"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.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Test your e-mail

Hi Reader,

"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 -

Hello Team,

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.


Unskilled Tester

Disadvantages of the above draft -

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The tester failed to give details that are available in the report he has attached with the e-mail he is sending.
  5. The tester failed to realize that he is putting himself into trouble by not mentioning the limitation of his testing.
  6. The tester failed to mention the impact of the bugs on the quality of the product and the customer.

Skilled Tester -

Hi Team,

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,

Skilled Tester

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,

Pradeep Soundararajan



Anonymous said...

Good one pradeep
I would also liek to comment on the report.

Testers while reporting a bug has to take care about his statement. Some testers document the bugs in such a way that the time taken to understand the report if mroe than the time require to fix a bug.

Kumar SK said...

hey man you are a psychologist I guess. All your articles are so beatifully written and does help me as a tester. I might even consider you as my role model.

Great going pradeep ji

Anonymous said...

thanks for highlighting a new skill that a tester shoudl learn despite working hard. i am impressed with your posts and this blog for testing is doing good to a lot of testers in my company

Anonymous said...

Hey dude,

This hold's true in a normal situation.

How would you react if you have an out of the blue release with no damn time to compose an email eliciting the fact's.


Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Hi S,

That is an interesting question to the context explained above.

How would you react if you have an out of the blue release with no damn time to compose an email eliciting the fact's>

Now, I understand from the above that there is no time or rather impossible deadline of composing a mail with the details.

Let me take an example to write the same mail of what the *skilled tester* has written above.

Hi Team,

Please find the report for the "out of the blue" release, as an attachment to this mail.

Please be informed that there is a separate page in the attachment which has 10 critical bugs found out of very hard work.


Same skilled tester

Now, he still conveyed the same but crunching it ASAP ( As Short As Possible )

Did that meet you?

Victor said...


Again, nice post.

About no time to write an email about the launch:

If I have no time to compose an email about the state of the product I test, I simply write the following mail (and even if you don't believe me, I would really write something like that :)):


I think this should be postponed because the time was so short I have no time to even write a correct email with my conclusions.

I would need another 2-3 hours to compile an email with my conclusions on the product and make a go - no go proposal.

If you still want to go ahead and launch it, I attached the file with the bugs found during the testing.

The file contains just the bugs, it has no coverage estimates, no estimation of the product behavior, no potential risks detailed.

Thank you,


Ajoy Kumar Singha said...

Hi Pradeep,

Nice post. Keep it up man.

pushpinder said...

Hello Sir!!
I am Pushpinder(fresherMCA-2007)& feeling Very much inspired & moraly supported after reading your article. I admire your efforts & hardwork, because i was feeling depressed aftr attempting only 15 companies, but after reading your article i am now again ready for new struggle.
Sir, what i think that your article is a power-tonic for freshers and to gain some intervew senses neccessary for all freshers. And to become a Tester instead of working as a tester.
Thanx alot! sir!!

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Thank you Pushpinder!

Nagie said...

Feels very great that I am also a part of Tester Tested for reading the posts..

Someday of my life I want to work with so knowledgeable person like you.