobile app based on voice assistants (Google Home or Amazon Alexa).

One of the prime IoT devices is a slick tablet installed in every guest room allowing guests to control and customize room services such as controlling air conditioning, windows, lights, media stations, connecting with staff and room service, seeing hotel information, and other infinite options.

This cloud-based technology offers several added benefits besides good Customer Experience (CX) including greater sales and better brand image as a result of quick services, striking UI & UX design, and user-friendly software. Otherwise, poor design and services may give hotel owners upsetting lessons about treating their customers well.

The cohesion of all smart devices under one network can help keep track of customers’ aspirations and expectations — this is what we call hyper-personalization with respect to IoT. 

Hotels connected with IoT software and ultra-compact hardware require hospitality management to closely check system quality to avoid any trouble in customer operations and services. This requires a proficient team of software testers and a test management tool to keep the IoT world of devices streamlined and quality-driven. 

Augmented & Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

Guests can enjoy a hotel party and visit a museum or a tourist destination through virtual reality (VR) staying in their comfort zone. AR and VR allow travelers to experience the best things virtually. For example, as a tourist, you may be able to visit Paris via a virtual trip that too under half costs. 

This practice is not quite common yet, but major hospitality executives offer their guests a chance to relish a sneak-peak of faraway destinations for a virtual travel experience. Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA) is one of the businesses offering VR visits to their customers. 

Big Data and Analytics

Data has become a cornerstone to excel in the changing CX dynamics in the new era of travel and hospitality. For example, in the case of Airbnb, with data analytics, they were able to determine customers who left due to poor customer support. The app then offered an instant booking facility to allow their guests to make instant reservations. This helped in reducing the density of customers’ complaints and an automated and more reliable booking system as a replacement for the previous and arduous one. 

Furthermore, Big Data and IoT are highly interconnected in the hospitality sector; for example, if a traveler visits a resort every year, the IoT data can automatically ask the guest about making a booking this year too. This will save your customers time in booking a room without even scrolling over their phones and making calls to the travel agents. The same practice can be implied on cuisine options and selection,  services, in-room facilities, and excursions.

Data does not only improve CX, it enhances the entire business model from bottom to top.

How is Quality Assurance a problem-solver for the hospitality sector? 

Despite a pool of business benefits, getting along with the latest technologies may also shock you with a  digital disaster or an app crash during peak vacation times.

Multiple digital elements unite together to deliver the expected experience to the staying guest.

All it takes is one software glitch to result in utmost customer disappointment and business failure.

Let’s imagine this situation: it’s raining, your guest arrives, asks for their room key/card, but it was taken by another guest–ALL BECAUSE OF A SOFTWARE GLITCH IN YOUR APP!

These days, travelers rely on traveling and hospitality apps to perform multiple functions such as: 

  • Room booking
  • Remote check-in/check-out
  • Restaurant seat reservation with in-app menus
  • Chat with the guest hosts (human or bots)
  • Guest services (laundry, in-room amenities, etc.)
  • Room card functionality
  • Hotel map
  • Parties and any sort of entertainment activity.

All these operational services require a controlled environment that assures the end-to-end performance of app modules and features. 

The answer resides in achieving optimum Quality Assurance (QA) services for a smooth customer experience. Stakeholders usually rely on an outsourced team of software testers to verify and validate the quality of customer services and the rest of the connected technologies helping in delivering multi-faceted functions. 

These testers depend on test management tools such as Kualitee for tracking if the app is performing according to what has been desired by the end-user. To be more precise, these test case management tools help the testing team perform the following functions to successfully achieve a pipeline of customer-centric services: 

  • Make a test plan and save its details, such as devices, OS, etc, such that the information is usable in the test execution.
  • Organize the whole test plan into different modules and requirements so that each different module is handled separately. For example, the Room Service-related application and Room Booking applications are separately treated.
  • Ensure sufficient test cases are being created against each requirement for accuracy and precision.
  • Consistency throughout the customer’s travel cycle; meticulously tracked and managed on an intuitive dashboard. 
  • Better management of different test case types for performance, functionality, mobility, and usability-related requirements. 
  • Efficient logging, assigning, and tracking of bugs.

It’s high time for hospitality businesses to deliberately consider conforming to the above technological trends but not without precautions. Make the right moves to transcend in this booming digital era!

What Is Included in Managed IT Services?

Information technology (IT) is dynamic and constantly evolving. This means that to stay competitive, businesses not only need to maintain their infrastructure, but also need to keep abreast of new developments that are constantly giving people more powerful, flexible, and streamlined ways to work and collaborate. Enter managed IT.

