"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, July 11, 2006

Are you the good tester ISRO needs?

Hi Reader,

You must have heard the news about ISRO's GSLV that failed to even cross the stratosphere. Its a joy for Indian media who project this as a failure of ISRO but as a Tester, I can see the need of a good tester for ISRO. ( if missing )

This rocket was carrying a communication satellite that could cater Direct to Home TV and as any other true Indian, I too wished we get the news that our BOY is doing well up there, unfortunately it didn't happen.

It is a loss of 256 crore INR. "Oh my God! the tax money I paid was in flames :( ".

Now let us start thinking smart, if at all we can think smart...

_ Are you the good tester ISRO needs?_

This loss of rocket, satellite, money, hopes and moreover efforts from lot of scientists is painful.

Let us analyze the problem that may would have happened - facts first -

#1 - ISRO sources said "this was the first time a vehicle had crashed at the first stage"
#2 - "There seems to be a mishap in the first stage separation. Things have gone wrong," ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair said at a press meet after the incident ( accident, if you may want to call it as)
#3 - There was a delay and there was a postponement in the take off due to a so called minor problem and that minor problem was - One of the pumps with the cryogenic fluid had opened and failed to re-seal. A team had to be sent to close it and ensure that all parameters were normal before the lift-off.

Well are the above facts enough to analyze the situation?

Not at all, we need tons of data that was collected by the telemetry deployed in the rocket but unfortunately public do not have access to that data. As a tester, I would want to look at it but even if I have a solution for their problem, they wont allow me inside.

If a good tester was allowed inside ISRO -

1) When a minor problem of re-seal failure was detected at the last moment, chucking out time constraints and considering the loss if the rocket fails, a good tester would have asked the personnel to do a thorough check once more. ( Regression testing as some stupids may call it as)

2) I am pretty sure, simulation would have been used to test prototypes/pilots and after this incident, a good tester would want to re look at missing requirements of the simulation engine, design defects and carry forward a rigorous testing on the simulation software and of course, give a report on it.

3) A good tester, would guide other scientists there to concentrate equally on upper stages for the next launch and not to get biased by the failure of the first stage.

4) A good tester, would not blame a department or lab of ISRO but would come out and say "Hey guys it is time to share the learning across organization" and would have stressed on different teams and labs discussing the problems -

a) How they found the problem?
b) How they analyzed the problem?
c) Their experience of solving such problem?

5) A good tester, would want to focus more on integration testing as a ROCKET is the most complicated system because of zillion parts getting integrated to form one.

"The only limitation is your imagination".....

_ Are you the good tester ISRO needs?_

If I have to speak from heart, this is what I would say -

1) 99% of the engineers here do not want to join organizations like ISRO, DRDO and take up these challenges, All they want is to test some shit and they do not do that well finally.

2) We are nasty people, we keep asking each other "is there a future for testing, will we get good pay?". We know nothing better than this to ask about testing !

3) We join orkut communities, Yahoo groups, Google groups, Testing forums - a) to look at job postings b) to check which certification course is good for us c) To make friends to send our resume d) Spam- Forward so called funny mails about testing d) Confuse people with our little knowledge and humongous ego e) Honestly, we do a lot of bull shitting.

4) The base for all this to happen is we do not want to think and rely on spoon feeding. I am irritated about some of us here posting messages in a group which has hell lots of members, because one such among many is .... "I have been asked to test a CD for xxxx testing, Let me know as soon as possible how can I do it?" - Ah ! I can't tolerate it. Moreover, to irritate myself, I see the same person posting the same question in 20 different groups, getting 400 different answers and finally gaining nothing.

When I questioned one such guy, he has to say "I will take the most favorable answer".

Well Well Well, time to think to all those who have been reading this...

I have done such mistakes, I admit, also I have realized and come out of it.
Do I need to mention again that, I too have contributed to the nation quitting my high paying MNC job without expecting a return as I have already mentioned in one of my previous posts ?

I am not expecting you people to quit your job and do such things but whatever you are doing, do it with passion else ... else ... I still cant do anything to you !

"You can see bugs fly higher than you, if you miss them during testing a rocket"
Pradeep Soundararajan
Disclaimer: I do not mean all people do the things that I have told from my heart but you too must agree most of us do it. The facts given above regarding the rocket incident are taken from an article from Times of India news and I did not add any flavor to it. I am not trying to sound that I am Mr Perfect but it is such people who are making me feel because of their repetitive silly mistakes. Don't make me feel so, is my request !
Message to Madhavan Nair : "Sir, Do not worry, someday, soon, we can make ourselves super powers in space. Lot of passionate and good testers are on the upcoming in India and Yes, we will join ISRO"


Tanveer said...

Great post man. You are a genius and of course by sharing the knowledge, your aspects and your view to other will definitely bring revolution to the testing community.


mysorean said...


Great thoughts! If atleast 10% of Indians begin to think this way then we are bound to be a better country!

