Sunday, December 24, 2006
On August 27th I wrote, Gold mines opening up for Indian testers and many Indian testers did contact James Bach for the online seminar he was planning to offer. The gates are open now to 20 testers worldwide.
James Bach is offering a 2 free webinars, one on Rapid Software Testing - V2.1 (new!) and another one on The Unbearable Lightness of Model-Based Testing.
If you are interested to be one among the 20, hold on for a while before you e-mail James and look at the following information.
First Webinar - Rapid Software Testing - V2.1 (new! - updated by Michael Bolton and James Bach)
Date - 4th January
Time - 1: 30 AM ( Indian Standard Time )
Second Webinar - The Unbearable Lightness of Model-Based Testing
Date: 9th January
Time: 7:00 AM ( Indian Standard Time)
Of course, James has blogged this information - My First Webinar !
You have a reason to read further
As a student who interact with James Bach on a daily basis, here is my recommendation -
1. If you get a chance to be one among the 20, try using a very high speed broadband or the one that might be available in your office. I use BSNL broadband 256 kbps speeds and yet I face issues like connectivity problems, call drop and so on.
2. Keep your PC up to date with latest versions of Skype, IE updates / Firefox / ActiveX plugins that might help you avoid surprises in the last minute.
3. I recommend you to purchase a 10 Euro calling facility from Skype that helps you for all future webinars,too. You get close to 600 minutes to US/any country in that 10 Euro, so it's cool.
4. Keep a notebook and pen ready. It might help you as a tester, if you have downloaded the RST slides and or Appendices even if you are not lucky to get an invite.
5. Test your headset - speaker and microphone well in advance.
6. Prepare a list of things that could go wrong and look for work around and have them ready with you.
7. Keep yourself fresh even despite the webinar being midnight for India.
I am sure, you wouldn't want to miss this opportunity in any form! If I were you, I would request an invitation from James through a polite e-mail. For any further information or clarification on System and internet connectivity, you are free to e-mail or call me.
What James Bach has not mentioned in his blog is, "This free webinar is the Christmas/ New year gift James Bach is offering to testers worldwide".
-- Pradeep Soundararajan - firstname.lastname@example.org - http://testertested.blogspot.com - +91-98451-76817
"Pradeep's first language is not English--his first language appears to be testing." -- Michael Bolton
Thursday, December 14, 2006
All the testers I have spoke to (in India) have these issues in common -
1. I have never got the release on planned time and my manager expects me to do a good job.
2. When we are not given enough time and the customer finds a bug, the managers come running and question, "how did it slip?".
3. I am getting no time to improve my skills as a tester, work is so much that I dont even get time to check my mails.
4. I quit my previous job thinking a new place would be better but it looks to me the new one is taking a lot of my time in generating metrics/preparing report/creating graphs than testing.
5. I am watching a script run for days together, in a few days I might feel the script will get smarter than me. ( for me not doing anything other than watching it play)
The Test Managers I have come across have these issues -
1. I am unable to gain confidence on my testers report and I need to keep my fingers crossed for each release.
2. How can I measure the productivity of testers? I use - number of test cases executed per hour or number of bugs found for a release or number of bugs found by the customer to evaluate a tester.
The customer have these issues -
1. I want as many tests to be automated, that gives me more confidence.
2. I am not happy about the testing that has been done by the company I have outsourced testing to.
There is a way you can deal with these situations my dear testers, test managers and customers!
Play football (soccer)
Aren't you thinking "This guy is stupid?"
Well, you might not think that after going through this post carefully and completely.
When you are on field as a member of a soccer team and the ball comes to you at a heated time where the opponent is two goals up, you are at a situation described above.
1. You start to think where you are standing in the field.
2. Where are your team members?
3. How many opponents are trying to attack you?
4. Whom should you pass the ball to?
5. How far is the goal?
6. Is your coach watching you?
7. Are your country fans going to kill you if you dont help to fetch a goal?
8. Will you be selected for the next match if you fail to give a good pass?
Diego Maradona, Pele, Ronaldo, Baichung Bhutia... handles these situations good enough and so they are the best. If you need to be good enough, you too need to be one among Maradona, Pele or Ronaldo.
Yes, I have started to like you as you got the hidden message saying, "A tester needs skill to handle and win these situations".
"Pradeep, is knowing definitions, getting certified and finding more bugs enough to handle these situations?"
Ah! you broke the ice by that question. Time to say, " you might be wrong" and if you want me to say the way, its "Rapid Software Testing" .
The complexity of products has grown as a monster in the past few years and you still want to keep following the approach that was formulated long back?
In some countries like India, we are angry against the government sometimes (many times, actually) for having companies/ tax/sales Act dating 1952 - 1957 which does not suit the 2006 and 2007, without even looking at ourselves that we haven't changed the age old traditional testing process.
Wait a minute, let me grin and get back to writing. ( he he , My pay slip has so many columns than the one mentioned in Salary Act!)
The picture you see in this post is of James Bach's identity plate. What he means by that is "Testers light the way". The project or product has a lot of dark corners and areas, which testers light the way they go and help the management take better decisions. ( Note: Its not the process that lights the way, sometimes testers might even light the darkness present in the process, accept them to improve your organization and product quality)
Its high time for you to ask me "Hey get me onto Rapid Software Testing"
Here it goes - Rapid Software Testing Slides by James Bach and Michael Bolton .
Rapid Software Testing - makes you skilled, if you are a tester. If you are a Manager, it gives you ample information in a short time that helps you take better decision on the product/release. If you are a customer, you would want this to happen in the company where you have outsourced your testing work.
Remember, I talked about the football/soccer game to give another hidden message that - Rapid Software Testing encourages skilled testing and also encourages an entire team to be skilled and tells you how to tap the skill of a team member to give better information about the quality of a product.
Yesterday, Manjunath, a tester from IBM - Bangalore met me and he couldn't believe the demo of Rapid Software testing, I gave him. When he left, he had to say, "This is great! I am a CSTE certified tester and we never get through all this that really makes a tester skilled" .He also said, "It looks to me that certification just shows that a person has interest towards testing". I was happy that he re-stated what certification means to him.