Staying current can be daunting even for businesses able to devote the resources to a dedicated in-house IT department. Fortunately, these same technological advancements have made it easier than ever before to take advantage of a managed IT solution. At Cyber Command, we have the expertise and versatility to work with you to put in place just the right solutions for your business.

What Is Included in Managed IT Services?

Given a long enough timeline, something is going to go disastrously wrong. It could be a single truly exceptional event like a fire. It could also be an unfortunate confluence of circumstances, like a simple user error affecting just the wrong set of shared files at exactly the worst moment. Either way, you have clients waiting and your business has ground to a halt.

By the time a disaster strikes, you’ve already made the most important decisions that will determine how quickly your business is up and running again. Minimizing your downtime is about realistic assessment and preparedness.

A Specific Assessment

Even within the same industry, two companies will operate a bit differently. We work with each client to assemble a risk assessment specific to them. In particular, we look at which areas of their infrastructure are most vulnerable, and which ones are critical to continuous operation.

A Ready Plan of Action

Guided by a thorough assessment, we lay the groundwork ahead of time to minimize your downtime when the unexpected strikes. Typically, this means mitigating risk using strategies like regular server backups and off-site data storage, as well as having fail-over systems ready where it’s practical.

Cloud Services

A great deal of IT infrastructure is stuff that you want to use, but don’t really want to have. A properly-implemented cloud-based infrastructure offers a number of productivity advantages while simultaneously lowering your exposure to risk.

Where the Cloud Boosts Productivity

A cloud-based infrastructure by its nature makes it simpler to keep your staff on the same unified system and to quickly apply updates or refinements to that system for the entire team at once. The cloud also lends itself very nicely to collaboration and data-sharing.

Where the Cloud Mitigates Risk

The larger cloud-based software suites all have very active cybersecurity teams working to keep them protected, and you benefit both from the scale of the operation and the efficiency with which the systems can be updated. Also, when you host your cloud services with Cyber Command’s expert staff, you remove some of the risk that’s inherent in storing everything locally.

Co-Managed IT

Information technology is now a part of every business to a greater or lesser degree. Our goal at Cyber Command is to work with your internal IT staff. Whether you have a dedicated IT department or just a technologically-inclined staff member, we want them to be able to focus on big-picture strategies that will push your business forward instead of needing to react to glitches or to maintenance demands. We want to free them to focus on growth.

While your team is proactive, ours is also on standby. We strive to minimize problems, but when a support issue does come up our team has the scale and experience to resolve it promptly. Because we have a large staff that has worked with IT systems for years, we’re in a position to field a broader range of skills, and maintain a higher level of availability, than it’s reasonable to expect from a department with just a few individuals.


At Cyber Command we have been helping our clients succeed since 2015 by delivering expert maintenance, IT services, and consulting. Our clients’ success is ours as well, and we’re constantly looking for new ways to maximize their productivity.

We Work With You

Because we succeed when you do, we strive to be a seamless extension of your own business. That means learning how you operate so that we can be of the most use to you. It also means consulting with you to find just the right solutions that are tailored to your business, and answering any questions you have in straightforward language, without obscure tech jargon.

Our Monthly Rate Is All-Inclusive

Our all-inclusive support plan means that you always understand what your IT costs will be, and you won’t be blind-sided with a large bill if there’s a rough month.

Since our price doesn’t fluctuate with the number of issues we need to troubleshoot, we’re highly motivated to be proactive in our approach and to keep your IT problems as minor and as infrequent as possible.

We Prioritize Rapid Response

It is in exactly no one’s interest for you to be stuck with a support issue, and we know that even little problems can escalate quickly. That’s why we offer 24/7/365 live support, as well as a guarantee that a call you put in for support will be responded to within one hour.

Managed IT Department

We make it simple for you to gain the benefits of an in-house IT department in addition to the advantages of a large and diverse team. We offer 24/7/365 live support so that you always have access to a technician when you need it. Our service also includes around-the-clock monitoring of your network and data, so that you can have the peace of mind to focus on growing your business instead of on technical hassles.

If your business operates multiple locations then our nationwide support coverage can provide the kind of rapid response that a conventional in-house IT department would struggle to match. And as different segments of your business grow, our managed support model allows us to easily scale with you.

