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Fix: Error occurred during a cryptographic operation.

Have you ever had this error while switching between projects using the Identity authentication?

Are you still wondering what it is and why it happens?

Clear your cookies. The FedAuth cookie is encrypted using the defined machine key in your web.config. If there is none defined in your web.config, it will use a common one. If the key used to encrypt isn't the same used to decrypt?

Boom goes the dynamite.

Categories: Blogs

Renewed MVP ASP.NET/IIS 2015

Well there it goes again. It was just confirmed that I am renewed as an MVP for the next 12 months.

Becoming an MVP is not an easy task. Offline conferences, blogs, Twitter, helping manage a user group. All of this is done in my free time and it requires a lot of time.But I'm so glad to be part of the big MVP family once again!

Thanks to all of you who interacted with me last year, let's do it again this year!

Categories: Blogs

Failed to delete web hosting plan Default: Server farm 'Default' cannot be deleted because it has sites assigned to it

So I had this issue where I was moving web apps between hosting plans. As they were all transferred, I wondered why it refused to delete them with this error message.

After a few click left and right and a lot of wasted time, I found this blog post that provides a script to help you debug and the exact explanation as to why it doesn't work.

To make things quick, it's all about "Deployment Slots". Among other things, they have their own serverFarm setting and they will not change when you change their parents in Powershell (haven't tried by the portal).

Here's a copy of the script from Harikharan Krishnaraju for future references:

Switch-AzureMode AzureResourceManager
$Resource = Get-AzureResource

foreach ($item in $Resource)
{
	if ($item.ResourceType -Match "Microsoft.Web/sites/slots")
	{
		$plan=(Get-AzureResource -Name $item.Name -ResourceGroupName $item.ResourceGroupName -ResourceType $item.ResourceType -ParentResource $item.ParentResource -ApiVersion 2014-04-01).Properties.webHostingPlan;
		write-host "WebHostingPlan " $plan " under site " $item.ParentResource " for deployment slot " $item.Name ;
	}

	elseif ($item.ResourceType -Match "Microsoft.Web/sites")
	{
		$plan=(Get-AzureResource -Name $item.Name -ResourceGroupName $item.ResourceGroupName -ResourceType $item.ResourceType -ApiVersion 2014-04-01).Properties.webHostingPlan;
		write-host "WebHostingPlan " $plan " under site " $item.Name ;
	}
}
      
    
Categories: Blogs

Switching Azure Web Apps from one App Service Plan to another

So I had to do some change to App Service Plan for one of my client. The first thing I was looking for was to do it under the portal. A few clicks and I'm done!

But before I get into why I need to move one of them, I'll need to tell you about why I needed to move 20 of them.

Consolidating the farm

First, my client had a lot of WebApps deployed left and right in different "Default" ServicePlan. Most were created automatically by scripts or even Visual Studio. Each had different instance size and difference scaling capabilities.

We needed a way to standardize how we scale and especially the size on which we deployed. So we came down with a list of different hosting plans that we needed, the list of apps that would need to be moved and on which hosting plan they currently were.

That list went to 20 web apps to move. The portal wasn't going to cut it. It was time to bring in the big guns.

Powershell

Powershell is the Command Line for Windows. It's powered by awesomeness and cats riding unicorns. It allows you to do thing like remote control Azure, import/export CSV files and so much more.

CSV and Azure is what I needed. Since we built a list of web apps to migrate in Excel, CSV was the way to go.

The Code or rather, The Script

What follows is what is being used. It's heavily inspired of what was found online.

My CSV file has 3 columns: App, ServicePlanSource and ServicePlanDestination. Only two are used for the actual command. I could have made this command more generic but since I was working with apps in EastUS only, well... I didn't need more.

This script should be considered as "Works on my machine". Haven't tested all the edge cases.

