Blog

Mocking with Python!

By Juan Norris, Python Developer at Santex

Here at Santex, we pride ourselves on delivering high quality software, and therefore testing is a big part of our day-to-day development process.

I’m currently working on a Python project that relies heavily on mock for unit tests. A few months ago, some new members who were not familiar with the mock library joined the team. As those of you who have used it may know, mock sometimes can be unintuitive, confusing and lead to “false positives” – passing tests that are not really testing anything – but it is also very useful and powerful.

So we found ourselves in the need of a way to explain this library a little bit, and that is why these slides were created.

We started with an introduction to what mock is and why should you use it. The slides are meant to be both a starting point and some best practices, because they explain the most important classes and helpers in the library, as well as how/when to use them and the common pitfalls you may run into.

Although there is not a lot of written information and this material is composed mostly of code examples, I hope this can get you started with Mocking in Python!

See Mocking in Python Presentation!

About Juan Norris. He is a Python/Django developer with experience in JavaScript (Jquery, AJAX), MySQL and PostgreSQL. Juan is continuously learning and training to investigate new technologies.

Expectations of an American businessman– How to sell in the US Market

by Doug Lewis

Who am I?

I am an American businessman with over 30 years of experience selling and buying products in Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S and Canada.  I have worked for technology companies in software and processing and in economic development in International Trade and entrepreneurism.

Where do I come from?

I’ve lived most of my life in the middle of the US but I have traveled throughout the US and in many other countries and I’ve lived in Japan and Sweden.  I understand quite a bit about international business but not a lot about doing business in South America and not a lot about Argentina.

Why is it worth selling to me?

Because I’m really not trying to sell to you.  I work for Santex.  Over 90% of our revenue comes from the US market.  I have nothing to sell you. I say this because unfortunately too many times the first connections between businesses who want to sell are people who are trying to sell to each other.  They are the people in international sales for each company or sometimes even the CEOs themselves. They just shouldn’t try to sell to each other.

So let’s suspend reality for a moment and assume in this case that I am buying from you.

MapaUSblog

I’m buying and I’m buying services in an economy where services are close to 80% of the economy.  That economy is 17 trillion dollars according to the Worldbank.  Trillion is 1 with 12 zeros behind it.  That means people pay 13.6 Trillion dollars per year for services in the US.  I’m buying for many reasons but here are a couple of them.  I am buying because after dealing with the rest of the world for a long time, I’m concerned about places and countries closer to home. I’m concerned that bigger countries than the US will have even more influence that will affect the future of my kids and their kids.

And because I’m really tired of dealing with 12 to 15 hour time differences with Asia.  It always means that someone is working in the middle of the night.  I want to find sources closer to home but I am also accountable to my stakeholders and customers to get a good price or provide a good value for them.  Price is a factor especially if I can get it somewhere else easily.

Just a word about competition.  If you are in software development services like I am, Your competition is not in this room.  Your competition isn’t in Cordoba.  It really isn’t even on this continent.  It is any place on the planet.  Because the software code can be developed wherever any one has a portable computer and can delivered when and wherever it’s needed.  Competing on price alone will leave you starving.  You need to deliver value to your customer.

If I’m going to buy from you then you are probably asking “what do I expect from you?”

I expect solid and simple communication the way that I want it.  Please don’t take me on a walk through the forest.  I don’t want to sift through information to try to find what you are trying to tell me.  I really don’t know what I’m looking for.  Get yourself organized.  Group your products into categories and name them.  In other words, I need your information presented in a context and it needs to be complete.

Don’t expect me to ask questions about something that I don’t know.  You know your product and you need to be able to communicate with me in my language. So I need your help.

I do expect you to have any material that you present be in standard American English.  I don’t expect you to speak perfect English but I need to be able to understand you.  If you need a translator then you need to provide it.  I don’t think you want one of my employees who studied Spanish in school and drank rum or tequila drinks on a beach in the Caribbean to be your translator.

As an American, I expect information to flow freely to me.  When you hold something back or I find out something later that I thought I should have known. I feel one of two ways, I am suspicious of your motives or I think you don’t know what you’re doing.

I’ve done business in around 40 countries but I really don’t know much about Argentina and so you will need to explain a little bit about your country and I want to learn.  I know there are the positives of doing business with you and I want you to get that point across but there is one factor that is more important than anything else.  I only deal with honest people. It makes my buying decisions much easier.  You just won’t get another chance if you don’t deliver what you promise.

I’ve heard about the government and the economy but I’m a business man.  I’m willing to buy a good product for a fair price.

I will do my research on you before we meet so I will expect to find you on LinkedIn with a profile in proper English.  I will expect some information on your website.  If you only have a Spanish website, I’ll let the browser do the translation but you never know what I will get that way.  I can tell you that in Hong Kong, Singapore and many other countries I will not only have websites in English but a lot of information for me.