Managed IT Services

At Cyber Command we understand that your staff’s time is valuable and that a team member who is troubleshooting a technical problem is doing so instead of directly profitable work. That’s why so many companies fall into the trap of only putting resources toward their IT infrastructure when there’s a problem to be resolved. Unfortunately, the most efficient time to deal with IT issues is before they reach the stage of being a problem.

Letting us manage your IT infrastructure for you means that, first of all, your entire team is able to focus their productivity on the work that directly benefits and grows your business. Secondly, our team has the depth of experience to proactively address potential issues before they can interfere with your operation. Our all-inclusive services include monitoring and maintenance of your devices and network, backups of your critical data, and more. Your focus stays on running your business.

Managed Print Services

The printing needs of different companies vary, but too often businesses address their printing needs by just connecting a few printers to the network and nothing more. This is both a missed opportunity and a security risk. Printers usually don’t receive the same attention to security as workstations, making them convenient entry points into the network for malicious actors. Printers may also expose sensitive data or user credentials.

Cyber Command can tailor a managed printing solution for your company’s specific needs. This will always include monitoring and attention to security vulnerabilities, but we can also help boost productivity by streamlining the way that your printers talk to the software you use. Additionally, we offer printer fleet management to handle toner replacement or any repairs.

Microsoft 365

Our team is familiar with a wide range of software solutions and that certainly includes Microsoft 365. We have the expertise to consult with you, in straightforward language, about how this flexible software can improve your company’s workflow and communication. We also have years of experience integrating and managing Microsoft 365, making it painless to adapt or scale as your company’s needs evolve.

Versatility and collaboration are more important today than ever. At Cyber Command we have the know-how to help you leverage Microsoft 365 to let your team work in a more streamlined way using tools they can easily access from different devices and locations.

The trend in recent years, and it’s an accelerating one, is for companies to become more and more distributed. Information technology has a major role in facilitating this and has made it so that a company trying to keep up with the competition faces challenges that didn’t exist even a decade ago.

Excell With Managed IT

At Cyber Command our expertise is in working with these technologies, both existing and emerging. Our focus, however, is always on you. On your productivity, and your ability to take your attention away from matters of maintenance and monitoring, and put it where it should be: growing your business and profits. Your success is ours, so everything always begins with a jargon-free discussion of your needs and how we can meet them.

Our value proposition is simple: We proactively monitor and maintain your devices, servers, and network to secure your revenue through business continuity. Visit us at Cyber Command to schedule a technology strategy session.

QA Hacks for Your Testing Team to Deliver a Quality Product

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“Bugs in your product are a symptom of bugs in your process–if you focus on fire prevention, you’ll reduce the need to fight fires” – Henrik Kniberg, Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large Scale Projects.

QA is a non-negotiable aspect of software development that, if taken for granted, can lead to disastrous product releases. It is wrong to consider defect density as the only step that defines customer experience (CX). There are other test planning and execution elements that should also be carefully considered for cumulative quality assurance pertaining to the CX. These include choosing the right app testing techniques and agile testing tools such as Kualitee for deliberate review of your testing and QA plan — but never without a highly diligent team.

Software testing teams work harder and smarter to deliver a highly functioning and quality-driven product that gets better after every iteration.

We shall now discuss testing methodologies and practices that inspire software quality assurance engineers (SQAEs) to test as a team and reflect the efficiency in the end-products public release.

Top 6 QA secrets for software testing teams

As a software testing team, you have to brainstorm and plan a lot. So let us help you determine some of the finest QA practices to expedite your testing process in the pursuit of a quality product. 

1. Define testing requirements and set targets

Before starting a software testing project, QA professionals must derive the process requirements and end-user expectations. The process usually includes the following aspects: 

Customer experience and expectations: Consider recognizing the CX problems your end-users may encounter while using the application, and create user acceptance criteria and a plan to mitigate any potential errors — through quality assessment and the right testing techniques. This practice allows QA testers to establish the testing methodology centered around the customer’s requirements.

Testing priorities: QA experts should be able to deliberately prioritize the most critical functionality, customer, and business requirements that need integral testing. Moreover, test priorities are set according to the number of customers impacted and the level of urgency that requires prompt delivery of a certain requirement. However, any sort of priority should not neglect other or assumedly less important feature requirements. Agile testing tools are a great help to achieve the right prioritization for a successful testing process. 

Defect reporting: The testing team should be clear about the appropriate use of information to report a bug, a code failure, or an undocumented feature for better communication and collaboration among the team. 

Communication: There should be an organized communication channel between the QA experts and stakeholders/ clients for clarity of instructions and new information regarding the software development and testing project. For example, if there is a requirement change in the middle of a testing project, it should be communicated across the team right away.