Param(
    [Parameter(Mandatory=$True)]
    [string]$filename
)

Switch-AzureMode AzureResourceManager
$rgn = 'Default-Web-EastUS'

$allAppsToMigrate = Import-Csv $filename
foreach($app in $allAppsToMigrate)
{
    if($app.ServicePlanSource -ne $app.ServicePlanDestination)
    {
        $appName = $app.App
		    $source = $app.ServicePlanSource
		    $dest = $app.ServicePlanDestination
        $res = Get-AzureResource -Name $appName -ResourceGroupName $rgn -ResourceType Microsoft.Web/sites -ApiVersion 2014-04-01
        $prop = @{ 'serverFarm' = $dest}
        $res = Set-AzureResource -Name $appName -ResourceGroupName $rgn -ResourceType Microsoft.Web/sites -ApiVersion 2014-04-01 -PropertyObject $prop
        Write-Host "Moved $appName from $source to $dest"
    }
}
    
Categories: Blogs

Microsoft Virtual Academy Links for 2014

So I thought that going through a few Microsoft Virtual Academy links could help some of you.

Here are the links I think deserve at least a click. If you find them interesting, let me know!

Categories: Blogs

Temporarily ignore SSL certificate problem in Git under Windows

So I've encountered the following issue:

fatal: unable to access 'https://myurl/myproject.git/': SSL certificate problem: unable to get local issuer certificate

Basically, we're working on a local Git Stash project and the certificates changed. While they were working to fix the issues, we had to keep working.

So I know that the server is not compromised (I talked to IT). How do I say "ignore it please"?

Temporary solution

This is because you know they are going to fix it.

PowerShell code:

$env:GIT_SSL_NO_VERIFY = "true"

CMD code:

SET GIT_SSL_NO_VERIFY=true

This will get you up and running as long as you don’t close the command window. This variable will be reset to nothing as soon as you close it.

Permanent solution

Fix your certificates. Oh… you mean it’s self signed and you will forever use that one? Install it on all machines.

Seriously. I won’t show you how to permanently ignore certificates. Fix your certificate situation because trusting ALL certificates without caring if they are valid or not is juts plain dangerous.

Fix it.

NOW.

Categories: Blogs

The Yoda Condition

So this will be a short post. I would like to introduce a word in my vocabulary and yours too if it didn't already exist.

First I would like to credit Nathan Smith for teaching me that word this morning. First, the tweet:

Chuckling at "disallowYodaConditions" in JSCS… https://t.co/unhgFdMCrh — Awesome way of describing it. pic.twitter.com/KDPxpdB3UE

— Nathan Smith (@nathansmith) November 12, 2014

So... this made me chuckle.

What is the Yoda Condition?

The Yoda Condition can be summarized into "inverting the parameters compared in a conditional".

Let's say I have this code:

string sky = "blue";if(sky == "blue) {    // do something}

It can be read easily as "If the sky is blue". Now let's put some Yoda into it!

Our code becomes :

string sky = "blue";	if("blue" == sky){    // do something}

Now our code read as "If blue is the sky". And that's why we call it Yoda condition.

Why would I do that?

First, if you're missing an "=" in your code, it will fail at compile time since you can't assign a variable to a literal string. It can also avoid certain null reference error.

What's the cost of doing this then?

Beside getting on the nerves of all the programmers in your team? You reduce the readability of your code by a huge factor.

Each developer on your team will hit a snag on every if since they will have to learn how to speak "Yoda" with your code.

So what should I do?

Avoid it. At all cost. Readability is the most important thing in your code. To be honest, you're not going to be the only guy/girl maintaining that app for years to come. Make it easy for the maintainer and remove that Yoda talk.

The problem this kind of code solve isn't worth the readability you are losing.

Categories: Blogs

Do you have your own Batman Utility Belt?

Just like most of us on any project, you (yes you!) as a developer must have done the same thing over and over again. I'm not talking about coding a controller or accessing the database.

Let's check out some concrete examples shall we?

  • Have you ever setup HTTP Caching properly, created a class for your project and call it done?
  • What about creating a proper Web.config to configure static asset caching?
  • And what about creating a MediaTypeFormatter for handling CSV or some other custom type?
  • What about that BaseController that you rebuild from project to project?
  • And those extension methods that you use ALL the time but rebuild for each projects...