The reason why I had to put "It looks to me" in bold is because I passed on a couple of lessons that I learn't from James Bach and Michael Bolton to that tester. ( Psst! dont tell anyone that skilled testers speak that way)
-- Pradeep Soundararajan - email@example.com - +91-98451-76817 - http://testertested.blogspot.com
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
It is very disappointing to note that my article Technology that failed in India (Testing Bowl of the world) is under circulation among Indian testers through e-mails.
Now, why am I disappointed about my article being circulated all over India?
The people who are forwarding it are changing their own name and forwarding it. Now, if you are a Tester Tested reader and want to encourage me to share such learning I had, you should take this seriously and pass it on to all those who have got the mail and also to those who are about to get the mail.
If Indian testers play such a spoil sport, its going to hamper the growth of Indian Testing community.
Hey come on, its my brain child. I cant let you steal the credit!
I am writing this pretty strong as I cannot find and catch all those Indian testers who are displaying the act of plagiarism.
This blog of mine has been encouraging so many Indian testers and if you disappoint me by plagiarism, I am sure you are making me hesitant to share my future learning.
I am not sure how serious you are going to take this since you are not affected yet. I just hope Indian testers themselves do not become a barrier to other Indian testers to achieve something that India can be proud of.
This is what Michael Bolton had to say on hearing this - "A tester without integrity is a tester without credibility--and a tester without credibility won't have a career for long."
He also mentioned that such an incident happened to Cem Kaner and the community of testers there in US and Canada took it up strongly to the person who plagiarised and the author had to step down from the association and the online magazine was held.
This is India, I cannot expect an immediate revolution, yet I am hopeful.
Lets not kill each other, Lets build each other!
With tears (for fellow Indian testers behaving this way) and disappointment,
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
This is an interesting story that came alive during a heated discussion with my manager Srinivasa. The discussion was on "bias" that multimedia testers are prone to while testing a product. (I shall talk about that in detail, in some other post but for the time being the focus is on the the story.)
Its story time again in Tester Tested!
There were two multimedia products under test, lets say Bino and Nino. A tester was testing both of them. Bino was started earlier than Nino and had reached a state where the subjective quality of the product was good enough. Bino on reaching a good enough state was made the benchmark and Nino's quality was tested against it. Bino was talked all over the company for its quality.
Each time the tester tested a release for Nino, he used to report Bino was still better than Nino. Of course, mulitimedia quality is all about subjective view but as testers we need to quantify; why we rate something poor.
For some releases, Nino was not as good as Bino and hence the testers view was acceptable. After a few such iterations, the manager felt Nino's quality had improved a lot but the tester kept rating Bino to be much better than Nino.
The manager performed a trick to find out "what is going wrong with the testers decision despite the quality seems to have improved?"
He labelled Bino as Nino and Nino as Bino and gave a release of Nino to the tester.
This time the tester gave a report saying "Bino is still better than Nino" which means the tester was biased to Bino and had formed a pre-concieved notion that Bino is the benchmark.
Now, that was a great story about "bias of a tester" and the risk of "bias" on a tester. The manager was none other than my current manager Srinivasa.
Now, some of you might form an opinion that my manager was doing a micro management. Actually if you look closer, my manager helped the tester to come out of the bias.
Now my manager has set an example to other test managers as to how they can help their testers to look into themselves. I am sure if your manager gets to read this, he would have something to learn.
This story reminds me of one of the lesson I learnt from James Bach - As a good tester, you should never say "I am sure" since what you say is what you have observed/conjecture/infer but the truth could be different.
As a tester, you do not know whether you are being tested by the product or manager and it is recommended to say "I conjecture/infer/looks like Bino is still better than Nino".
Thanks and Regards,
"Pradeep's first language is not English--his first language appears to be testing." -- Michael Bolton
Disclaimer: Do not get biased by the title of this post. It is not to mean that test managers test their testers, it is a style of expression I used to make the learning a joy.
Monday, December 04, 2006
As I am exploring the options of coaching testers in organizations through workshops that exercise a testers mind (that includes me too), I had a learning that I value and I am sharing with you here.
I never received any training as a tester in all the companies I have worked for but did train few people as an employee of a company. I have seen e-mails from the HR - Training, announcing coaching on programming languages from external people who have a reputation of handling the class well.
Does this happen to testing too?
Yes, it does but what is being taught is a traditional approach and concepts of testing. Many Indian testers think there is nothing beyond "SDLC, V Model testing, Types of Testing and Testing definitions" to learn in testing.
I wouldn't say the above training is not good enough but instead I would say, "there is more important thing that a tester should be trained on, *acquiring new skills* to test any product". ( provided you would want your testers to do a skilled testing)
We define, a good tester as someone who knows all the definitions and is able to clear a few certification programs.
Certifications arise for a commercial value and I am not sure how much value it holds except that it can fetch you a job if the person who interviews you also holds the same certification. I know a person in India, who has 14 brainbench certifications on fields like Software Testing, Project Management.... and I am not sure what this certificate means. Does it mean you know something about the syllabus or you know most of the things in the course.
When experts like Cem Kaner, James Bach, Jerry Weinberg, Michael Bolton, Mike Kelly, Jon Bach, Mike Kelly, Elizabeth Hendrikson... might say, "there is lots to learn", I am not sure if the certification really matters when you yourself know you are a good enough tester.
In the last one year, the awareness to become a skilled tester is rising amongst testers in India and by the end of 2007, "skilled testing" is the way any Indian tester would want to think about testing.
Who is helping testers to become high skilled?
There are 5 people -
- Training and Development department
- Test Coach
I could see testers who have interacted with me or are my blog readers, proposing my workshop to their teams and across organization. The chain reaction came from their managers by proposing the same to the HR and or Training and Development department. Now the HR is going to play an important role in providing the workshop to the testers in their organization.
I am sure all the above 5 people would work hard enough to grow skilled testing within you and me. James Bach once coached testers in Wipro and Mindtree during his visit to India in 2003 and since then many testers in India have been awaiting his next visit. Michael Bolton too presented Rapid Software Testing in India last year and now he is going to speak in the international testing conference, Hyderabad - Dec 8 and 9. Shrinivas Kulkarni has spoken in a lot of conferences worldwide and to me he looks someone has been living with automation for a long time and that is cool to live with what you are passionate about.
Its mercury rising, Catch up with the heat!