I know enough about international business and dealing with business people around the globe to know that cultures are different.  I know that things like jokes and stories don’t always translate well so I personally avoid them.  I don’t like to confuse matters by being misunderstood by a joke and I certainly don’t want to explain a joke fearing that I mistaken the lack of laughing for misunderstanding the punch line.

Time is important to me.  I like to use it well and expect others to do so too.  I have a lot of people who make demands on my time.  Face to face meetings are so productive that I don’t want to have them be wasted.  I like a meeting agenda ahead of a meeting and I will come prepared and I expect that you will too.  I like to concentrate face to face meetings at places where I have meetings anyway.  International trade shows and conferences when I attend are places I can do this.

By the way, sometimes the easiest and most relaxed time to meet with me is at breakfast and it’s best before 8. I can take time with you not distracted by others in my com palm texting or calling me.  On occasion, I’ll have a business dinner but I coach my kids sports teams and have family activities after 6 so evenings are scheduled for me and I like to be in bed by 10.  Golf is good for those who play well but I don’t play.

Are you believable?

Will you really do what you say you will?  How would I know?  That’s why I expect that you have customer references. You are certified in quality standards and you belong to US and International industry and Professional groups.  It doesn’t matter where you are in the world; you only have one chance to make a good impression.  I may be dressed casual but I’m always impressed by someone who is dressed to sell.

How much do you really know about the US?

Do you know that there are at least 4 geographic markets in the US?  There are two that most people know and they still put them together.  There is the West Coast or Left Coast as we call it.  It’s fast paced but casual.  High tech but also Hollywood.  It’s where everyone from around the world takes their idea and their movie script to sell it.  Competition is fierce. Making a splash is nothing unusual.  It’s on a big ocean and people do it every day.  Money flows in and out easily until there isn’t anymore and then it crashes.

Then there’s the East Coast.  It’s traditional.  Money has been there a long time and they want to keep it that way.  They don’t give it up easily.  They are skeptical of everyone, even people they grew up with.  You can imagine how important it is to be credible.  There are more people squeezed into the land between Philadelphia and Boston than there are in Argentina.  That distance is 100 kilometers less than from Cordoba to Buenos Aires. And know your baseball teams.  Don’t wear that baseball cap you bought at Yankee stadium in Boston.

Moving along to the South.  They haven’t had money since the 1800′s.  There are pockets of wealth like Atlanta, Miami and Dallas.  Overall, it’s conservative but it’s changing.  People are moving in but people are still paid less and the infrastructure isn’t as good as other parts of the country.  People don’t part with money easily and especially not for products that don’t look like they are from home.  It’s the headquarters of Walmart, where  the company slogan is “Always the low price. Always.”

And then there’s the Midwest.  In the Midwest, there are two natural resources.  One is land and the other is people.  Both are becoming more scarce and therefore more valuable.  The land of 12 states is one fourth the size of Argentina and there 67 million people.  The largest city is Chicago.  It’s a world class city that considers itself in a league with Buenos Aires.  One hundred dollars will buy what 160 dollars buys in New York City.  The second largest city is 2 million people.  It’s Indianapolis and is a lot like Cordoba.

Energy production– wind, biofuels and oil and natural gas is the new industry in the Midwest.  Agriculture is changing from old to new to feed the world and manufacturing is finding its way in a new global market.  And what about the money?  The money is here.  It’s stable.  Midwesterners like to pay cash and they like to own what they buy, not borrow to pay for it.  They have experience taping into the east and west coast and once you are partners, they will take you with them.  You may just want to take a look.

So what’s the place where people are the wealthiest?  It’s in the Midwest.  It’s in fact Des Moines Iowa.

Here’s a video that makes that point.

So things are not always as they seem.  Sometimes unlikely places have more potential than at first glance.

For more information check out Doug Lewis’ presentation on Slideshare.

Doug Lewis is a Manager of Inside Sales and Business Development for Santex.  Throughout his career, Doug has developed high value sales and business relationships for companies seeking international markets.   Prior to joining Santex in 2012, Doug was with the Iowa Department of Economic Development  where he worked in the Innovation and Commercialization Division in entrepreneurial development. He was program Manager for the Iowa Demonstration fund which helps companies commercialize innovative products in three targeted industry sectors– Advanced Manufacturing, BioScience and Information Technology. Over 100 companies received close to $12 million in state funding to launch new, innovative products.

 

 

Embracing Corporate Social Responsability

By Nes Lopez

Corporate Social Responsibility refers to the way a corporation “gives back” to society. This focus usually includes contributions of time and money, a duty to provide environmentally friendly solutions and services and a desire to improve the way of living of society on a global and local stage. Social responsible corporations see to it that this belief filters to everything they do.