If you answered yes to any of those questions... you are in great risk of having to code those again.

Hell... maybe someone already built them out there. But more often than not, they will be packed with other classes that you are not using. However, most of those projects are open source and will allow you to build your own Batman utility belt!

So once you see that you do something often, start building your utility belt! Grab those open source classes left and right (make sure to follow the licenses!) and start building your own class library.

NuGet

Once you have a good collection that is properly separated in a project and that you seem ready to kick some monkey ass, the only way to go is to use NuGet to pack it together!

Checkout the reference to make sure that you do things properly.

NuGet - Publishing

OK you got a steamy new hot NuGet package that you are ready to use? You can either push it to the main repository if your intention is to share it with the world.

If you are not ready quite yet, there are multiple way to use a NuGet package internally in your company. The easiest? Just create a Share on a server and add it to your package source! As simple as that!

Now just make sure to increment your version number on each release by using the SemVer convention.

Reap the profit

OK, no... not really. You probably won't be money anytime soon with this library. At least not in real money. Where you will gain however is when you are asked to do one of those boring task yet over again in another project or at another client.

The only thing you'll do is import your magic package, use it and boom. This task that they planned would take a whole day? Got finished in minutes.

As you build up your toolkit, more and more task will become easier to accomplish.

The only thing left to consider is what NOT to put in your toolkit.

Last minute warning

If you have an employer, make sure that your contract allows you to reuse code. Some contracts allows you to do that but double check with your employer.

If you are a company, make sure not to bill your client for the time spent building your tool or he might have the right to claim them as his own since you billed him for it.

In case of doubt, double check with a lawyer!

Categories: Blogs

Software Developer Computer Minimum Requirements October 2014

I know that Scott Hanselman and Jeff Atwood have already done something similar.

Today, I'm bringing you the minimum specs that are required to do software development on a Windows Machine.

P.S.: If you are building your own desktop, I recommend PCPartPicker.

ProcessorRecommendation

Intel: Intel Core i7-4790K

AMD: AMD FX-9590

Unless you use a lot of software that supports multi-threading, a simple 4 core here will work out for most needs.

MemoryRecommendation

Minimum 8GB. 16GB is better.

My minimum requirement here is 8GB. I run a database engine and Visual Studio. SQL Server can easily take 2Gb with some big queries. If you have extensions installed for Visual Studio, it will quickly raise to 1GB of usage per instance and finally... Chrome. With multiple extensions and multiple pages running... you will quickly reach 4GB.

So get 8GB as the bare minimum. If you are running Virtual Machines, get 16GB. It won't be too much. There's no such thing as too much RAM when doing software development.

Hard-driveRecommendation

512 GB SSD drive

I can't recommend enough an SSD. Most tools that you use on a development machine will require a lot of I/O. Especially random read. When a compiler starts and retrieve all your source code to compile, it will need to read from all those file. Same thing if you have tooling like ReSharper or CodeRush. I/O speed is crucial. This requirement is even more important on a laptop. Traditionally, PC maker put a 5200RPM HDD on a laptop to reduce power usage. However, 5200 RPM while doing development will be felt everywhere.

Get an SSD.

If you need bigger storage (terabytes), you can always get a second hard-drive of the HDD type instead. Slower but capacities are also higher. On most laptop, you will need external storage for this hard drive so make sure it is USB3 compatible.

Graphic Card

Unless you do graphic rendering or are working with graphic tools that require a beast of a card... this is where you will put the less amount of money.

Make sure to get enough of them for your amount of monitors and that they can provide the right resolution/refresh rate.

Monitors

My minimum requirement nowadays is 22 inches. 4K is nice but is not part of the "minimum" requirement. I enjoy a 1920x1080 resolution. If you are buying them for someone else, make sure they can be rotated. Some developers like to have a vertical screen when reading code.

To Laptop or not to Laptop

Some company go Laptop for everyone. Personally, if the development machine never need to be taken out of the building, you can go desktop. You will save a bit on all the required accessories (docking port, wireless mouse, extra charger, etc.).

