Noel Arcallana - Staff

Noel Arcallana

Noel Arcallana

Current UpStream Contributor

Recent UpStream Articles

How to get a job in software testing

posted Wednesday Dec 6, 2023 by Noel Arcallana

The tech industry is growing year on year and while automated testing has increased massively, there are still software testing jobs and those will not be going away anywhere anytime soon. There will always be a need for the human touch in software testing and if you thrive in problem-solving, have great attention to detail, and are open to continuous learning, you might find success in this profession.

There is a software testing job board, and there are job listings available in local newspapers and advertising boards. Understanding how you can get yourself out there and be known as a software tester for hire is important. So, we have put together a list of tips to help you get a software testing job.

Strengthen your online presence

Make sure that you have a sharp presence online. You need to start building your personal brand and that includes being more present and available online. Creating a LinkedIn profile and setting up social accounts can get your name out there, but you also need to post regularly on those accounts. If you are in software testing, then you probably understand the relevance of technology and its importance in getting you ahead. So, use it. You can bet that your competition is.

Get an internship

If you are in a position to say yes to an internship, go for it. It is a great way to get your foot in the door and explore different roles without having to make a long-term commitment. For example, you can intern in a digital marketing company answering support tickets. While there, you can discover the world of account management and project management which means that you can dip your toe in different aspects of software testing. From here, you can determine what your passion really is.


If you're already in a job, you might want to volunteer in your own company to step into other roles. Maybe QA doesn't exist where you are, or the QA team is overwhelmed and needs some help. No matter what it is, if there is an opportunity to help, take that initiative and reach out. It's going to be favorable to you with your management if you are looking for ways to expand your skills and not cost them extra. Talk about a win-win situation here.

Get certified

Professional certifications are a good way to get you ahead of other candidates. They show your willingness to maintain a high level of knowledge and skill in your chosen field. Companies often look for their candidates' certifications because they add credibility to your expertise and therefore increase your marketability.


Often with software testing, who you know is as important as what you know. Getting to know people in the industry is going to really help you to stand out as a great candidate. Not only does networking help facilitate exchange of ideas and best practices, but it also helps build professional relationships and open doors to new opportunities.

In conclusion, getting a software testing job can still be lucrative and getting yourself out there and sharpening your saw could increase your chance of getting that job. Can you think of other ways that worked for you? Share with us in the comments section.


10 tech innovations that are making the planet greener

posted Saturday Nov 18, 2023 by Noel Arcallana

When people think of tech innovations, they might think of examples like 5G mobile data transfer speeds or 4K streaming video over the Internet. However, tech innovations exist in many forms that are all intended to make the planet greener.

Some of those eco-friendly ideas are commonplace and can be seen in many places, while others may only be gaining traction in densely-populated nations.

If you're keen to learn more about the technology making planet Earth greener, check out these ten amazing examples:

1. Solar power technology

The most common tech innovation that you'll come across in your daily life is solar power technology. Photovoltaic (PV) cells capture the sun's energy and harness it into usable forms, such as electricity, heating, and lighting.

PV cells can be found on the roofs of houses, buildings, street lights and traffic signs. The increasing demand for solar power technology is helping to drive down installation costs, making it more accessible for homeowners and businesses.

2. Smart grid technology

Utility companies traditionally relied on customers to provide meter readings so they could produce accurate bills. They also had to use archaic methods of data analysis for understanding supply and demand.

Unfortunately, there are many flaws to those methods. Thankfully, smart grid technology helps combat those problems and more. For example, smart meters installed at each customer's premises provide suppliers with real-time usage information.

3. Recycling and waste reduction technologies

There's no denying that recycling helps divert waste from landfill sites. Most people know how to categorize their waste and deposit it in the most appropriate recycling options at their homes and businesses.

Technology is helping to revolutionize recycling even further. For example, more companies are using plastic and cardboard from sustainable (previously-recycled) sources. Additionally, industrial-scale sorting facilities ensure fewer missorted items are sent to landfill sites.

4. Carbon capture and storage

Another exciting way that technology is helping to make the planet greener is through carbon capture and storage. One example is managing coal combustion residuals (CCR) - coal ash - from power stations and landfill sites.

There's a full write-up at on the subject. The link describes the various methods and processes that help minimize CCR waste and help companies comply with various environmental regulations.

5. Plant-based bioplastics

It's no secret that plastic isn't generally an eco-friendly material to use as it takes a very long time to break down and significantly contributes to the world's waste problems. Thankfully, it's now possible to use bioplastics - plastics manufactured from plant-based sources.