Kudos to your action of quitting some MNC job and getting into serving the nation! Hats off!

Please keep up the good work! Our country needs people like you!

your fan said...


You are one class of an expert I have come across. I simple have no words in my dictionary to describe how happy I am to see a young person like you having a beautiful thinking and a great vision for the whole nation.

I wish to meet you !

Tarik Sheth said...

Another Piece of Great Post..yes.. Passion pays it all...
Inspiration to all...
keep up the good work..

the one who mailed you reg mobile testing - S.Kumar said...

hey pradeep,

your views about orkut and other groups is one hundred percent correct.

i also notice that western country people do not keep discussing about jobs and other stuff that has been under discussion in yahoo groups and communities.It is the population of India that is making people go mad to get into something and survive themselves and very few like you want to contribute to the testing community.

I am sorry that I am not able to post a comment on each post of yours. I should say all deserve great comments. I am very impressed about your efforts in writing so much and so well.

As others have appreciated you I also want to appreciate you.

No one has told you this and I am first telling - HERO Prdeep

Anonymous said...

Hello Pradeep,
Your thoughts are really good. I am not speaking only about this blog, I have read many of your blogs and I appreciate you way of thinking.
An info to the readers Pradeep is a member of many of the orkut groups where he replies to majority of the queries posted.

Pradeep you are doing a great contribution to the testing community, you can take time to reply to all mails and messages sent to you thats something surprising.

Hats off to you HERO.

Shrini Kulkarni said...

you are mixing up too many things -
Patriotism, ISRO kind of R&D and Software testing.

While I appreciate your passion to serve the nation and whole message of linking this with testing and software testing is rather ODD. I take pride in Testing and I am passionate tester - not the one who posts in 200 groups and gets nothing. I may not be as passionate as you to join ISRO and DRDO - but will that make me a person to do shit job (i hate to use such things in blogs)- no.

All that you mentioned about ISRO rocket launch and parallism to software testing - is totally misplaced. you said that "A good tester would have guided a scientist -- " Whos this tester - qualified enought to GUIDE a scientist like Abdul Kalam, Raja Ramanna, Kasturi Rangan -- you are mistaken. you are making your passion to flow in a wrong direction. Slow down. There somethings that a good tester can add value. Using the words like Regression testing, integration testing in ISRO and DRDO kinds of orgs - would an insane act. Do you think those scientist are stupids and a tester (with MCA or some commerce degree )would have helped them to find the fault.

In order to be a tester with Research labs like ISRO - you need to have necessary qualifications and aptitude.

your call to all tester to join ISRO is like asking all cricket fans to go play for Team india - they are all passionate, know the game, love it, some can even die for it. Can anyone go and teach Sachin how to bat?

Why is that those scientist missed requirements in simulations? Is it that they did not have testers? It looks surprising to me that an estimed org like ISRO did not have people who can do it. Mr Kalam are you listening?

To end - it is good to be indian, it is good to be a Tester (software or otherwise), it is good to be even join ISRO - but all this story has all disparate peices that do not gell together.


Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Hi Shrini,

You exhibited a way of looking at this post, which i expected, not many to take it that way.

you said "you are mixing up too many things -
Patriotism, ISRO kind of R&D and Software testing"

Why do you have an opinion that these things cannot be mixed together?

you said "Whos this tester - qualified enought to GUIDE a scientist like Abdul Kalam, Raja Ramanna, Kasturi Rangan"

Of course, another Hon APJ Abdul Kalam, Raja Ramanna, Kasthuri Rangan. Should testers not reach this level?

And, why did you not think, it can be you, if you are confident to coach the scientists in testing?

you said "Using the words like Regression testing, integration testing in ISRO and DRDO kinds of orgs - would an insane act"

Why not? Where in this world did you find anything that says *Regression testing cannot be used for something other than software*

Can you validate *why it would be an insane act?*

you said "Why is that those scientist missed requirements in simulations? Is it that they did not have testers? It looks surprising to me that an estimed org like ISRO did not have people who can do it. Mr Kalam are you listening?"

Scientist, does never mean, someone, who does not miss requirements or is a perfectionist.

you said "but all this story has all disparate peices that do not gell together."

Is the story a failure if it does not gell together with the pieces with which it is formed?

I recieved couple of mails after this post that todays *testers* do want to contribute to such a thing and would be considering ISRO at some point of their career.

Now, despite the story being a failure, I was contended of having provoked the passion among a few testers to join ISRO.

I remember you mailed me that "Pradeep -- gone through your blog ...

Pretty interesting .... will read all your posts when I get time. Looks like we two have lots of similarities ..."

What learnings of your's changed the similarities we had. Could you please share it with me in order to help me become a better tester?

Anonymous said...

hey this is my view

You make a very good analysis of things and if you have writtin this and it shows you must have thought and I too agree.