My personal scenario takes me to clients all over the city as well as doing presentations left and right. Laptop it is for me.

Categories: Blogs

SVG are now supported everywhere, or almost

I remember that when I wanted to draw some graphs on a web page, I would normally have 2 solutions

Solution 1 was to have an IMG tag that linked to a server component that would render an image based on some data. Solution 2 was to do Adobe Flash or maybe even some Silverlight.

Problem with Solution 1

The main problem is that it is not interactive. You have an image and there is no way to do drilldown or do anything with it. So unless your content was simple and didn't need any kind of interaction or simply was headed for printing... this solution just wouldn't do.

Problem with Solution 2

While you now get all the interactivity and the beauty of a nice Flash animation and plugin... you lost the benefits of the first solution too. Can't print it if you need it and over that... it required a plugin.

For OSX back in 2009, plugins were the leading cause of browser crash and there is nothing that stops us from believing that similar things aren't true for other browsers.

The second problem is security. A plugin is just another attack vector on your browser and requiring a plugin to display nice graphs seem a bit extreme.

The Solution

The solution is relatively simple. We need a system that allows us to draw lines, curves and what not based on coordinate that we provide it.

That system should of course support colors, font and all the basic HTML features that we know now (including events).

Then came SVG

SVG has been the main specification to drawing anything vector related in a browser since 1999. Even though the specification started at the same time than IE5, it wasn't supported in Internet Explorer until IE9 (12 years later).

The support for SVG is now in all major browsers from Internet Explorer to FireFox and even in your phone.

Chances are that every computer you are using today can render SVG inside your browser.

So what?

SVG as a general rule is under used or thought of something only artists do or that it's too complicated to do.

My recommendation is to start cracking today on using libraries that leverage SVG. By leveraging them, you are setting yourself apart from others and can start offering real business value to your clients right now that others won't be able to.

SVG has been available on all browsers for a while now. It's time we start using it.

Browsers that do not support SVG
  • Internet Explorer 8 and lower
  • Old Android device (2.3 and less), partial support for 3-4.3
References, libraries and others
Categories: Blogs

Velocity 2015 – Our Conference Highlights

Welcome from Velocity 2015 – “Live” from Santa Clara. A lot of folks that are interested in “Building resilient systems at scale” (the motto of this years conference) made it to the conference venue.  For those that couldn’t make it I hope you find this blog useful as a little summary on what you have […]

The post Velocity 2015 – Our Conference Highlights appeared first on Dynatrace APM Blog.

Categories: Companies

Top 10 Paid Software Testing Projects at uTest: Week of May 25

uTest - 10 hours 3 min ago

Here at our uTest HQ, we’ve just returned from a brief reprieve and the unofficial beginning of summer here in the United States. But while the barbecues are being fired up everywhere, it doesn’t mean we’re relaxing here at uTest. In fact, paid testing opportunities are in full swing, and this week we’re in need […]

The post Top 10 Paid Software Testing Projects at uTest: Week of May 25 appeared first on Software Testing Blog.

Categories: Companies

DevExpress Releases TestCafe v15.1

Software Testing Magazine - 10 hours 20 min ago
DevExpress has announced the immediate availability of TestCafe v15.1, its automated web testing framework. TestCafe provides teams with the tools to start testing any web app against all major browsers that support HTML5. And because TestCafe is OS agnostic, tests can be executed on any hardware – from Windows, Mac and Linux desktops to browsers running on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. What’s New in v15.1 In a recent DevExpress survey, over 75% of respondents said that developers are wholly responsible for software testing within their organizations. By actively listening to ...
Categories: Communities

Pride and Paradev

Software Testing Magazine - 12 hours 11 min ago
A paradev is defined as “anyone on a software team that doesn’t just do programming.” In his book “Pride and Paradev”, Alister Scott discusses a lot of the trade-off and issues met by software testers in an Agile software development project. As the world is not black or white, he decided to write a collection of contradictory claims about software testing; knowing that the practical implications lie somewhere in between. After starting with a short presentation of Agile, the book covers many aspects of the Agile testing practices. It discusses questions ...
Categories: Communities