I love to share my experiences and learning with you all. Now that I am becoming an independent test consultant, it helps me do this much better and efficient. Help me to help you ;)
Thanks and Regards,
firstname.lastname@example.org or +91-98451-76817
"Pradeep's first language is not English--his first language appears to be testing." -- Michael Bolton
Thursday, November 30, 2006
It has been a great learning for me and I am sure you wont deny that, as you have been reading my blog. My effort to become a Test Consultant is just to benefit the Indian testing community and in turn learn from you all and contribute to the testing community.
In the last few months, many Indian testers have been contacting James Bach for an individual coaching as how I have been receiving but it is the time that is a constraint for James, otherwise he loves coaching testers and it is his passion too.
Now, if you are so keen in getting trained from an expert, you need to prove to them that you are worth their time. How can you do that?
Blogging, is the way!
Dedicate a blog to testing. Show your passion, share your learning and encourage people to comment and do lots such. Who knows an expert might read your blog and like it!
I see many testers in western countries have a blog of their own and you might also know that companies like Microsoft encourage their employees to have a blog. There are lot of Indian testers who do blog on testing but a major part is a copy-paste stuff is what they do and interview questions and answers as their blog posts which does not stand as a proof that they are passionate about testing.
I consider this testing blog as a successful one. I don't have a million readers a month but have some good testers and experts as my blog readers and that is what I want.
I can show you many Indian testers and some developers blogs who have started their own after seeing my blog. I do not want to link them now since they are in a bad state. Excitement was the reason they started blogging and wrote one or two posts but they were unable to go beyond that because only enthusiasm can keep you blogging and not excitement of seeing a blog's success.
Don't start blogging just because you want to become a successful blogger but start blogging when you want to learn and better yourself as a tester.
This is how I started my blog -
- My friend Preetam Modur, who had been listening what I think about testing and has seen me testing products, asked me to start a blog to share my thoughts with many testers. He also explained me the power of blogging.
- I decided to start a blog and started a study on blogs. I started looking at a lot of blogs in testing. I found the ones who have shared their learning and thoughts as very interesting ones. I found nothing interesting in the ones that had a copy-paste of some information available on the net. I decided, I should not be doing that since it does not suit me.
- I wanted to use this blog as a channel to express my passion towards this testing craft.
- I wrote a few posts and I myself read it more than a 100 times. I tested my posts by forcing a few people who critique me for whatever thing I do and got good results out of it. My posts improved as days passed.
Why testers who tried aping Tester Tested unable to continue? ( could be one of the following...)
- They wanted to get success in a short span without putting much effort.
- They thought it is easy to write a blog and maintain it.
- They started with an intention to have a huge reader base.
- They started because it worked for me.
- They weren't passionate about testing
Recently a tester from Chennai named Debasis recieved a surprise comment from James Bach on his blog and that must have made him one of the happiest tester for the day.
Another Indian tester who has blogged with real passion is Shrinivas Kulkarni . He is a Senior Test Manager in iGate, Bangalore. He gets James Bach to comment on his blog on a regular basis.
Remain passionate and blog!
Start blog and let me know your link after you write a couple of posts. Even today, I keep visiting the blogs of those testers who have started after looking at mine, to see if they have posted something new although they themselves do not seem to visit their own. That is the kind of encouragement I can offer you too.
As I realize that Brazilian testers too have become my regular readers, I equally encourage them to start blogging.
Invent your own way or writing and blogging, what rule applies to you does not apply to me.
Thanks and Regards,
(Anything on testing there is - email@example.com , At least I reply, "I don't know")
Thursday, November 23, 2006
In 2006 many of you who popped into my blog were able to return with a satisfaction of learning something.
2007 is approaching and what is in store for you from this blog?
Yeah, I have something more exciting and wonderful learnings to share with you.
Pradeep, how are you confident about that?
Yeah, I am positioning myself as an Independent Test Consultant in 2007
How does that benefit Indian Testers or any tester for that matter?
I am a good enough tester and I have helped many testers, coaching them online and through face to face meetings. I have held a peer conference kind of stuff in Bangalore that encouraged testers to meet, interact and learn from each other. As I am on my own now, I got the freedom to coach and learn from you all out there.
So, coaching is your only service?
While coaching is one of them, I love testing assignments and exercises that challenge me as a tester, so if you or your company is interested in making me test your products, analyze it, profile it and add further value to the product, I do it with great zeal.
There are a whole lot of things, I can do for you when it comes to testing.
Can we have your profile to share it with our management to let them know, you are "good enough"?
Yes, sure. Save a copy of this pdf - Pradeep Soundararajan - Profile June 2007 and pass it on to your management.
I am an individual, what services can I get from you?
No worries, I would love to help any tester who wants to better himself as a tester since coaching such testers help me better myself too. I learn from anyone and anything and moreover, I practice the things I learned.
If you are an individual from any place in India, team up with other testers which makes the cost cheaper.
I think I know better than you, what should I do?
Great! Irrespective of who you are, I like to learn from you.
Does this kind of a consulting thing works in India, while it is working in Western countries?
Yes, it works! (provided we try)
How do we get in touch with you?
firstname.lastname@example.org or +91-98451-76817 ( haven't you looked at my profile yet?)
Thanks and Regards,
Thursday, November 16, 2006
On November 13th 2006 9:30 PM IST, I noticed Prashant Kumar online in Yahoo! Messenger. Prashant is a passionate tester working in Bangalore and I've known him for the past 6 years, since we both are from the same batch of engineering and we lived nearby.
I engaged Prashant to take up a testing exercise to help me practice conducting an exercise. We were having a voice chat through Yahoo Messenger conference and I asked him to test the window through which we were chatting.
He was smart enough to start with questions like:
Prashant: Do you mean the voice conference window between us?
Prashant: Okay, what do you want me to test in this?
Pradeep: "Send File" feature.
Prashant: Okay, let me start off with something like this... ( he listed out some types of files he would send.. *.exe, *.doc, *.zip, *.mp3, *.xls... corrupt files, sizes of file 0kb .. 1kb, 100 kb, 1MB, 1.1MB and started doing it )
Pradeep: ( Meanwhile, I too started exploring the feature. I noticed that I was able to invoke more than one session of "send file" for the same user)
Pradeep: Prashant, try doing this ( I explained to him what I did).
Pradeep: Prashant, don't you think it is a bug if windows are over lapping over each other, which blocks the end user to be unaware of the multiple sessions that has opened on his own multiple clicks of "send file"?
