Monthly Archives: April 2016

Important Aspects of Online Project Management

Project Management and task management software has one logical aim is to manage the projects in an effectual way to achieve their objectives. For individual point of view, the aim is to deliver the projected results with in stipulated time period, budget and most important as per excellence. However, for those who manage multiple projects, their expectation from online project management software is far more. It should provide the benefits like Task Management, Resource Management, Time Tracking, Collaboration tool, Real time chat, and in fact, Real time management. It should be easy to use and have centralized data facility. Now companies are more interested in having online management service so that their team members, clients as well as stake holders have access to information and data from any location. A software which can provide up-to-date information and generate a customize reports for all of them. Through which all log in member can view, communicate, discuss, and work freely. Moreover things like file sharing and proofing become effortless.

So, if these are the requirement, how can online web based project management software deliver such benefits consistently?

1. Data requirements for Decisions making.

Project management software achieves it aims and objectives quite simply, by providing relevant information to key stakeholders and project managers which they can trust upon. Information can be share or view by generating customized reports which can be helpful in making decisions rapidly and aptly. Good quality reporting requires accurate data and an effective means of processing and presenting it as significant information. While it means that providing the information is important, generating and maintaining centralized data is basic to the successful use of online management software; unless the project data is total, reliable and up to date, the project management software risks never gaining credibility.

2. Real time chat, file Sharing and proofing for team collaboration.

There are always a lot of discussions held constantly about the projects. For that, lots of meetings are organized among the team, project managers and even with management. It not only increases the project cost but throw away the precious time of team. Project management software efficiently helps in reducing the time and budget wastage. Real time chat is prominently used tool in online web based software. You can interact with the clients as well as team simultaneously from any location. The only thing required is an internet connection. Proofing tools and file sharing let the team know about the updating required by clients. Team can also share and maintain the files online. Project Managers and team instantly know the new updates through dashboards and email notifications. It increases the collaboration and time management among team members. Real time chats and file sharing becomes the important aspects of any online web based project management software.

3. Project Tracking and Time Tracking.

Online Project management software has two important aspects for this. Time-sheets must be delivered in the decided time-frames, and project managers must compile progress updates at the fixed dates. These need disciplined updating procedures that must be thoroughly adhered to by all project managers. By comparing real efforts achieved against the project finances, it provides the effective performance measurement and timely cautions against the shock of poor performance. Deep analysis and earned value dimension explain these aspects and good online project management software will give relevant information, often prominently marked, to catch management attention to the problem areas, in time for remedial action to have the desired impact.

The truly online project management tools perfectly help to achieve the objectives and goals of company projects. The key benefit of the online project management is the availability of the desired and timely information and effortless communicating it to all.

What Communication Is Effective in Software

As far as the software industry grows, there appears a chance for every software developing company to occupy a perceptible place in this niche. Of course it is worth remembering that the guarantee of the software success on the market is its quality. Therefore, the testing services should not be neglected.

It does not matter what testing should be performed: mobile testing, website testing or desktop testing – for all of these types of testing exists the undisputed importance of communication. Sometimes this point can be even decisive, because if testers do not communicate with developers or customers, the achievement of mutual understanding and quality of work cannot always be guaranteed.

Many customers prefer to focus more on team building and installing the constant feedback at the beginning of the project, as they realize that the final result may depend on it. It is not always easy to establish a general model of communication that suits everyone – both customers and testers.

5 Features of Productive Communication in Software Testing:

1. Politeness.

2. Distinctness.

3. Shortness.

4. Ethic.

5. Completeness.

In any type of testing the first and almost the most important and significant point of interaction is a bug tracking system. For example, if the functional testing is performed, testers detect the functional issue, clearly describe it step by step with mentioning all the important details and location of the bug. Every ticket has the Comment field, where developers can leave their notifications or explanations. But even if tickets in the bug tracker are correctly and comprehensively reported it is not always enough to avoid misunderstandings.

Also one of the important factors of intercourse in software testing is the interaction of testing team members among each other. Testers are obliged to collaborate and submit to public discussion all the important issues and tickets, especially critical errors in the functional operation of the software.

6 Points of Communication Within Testing Team:

1. Familiarity with each other.

2. Feedback.

3. Active discussions.

4. Experience exchange.

5. Sharing news.

6. Talking the same language.

The sixth point – talking the same language – should be underlined and explained as the separate phenomenon. For example, while performing localization testing the team members may be faced with misconceptions and disorders. Most often this happens because anyone can use different names for the same concepts. In order to avoid confusion, the Program Manager or QA lead should form a common glossary of terms.