5 Important Things You'd NOT Want to Miss While Testing Video Games

Software Testing Zone - 15 hours 58 min ago
Gaming, be it online games, mobile games, console games or PC games, is a multi-billion dollar industry and no child's play (pun intended)! Hence, expert-level game testing is of highest importance to any game’s success. Games that are built for mobile are totally different than the web-based games, which in turn are completely different than console or PC games. However, quality of the game is critical no matter which media platform you're testing for.
A high-quality game aims to meet and exceed the expectations of the players, remembering to throw in enough challenges to make the game-play interesting. It also is tested to pass the cross-platform performance criteria without compromising on the player's privacy and security.
If your game has glitches, lags while playing, doesn’t load characters and scenes, has rendering issues, kicks players out of their sessions in middle of game play, often crashes or fails to save a high score, then the players/users will walk away frustrated, will never come back and might even caution their friends not to bother. Here are a few common challenges faced by video game testers:Testing Multiplayer Support
This can be a huge challenge especially when you are trying to emulate players who aren’t in the same room and rather playing from whole different geographies. Multiplayer games are a pain to test, hard to debug, can contain issues that are nearly impossible to reproduce and can break easily (flaky network connections, anyone?).

To mitigate this challenge, make sure that the game you're testing is robustly designed, makes use of some of the best game development frameworks like Unity, Unreal etc, has been unit tested on at least one Android and one iOS devices. Oh yes, make sure you setup realistic cross-platform, cross-connection networks before commencing testing. In short, don't be lazy and refrain from testing with your buddy tester who shares your cubicle (and your network connection)!Game Authenticity ChallengesNo gamer would ever want their saved game or high score ruined just because there is a bug in the game's authentication module. Imagine spending session after sessions worth of time (and possibly dollars on buying those weapons and gears), unlocking those difficult levels only to find out that you have lost everything because the game forgot your last saved game data along with the unlocked levels (and weapons)!Testing Across Various Game EnginesAs they say, choosing the right game engine often proves to be the first step in deciding the success (or failure) of a game. With the advent of so many games platforms over the past few years and the release of the latest generation of consoles like the Play Station 4, Microsoft Xbox One and Wii U, selecting the right game engine can be difficult. With so many game engines available for each of these platforms, it can be a hair-pulling moment if you're a game tester. e.g.  many PlayStation games are developed using GameMaker game engine while most online casinos like Mansion Casino prefer PlayTech!
Although this is a decision that is often taken by the game studio executives and lead programmers, as a game tester it means you have to be trained and ready to test in most (if not all) of these latest game engines and platforms. Ensuring Accurate Social IntegrationIt was not too long back when Facebook introduced social media games and in 2013 when the launch of Wii U (and Miiverse that came with it) made it obvious that social integration and social media as a whole were going to play a major role in videogames over the coming years. Today, the video games are becoming increasingly more connected to various social networks, but this also means that as game testers you will have to be even more attentive.
Social media can be a double-edged sword; if used intelligently can not only serve as a way to bring together like-minded gamers into a closely knit community, it can also be a great way for the companies to push their products (gaming accessories, weapons, gears etc) to targeted and loyal gamers. However, if done poorly it can be the end of the game and the gaming studio! Hence, as the game tester you need to make sure that the social integration is accurate, and is able to be interesting to the demography that your game is targeting.Game' Ability to Withstand Heavy, Concurrent LoadNo testing is complete without a round of good, old load testing before the product can be launched and it applies to Game Testing as well. With more and more network based games emerging everyday, and the focus shifting to MMO and MORPG games, your game should be tested to withstand real-time concurrent load before it can be shipped. Load testing should be done to achieve consistent performance across all hardware/software/platform/device combinations that your target audience might use.
Categories: Blogs

