Happy Pongal – Harvest & Divest

Wish you all a happy Pongal/Makar Sankranti. Pongal is celebrated in many parts of India as a harvest festival. It marks the arrival of fresh grains and a new start. Bhogi is celebrated the day before Pongal. On Bhogi old things are discarded, the house is cleaned, and it is quite similar to spring cleaning. The discarded items are usually burnt, a practice more suitable when things were made of wood and other natural materials. The idea is to discard the old, before ushering in the new. This exercise need not be limited to the physical aspect, we can discard old ideas, any painful memories, and make a fresh start.

If you are working in technology for a decade or so you would have seen several new technologies emerge and gain traction. The speed of technology adoption is increasing as well. Gartner and other analysts track them and provide forecasts as a hype cycle, technology radar, and other representations. Occasionally you may bump into a dot matrix printer, a mainframe screen, and will be reminded of legacy technologies still hanging around. Unlike our homes, retiring legacy technology in an organization is a complex and resource-intensive exercise.

Adobe Flash – a relic from the initial days of internet and browser wars is one such legacy technology. If you are a digital native, you can read a bit of its history here. If you remember Y2K, you can still read it to go on a nostalgic trip. I remember Flash as a priority item in my UI test automation feasibility checklist. Test automation of an application that uses the Flash component was a major challenge with the toolset we had. A set of best practices and checks will be applied to automate or workaround those components. As Flash goes away many automation practitioners will have to find other challenges to apply their creativity. Increased adoption HTML5 based applications will improve the effectiveness of GUI driven test and business process automation implementations. As we enthusiastically adopt new technology, we can also identify the legacy ones to be discarded.

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