"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, April 12, 2007

FAQ's to my rescue

"Hi pradeep I want to add 2 years of fake experience in software testing field to get job. I am fearing about getting caught. What would you reccomend"

I have a podcast on fake experience and Indian testers. You might want to listen to the podcast to know the truth about faking experience in software testing or any other field for that matter and here is the link "Fake experience and Indian testers".

Everyone who adds a fake experience fears about being caught or feel guilty throughout their career and some unlucky ones are jailed. If you plan to add a fake experience, all you need to do is to decide whether you want to travel through your life with guilt and fear of being jailed or paddle smoothly as others who work hard do. Those who add a fake experience are those who indirectly admit that they dont have the brains that work and I pity their parents who think their son/daughter has brains that work. I ask one question to all those who plan to add a fake experience - Would you be happy if you come to know your father also did the same? (unless your father is a politician) You are the role model for your children and if this is what you do, don't expect your children to be any better than you!

If you still haven't listened to the audio link, you are missing something important.

"Pradeep, I am from India and want to know if there is a future in software testing. I am confused as some of my friends are saying software testing has no future"

I usually say, "There is a great future for software testing but not sure if there is a future to people who ask questions about its future"

Here is when software testing has no future:
  • When all of us decide to live with bugs that causes us not to perform some important tasks.
  • When all of us are ready to pay a huge amount to buy a product that has some issues.
  • When all of us are not bothered if the ATM delivers a 100 rupee note as compared to 1000 being deducted for the withdrawal.
  • When all of us decide to board a plane whose components have not undergone any testing.
  • When all of us are happy to see a online banking system take away all our heard earned savings because we hit the "delete" button by mistake.
  • When all of us as customers love bugs than the products in which it exists.
  • When all of us decide to pay for an anti virus software that doesn't catch any viruses but multiplies them.
  • When all of us are happy and ready to settle a bill that a software error generated and making our monthly rental for a mobile phone connection as 4594858 rupees.
  • When all of us decide that we don't buy or use software products in India.
  • When all of us decide to walk 100 miles a day and stand in a queue that has thousands of people waiting to book a ticket in a kiosk whose system crashed and is not recovering.
  • Maybe a zillion more things.
Its time for you to *think* and decide whether you have a future. Your friends do belong to the "all of us" category and you must be asking such questions to them. If you are passionate, you can create new business opportunities in this field even if it doesn't exist in your time. All it needs it critical thinking. If you aren't a good thinker then certainly there is no future for you in any of the field you work in. Time to look for a real good friendship!


"Pradeep i really have a doubt.....i had been in manual testing for the past 1.5 years...still not gone into Automated testing...I think u know the domain in which m in. People r really scaring me that u will never have future in manual testing...I really got pissed out ....If i like to move into automated testing....whats the stepping stone for it."

Hmm! What do you mean by "still not gone into automated testing"? There is no thumb rule that a tester is mandated to follow to shape his career. It's never like this:
First year of career - Manual testing
Next 3 years - Automation Tester - QTP
Next 3 years - Lead
Next 4 years - Manager
Next 2 years - Senior Manager
Next 2 years - Assistant Vice President

I infer that many people to my knowledge in North America do what they enjoy doing and many people to my knowledge in India do what others feel they would enjoy. I enjoy blogging and hence many testers do read, appreciate, learn and come back. I am not sure people would have enjoyed reading my blog had I wrote something with an assumption that if I didn't write about QTP, some testers might not come back or enjoy reading it, I would have been exposed as a fool.

If you enjoy what you do, you are set to be happy despite the failure you might face. If you do what you don't enjoy doing, you might be unhappy despite the success that you think has come to you.

"...recently i did software testing course from Infics Solutions.now i am trying to get job in the same field.i am attaching my resume with this mail. u plz go thru it...n plz suggest me, whether i can get job in testing field with the the technical skills n the background i have ????? coz in few companies...only B.E. candidates r preferred."

First, if you want to write to someone and expect them to respond to your e-mail, I recommend you to not use a chat style of writing. They might not take you serious and maybe you are repeating this because none of them pointed it out to you.

By going through your resume, I might not be able to say whether you can get a job in software testing but I might be able to say if I have discussions with you on testing if I am looking to hire someone. Your resume or profile is a set of claims that you make about your technical skills and knowledge. By going through the claims your technical skills or the knowledge you have in testing, cannot be quantified, in my opinion.

Also, you have undergone training from a training center that claims to teach testing and yet it appears to me that you aren't confident or skeptic about your chances of getting job in this field. Perhaps, you must help your juniors realize that such a kind of a training hardly helps you develop confidence or build your passion nor it helps you to get a job in software testing.

A good test team needs to be diversified with skills, background of a tester, knowledge... If a company is insisting on having only BE degree holders as candidates then probably they might re-consider their decision when they realize or discover the need to have candidates from different degree and science backgrounds. It is good to have someone who has worked on banking applications with a banking or finance degree in a testing team instead of all members of the team from computer science background.


" ... my boss asked me about automation testing, he wants to automate his projects, just coz he believes that lots of bugs can be found only by automation. can you help me?".