Every software testing company should pay attention to the necessity of meetings with customers, internal chats and team building to maintain the continuous communication among all the project participants. Following and implementing all these points will definitely assure the professional work within the team and the company’s prestige in common.

Best Blogging Software

The blogging platform wars are getting really interesting and much of the discussion I find myself in lately revolves around what is happening with various CMS systems. The market can essentially be defined into 3 major camps: remotely hosted, self hosted, and community based systems. I have used pretty much every blogging platform available and each of them has its ups and downs. In this article I will cover the best options for each area taking into account price, usability, market share and of course SEO potential.

Remotely Hosted Blogging Software
(Note: I cannot really recommend any of these from an SEO stand point as optimizing a domain you do not own or control is obviously not a good marketing plan.)

Blogger

Blogger is completely free and currently owns the majority of the remotely hosted user base, but not by a land slide . Bought out by Google in 1999, Blogger essentially fired up the blogging trend we see today. It is by far the easiest overall solution to use and if you are a novice user looking to throw up some recipes or poetry, this is for you. Blogger is completely free and includes some great features like comments, photo blogging, and a basic community feel with user profiles. Because it is so dumbed down there are some features you may not find with Blogger that are only available through 3rd party add-ons. As a side note Blogger weblogs do quite well in the search engines and this was recently exploited with it being the first choice for spam blogs or splogs. A splog is a weblog used for the sole purpose of gaining inbound links or generating thousands of keyword stuffed pages with AdSense and the like. The recent Google Jagger update cleared a large portion of this up. Free.

Typepad

Released in 2003 Typepad is a product of Sixapart, the makers of Movable Type. it is largely based on MT but there are some major enhancements and differences. Your blog can accommodate one or more photo albums with auto thumbnail generation. You can easily add music, books, and other media to Typelists, which grab a thumbnail from Amazon and other retailers for easily displaying in your sidebar. Typepad is also a great deal more technical than Blogger so a bit of HTML know how is recommended. On that note editing your blog to look the way you want it also quite easy and Typepad blogs are known for being very eye pleasing, intuitive and easy to navigate. In Sixapart’s business model Typepad is aimed at regular home and small business users while Movable Type is targeted at larger businesses or for internal intranets. Price: Basic, $4.95 a month; premium, $8.95 to $14.95 a month.

Xanga

These guys originated back in 1999 as a site for sharing book, music and movie reviews. Although it quickly morphed into a full blown blogging tool Xanga still maintains the ability to run a powerful review site. Xanga pulls data from several retailers like Amazon.com including thumbnails, pricing and a cover. The software also is very usable by novices with a powerful WYSIWYG editor allowing for easy HTML editing, adding smilies, links, and other symbols. By using Blog rings it is also easy to interface with Xanga’s other 3 million users to share interests, ideas, and of course traffic. Xanga comes in a free and $25 flavor.

Mentions: Blogsome, Blogster, MindSay, Multiply,

Self Hosted Blogging Software

WordPress

WordPress originally began as a mod of an older open source package known as B2. WP is MT’s biggest competition and is often the bain of endless WordPress vs Movabletype style threads around the internet. Although launched just over a year or so ago WP has really taken the blogosphere by storm. And with good reason – WordPress is completely free under GNU licensing and is packed with many featured you will not find anywhere else. It is also much easier to install and get blogging for novice users and has a very large and helpful community. WP runs on PHP/mySQL and is quite scalable judging from some of the very large and trafficked sites I see using it. It also sports utilities to import files from Movable Type, Textpattern, Greymatter, Blogger, and b2. WordPress recently upped the ante when Yahoo recently included them on their hosting packages, in addition to MT. I have to admit I am finding myself more and more digging WP and will likely convert Profitpapers to WP as I get time (it can be a biznitch). WordPress is free.

Movable Type

Aside from maybe Greymatter (the original open source blogging tool), Movabletype dominated the blogging market share in 2002-2004. Released in late 2001, Perl based Movable Type by Sixapart has maintained a large portion of the blogging market share, due mainly to the fact that there is a free version (supporting up to 3 weblogs) and that it is incredibly powerful, intuitive and easy to customize. Template driven Movable Type also sports one of the largest communities of developers and blogging enthusiasts around, meaning lots of support, idea sharing, and of course plugins. Movable Type can be configured to dynamically generate HTML, PHP or any other kind of pages you like, meaning it is incredibly scalable, fast, and loved by spiders. It is perhaps the most well known blogging software for SEO purposes and it what currently powers Profitpapers and several of my other projects. Moveabletype is either Free with 3 authors, 1 weblog, and no support or $69.95 with unlimited weblogs, authors and full support.

