We publish an article by Anastasia Sharikova - QA Lead in Bookmate and a teacher of the professional course "QA Lead" , with whose program we invite get to know you!

We also invite you to a free trial open lesson “Beizer test coverage” , where Anastasia Aseeva-Nguyen (expert in engineering practices at the Tinkoff Group) will consider the main approaches for building a test model, tell you what test coverage and code coverage are, show how to calculate test coverage, and also reveal in detail topics: cyclomatic complexity, the use of static analyzers for calculation test coverage, charts for calculating test coverage.

Hello everyone!

My name is Anastasia Sharikova, I head the testing department at Bookmate and host the Telegram channel Yet another QA .

Recently, more and more companies are transferring their testing teams to remote work, and most likely, after quarantine, many will still work at home. Undoubtedly, this has its advantages, but there are also a rather large number of difficulties that both managers and employees will have to face. Let's talk about them today and some ways that can improve the situation.

Of course, not all tips will suit everyone, some may seem pretty standard for those who have long been working in distributed teams. Nevertheless, many of them have already been tested in practice and have shown positive results, and may also be useful to novice professionals.

One of the main problems is maintaining productivity with the same or changing workload. This is a matter of stress, and in the new environment, and in the environment. At the same time, difficulties can arise both within the framework of work within the team, and in communication with customers/teammates.

Distinct working hours

Organize a clear understanding of working hours! The temptation to work from morning to night at half strength instead of normal working 8 hours is great, and the likelihood of burnout from work for 12 active hours too. Simple practices to help everyone:

  • a predefined team availability schedule,
  • work/leisure status markers,
  • Shared Availability Calendar

For example, in our team, everyone will unsubscribe upon arrival, and it’s immediately clear who after 18 it’s better not to bother, and who will work until late. Again, this is suitable for those who do not have official tracking.

Try to communicate more in messengers

The option is not entirely relevant for those whose work has already taken place there, but more important for those who have previously had more contact with colleagues live or through letters. What for? And for productivity, and for faster problem solving. Also, do not forget about the mental health of colleagues - you can still get tired of retreat.

Example: if you work in a product team, you can create chats in Slack or similar messengers for specific features, so you can quickly update statuses by tasks and find the latest information.

Don't forget about video and audio

No, of course quarantine is not a reason to write to your colleagues voices in Whatsapp. But to agree that once a week everyone meets with a video on, for example, planning, is useful. For example, many are better placed to work if in the morning they still had to get out of bed and get dressed. And a great excuse not to forget what your colleagues look like - online corporate events on Fridays and joint video dinners.

Use more technical features of your instruments

If earlier you could ignore boards or boards in the same Jira, then most likely their time has come. Of course, if you work in a company in which all tasks are tracked, employees fill out time shields, and the screen is recorded, this is not so relevant. But if this is not, the benefits of such tools are enormous.Moreover, not only for a team leader or manager who can always understand who is doing what. The team itself will begin to interact more smoothly, because on a remote site quite often there is a feeling that everyone is beating bucks and you are working alone.

And also this is a great chance to finally try the capabilities of tools such as, for example, Miro, Notion or Trello for visualization and collaboration. For example, to work on a big task or to create checklists for teamwork.

If, just a year ago, most development departments could calmly put innovation in the long run, today their implementation is often the only way not to go crazy in the current environment. In addition, management more easily agrees with previously rejected practices.

Embed the demo in processes

Despite the fact that this practice is quite common in development, its relevance in a forced remote site is all the higher. Holding a demo will allow the team to synchronize at earlier stages and, again, will help everyone not only read the task, but also see the results of the work of their colleagues. Where to spend? There are many options, from Hangouts to Slack’s.

Make device access more transparent

Actual for teams working with portable devices. Try to organize tables or lists of devices available for everyone to test (from hours to smartphones) and give the opportunity to all participants in the team to check out who currently has one. This will simplify the processes, because you do not have to look for the right thing each time for colleagues.

Look for balance

Here is more likely advice for managers - look for an opportunity to find a balance between control and freedom. Here it is important to rather not get into micromanagement, but to find and quickly solve problems or weaknesses that arise.

And as output

Management of distributed teams and work in them during the quarantine period has become a really serious challenge for business. And without effective new strategies, of course, you can stay afloat, but it’s better to improve in your work anyway.

And one of the best ways to work intelligently and efficiently is to maintain transparency of work, ensure the convenience of communications and take into account the strengths and weaknesses of both individual team members and the team as a whole.

Learn more about the QA Lead