Prashant: Not sure, but wait let me investigate.( He goes offline suddenly)
Pradeep: (Meanwhile, I tried clicking on "send file" option multiple times., My Yahoo Messenger disappeared too) We both logged into Yahoo and got into a conference again.
Prashant: Hey, lets say it together... ( we both knew, the observation was obvious )
Chorus: Yahoo! Messenger crashed. Pradeep: Are you sure, you know the steps to reproduce?
Prashant: Yes, I do know.
Pradeep: Go ahead!
Prashant: ( narrates what he did to observe Yahoo! Messenger crash )
Pradeep: Oh! I thought it is something else, wait let me try the steps you mentioned. ( I followed and went offline)
Pradeep: (I did try the version of "steps to reproduce", I had in mind, the issue was not reproducible. So pair testing worked well)
Deep investigation starts... My learning from the exercise I took on investigating a bug as a part of James Bach's coaching, came handy...
1. We both made an attempt to arrive at a conclusion on "steps to reproduce" the issue and verified the same with each other.
2. The bug was easy to reproduce on our configurations. We saw it happen about thirty times.
3. We checked with ourselves, our PC and Laptop configurations to ensure we both did not have any other application/program causing this crash other than Yahoo Messenger. Hopefully no virus/spyware that does not like Yahoo! (I used MSINFO32 to find out my laptop configuration and Prashant used DX , I compared both to see, they were different configurations. It gives evidence that it can be reproduced with more than one configurations or could be all. I applied an update to my AVG Free version anti virus and performed a quick scan for virus/spyware, I am not sure whether I asked Prashant to do this.)
4. We added another user to the chat session and discovered that the problem still occurs with three. We extended the experiment upto 5 users in the conference. The crash was seen each time by Prashant and me.
Voice was enabled in our original session, so we disabled voice and repeated the steps to reproduce the issue. Yahoo! crashed again.
5. Now we both started asking ourselves and each other; is there something that we could have missed? ( I am sure, we could have )
6. It is then an idea struck both of us; let's Yahoo and Google to check if this issue is already under "known limitations"? We could not find any such for the version we were using. Yahoo Messenger: 126.96.36.199 and MyYahoo Module 188.8.131.52. ( Its 1:20 AM IST, both of us remember our office work and the pending work we have tomorrow and set off to bed, Good night!)
7. (Nov 14th 2006, 10 30 PM IST) We craved for more evidence that could help to prove this bug and improve Yahoo Messenger. We then hit upon C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\logs\ . Ah, at least I could not understand those logs, so we decided to store that as a supporting evidence since as testers we claim to know, why someone (dev_guys) would have enabled logging for.
8.All done. Not yet... we wanted to have screen shots but the learning from - Tools For Recording Exploratory Testing was applied. We used Wink to record our test and provide a visual of our steps to reproduce and make you all witness Yahoo disappearing :)
9. The report... which I am doing now...
Title: Yahoo Messenger crashes when multiple send file option is initiated for the same user from a conference window.
Steps to reproduce: ( pretty simple )
1. Download Yahoo Messenger latest version in your PC.
2. Log in/Log on with your user name and password.
3. Find a buddy online and invite him to a conference ( with or without voice enabled ).
4. Once your buddy joins the conference, click and highlight your buddy's id on the conference window.
5. Initiate a "send file" from the conference window.
6. Despite a "Select the file to send" window being opened, initiate "Send file" from the conference window for 7 times without selecting a file to send.
Observed result :
Yahoo! Messenger crashes.
Video link: Coming soon... ( Upload failure - My 14 upload attempts failed, am not giving up)
Yahoo Messenger logs collected from PC (C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\logs\ ) : Linked here
_ _ _
I am sure, we could have done a lot more but for me, my approach was good enough, just that I need more practice to become "very good" on investiagating a bug.
Pradeep's first language is testing and not English - Michael Bolton
Thursday, November 09, 2006
A start up company in Bangalore who were impressed by my blog Tester Tested , invited me to test their products and train testers. I decided to do it in parallel.
Here goes some notes ...
I reached the place around 10:30 AM on Nov 4th, got a brief introduction to the company and the team. I went through the documents they gave me pertaining to the products I was supposed to test. The documents were not in detail but gave a general overview and yet I identified some key areas to test. I talked to the testers and developers to know the current state of the project and the need for calling me. That's like quickly getting to know the context.
I tried getting my mission as quick as possible and succeeded to get it at 11:15 AM. I wrote down the mission and asked them to check if I went wrong in understanding it.
Next move, I approached the tester and asked him to show me a demo of their product. I started digging for more info by asking questioning the testing. I found that the testers there had no clue what testing was and that is not surprising. Plus, they were sitting close to the developers that helped them to be biased.. "I saw it working on the developer's PC, so I did not test that" were the words from a tester. :)
The software is supposed to be sold to schools and colleges for the management to facilitate all the paper work to go online.
Some features of the software are
1. Admission process
2. Student attendance records
3. Library Management
4. Question paper generation
- I questioned the need of every feature , every radio button, every format, every assumption from the developers, everything that I could see, everything that I could not see too..
- The application was written in Java, and uses a Tomcat server to access the database ( MS Access ).
Two amongst many other interesting bugs I found helped me arrive at better informed decision about the product were.
1. The administrator was able to delete his own account details and whoosh.. There is no other power user than administrator, so the application became useless.
2. There was a "book search" option in Library Management, The field was not accepting more than a word, a developer's countered his assumption that it is a feature which makes the search simple for students to search for "java" , "testing". My counter counter argument was "If there is a book on testing which has a title "The craft of making good software", will a search on "testing" reveal this book?
- This provoked me to make the developer list out all assumptions he had made to develop the software. I started testing all his assumptions and without surprise, most of his assumptions deviated the software from its purpose.
- Every few minutes once, I kept saying to the testers there "Do not accept if I say something is wrong, I encourage you to argue with me on the point I say". ( The secret of getting better as a tester, learnt from James Bach)
- It was around 1:45 and we all dispersed as it was late for lunch.
- 2:15, I am back, with a higher level of energy after lunch since I wanted to dig the software much deep.