Tips for Becoming an Expert Video Game Tester

Software Testing Zone - 16 hours 42 sec ago

"Recently I came to know from a friend about career in video game testing and it sounds too good to be true; doing what I enjoy doing most (playing video games) and getting paid for the same sounds awesome. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that someone can actually get to play the latest video games all the time and get paid good salary for... uh... playing games! I think I already have the basic traits to become a good video game tester and I have love and passion for video games. What's the requirement for video game testers? What are a video game tester's main responsibilities? Can you please give me some instructions on becoming an expert game tester?"  --A Video Game Tester Wannabe
If you are also wondering if you should start a career in video game testing industry, this article is for you. The gaming industry itself has come a long way in the past decade and as the modern day games like the latest cutting edge games from EA are evolving and becoming more interactive, feature-rich, faster and complex the need for good gaming tester who can push the limits of these games also has increased.
What is Video Game Testing?

Like any other testing related activities, video game testing has an important role in the video game development. Testing begins while the game is still in development phase ("alpha" or early versions of the game) and when finished, the game testers go a final end-to-end testing to ensure that gamers have a good experience out of it. Like software testers, video game testers perform video game testing to find mistakes, defects, bugs and other issues that could frustrate or turn off the end user (gamers) if not fixed.
Video Game Testing; Not as Easy as It Sounds!But do not let the word 'game' in the job description fool you. Video game testing is a complex job and involves meticulous planning, can be tedious at times and requires an structural, disciplined approach to product testing, which in this case is a 'video game'. A good game tester is required to have a good pair of eye for detail, out-of-the box critical thinking and the ability to remain focused while on the job.
What are the Qualities of an Excellent Video Game Tester?Some of the fundamental qualities and skills that video game studios look for in a good game tester are:

Computer/Game Skills: Prior experience with games and game play, basic know-how of computer programming and fundamental understanding of computer hardware components. To become successful in this area, hone your video game skills, learn about various genres like puzzle games, FPS (first person shooters), arcades, multiplayer games, online games, mobile games, console games  etc. Keeping up-to-date on latest gaming trends will help you in this career.
Attention to Details: A good tester needs to be very meticulous and must have excellent attention span. If you get bored of a game after you’ve been testing it for a while, then this job is not for you. To become successful in this area, beta test new video games that you can find. Game studios often release beta versions of their upcoming games to get user feedback and you can use that to hone your testing skills.
A Good Bug Hunter: A good tester needs to be able to detect bugs, find reliable ways to make them happen easily, and document the shortest steps so the development team can replicate and fix those bugs. To become successful in this area, use beta release games to find bugs and glitches and write them up in a nice bug report. When you contact the game studio with your report, try to be as detailed as you can and who knows they might give you a job if they think you are good at it!
Communication Skills: Both verbal as well as written communication skills are the key here. A game tester needs to constantly communicate with the programming team and fellow testers to inform them about the bugs and other issues that they find. So the ability to document your bugs precisely and concisely in the bug tracking tool, to explain it to the dev. team if the need arises and to inform other testers about it so they are also aware of the existing problems are going to help.
Soft Skills: Other soft skills like good attitude, being a team player and getting along with co-workers will be an added advantage. And yes, testing is hard work and can often be tedious and extremely frustrating at times. So keeping a cool head in those circumstances is a big plus.Word of Caution! But before you make up your mind and decide to become a video game tester, keep this in mind! These days the field of video game testing has come under serious criticism for being excessively strenuous and lack of much rewards, both financially and emotionally. But if you think you're passionate about video games and want to make a career out of it, this is probably for you.
If you are someone who expects to just play video games all day and get paid then you will be hugely disappointed. But testers who realize that video game testing is a serious job and hone their skills accordingly will be much more successful. Here are top 5 challenges in video game testing career and how to overcome them!
Categories: Blogs

Why You Should Let Your Users “Steal” From You

Testlio - Community of testers - 19 hours 46 min ago
Retention and growth is the lifeblood of a company.

Friction is an impediment of growth. After all, conversion = desire – friction.

Assuming desire stays high and friction is low, then you’ll always be in a good place.

To any product manager, there is always a step that experiences massive drop offs.

The checkout page.