 2. Set a clear QA pathway 

Determine a proper workflow determining the type of tools and techniques the QA team may use during the testing project. This sets the trajectory right for the team to achieve the anticipated goals related to QA. 

3. Procure external quality assurance feedbacks

Obtaining second reviews and insights is crucial in software development. As a team lead or stakeholder you can always request another team of QA professionals to assess your software design and code and share their technical evaluation. These external QA experts highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the software in these areas: 

  • Documentation
  • Tech haystack
  • System architecture
  • Code configuration and repetition
  • Use of techniques and tools
  • Productivity and pace

You will receive a broad survey and guidelines on what your QA team can do to improve test strategy and execution to deliver a bug-free user experience. 

4. Apply multi-dimensional testing strategy

There are so many testing techniques in the lane serving important QA purposes. Do not deprive your business application by sticking to only one methodology. Instead, take advantage of all related QA techniques for bigger benefits and better results.

For example, integrate automated testing to control code quality and detect and fix errors before they sneak into the production stage. While load testing tells your QA team if the app is able to survive any app crashes and bear peak traffic hours.

5. Build a devoted security testing team

It takes one safety vulnerability on a software platform to immediately force out the end-user and abandon that app. To fight such a situation, put in place a team of QA champs for careful security testing on various product patches and updates. 

To deliver above-average software-as-a-service (SaaS) experience to the end-users, carefully collect data distributed on servers, and require in-depth security testing performed on each data set before each release. 

Prepare and educate your team about potential features and product changes. This will help your team to closely understand the system under test (SUT) from the user’s perspective.

6. Balance quality and speed

Your users seek operational quality from that particular product they use daily. QA is the key process to guarantee quality part. Adhering to a QA process enables testers to consistently conduct app performance reviews. This entails forming a QA framework and choosing the widely-trusted testing and audit methods for composing and running tests.

Speed is another big thing in any software development project. The agile testing tools such as Kualitee help you align and prioritize your quality goals with that of users. Your team then tests as competent testers prioritizing the top test cases and delivering the mission-critical requirements on an earlier basis. Further, the intuitive dashboards of these test management apps keep all the team members in the loop about every new change and enhancement occurring in the testing process.

At the end of the day, test management systems are the center points where quality and speed meet.

These QA secrets are all yours now! So, are you ready to implement them and boost your QA game?

Does My Boss Hate Me?

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You may have often found yourself thinking: “does my boss hate me?”, “why does my manager always seem to prioritize my coworker over me?”, “why did my boss give me such a terrible evaluation?” and so on. 

It’s easy to spiral and reach the conclusion that your boss really does hate you. 

However, there is a fair chance that isn’t true. 

Your boss’ expectations may just be different from yours. Your line of thinking may not align with each other’s. Or you may just be misinterpreting his or her behavior towards you. 

In attempt to take this burden off your mind—or at least, lessen it—we present to you a few tips that will help you deal with this predicament.  

Understand your manager’s requirements 

First and foremost, it is important to understand what your boss wants, so you can produce results accordingly. Listen to them carefully, ask questions wherever you are not clear on something, and make sure you have a complete grasp of the requirements. If you put in your best work and follow the given guidelines carefully, your boss is likely to be satisfied. And most importantly, your mind will be clear of any self-doubts and you will be confident in the results. 

Ask the 3 whys to understand the motivation of your boss behind a requirement. Why does she want that? Ask her. This will give you a perspective of where that piece of work is going to fit in the larger picture. You will better be able to grasp which bits are important and which are not. Hence, you would be better aligned with your boss that way. 

Take initiative  

However, following instructions and doing how you’re told does not mean that you should shy away from taking initiative. If you propose new ideas and come up with new strategies and suggestions, your boss will be able to notice the amount of interest you have in your work, and will thus will be inclined to appreciate you and see you as a valuable member of the team.  

Don’t take criticism to heart 

If your boss criticizes your work, don’t take it to heart. Remember, they have nothing personal against you. They see potential in you (which is why they decided to hire you in the first place!) and now they want to polish your skills even further—which, in most cases, requires extensive feedback on their part.

Thus, the criticism is not to belittle you, but to build your skillset and bring about improvements in the work you produce. They want to see you do better, and there’s nothing wrong with that. If anything, it reflects on their inclination to see you grow.  

Don’t let your work get affected 

Don’t let negative thoughts or doubts about your manager’s opinions on you affect your work! Put in your best effort at all times, and remember that your hard work will never go waste. There will always be someone out there who will be appreciating it, even if that one supervisor doesn’t. 