Corporate Social Responsability

Social responsibility can be effectively incorporated with effective strategies to advance goodwill, while building sustainable and impactful business. They provide the leadership to demonstrate how employees can pursue both objectives simultaneously. As such, socially conscious companies have stepped up their efforts with increasing effectiveness and productivity. It is an impressive movement and one that invites society at large to do even more.

Corporations that are serious about undertaking a social responsible and sustainable approach often have to battle the fact that other corporations have used this approach as a ploy or as a marketing scheme, or have questionable motives to engage in corporate social responsibility by jumping on the bandwagon and take advantage of the fad.

Another issue is that corporate social responsibility is far from being consistent and universal. There are many Non-governmental agencies that are taking an increasing role in pressuring major corporations to behave responsibly. Even though there is no consistency in government regulations regarding social responsibility and legislation can vary vastly between regions, it is really up to the company to go on its own and find a strategy that works for their individual line of business or needs, either by following in the steps of other business that have successfully adopted social responsibility and sustainability approach or work with consultants and subject matter experts.

One of the main reasons corporate social responsibility and sustainability have become such a “hot topic” is the issue that other topics as global warming, pollution, carbon emissions, deforestation are a daily and common occurrence in our media outlets. Even though these aspects are highly important, there are also other features regarding social responsibilities that are often not as publicized and communicated, such as: ethics, diversity and disabilities in the business environment.

If a business is dedicated to really being socially responsible and sustainable, the company culture will carry on to it’s employees and society will take notice, there is no need to auto-publicize or fabricate marketing ploys to show how “green” they are, or how many carbon credits they’ve earned; or how hiring minorities and disabled individuals makes them more socially responsible and aware, in an individual is capable to effectively perform their role it should not matter if they come from a different background or they have a disability.

Every business can find ways to be socially responsible, just by taking the earnest and sincere decision to take on this challenge is a step in the right direction.

Nes Lopez is a Senior Account Manager with a technical background in web and software development. Considerable experience managing projects from start to bottom with direct client interaction.

 

Candidate Casuistry for Test Automation

By Angel G. Terrera

As systems grow, the generation of manual test cases it is a task that becomes more difficult and expensive. Therefore, it is specially important to use techniques for test case automation from previously selected best candidates if we want to meet market standards and deliver on time.

TestingAutomation

When selecting candidate tests cases for automation, two different stages of software testing areas should be identified:

  • An area that hasn’t yet begun to automate their testing efforts.
  • An area that has implemented automation projects and intends to walk the path of continuous improvement.

These two different stages reflects the maturity of the area that selects possible candidates for test case automation.

For areas of type “a” a range of possibilities is opened up:

  • Identify and recognize the Candidate Casuistry from certain defined criteria.
  • Register the candidate casuistry in a tool for further monitoring, control and update.
  • Manage the execution of the generated scripts on the basis of the selected candidates scenarios  or integrate them with other tools that can run them.

Areas of type “b” encounter another range of possibilities. They should recognize from the already automated processes those test scenarios that according to their characteristic or outcome should begin to be “separated” as best candidates for continuous performance improvement.

Here I list some factors that

should be considered when selecting candidates for automation, depending on the type of scenario that has to be tested.

  • Automation Tool: The tool must be able to withstand the technology on which the application was built.
  • Time available for testing: Automating from scratch takes twice the time than making the script for manual testing.
  • Frequency of use of the application: Before carrying on automation efforts we should know if the application will be used constantly, sporadically or just once.
  • Complexity of the application: If the application is farily complicated we will have to evaluate certain candidates cases because the initial effort for automation is too high.
  • Stability and Variability version: We should consider automation If we have a stable version of updates, never underestimating its variability though.
  • 100% Automation: Will depend on how much human intervention the test scenario possesses.
  • Main flow: Identify/recognize/evaluate the main scenarios and it respective priority conditions (critical, important, urgent) that align the main business rules.
  • Avoid automating everything: The most common mistake is trying to automate all test cases. Automation scripts should be a support for manual testing and no replacement of it.
  • Evaluate combination III and VII: It refers to test cases linked to the core of the application that can be built at the beginning of the project and which can be then used in the rest of the development cycle.
  • Cost associated with automating test case: Assessing its complexity to decide whether to continue with the process of automation or go back to manual testing.
  • Maintenance Project: Identify the history incident as a source of information.
  • Think about the audience: Who will read and use the selected test cases?
  • Types of Tests: Consider particular scenarios of certain type of Test Cases (eg UAT, Regression, Smoke).
  • ROI: Return on Investment (ROI) for the business that each script has, specific to each company.
  • Number of steps and verification: The complexity is given by the number of steps (actions) and checkpoints (expected results) each of them have.

However, much will have to do with the type of project since the course of treatment is not the same for traditional (cascade) or agile projects.