A Magento study shows that of those who add the item to their cart, only 37% complete their purchase. 37% may sound high to some people, but I’ll also state that only 5.76% of visitors add anything to their cart at all.

Checkout completion rate | Marketo

If your users have any hesitation in purchasing your product, then your checkout page will be where they will fall off.

“Are you sure you want to hand us your money for something you may or may not like?”

To get past this, a few companies have been deploying a new way of checking out. Its popularity has been growing and it is incredibly effective.

This method is what I like to call the anti-checkout.

Don’t let your users checkout.

I don’t mean don’t let your users pay. I mean don’t show them the checkout page.

There are many companies that do this to great success.

One click checkout | Amazon

Amazon has the “one-click checkout” button.

When users click this button, their item gets shipped to their house. It uses their default shipping and payment information to skip the entire checkout process.

Amazon does not let you see the checkout page if you use this button. You go from wanting to the item to receiving your item.

A lot can happen in the checkout process. Every action your users can take opens a chance to back out of the sale.

 

Uber does Uber App Buttonnot have a checkout process at all. When you press the button for an Uber, you are doing so to get a car to come to you. The thought of paying does not immediately register. This has enormous psychological effects which I will cover later.

The anti-checkout method isn’t limited to just tech companies. Bars have been employing this for ages.

Tabs are a phenomenal way for bars to get users to order more drinks.

Imagine you’re at a bar that doesn’t take tabs. You’ll go in, order a drink, he’ll prepare it for you. Then you hand him your credit card, he swipes it, you sign the receipt, and you put the card back in your wallet. That’s a pretty heavy series of events. It’s easy to count up how many times you do this.

Each time you swipe your card, you’ll ask, “Do I really need another drink? The last one cost $8, and I’ve already paid for three tonight.”

You’ll likely stop at that point. Why? Because it’s a more conscious effort.

Now let’s look at the same situation but with a bar tab. At the beginning of the night you hand the bartender your credit card and they keep it on file.

At that point, all you have to do is tell the bartender what you want and he’ll give it to you. It’s incredibly easy to do so. Because it’s so simple and frictionless, you act on it. Then you do it again. Next thing you know, you’ve racked up a pretty hefty bill for yourself.

This is retention.

If you want to make your users come back, make your process so simple they almost feel like thieves.

Just for you

People like free stuff.

When a customer uses your service and skips the checkout, for a brief moment it feels free. That is an amazing feeling.

Your users aren’t stupid. They’re well aware that they’re going to pay. But the key is to leverage the point in which you remind them.

When I call an Uber to my door, I’m aware that I’m going to be paying something. But I’m not reminded of the fact that I paid until after the driver drops me off.

When I press the button to call an Uber, I press it to bring a driver to my door. I may not consciously acknowledge it, but it makes me feel special. It makes me feel like I have my own private driver waiting for me.

When the Uber driver drops me off, I step out of the car and walk away. There’s no fuddling for cash in my pocket. There’s no tip. And there’s certainly no “broken credit card machines.”

I just get out. It almost feels like I got a free ride.

When a process is this easy and valuable, you can’t help but to do it again.

Who can actually use the anti-checkout method?

Not everyone can get away with this.

The companies that can use the anti-checkout method usually have the following traits:

  1. They’re repeat purchases (usually done at least once a week)
  2. Low ticket items
  3. Physical good/service
  4. Low interaction (but not none)

It’s very important to stress the repeat purchases trait. Purchases made only once a month usually need some level of thought and deliberation. These types of purchases have not melded themselves into a user’s patterns.

When a user makes a repeat purchase of at least once a week, there is little thought on confirmation.

The user needs to have already decided that they need the item before they even start to purchase it.

Where else can we see this?

Currently this method is limited to companies who hold the before mentioned traits.

In the future I could see it going much further… Especially in the physical retail. Imagine going into Nordstrom, picking out a few items of clothing, and walking out.

The company already has your credit card on file. It knows who you are, and it registers all the items you have in your hands.

You walk out.

It feels like you just stole a thousand dollars worth of clothing. Or maybe it feels like you have your own personal warehouse.