Talk to your boss 

In cases when you feel that your boss is putting you down for no reason or showing clear bias against you, it might be a good idea to talk to them. Be open, honest and transparent. Let them know that you think they are being unfair in their approach and propose suggestions on how that particular issue can be resolved. Even if a plausible solution doesn’t work out, at the very least your boss will become aware of your sentiments. 

Exert your presence 

Build your presence in team meetings. Don’t be afraid to speak up. The more you participate, the more reason your boss will have to value you and your input. Drop into your boss’ office from time to time, even if it just to say hello. Try to show him or her that you are investing effort to construct a professional relationship with them—this will encourage them to do the same.  


Introspect. Is there anything you could potentially be doing wrong? Is there any room for improvement in your work? Could you change anything in your own behavior towards your boss? It’s easy to always see oneself in the clear and think the issue is from the other end, but doing some self-reflection never hurts.  

To improve communication and collaboration between your boss and yourself, propose using a test management tool like Kualitee, to your team lead. With this tool, your boss will be able to assign tasks with clear responsibility and timelines—this would help in setting expectations right, and thus lower potential points of contention!  

10 Ways to Keep Yourself Energized While Working

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Sitting for hours working on that one code, that you just cannot seem to get right, can drain you out.  

The amount of stress that comes with testing that new application is bad enough. 

Don’t even get us started about the feeling of sheer frustration one feels upon being handed over yet another bug—right when you were thinking that you would go to bed early tonight. 

Scenarios like these can be tough to deal with, especially when you are running low on energy. 

Need tips on how to keep your energy levels up, while working? Read on.  

1. Take frequent breaks 

Working for long periods of time at a stretch will be bound to drain you out. Don’t forget to take small breaks in between—you can schedule them according to your tasks, or just get up and stretch for a bit after every hour or so. Catching a breather every now and then is very important! It is also a common notion that peak performance occurs when you do 1.5 hours of uninterrupted work followed by a 15 minutes break. 

2. Stock up on your snacks 

Bring a bunch of quick snacks with you at work, to keep you going throughout the day. Try to make sure it is healthy though—this will also help you focus better on work. Some easy and yummy options are bananas, nuts, yogurt, granola bars, fresh fruit, cheese sticks, egg sandwiches, dark chocolate etc. You can bring these snacks from home, or make a trip to a nearby grocery store from the office, if feasible.  

3. Get enough sleep 

We have all heard about the importance of getting a full 8 hours sleep. And that is the right advice. It is only if you get proper sleep during the night that you will be able to stay alert during your work hours throughout the day. Set a routine for yourself; with fixed timings that will help you stick to a regular pattern of sleep hours. 

4. Keep your work station clean 

According to research, an unorganized workplace is linked to lower productivity levels. Keeping your desk and surroundings clean will help you keep organized and generate an undisturbed work environment. This will motivate you to work harder and stay more productive during the day, as opposed to working at a desk that is so messy that it takes hours to find one document alone! 

5. Use Task Management Tools 

Just like organizing your table keeps you productive, sorting and organizing different tasks helps you work on one thing and stop fretting over the many other things that are yet to be done. A good task management tool, like Kualitee, can help by assigning tasks to team members, using task manager to clearly visualize your tasks, etc. This ensures that your mind, like your table, is uncluttered, calm and focused. This also prevents energy leakage. 

6. Don’t forget your breakfast! 

It is said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, follow that advice. Eating healthy breakfast in the morning leads to better concentration throughout the day, and also keeps you energized. Try to have a protein-packed breakfast—who doesn’t love scrambled eggs? If you don’t have time to eat a proper breakfast before rushing off to work, grab a banana or cereal bar for along the way! 

7. Practice deep breathing 

Think of deep breathing as a reset button. One example of a breathing exercise is square breathing. Do this several times day. It will help clear your mind, lower stress levels, and bring you back in focus for the task you are currently working on, as well as bring you clarity of mind in preparation for upcoming assignments.  

8. Rest your eyes 

Staring at a screen the entire day long trying to figure out that code can put a lot of strain on your eyes. To avoid heavy strain, make sure to look away from the screen after brief moments. You can try the 20-20-20 rule; after every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away, for about 20 seconds. You can also purchase computer glasses that block blue light from the screen, or practice some simple eye exercises. 