Plant-based bioplastics come from sustainable sources, such as corn starch, sugarcane, and cellulose from plants, rather than fossil fuels.

6. Hydroelectric power

Believe it or not, some folks aren't aware that the powerful flow of water can be harnessed as a means of generating electricity. Examples of hydroelectric power generators include:

  • Three Gorges Dam (China) - located on the Yangtze River, it can generate around 22,500 MW of electricity and is the largest hydroelectric power station in the world
  • Robert-Bourassa Dam (Canada) - this Quebec-based hydroelectric power station generates 5,616 MW of electricity

7. Wind turbines

Wind power generation is as popular and commonplace as solar power technology. Wind turbines convert kinetic energy from the wind into electricity and are usually installed in groups of wind farms.

The technology might seem like a recent innovation, but people have been toying with the idea since 10-70 CE (the wind wheel of Hero of Alexandria is the earliest known example - see

8. Energy storage systems

Solar, hydroelectric, and wind power technology requires ways of storing the electricity they produce. Continued innovations in energy storage systems, such as batteries and thermal solutions, make it possible to store this electricity safely and in abundance.

9. Eco-friendly building materials

Construction of new homes, offices, and other commercial and industrial buildings is constantly happening. The construction industry is one of many niches taking advantage of sustainable tech innovations, and it does so through the building materials used in each project.

Examples of eco-friendly building materials include bamboo for flooring and cabinetry, cork for insulation, and rammed earth for walls.

10. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

One final tech innovation to mention relates to transport, and while it's easy to think about electric vehicles or EVs, the spotlight is actually on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles! Here's why they are better than EVs:

  • Lower carbon footprint
  • Lightweight powertrains
  • Higher range

The only downside is that there aren't many hydrogen fueling stations compared with EV charging points (yet).

Indeed, with environmental issues becoming prevalent, more and more tech innovations are being developed to create a more sustainable future. What examples of green technology really fascinated you and you think has the potential of creating a big impact on environmental conservation while promoting economic growth? Share in the comments section.


Why you should stop using spreadsheets for everything and use specialized software

posted Tuesday Nov 14, 2023 by Noel Arcallana

We've all probably been guilty of relying a bit too much on spreadsheets. Whether you're an avid Microsoft Excel user or a Google Sheets purist, spreadsheets are really useful no matter what kind of job or role you have in the workplace. From keeping track of your projects to calculating financials, there are just so many different things you can use a spreadsheet for.

And this becomes even more true when you realize the full potential of these spreadsheet programs. Automatic calculations, complex formulas, and even linking them to other programs and data sources makes them extremely valuable in a wide range of different applications.

But there just comes a point where no matter how powerful your spreadsheets are, there are just better solutions out there.

As things get more complex, you need to look for suitable solutions

Spreadsheets are really powerful, there's no questioning that. But when you start to have too many things in a spreadsheet, it's going to get slow. Working with large volumes of data and having lots of complex calculations in a spreadsheet will just make it slow.

There are better solutions out there for your specific needs. From building software and restaurant programs to customizable customer dashboards, there's just so much purpose-built software out there that you can easily replace your slow and clunky spreadsheet. No matter how niche you think your needs are, there's probably someone out there who has designed a solution just for you.

Sure, spreadsheets can handle some pretty big tasks and they're all you might need. However, when it comes to growing your business and preparing it for a long and prosperous life, you really need to start thinking about scalable solutions that will make it easier for your future employees and managers to work with.

Automation is often a lot easier with specialized software

While spreadsheet programs offer some level of automation, it's hard to compare it with the full-fledged features of specialized software. This is because there's a limit to the scope of what automation tools can do in a spreadsheet.

Designing these automated functions and tools is also much easier when you use specialized software. Spreadsheets can run code to some extent and compute really large and complex things, but it's just so much more convenient and easier to work with when you use a separate program.

Spreadsheets will always have their place in a business

It's not about getting rid of spreadsheets completely, but more about understanding the power and scalability of full-fledged software. There are so many tools out there that can simplify processes, improve collaboration, and even be more secure than just using spreadsheets. There are more fail-safes, more backups, and more chances to integrate new tools and features into the workflow.

Spreadsheets will always have their place in a business, but you need to realize that there will come a time where you have to move on for the sake of growing your business. Spreadsheets are fantastic these days, but you need to consider the power of specialized programs, too.