- I do not know what discussions the developers had during lunch but there were more people joining to see me test and discuss the issues. It gave me more confidence, since I made an assumption they were interested to see " how is this guy able to dig all this?"( Sometimes it is better to motivate yourselves, as a tester, by saying this "wow, developers too are interested to listen to me" )
- I added great humour now and then and made the developer laugh at his own mistake than getting disappointed/frustrated in front of his seniors, internally felt "wow pradeep, you seem to be a good manager too"
- I also helped them see the product in a number of ways, they might have not thought. I developed a good eye to eye contact with the 10 people I was surrounded by and whenever someone said "yes", I was convinced that they said "yes" from heart since their eyes too had the same expression.
- Well as we were so involved with the discussion on issues and finding new bugs, we were surprised the bug count had gone beyond 50 or 70 after a while by around 4 O clock and out of them, many show stoppers.
- I showed them at least one database corruption, tomcat server crash, multiple application crashes, multiple cosmetic bugs, requirements missing, design defects, multiple wrong assumptions.
- At around 7 PM, I stopped by re-stating the mission I had and how much of it I felt, I finished. I also requested for feedback from them on their views on my results v/s mission objectives.
- I motivated all the developers to challenge me the next time I drop in. I motivated the testers to challenge me and not even let the developers say "I can challenge pradeep".
- At 7 25 PM: "Pradeep ... Pradeep" a voice came out from a guy who seemed to be chasing me from another bike. I stopped my bike to discover he was one of the developer who followed me for a distance. After we stopped he said, "I was impressed and never knew testing was so creative, I want to shift to testing"
- He asked for the books he has to read and I suggested the two books I feel are bible for starters. Of course, the two books are Learning Software Testing - Dr Cem Kaner, Jack Falck, Hung Ngyuen and Lessons learnt in software testing - Dr Cem Kaner, James Bach and Bret Pettichord.
I was very happy of having done a good enough job. I felt the following points could make my guru James Bach happy of having coached me for free ( I could not have afforded had he charged me :) )
I felt that
- I asked good questions that reveal great information about the current state of the product, its quality. Got my mission.
- Collected enough evidence to prove a bug.
- Talked specific.
- Recovered from my own mistakes rapidly.
- Learnt the product at its breadth in a short while.
- Performed exploratory testing better than my previous attempts.
- And said to myself, "This is still the beginning...".
I am sure, I am not yet as good as most of you here are but I am happy that I am in the same road you traveled sometime back and I see you far far away. Miles to go before someone sees me as far as I am seeing you all today.
Many thanks to people like Dr Cem Kaner, Michael Bolton, Mike Kelly, James Bach, Johanna Rothman, Jerry Weinberg, Jon Bach, Simon Fields, and all of you, who have inspired me in one or many ways, to put in lot of hard work and develop myself as a better tester each day. I wish to work more hard and hence keep inspiring me.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
All this while you have been reading my posts but now you are going to hear from me as well.
Hurrah, that's great news! ( at least for me )
_ Know what you are asked to test _
Before I posted this audio in my blog, I did send this to a couple of testers in India and Brazil and their views have made me to go ahead post this as my first audio podcast. ( Look at me, as a tester, I did test my content before posting it for you).Thanks to those folks from Brazil and India for their time and views.
This audio you are going to listen, is around 5 minutes and according to me; is able to convey what I wanted to and so I am happy :).
After listening to the file, you would be able to compare the approach of most of the testers in India and the approach that has evolved out of research by experts like James Bach, Cem Kaner , Jerry Weinberg ... I am sure, after listening to the file you might be able to design better tests for any given product and you would gain a satisfaction of bettering yourself as a tester.
If you are a newbie to testing, this audio file might be the first step for you to start traveling the road to become a good tester. If you are experienced, no issues, check if there is something missing in your approach after listening.
If you are an expert, the file you need to listen, is still in making :P
Thanks to Tarik Seth who came to my home to be a part of this exercise.
Hey Pradeep, where is the file you are talking about?
Right click -> Open -> Save THIS FILE to your hard disk . (This file is put in a temporary location and will be moved to a permanent location soon and hence link this post and not the file alone)
Now you might want to read - Million questions a tester should ask !
_ Know what you are asked to test _
" there could have been a better question here, isn't it? "
Thanks and Regards,
Note:You are free to distribute this file to other testers whom you want to improve along with you. Also, if you or your organization wishes to have such exercises that can make testers better testers, get in touch with me. Also, if you are an individual who wishes to join me for an exercise or want to get test my exercises, you still can get in touch with me :)
Monday, October 23, 2006
"Testers are not treated in par with developers" - is this what you think I would be writing in this post? Actually, No.
Instead, I would be writing how...
1. Customer are cheating themselves by cheating testers.
2. How the Indian software companies management is going wrong w.r.t to testing.
3. Indian testers are being deprived of knowledge and exposure.
_ Injustice to testers - I fight _
"Pradeep, are you trying to create a hype or do you have evidence to support your claims?"
I am a tester and this is my blog dedicated to testing because I am a passionate tester. This is no media channel and I am no journalist.
It happened and its happening in the companies I have been and also I hear the same from my friends in other companies.
What's going wrong?
India is a place where technologies like 3G, GPS and other technologies which has not completely penetrated into Indian market are being developed by software companies and not just development but testing too. Wait, that's not wrong.
Testers test the products developed in simulated or emulated environment in the lab of their respective companies. Wait, that's not wrong.
Once these products reach a mature level , the products are put to Inter Op Testing and it usually happens in Europe.
I have come across a couple of companies who send developers for Inter Op testing. Unfortunately dumb customers support that.
( Just think ) A tester who tests the product for years together in simulated environment never gets a chance to see the product working in real time scenario. A developer gets to develop the product and learns more about the technology and product during such IOT he experiences.
Is it right on the management to expect a tester to have complete knowledge about the product when the tester never gets to see the real world?
Is it right on the management to catch hold of a tester for a bug customer has found?
Is it right on the management to rate the tester based on number of bugs missed/found?
Is it right on the management to explain, "this is what customer wants and if developers go for IOT, they can fix it too" when people like me question about the injustice?
Is it right on the management to be partial to developers but claim, "we are an equal opportunity employer".
Is it right on the customer to get angry for finding a bug at field test without insisting testers on real time environment?
Is it right on the customer to be comfortable about having a developer sent for IOT?
Is it right on the developers to call a tester and ask "Hey, I am calling from IOT site, could you please help me in doing this test" ?