9. Exercise 

Exercise is a great way to boost energy. Even if you are unable to do so at the office, try exercising daily at some point of the day for at least 30 minutes. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an intense workout; doing stretching exercises, going for a quick run or walk, playing badminton with your kids, and so on, are some good (and fun) ways to exercise as well. Regular exercise is positively linked with higher concentration levels, less stress, higher productivity, and better attention spans as well.  

10. Stay hydrated! 

Drinking water regularly throughout your day at work (or any day for that matter) must not be neglected. Besides keeping you hydrated, drinking water also helps improve your concentration, prevent headaches, lubricate your eyes, keep you alert—amongst many other benefits. 

Be mindful of these quick and easy tips, to keep your energy levels up at work. A full day of work, particularly when you are working in the capacity of a tester or developer that required utmost focus, can tend to get very draining, so you have to do your best to maintain your energy.  

Things You Wish You Knew Before About Test Scenarios

This post was originally published on this site

Test Scenario creation is nothing new in the testing industry, but several testers still have ambiguities about the concept. So, what is a Test Scenario and why should you create it? Let’s find out:

How do you define a Test Scenario?

Test scenarios are basically anticipated modules or features that need to be tested. Also known as test suite/ test set, a Test Scenario may consist of one, two, or more Test Cases.

These are often confused with test cases while the latter is an actionable series of steps and conditions. 

Simply speaking, a test scenario is a brief documentation about how an end-user might use an application. It is a crucial part of test management activity in which user experience is closely analyzed, and is called for in-depth testing. Several test cases are bunched into a Scenario. 

Why are test scenarios important?

Test scenarios provide the ultimate basis for the stakeholders to meet anticipated app functionality and revenue results. 

Test Scenarios are important sources to verify the performance of the system under test according to the real-world scenarios; this helps achieve app consistency after its release for public use. They help in deciding the end-to-end user interaction with the app or the intended product use. 

Below are some strong reasons on how good test scenarios add more value to your system under test: 

  • Helps in achieving maximum test coverage and traceability matrix.
  • Covers almost every system aspect that should be tested before the public product release. 
  • Helps in estimating the required testing effort or labor force, and organizing the testing process. 
  • Allows you to figure the crucial user flows, further aligning and prioritizing the testing efforts.
  • May be taken as an acting proposal for the client.
  • Validates if the system under test (SUT) works fine under every Test Case.
  • Helps In improving the entirety of user experience (UX).

Pro tip: For better assemblage and sorting of test scenarios, use data-driven test management tools such as Kualitee.

Who writes test scenarios?

Test conditions and steps are usually approved by Business Analysts or QA leads. In general, testers are given the task to create test scenarios for all cases, particularly when dealing with intricate and sensitive applications from the Banking, Financial, Healthcare, or Paramedics sector.

How to create a test scenario

Following are the basic steps for creating a well-rounded test scenario:

  • Study the requirement document which includes Business Requirement Specification (BRS),  Software Requirement Specification (SRS), and Functional Requirement Specification (FRS) related to the system under test.
  • Keenly study each requirement in isolation and understand important areas that require testing. Identify the possible issues pertaining to the specification. Furthermore, carefully examine and frame vulnerable app sections from the hacker’s point of view.
  • Specify and list test scenarios that include every possible feature, user flow, and business logic of the SUT.  
  • After classifying the test scenarios, build a Traceability Matrix that reflects the cardinality and many-to-many relationship between all software components.
  • Get the set of scenarios analyzed by the QA Manager and then forward them to the rest of the stakeholders steering the project wheels.

Pro tip: To keep it simple, create one test scenario per requirement or user story. If a test scenario is expected to serve multiple requirements, then make sure to check each requirement beforehand separately. Otherwise, you may skip some critical modules or functions.  

Test management tools for test scenario creation 

There are plenty of test case management tools like Kualitee that provide ease of work while you deal with uncountable feature requirements. 

In the snapshot below, you can see the separate spaces for different information. You can write what needs to be tested for the right functionality checks. Create as many lists of test scenarios for different test case types. This helps you and keep your test case management super aligned and in control. 

When not to use test scenarios?

Despite the value of test scenarios, you may not have to create them in the following situations: 

  • In the moments of urgency, or when testing an unstable software product. It is a waste of time to create comprehensive test scenarios for an unstable product, because the requirements will likely change after the software achieves stability
  • When a project is based more on exploratory testing patterns and testers follow an unstructured approach due to frequent change requests.
  • Sometimes the quantity of test scenarios becomes unmanageable and costly to execute. In such cases, it is better to prioritize test case executions based on end-user or client preferences.