For a brief moment, you feel like a thief or a VIP. No matter which thought, you’re not thinking of how much you just spent.

Imagine a future where the world’s services and goods become your buffet.

Conclusion

Checkout pages kill conversions. If you’re able to, see how you can make the checkout page less prevalent.

This pattern provides a frictionless user experience and can increase customer retention.

What are your thoughts on the anti-checkout pattern and the future of it? I enjoy hearing what people think about these kinds of things. Feel free to reply in the comments below or tweet them to me @willietran_.

 

The post Why You Should Let Your Users “Steal” From You appeared first on Testlio.

Categories: Companies

Now’s the time to upgrade to Sauce Connect 4

Sauce Labs - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 21:52

Sauce Connect 4Sauce Connect creates a secure tunnel between your firewalled app and the Sauce cloud enabling you to run your tests on Sauce while keeping your data secured.  Back on February 26th, 2014 we announced Sauce Connect 4.  We rewrote the entire app from the ground up to make it simpler and better performing, especially under high loads. That means your tests run faster than ever, even if you’re running large numbers of tests.

Now that Sauce Connect 4 has been available for over a year providing our users with a secure, fast and stable connection over which to run their tests, we are making preparations to end support for Sauce Connect 3.

We plan to end support for Sauce Connect 3 on August 19, 2015. If you are using Sauce Connect 3, please upgrade to the latest version of Sauce Connect here.

Want to get started using Sauce Connect or learn more? Check out our Sauce Connect docs page.

 

Categories: Companies

Upcoming ASTQB Conference 2015 and Free Webinar

I hope you had a great weekend!

I want to let you know about two events that will add value to your testing efforts.  I'm very excited to be a speaker at the upcoming ASTQB Conference 2015 in Washington, D.C. on September 14 - 16. This is a special conference because we are giving focus to critical topics such as Cybersecurity Testing, Testing of Critical Applications, The Business Value of Testing, Agile Testing, and Test Leadership. In this conference, our goal is to provide valuable take-away ideas for increasing the reliability, security and quality of software projects.
I often tell my clients there are two places you don't want to be during or after a project - the newspaper and the courtroom. Your organization's reputation is at stake with every project. I'm sure, like me, you hear stories every week of another cyber attack, system failure, or failed project. The costs of these failures are enormous.
At this conference, we are bringing together some of the country's leading experts on cybersecurity, software quality, and test management to provide real-world solutions to some of the most challenging issues we face as software testers.
Early-bird pricing is still available until June 15. But, if you use the code "astqb2015a2u" during registration, you get an extra 10% discount!
To see more information and to register, just go to http://www.astqb.org/certified-tester-resources/astqb-software-testing-conference/
Free Webinar - Thursday, June 4 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT
As part of the lead-up to the ASTQB Conference 2015, Taz Daughtrey and I will be presenting a free one-hour webinar on how to "Protect Your Company - and Your Software Testing Career." This free sneak peek of the ASTQB Conference will preview the keynote topics, tutorials and breakout sessions that are designed to keep you out of trouble.
In addition to the preview of the conference topics, Taz and I will share some practical information you can use immediately in testing cyber security, mobile applications and agile projects. I'll discuss a few of the new "Free and Cheap Tools" I have found recently as well.
I promise it will be an entertaining and informative time!
To register, visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1292443299731168257
Very important note: This webinar will be full at 100 people. We will probably get 300 or more registrants, so if you want to actually get in to the session, you will want to log in early - at least 15 minutes prior.
I really hope you can join me at one or both of these events!
Thanks for reading,
Randy
Categories: Blogs

When it Comes to Usability Testing, Mom Knows Best

uTest - Tue, 05/26/2015 - 17:42

When designing an app or website with usability in mind, most UX experts like to think in terms of user personas. That is, rather than considering the needs and wants of a population of thousands, they consider a specific individual who might be using their product. By synthesizing data gathered about people in the real […]

The post When it Comes to Usability Testing, Mom Knows Best appeared first on Software Testing Blog.

Categories: Companies

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