No wonder I am frustrated about these things happening to a tester around me, I learnt the following -
- I no more believe a company, which claims, "We are equal opportunity employer".
- I have heard many times the management speaking in all hands meet "Test team is our backbone for quality of the products we develop" and I would laugh at that hereafter.
- I lower my respect towards such a customer.
- This makes me more skeptical about my own work and it becomes hard to believe I have tested a product well.
- This makes me less confident about the knowledge/experience of the product I have tested.
- The quality of a product depends not only by following quality standards such as CMM or ISO but also on the attitude the management and a customer has towards a tester.
- Developers are partially testers, just that they are on site testers. If developers find 5 bugs and fixes 4 during IOT, testers can find 20 bugs during IOT, which still can be fixed by the developer. If it requires a developer on IOT that does not mean a tester is not required.
- Many Test Managers don't even consider this as a problem for their testers growth and yet continue to push testers to do good work.
- If I were in the management, I would talk or brief the customer the importance of having the tester on site for IOT and get the funds for it instead of answering my tester "Sorry, the customer has not allocated funds for testers to travel".
- Most of the Indian IT companies are developer friendly and deprives the learning opportunity for testers.
_ Injustice to testers - I fight _
I know people who would oppose this post of mine are the testers who have been on site and are happy of what they have got without bothering what is happening to other testers.
Look dear testers, I know a very reputed company in India where none of the testers have seen the real world of the products they test but developers keep traveling so often to IOT and other conferences. All testers get is an e-mail... "Hi , Chocolates at my desk, please help yourselves".
Had a tester traveled for IOT, he would come back and send a mail "Hi, Lot of bugs on your code, please help yourselves."
"Developers are ready to do testing, provided they travel and see other parts of the world"
Thanks and Regards,
Disclaimer: If you felt guilty, I wanted it to happen. If you haven't felt guilty, you are arrogant. If you are a tester who is facing this and you keep quiet after reading this, you deserve what is happening to you. If you are someone who felt I am complaining against all the IT companies in India, you are wrong. If you are someone who felt a need to change how things are happening, India is on the verge of improving further because of people like you.
Note: This post is not from someone, who is greedy about going on site but is from someone who is concerned about his peers who work very hard but are deprived a chance to develop themselves to become a better tester in the domain.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
If you do not know what puzzle I put up in my previous post - read it now and then come back here to know how exciting the following information is.
Thanks for coming back and also welcome to those who have made an attempt to crack the puzzle.
_Answering the telephone puzzle_
I first want to announce the winner of the puzzle : Sameer Chaudary . Congradulations Sameer!!
Many congrads to all others who made an attempt and sent me a mail. Some where close but most of them were wrong. I am impressed that quite a few freshers too made a great attempt to crack the puzzle.
Also the winner of the "best documentation recieved" is : Suresh Marappa . Congradulations Suresh !
How could Sameer solve it?
This puzzle was simple to him as he had done the same mistake as people in my company did but still he does deserve the prize since he exhibited one quality of a good tester of being able to recollect the past learning.
If an excellent tester had solved it, it would be this way...
1. Ask me "What is your extension number?"
2. Ask me questions to try distinguishing whether humans or machines are causing this.
3. Ask me "What is my landline number and bangalore telephone exchange codes?"
4. Ask me "Whether is it really a missed call or are you not there when they call?"
5. Ask me "What time do you get the maximum number of calls or what is your working time?"
5. Ask me"Did you call back and ask one of them; how they reached my extension?"
Well that solved the puzzle, if I answer the above questions.
6. Further "List out all other possbilities"
Now, you would be interested to know who is that excellent tester who did crack the puzzle with his excellent approach. It is none other than my Guru James Bach, one of the leading Test Expert, we have been blessed with.
The only question he missed is to ask about mobile numbers from various service providers in Bangalore as he was running out of time and I had forcibly pulled him to solve this puzzle. However it is an easy task for someone who asked landline number to ask further about mobile numbers. I owe all my success to this great man who has helped me equip myself with skills to approach a problem in a right way through his masterpiece exercises.
How I identified the problem/solved the puzzle : ( I ask myself, a lot of questions. Thanks to James again )
1. "Pradeep is this a technical problem?"
Could be but let me think of other possibilities before I collect some evidence to say it is a technical problem
2. Is it that I am getting a missed call from the same number?
No, different people call at different times and this happens only during office hours and I hardly see a missed call in non office hours. Wow! this looks like its a human error!
3. Now that I got a clue that it could be a human error, what is causing all those people doing the same error?
Hmm! interesting. What is my extension number: 9986. When do people dial 9986?
Hey, wait a minute... Hutch Telecom operating in bangalore has a mobile number series of 99860 xxxxx , 99861 xxxxx , 99862 xxxxx , 99863 xxxxx , 9986x xxxxx
Ah ! I got it, people who who are trying to call a hutch number from their deskphone and missing a ZERO to be dialled as a prefix to make an external call are the ones who give me a missed call.
How do I confirm it? I could be wrong, I need some evidence, I am a tester.
While thinking I got another missed call. I immediately called the person who had given a missed call and asked ...
"Mam, I got a missed call from your number.. "
"Sorry, I tried calling some other number"... "Well may I know whether it is a hutch mobile you were trying to call?" ...
"Yes, how did you know that"...
"Just a guess, thanks for the info and have a nice day"
Bingo! This gives an evidence that it is not a technical problem and it is a human error.
Now why did I put this up as a puzzle to you all?
When you look at the problem as a tester as most of you did, you doubt the technology and conclude that it could be a bug but finally you see a human error causing the problem. This should give you a clue to think of human error also when someone asks you to analyze a bug.
Also, if you notice how I approached you would discover that although I was sure that 9986 and hutch numbers coincidence that created a problem, I did not want to conclude unless I get an evidence. Now that I have an evidence no one can deny my conclusion and that is a success for a tester when developers/managers dont deny a bug.
Also, I am happy that I could think of various other possibilities that I have not listed out here and I am sure whatever the problem had been, I would have found it out in a short while. More than a million thanks to my guru James Bach and his mind blowing exercises. I would say "that is the power of exploratory and rapid testing".Now that does not mean I can solve any problem but that means I can get close to the solution at a faster pace and I can judge myself whenever I am wrong and learning to correct myself .
