"Some birds aren't meant to be caged, their feathers are just too bright"- Morgan Freeman, Shawshank Redemption. This blog is from one such bird who couldn't be caged by organizations who mandate scripted software testing. Pradeep Soundararajan welcomes you to this blog and wishes you a good time here and even otherwise.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Testing like Osama

Hi Reader,

Well, I did want to mean "Disastrous Testing" when I wrote "Testing like Osama", sorry if you could not grasp it. Its perhaps been the longest time interval between two posts ( just 10 days though ) because of me doing some interesting testing stuff @ work.

In this post, I would want to share one of the shocking experience I have had while observing a Tester at work

_ Testing like Osama _

It was hard to digest lot of work, sometime back in one of the companies I have worked for. I thought of easing myself sitting with my colleagues to observe the way they work. Seriously, I did want to learn something from them and I did, but ...

Mr A was a Test Tool Developer/Tester and I sat beside him for a while to observe his way/style of work. ( of course, after seeking his permission )

He kept on executing the cases as a focused tester . It was time I had seen enough of his style and was about to leave..... something caught my attention and I still cant digest the shock I had that day.

He was testing a mobile phone's multimedia feature and one such feature is to download an mp3 song from the server and play it on the phone.

What he did ?

He did not know the settings to be made on the mobile phone in order to connect to the server and hence downloaded a song from his PC via USB and was playing the mp3 file in order to execute that case.

My surprise did not stop there ...

He played the entire song and by all manual mistakes he marked the next case in the list as Pass.

Wow ! He read a case, executed someother case and declared a "Pass" for some other case.

This is a classic example of destroying the quality of the product and I am sure I can never come across such a worst scenario of Testing and probably missing out 3 bugs at a time for every test case executed.

When I tried to make him realize his mistake by letting him know what he had done ... he said .. "Dude, relax, go back to your place" ... "This test case execution has come to me because you and the other guy were unable to complete the test cases in the given time".

What I learnt seeing that ?
  • If you do not know how to test a case, do not find a work around for that.
  • If you do not have the energy to test something, at least at that point of time, take a break and ensure you come back only when you can deliver better quality of work.
  • If you are unable to execute all the cases in the given time, do not manipulate test reports/data.
  • It could be possible that your manager is disappointed that you did not execute some cases because you ran out of time but ensure every test case you have tested does ensure the product's quality.
  • Managers do not look at people who have taken strain to execute each test case with care and keep appreciating the ones who completed the test cases on time, without knowing they have done some wonders like Mr A.
  • Test cases executed by one should and must be verified by someone else too before making a major release to a client/customer.
  • Putting pressure on Testers, without motivating them will result in missing 3 bugs for every test case executed.
  • Mistakes can happen, it is better to select cases randomly and re-execute it before we give our individual test reports.
  • Managers, do not estimate the time that needs to be go in to test and produce a quality

I recently heard a shocking news from the same person when he called me up and told "Hey dude, I have been promoted"...

"Shit, for what ?" ... I was so disappointed by that news that I cried. There were other testers in my team who were worth a promotion. What's going wrong in this industry ? Why is all this happening ? Will things change or should we too change the way the industry likes us to be ?

I am clear that the day I am in a position to command, I shall spend time with Testers ... motivating them , making them realize the importance of a test case and would hire 2 extra testers at the cost of my salary to ensure Testers get time to meet quality standards.

Sorry if I have got emotional, as a passionate Tester, I am unable to bear the pain after seeing people not passionate about testing and yet continuing with testing.

__End of _ Testing like Osama __

Trust me, I feel Osama bin Laden has some good testing skills. When he did architect the attack on WTC .. he took into account the fuel on the plane and the heat needed to bring down the building by melting the TOR steel. He is a Civil Engineer.. hope you know that ?

If you are a good Tester, you learn from Osama too ... if not even Kem Caner, James Bach , Jerry Weinberg nor Tester Tested can make you learn.

"Firing such testers is a golden contribution to Testing community"


Pradeep Soundararajan

Disclaimer : This post is to let out my personal fury against the incident I witnessed, since I feel I am passionate about testing and I respect Testing.There is no confidential info I have let out here and I am not holding any company/organization responsible for anything that has happened. I should also thank that incident, since after that I am taking utmost care to ensure I have executed the right case and I am marking the result against the same. To learn testing books are not the only source, roam around the world.. when you return home you would be a better tester. I wish someday I write "Mr A has realized his mistake and today is a competent passionate tester".


Ramanujam manchikalapudi said...

I was really surprised by reading the feature of "OSAMA".Even the lineance exists in the s/w community keeping the quality at a stake.
Ramanujam manchikalapudi.

Serene said...

hey pradeep
cheer up!!!!!!man
its not the case with the testing only.......there will be so many case in the development too.......we cant help it....because these type of people exist everywhere.....

Mallikarjun Reddy said...

Hey Serene, If devels do such things Testers need to find those things (Testers are paid for that) But if Testers do their job in such a way it results in bad quality product and nothing else.

Mallik (http://codeinspections.blogspot.com)

Jaans said...

Hey, now i remember when u were telling me this incident. Its every where man. Cool down, Prad. I would like to add few more points...

* Testers should be given some time for scenario testing.
* rotate the features every cycle among the testers. So that u would not miss much bugs, before shipping ur product.

I m sending u my Tech Paper right now ;)


Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Do you read my blog? and comment too? interesting.

Well as a tester someday you have to come here, if not today, am confident.

Its easy to talk "Testers should be given more time" but they are the ones given short notice to test and for a release.

If I cool down, you wont see changes in testers when you become a test manager, hence I better stay with burning fire to curb such things.

Jaans said...

I appreciate ur confidence... but it appears to be over confidence for my eyes.
All the very best with ur FIRE. (ur fingers should be burning now to reply back ;)

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


yes it was burning, I smoked a cigar few mins back which burnt one of my finger.

No one ever is able to quanitfy confidence and over confidence but for sure it is your ego that is unable to accept my statement.

Mind it, I did not mention over-ego.

EklecticTester said...

Its "Cem Kaner" ... not Kem Caner :-)

Shrini Kulkarni said...

I dont see any real connection between Osama bin laden and Your friend and the whole theme of this post. What your friend did was a mistake that anyone in his place to get his quota of test cases done in a day. You did right thing by asking him to revisit the approach to testing audio feature. He did not listen to you. Fair enough. What this has to do with osama? Are you frustrated that he got promoted?

Your statement that "You would hire two testers at the cost of your salary to help testers to do quality job" - looks not convencing and statement lacks the meat.


Pradeep Soundararajan said...

you said "What this has to do with osama? Are you frustrated that he got promoted?"

This has nothing to do with osama but I wanted to commit a mistake in thinking this way -> Osama attacked US and invited trouble for the whole Afghan and I hope such Osama's in testing, do not invite trouble for India.

Yes, I was frustrated that he was promoted. You expect any passionate tester ( including you as per your claims) to enjoy someone who is not worth the promotion getting it despite others who are worth it being deprived of it?

you said "looks not convencing and statement lacks the meat."

What do you mean by *it lacks meat*?

If it is not convincing you, is there a only possibility that *the post is not meaningful*?

Anuj Sharma said...

-->Test cases executed by one should and must be verified by someone else too before making a major release to a client/customer

How are you supposed to do that? How can someone verify the test cases executed??? Do you expect him to verify that each and every step was executed?? Please clarify..

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Anuj Sharma,

You brought to light the thing I wanted to delete. That was my old idea and you could see the date. In just a couple more days, you wont see this blog post and I would credit that to you :)