Textpattern

Textpattern is the brainchild of Dean Allen and was written to ease publishing of content for those not inclined to learn HTML. Like WP and MT Textpattern runs on PHP and mySQL for easy administration, backups, and power. What really sets textpattern apart from the others is the integration of Textile. Textile is a tool for easily formatting content for those who do not know HTML. WP & MT have modules for textile as well but it is native to the Textpattern system. Another bonus of the app is its superior handling of comment spam due to its smaller market share. On a blogs I maintain running WP and MT I often find myself clearing out spam every day, whereas on some very busy textpattern sites I receive only manual comment spam (not bot driven). TP is open source.

Mentions: Blosxom, LifeType, Serendipity.

Community based Blogging Software

Slash

Waaaaay back in 1997, Rob “CmdrTaco” Malda launched a website known as Chips & Dips, supplied via his student account at Hope College in Michigan. In 1999 Andover.net acquired Slashdot. Shortly after, the underlying code was released as open source software called Slash. Like Movable Type and Greymatter, Slash runs on Perl, but it also has established hooks into MySQL and a very strong track record of scaling to enormous traffic levels. To give you an idea, the term ‘slashdotted’ originated from acquiring a link on this now infamous and very popular tech news website – and consequently watching your servers melt. If you have never messed around with Slash, you really should as it is quite a powerful platform. Slash is open source.

Scoop

Another well known Perl based community blogging software is Scoop. Scoop is the software that powers Kuro5shin, DailyKos and many other busy community weblogs. Scoop took the Slashdot idea and expanded on it, making the discussion rather than the news the focus of the application. Where Slashdot entries tend to have a link with added commentary pointing readers off the site, Scoop points to stories written by members of the community keeping the reader within your own weblog. Scoop is also well known for handling large volumes of traffic and a large very technical community. Scoop is free .

Drupal

Drupal is a well known open source community blogging platform with a very large community of users and developers. Not only is Drupal free but it is damn powerful. Instead of Perl, which is quite hard to decode at times, even if you are a fluent coder, Drupal uses a PHP/mySQL platform. Drupal is also a very community focused application with a built in forum, download area, and hundreds of other home brewed mods and hacks. If you are looking for a lot of functionality give Drupal a check – the project has become quite mature. It is also much easier to use and customize than either Scoop or Slash. Drupal is also another open source project.

Communication in Software

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Today, in the age of high technology, we can observe an incredibly rapid development of all sectors of Economy, Business and other substantial areas, but the most rapid growing industry is Information Technology. The expression “time is money” has never been so important, because the timely provided and processed information becomes increasingly significant.

Nowadays an outsourcing software testing has reached a great popularity. This kind of quality assurance services implies a transfer of the project for testing to a group of testers outside the company, which created and developed the software. Frequently outsourcing testing companies work in another city, country or even on another continent, i.e. remotely.

Customers applying to such a company naturally expect from its staff the knowledgeable and professional ownership of technologies that will support communication at a distance. This is due to the fact that during the testing process it will certainly be necessary to conduct online meetings, video chats, and perhaps even online conferences devoted to discussion of the project, emerging issues and controversial moments.

The complexity of remote communication is that the testing team, customers and developers can be in radically opposite or significantly distant from each other countries. This means that the different time zones and foreign languages should be taken into account, so the Project Managers should be familiar with all the types of remote interaction.

5 Basic Types of Remote Communication in Software Testing:

1. Meetings.

2. Bug tracking tools.

3. Shared testing tools.

4. Online chats and conferences.

5. Webinars.

Nominally, everyone knows these types of remote communication, but let’s look at the benefits of each of them in more detail. The first point is meetings – they should be held at least twice a week – to discuss urgent problems and issues arising in the workflow. This type of communication is very important because it may result a reduction of time costs and prevent mistakes in work.

Bug tracking and shared testing tools are quite convenient method and is suitable for any kind of testing – mobile testing, web site testing or desktop testing. In these systems testers create tickets and bug reports, and developers review each case, ask questions or make comments, accept or receive the report in processing.

Webinars, online chats and conferences are also quite useful, for example, in manual testing or automated testing, as these testing types require a constant exchange of information, and sometimes even the round-the-clock support.

4 Benefits of the Remote Communication:

1. Constant focus on project.

2. Reducing time and expense.

3. Awareness at all stages of project development.

4. Productivity and effectiveness.

The remote work requires the full commitment and testers need to pay attention not only to the process of software testing and verification, but also to their communication skills. Quality feedback ensures productive work and the satisfaction of both the customer and on the software testing company.