A special thanks to Sameer Chaudary who is the first person to make a contribution towards Tester Tested! since it is going to take new Avatar from next month.
Also, I am planning for a one day workshop in Bangalore next month (Nov-06) on "Acquiring testing skills through exercises" - Open to all testers. Keep watching for information or get in touch with me if you would want to join - email@example.com. Of course it is not free and yet is affordable right from a fresher to an experienced person.
I just can't imagine how excited you would be when going back from the workshop. I have been testing my exercises on a few people already and it seems to be giving great results to people who are taking up those exercises.
I am not going to talk about "what is testing and what are the types and techniques" and if you are my regular reader you should have known by now that Tester Tested! is always different and not the usual stuff you find at a place/site near you.
If you intend to make this happen in your place, I am ready for it provided you pool up with other testers there and organize it. Do let me know your interests and other possibilities through mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
I was put to test by a real life problem. I used to get at least around 100 missed calls for a day at my desk phone in office from internal numbers(only). That is annoying !
I initially ignored and assumed my other colleagues too had the same problem but on checking with them, I got to know the problem was at my end.
_ Testing puzzle at office _
Thanks to James Bach's exercises that made me think in many ways of how this problem could occur and I was able to identify the problem.
I found it very interesting to share with you all here since I feel, if you too could solve this puzzle, you might feel as happy as I am feeling after I identified the problem.
Here are some clues:
- One of your company employee could also be facing the same problem, I faced.
- You might have called some one in your office and told "Oh sorry, I was trying some one else"
- Its a unique problem and not with pressing a key on the phone by mistake.
- Its a problem, different from the problem with the network which sometime yields the same result.
What should you do?
- Think and identify the problem.
- Document your thought process and e mail it to me at email@example.com
What do you get?
A first correct entry from an Indian tester, gets 250 rupees and even if you dont get it right but if you think your thought process and documentation is good enough, I would love to give you another 250 rupees.
- All correct entries should come with some documentation which stands as a proof for me of how you concluded the problem.
- Open to Indian testers only.
Answer will be published after someone comes out with the correct and answer and inspiring thought process and documentation.
Of course, if you get it right your name would appear in this post.
Just in case someone is boasting about their testing skills, time for you to pass the link to them or after your name appears on it.
_Testing puzzle at office _I am so happy that I am encouraging people to think through my blog and even ready to give them money for their thinking and I would love to continue this way to see many of you becoming *good enough* tester.
Come on start racing, Finish before an Alonso wins the podium !
Thanks and Regards,
:) That's Tester Tested!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
"Shit man, they did not get what I wanted to mean through the mail", is what my colleague uttered recently. He had found some bugs by taking a lot of care when testing a product and had prepared a test report and sent it to - Developers, Managers, Test team members.
Now, why did he say ..."they did not get what I wanted to mean.." ?
No, I am not interested in focusing communication skill of a tester but instead a skill that you must posses to ensure that people do get to know you have worked hard and a skill that you must possess to ensure people get to know the importance of your words.
_ Test your e-mail _
Now let us assume you are sending a test report to your dev guys, managers and other test team members in loop and let us take two examples of how someone without the skills I mentioned would draft the e-mail and in comparison how could the skilled tester draft the same.
Unskilled Tester -
I finished testing for release xx.xx.xx and found some bugs which I have documented in the report. Please find the report as an attachment to this mail.
Disadvantages of the above draft -
- The tester failed to convey the importance of the critical bugs he might have found in the mail. You might ask : "If a tester has put the details in the test report, why should he repeat it in mail?". Interesting question, but you must be aware that you should make the reader of your e-mail realize the importance of looking through the report through the e-mail.
- The tester failed to make the managers and developers realize that he had put in a lot of effort and if either of them asks him to repeat the tests, they are aware the time it would take to complete the tests.
- The tester failed to make the developers realize the urgency of fixing certain bugs. Developers would have seen "Critical" , "Major" status for a long time and there should be something else to make them work towards it.
- The tester failed to give details that are available in the report he has attached with the e-mail he is sending.
- The tester failed to realize that he is putting himself into trouble by not mentioning the limitation of his testing.
- The tester failed to mention the impact of the bugs on the quality of the product and the customer.
Skilled Tester -
It was interesting to have found certain critical bugs that affect the basic functionality of the product through testing release xx.xx.xx for product GFD. Although the time taken to test is 5 hours, which exceeded one hour of the planned time I am happy to have found a couple of critical issues even in the extra one hour I took.
I kindly request you all to peruse the Test Report for release xx.xx.xx and to help you in navigating the test report in an easier way, I have split the critical, major and minor issues in a separate worksheet.
My testing is limited to the environment with which I executed the test cases which is not a real time environment and an emulated lab in our office premises and hence the results could vary if executed on a real time network.
File Name : Test_Report_GFD_xx.xls
File Size: 326 kilo bytes
Please feel free to get in touch with me just in case you need any logs or if you would want to see how I reproduced the issues, I have mentioned in the report.
Manager, please check with the customer if this release could be delayed by a day or two to ensure developers have enough time to fix the critical issues.
Thanks and Regards,
Now you judge how good is the above one?
_ end of Test your e-mail _
"If a tester does not test his mail, developers would find bugs in it then"
Thanks and Regards,
Sunday, September 24, 2006
I think I spent enough time, to give you something that can really make you think a lot on who you are.
Well, I joined a couple of software testing and testing related communities in orkut with an attempt to discuss on topics of testing and learn something from more wise minds.
All communities I joined are flocked with Indian testers and I am now wondering whether I should thank myself for having a learning there?
I learnt that there are two types of testers in India:
a) One who is a tester.
b) One who works as a tester.
Now, I do not want you to believe me. If you believe me before you read further, I would have to assume you belong to category (b). However...
_ Being a tester v/s Working as a tester_
It is very interesting to share my research on Indian testers in this post. I am not sure how testers are in the western or eastern world since I have never traveled outside, so let me not talk about them without seeing them.
Now, you might have a question to me...
"Who is better, the one who is a tester or the one who is working as a tester?"
I do not want to bias you but judge it yourself based on the following.
Features of people "working as a tester" -
- One who works as a tester, would have started to learn testing for the purpose of job and is eager to collect material, interview questions and answers.
- One who works as a tester, is eager to get a certification for augmenting themselves in their career.