Some positions related to assessing the best candidates state:

  • Scenarios that can not fail under any circumstances.
  • Features that if were missing would have a negative impact on the customer.
  • The selection begins with cases that cover the main functionalities.
  • Cases with average complexity of business, ie, it’s not too expensive to automate.

From the basis of this article, I will go a little deeper in the next one and explain more concrete situations.

Reference:
Content generated on the basis of the comments written by the members of the group TESTING& QA in Linkedin.

Angel G. Terrera is the Founder of TestingBaires.com, a website dedicated to the promotion of software testing.
webmaster@testingbaires.com | www.testingbaires.com
https://www.facebook.com/testingbaires
https://twitter.com/testingbaires

ISTQB Certified Tester
No.12-CTFL-27832-HA

 

How to programmatically get data inside a layout XML file in Magento

A while ago, I found myself trying to answer a question in Magento StackOverflow. It was a simple question: Can I get store config value in layout xml file?

http://magento.stackexchange.com/questions/23697/can-i-get-store-config-value-in-layout-xml-file/23702#23702

After some research, I realized that is possible to call a helper in a Magento tag inside an XML file the following way:

<action method="addLink" translate="label title" module="catalog" ifconfig="catalog/seo/site_map">
<label>Site Map</label>
<url helper="catalog/map/getCategoryUrl" />
<title>Site Map</title>
</action>

The relevant part is

<url helper="catalog/map/getCategoryUrl" /> 

where catalog/map is the helper and getCategoryUrl is the action we are calling.

This has a lot of important applications. With this approach, anyone can get dynamic values from any Magento resource like a Model in a layout XML file and interact with blocks, change titles or create conditionals.

Mangento

Miguel Balparda has been developing Magento for almost four years. During this time, he has witnessed the exponential growth the platform has undergone; today it is one of the largest and most popular online stores in the world. There is a great deal of documentation and resources available for both merchants and developers. It is best to start by scanning the official Magento website, where you can find resources to get in touch with the application, as well as free extensions to learn the structure of modules. Miguel can be contacted at communications@santexgroup.com

 

A Windows Azure screenshot (Microsoft Cloud Computing)

By Leonardo Herrero

Azure is the cloud service platform from Microsoft. Its cloud computing features can be divided into 3 different services:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas): It includes services like virtual machines, Big compute, Storage, backup and recovery.
  • Platform as a service (Paas): This is the most interesting for developers. It provides several services to improve and facilitate application development. Cloud services are the main feature here.
  • Software as a Service (Saas): It is more visible for end users who directly consume these services like Email, CRM, Collaborative, ERP.

Cloud computing has become extremely popular, mainly because of its advantages over on-premises computing.

Continue reading

Introduction and customization of Bootstrap

By Lorenzo Sauchelli

Historically, most web pages or web apps have been created from scratch in terms of front-end. However, the use of frameworks has increased since the development of Bootstrap by Twitter.

Bootstrap allows you to rapidly develop prototypes which can be used for the final product with minimal changes. The tool is perfectly documented and is compatible with most web browsers. It easily supports any target browser, and ‘fixing’ the CSS is only needed when supporting older browsers.

Continue reading

INTERMEDIARY LIABILITY AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR INNOVATION IN LATIN AMERICA

By Javier José Pallero.

Back in the 2000s a landmark case regarding Internet law set the principles of a complex discussion that was to last until the present day. That case, would set the stage for a regulatory scenario with the potential to overthrow entire business models or rather build new ones.

We’re talking about the Napster case.

Back in the day, Napster was found guilty of contributory infringement in relation to copyright violations, but the discussion regarding the scope of intermediary liability was far from over. In fact, in some other countries where contributory infringement is not as serious as in the US, similar cases would lead to different rulings.

Continue reading

Wiki Solutions Pros: Confluence team collaboration software

By Alejandro Ocampo

We live in an era of intensive communication and shared knowledge. Thanks to different software solutions, interacting with our teammates at work has become faster and more efficient than ever. Wiki solutions have played an important role in opening up new communication channels and democratizing the access to information in organizations.

Creating, collaborating, contributing, connecting and giving feedback are some of the tasks everyone needs to do in order to get their job done on a regular basis.  Within the software industry communicating effectively is a key aspect to success. But because development teams have grown globally and multiculturally over the last decade, understanding each other has become increasingly difficult.
Continue reading

Integrating Jira with TestLink

By Martin Navarro

There are too many questions when it comes to creating a testing strategy for a project. How are we going to manage test cases is perhaps one of the most important of them. This question has many possible answers like Excel (!), Google Docs, Microsoft Word (?), etc. But none of these are valid or practical answers: To produce a high standard test case management we need a tool with all the necessary requirements — or at least most of them. Here’s where TestLink makes its appearance.

Continue reading