Other posts are expectionaly good and inspiring for every tester

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Shrini Kukarni in the above comment said "Using the words like Regression testing, integration testing in ISRO and DRDO kinds of orgs - would an insane act. Do you think those scientist are stupids and a tester (with MCA or some commerce degree )would have helped them to find the fault."

And to surprize him, have a look at the latest report given by Madhavan Nair and FAC ( Failure Analysis Committe) - http://www.hindu.com/2006/09/07/stories/2006090700941300.htm

Well guys, something escaped in acceptance testing and that was the cause of this failure.

Now Shrini, why did Madhavan Nair use the word "acceptance testing"? As per your views, it would be insane right?

Anyhow Shrini, it was a learning experience and thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pradeep,

Your post on the rocket testing is good,but i have my own apprehensions about the post.

In your post you talked about lack of good testers in orgs liks ISRO and DRDO to test comprehensively and give results.

I dont think those institutions are that careless about the quality.

If something fails that does not necessarily imply that there are no sound testing practices and methodologies in place.

I will justify that with an example from S/W industry.Consider a project that is comprehensively testing methods and released into production and in production environment the customers raises some bugs..does that mean the that the project is not tested by good tester,there can be 100 different reasons for production bugs,and please donot forget that even testing has its potential risks and these risks cannot be completely eliminated but can be effectively mitigated.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for your apprehension. Could you please go through http://www.hindu.com/2006/09/07/stories/2006090700941300.htm

where Mr Madhavan Nair says something was missed in acceptance testing.

This post was not to complain that there are no good testers in ISRO but to say that lots of people who look job as testers should also consider organizations like ISRO.

I feel sad that you got it wrong !

Anonymous said...

One thing sure we Indians are missing is Patriotism and passion, we fight with each other and call it as survival of fittest. This is the story I heard when I was 5yr old.. Here it goes. There were three jars with frogs in it. First jar was tightly closed and it has frogs from Japan, second jar was open and it has frogs from India and the third jar had frogs from china and it was also tightly closed.. so an onlooker questioned why the jar which contains frogs from India open and other two jars closed... the answer is that if one frog tries to jump out of the jar with struggle other frogs from china and Japan will help it whereas if an Indian frog tries to jump also other frogs will pull its leg hence no frog will be able to jump out of the jar...

The Morale is that though it might be relevant (for shrini) or not at least someone is there who thinks differently. Coz a drop makes a lot of difference when collected together similarly a small thought can make a lot of difference.

Why we should not work towards it. Why we have to import so much of defense related machinery from other countries. Why we do not have talent in India???.

Anonymous said...

Hi dear, i am not an engenier nor a tester.i am a medico guy. But is really imperesed by your thought. To make it work you first need to change indian pupil. And that can only be done by removing those silly pupil governing india.we need a revolution like independance to change india.

Prasanth P R said...

Good tester in software will be different from as good tester in ISRO. In order to test a rocket you need to a sicentist.
You simply told that, you cud have done regression or integration. Definitely ISRO do the inportance of testing, and testing is done there too.
This incident is slipage from testing, or even test team may not have anticipated or tested.

I dint find anything useful in your latest article. Eventhugh i liked your previous writings.

Prasanth P R said...

I am really sorry, if you think there is no testing ISRO. It is really stupid to think so.

Nagasai said...

Testing, ISRO, DRDO, Government, Knowledge, Research, Responsibilities etc. Uncles, I am reading all these things in the above blog which I don’t understand. My teacher never told me what a scientist means, where do we use area of square formula in our daily life. All that I was said that read this and you will get good marks you will go up in life. You will become a great person in society if you study well.
I don’t understand how we become great persons or scientists by studying these unknown formulas without knowing how practically they relate to us.
I don’t know what a P for Police do, L for Lawyer do, and don’t know what my uncle who is a software engineer (Testing) do in his office. My parents say you should become like your uncle, so study well.
When I ask my parents, teacher or my uncle what does he do in office to become a great person, I ll get a line answer “You don’t understand at this age”.
My brother studies Trigonometry formulas daily to write an engineering entrance exam. But he doesn’t know what he would do after becoming a engineer, he don’t know what are the roles and responsibilities of an engineer is. But want to become an engineer because father said, teacher told. So he starts thinking about it his job after becoming an engineer.
Only some people may try to know what they are doing and why they are doing, so they become APJ Kalam etc etc. But kids like me don’t know anything about this society. We only study social books for marks. Don’t know to whom we should complain to fix a municipal problem in the street or what our basic rights in the society are.
We were never thought about anything practically what’s bad in the society and how should we behave to make it good.
We were busy with homework, Unknown formulas and Exams ( Class 1st , 2nd …..) that’s it.
Then how come you big uncles expect us to become without knowing anything about the stuff which you are talking about and make India a great power .
Because tomorrow we are coming into the society same like you. Don’t worry we will also try to motivate people by writing similar kind of blogs without finding the route cause of the problem.

8 th class :-)