- One who works as a tester, is a toolsmith. They believe if you do not know any tools that are available in the market and the ones mentioned in job openings, you are not a tester.
- One who works as a tester, seldom thinks of jumping into development, assuming that is a better job.
- One who works as a tester, stops learning and starts confusing others by replying to queries in many discussions/communities/forums, both online and offline.
- One who works as a tester, value money more than testing and they feel they are better testers if they are paid more.
- One who works as a tester, post queries in all forums with improper subject line and without using simple search.
- One who works as a tester, keeps asking others opinion about the job and the tool they are using.
- One who works as a tester, wants to be spoon fed and is not willing to spend time and energy in researching or finding the data by themselves.
- One who works as a tester, is the one who expects others to reply to their basic queries.
- One who works as a tester, is the one who is irritated with testers who are being testers.
- One who works as a tester, gets to management job as soon as possible, paving way for more people to work as a tester.
- One who works as a tester, never tolerates ones who are being testers.
- One who works as a tester, are more attracted to testing jokes than testing concepts.
- One who works as a tester, never accepts others view of testing, be it from a person who is also working as a tester.
- One who works as a tester, never know who coined the terminologies they have been mis using and never want to learn about their work too.
- One who works as a tester, ... "Oh my God! this list is getting too big".
- One who works as a tester, is a person who will never accept this post of mine.
"That's a sweet way to end it Pradeep" , I said to myself.On a contradiction, I am happy that there are people who are being testers in India -
- These people learn and experiment the concepts so well that, you ask them to write test cases for a software or a tubelight or anything, they will be able to do it without others help. Atleast they will make an effort.
- These people value money and testing equally. ( I would never say they value testing more than money, I want to be realistic and no hype)
- These people do enough search/research on their doubt before they post it on to a group. Such a tester is visible by the way he asks doubt - For example he/she asks - Subject - Query on XYZ concept - Body - Hi Testers, I was wondering about this concept after looking at ..... link .... I did some basic analysis but I seem to be not convinced, could anyone who has a belief that you can explain for me to understand can offer an explanation and I thank each of you for that.
- These people get irritated when they are with people who work as a tester.
- These people never stop learning, even if they become a Director or have their own start up.
- These people are not as fortunate as the most of so called testers, who work as a testers.
- These people remain... these people.
Its Judgment Day !
I still do respect those people who are working as a tester and trying to become a tester !
_ End of _ Being a tester v/s Working as a tester _
"I now have no doubts why the term "monkey, testing" came into the domain"
Thanks and Regards,
Note: Sorry for being so frank and bold.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
I need motivation to keep giving good articles in Tester Tested! Blog and recently there was a big push for me from someone in Finland. I would love to share that with you here.
Well, hopefully you have come back from that link and now get ready for something interesting and a very controversial topic.
"Now Pradeep what is that controversial topic and what do you mean by *Test your interviewer*?"
Hmm ! is it that interesting for you to read this post?
_ Test your interviewer _
Before I proceed further, I want to ask you a question and it is ..."How many interviews have you attended till date?" 10 or 20 or 40 or 50 ?
Is 50 a huge number for you to digest?. Well if 50 is a huge number, what would you call an experience of attending 200+ interviews?
Would you want to know who is that person who have attended 200+ interviews till date?
No guesses at all... Its me, Tester Tested!
"Now Pradeep, why did you have to attend 200 interviews in this short span of 3 years?"
That's an interesting question but there is a better time I explain why I did have to attend so many interviews but I am just sharing something with you that I noticed very frequently in interviews.
Based on the interviewers I have come across, I am classifying the interviewers in the following categories -
Interviewers who do not know what they are asking -
Every technical question in an interview is good if it reveals information about the candidate and his/her fit to the job opening but perhaps there are some interviewers who ask those questions based on their past experience of attending interviews and expect the same answer as what they gave in their interviews.
Interviewers who run out of questions -
There are some interviewers who run out of questions and start asking irrelevant questions or ask questions which does not contribute towards the objective of interviewing.
Interviewers who are unaware of the domain, the candidate has worked -
Unfortunately, this is something that irritates me the most and I am more happy to have got rejected by those. In an interview an interviewer asked me "Pradeep, what is the Load testing tool you use for testing multimedia?"
I replied "Sir, I guess there is nothing called load testing tool commercially available for multimedia product testing". He then surprised me ... "What, haven't you come across Load Runner?"
He could have asked me a better question instead of that which could have made me to continue respect him.
Keeping myself cool and with an intention of not disappointing him, I said "Oh, I have not come across Loadrunner for Multimedia Sir, I might check about that when I go back after this interview".
I would never join if I know well in advance that I cant learn anything from a supervisor, who interviewed me irrespective of the .
Interviewers who think they are interviewing a candidate because they are better than the candidate -
The most common class of people I have met. As an interviewer you should be looking for opportunities to learn from the candidate knowledge, else you are not a good tester.
Now it is time to thank all the interviewers I have met since each of them gave me a new learning and experience and if you dont want someone like me to classify you in any of the above, you should be ...
Simple steps to become an effective testing interviewer -
- When you get a resume for interview from your HR/Manager, go through the resume and check with yourself whether you can interview such a profile you have recieved and also do let your manager know your comfort level to interview the candidate based on your/candidate's technical skills.
- Every question you ask, should be towards the objective of revealing how fit the candidate's skill is towards the opening you have.
- Do not ask too much about theory on testing, no two people know the same definition.
- Have a discussion ( not rapid fire questions) and or try to test something with the candidate and see how his/her approach and thought process is towards the testing.
- Do not ask questions that do not have a standard answer in this world, like "What is the difference between Sanity and Smoke testing?" rather it would be challenging for the candidate, if you ask "If you know what Sanity testing is, could you tell me its significance or let me know what impact would a project have if Sanity testing is not done?"
- Appreciate the candidate if he/she is better than you and let him/her know that someone else would interview them to take a decision of hiring. If you say so, you are a non egoistic, humble and bold person.
- If you could learn from the candidate, make a note of the learnings during and or after the interview.
- Ask for interview feedback from the candidate and try to better yourself through the feedback. Not all candidates would give a proper feedback but there are many people like me.
- The most important of all, read Dr Cem Kaner's - Interviewing Software Testing Candidates .
_ End of _ Test your interviewer _
"A good tester, tests the interviewer"Thanks and Regards,