4 things all new landlords need to know

posted Saturday Nov 11, 2023 by Noel Arcallana

Becoming a landlord is something many Americans do to help them diversify their portfolio and generate income. Data collected by the IRS shows that over 10 million Americans declared rental income when filing taxes. At the same time, other surveys suggest that "mom-and-pop" landlords collectively own over 20 million rental properties.

If you've got your sights set on becoming a landlord and would like to know what to do with one or more properties, then there is something you need to know before you embark on your journey into real estate.

You need to cover the mortgage and taxes

Getting a mortgage for a rental property differs from getting a mortgage for your home. As such, if you need to acquire funds to purchase the rental property, you should be confident you can afford to make any repayments required for mortgages and taxes if your property isn't let or tenants don't pay their rent at all or on time. The financial burden will be on you and you alone, meaning you need to have funds available when money isn't coming in. With this in mind, if you're renting to make money, then this can be an issue from the off. You should never start out with the aim of rental income being your only source of income, especially if you have a mortgage to pay.

Know your local laws

You need to know all the local zoning laws and building codes to ensure that any property you own to rent out meets all of the legal guidelines and that you are providing a safe and habitable home for your tenants. It isn't about just collecting the rent check every month; you need to fulfill obligations required of you by law to ensure that the home you are collecting rent on is fit for purpose and does pose a threat to anyone living there.

Insurance is a must

You need to ensure you have the right property insurance covering the building while tenants are living there. This can help you to cover the cost of damage or repairs by the tenant. You need liability insurance as a minimum and anything else you wish to add on top to protect you, the property, and those living there. A good insurance agent can help you to find the right policy for your needs.

Keep Meticulous Records

All landlords must keep meticulous records of their properties, whether they lease one or more units or single-family dwellings. It shows how many properties you rent out. Records are vital to keep on top of your obligations. Use leasing software to keep up with your rental payments, tenancy agreements, repair schedules, services, maintenance checks, insurance, or anything else required to help you maintain your portfolio. This way, come tax time or anytime you need to provide documentation, you have it all to hand.

Becoming a landlord is a great way to diversify your portfolio and invest in your future, giving you a nest egg to fall back on. But knowing what you're getting into before you purchase your first property can help you hit the ground running and stay on top of your obligations.


Important tips in growing your business

posted Saturday Nov 11, 2023 by Noel Arcallana

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? This can be a scary, yet an exciting time when you are ready to take the plunge and grow it. With new opportunities and increased profit margins on the horizon, there are lots of things that you need to think about.

Growing your business must not be rushed. You need to take time to evaluate your current position, make a good and effective plan for growth, and continue to invest in your business. When you create a solid foundation, you will find it a much smoother process.

To help you on your journey, here are some important tips to help you grow your business.

Evaluate your current position

Many businesses will jump straight into creating a plan for their growth. While this is a great idea, it is vital that you evaluate your current position first. Regardless of how big or small your business is, there are a lot of sources of information and data that you can use towards this end. Pull as much data as you can from all of the tools and systems that you use. Also, take time to speak to your employees and your customers. They are usually excellent sources of valuable feedback. You want to learn as much as you can about your current position in the market, what you have been doing well, and what has not been working for you. This will make your plan much more effective and you will reach your goals much quicker when you are informed by real data.

Make a plan

Using all of the information you have gathered as suggested above, compare where you are now to where you want to be. This will help you formulate a plan for your future success. Make sure you write your goals clearly and concisely so that everyone in the business can be on board. Break your goals down into actionable steps, from which you create a timeline to follow. Schedule regular meetings in your business, so you can evaluate your progress and adjust your plan as you grow.

Hire new skills and outsource work

A huge part of growing a business will come from the skills and talent that you invest in. While spending money can be hard especially when you are trying to increase profit margins, there is no way around it if you are seeking for growth. One of the best things you can invest in is people. Hire the skills that will help put your products and/or services at a competitive advantage in the industry. Consider hiring or outsourcing skills that will perform key roles in a growing business, such as customer service representatives, marketing specialists, and more. You may also want to invest in people that specialize in IT systems and software and managed cyber security services to help protect your business from the most common internet security threats.

When you know that it's time to take your business to the next level, you just have to do it. It is never easy treading on uncharted paths but you started your business hoping for it to grow big one day, right? Are there other things that want to add to this list? What worked for you that you think other business owners can learn from? Share in the comments section.

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