You want to automate things just because your boss feels automation could find a lot of bugs? Well, I don't know about your context, maybe your boss wanted to mean "We could find those bugs that can't be caught by manual computer assisted testing by automating those tests that can be automated".

If I were in your situation, I would point him out to this article written by James Bach to help him get much clear view on what idea I subscribe to about automation, and help him understand what it could do and what it can't.

I came to know from your e-mail that you do a web application testing and you might want to look into tools like WATIR / SAHI (developed by an Indian in Thought Works, Bangalore) and choose the one that suits you. Some commercially available tools like Winrunner or QTP might be less helpful for your project but many to my knowledge in India don't realize it because many people we find around us aren't testers but toolsmith.

"...Before I joined this company there wasn’t any employee specialized for testing, this job was done by developer itself. And even now some times the developers here underestimate testing sometimes...”.

As testers we shouldn't spend time looking who is respecting our profession but instead look for bugs that could build reputation for us within the organization. I happened to work with developers who were from premier universities like IISc and IIT who wondered if I who had studied from a not so premier university could find bugs in their code. Within a month their impression on me changed and they started calling me "crash specialist" and they started valuing testing as an important activity to better their development skills.

We talked about the crashes stories when we met recently and it was great fun on both sides. Probably, instead of waiting for the software testing craft to gain respect, people like you and me can help the craft get better respect by doing good testing.

"Is it necessary that the testers should have the knowledge of coding to do testing? I am really confused sometimes as I really feel I am in wrong profession. Can you advice?"

The necessity is based on the product and context you are working. Diversity is a very important aspect in software testing and I love to give an analogy of Jurassic park movie where we see raptors doing a coordinated attack for a healthy test team. When raptors need to hunt their prey, each of them takes a role - to corner the prey, to distract the prey, to launch a surprise attack...

Now, a healthy test team might comprise of a technology man, domain man, business behind the product - fellow, script wizard, explorer, bug hungry man, lateral thinker, logic analyzer ( man ), general system thinker, plan man, cooler ( man ), Sherlock Holmes and Watson, the inventor, the discoverer.

It's tough to look for all these qualities in one man and also tough to make such people to get together as a team or maybe there is a scarcity. As testers, we need to have skills of at least 3 of them to start off and as we practice testing, we might want to put more men into us.

For instance, you might already be a Bug Hungry Man but you should start growing yourself to a Bug Hungry Man + Sherlock Holmes + General Systems Thinker ... over a few years of experience.

You are also free to discard one or two of them if you feel you are strong with other men inside you. If your team already has a script wizard, you better develop yourself as other personalities. If you are in a team where there is a need of a script wizard despite all other personalities being present in the team, you develop the skill of scripting.

I feel safe most of the times, as I can always find someone who knows scripting but I did scripting in Perl for a couple of months when there was a need and I volunteered to be the script wizard for a while.

"problem that i am facing is that i don't get time to test as i am always busy preparing the metrics, reports, meetings which gives me goosbumps - i am not testing."

If you run Cost v/s Value in your mind and if you are training yourself to be a situationally aware person, you might not face such a problem. Instead of having a 2 hour meeting on what could be done for a customer who is expecting a report at the end of the day, it is better to do a few tests and find bugs that might help you in deciding what you could do by the end of the day.

Also, if you spend too much time calculating or preparing a metric sheet which otherwise could be spent in finding more important problems and have a report that is crisp and yet conveys the important information you might not run into problems or might clear such traps in testing.


Pradeep Soundararajan - pradeep.srajan@gmail.com - +91-98451-76817

"Pradeep's first language is not English--his first language appears to be testing." -- Michael Bolton

10 comments:

Arun said...

"I infer that many people to my knowledge in North America do what they enjoy doing and many people to my knowledge in India do what others feel they would enjoy"

Very true.. I met a few programmers in NY who joined a different bank because in Merrill Lynch they were asked to be managers and stop coding.

But its changing in India... slowly.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Arun,

But its changing in India... slowly.

We better be happy that the change is slow. Any big thing that happens overnight might be a bug :)

Vikram said...

"and you might want to look into tools like WATIR / SAHI (developed by an Indian in Thought Works, Bangalore)"

I have been reading you blog from 6 months , it is very well written.I also appreciate your quote about using tools like sahi...I have used this tool and it is very useful and effective and if enhanced could be competitor for other commercial tools, the reason why i am saying this is because some people think only commercial tools are the best but when i enhanced certain features and showed how good the tool is every one appreciated it... pradeep you have clearly told that many people "don't realize it because many people we find around us aren't testers but toolsmith".

I am really proud to see a tester like you and motivates me too.

Hats off to you ...please keep up the good work.

Regards
Vikram

Ben Simo said...

" ... my boss asked me about automation testing, he wants to automate his projects, just coz he believes that lots of bugs can be found only by automation. can you help me?".

Automation can find new bugs that are unlikely to be found by manual testing only if the automated testing does things that are unlikely to be done manually. The problem is that this is not how most people approach automation. They try to automate things that are better done by thinking human beings (as James Bach pointed out in his blog last summer).

Ben Simo said...

By going through your resume, I might not be able to say whether you can get a job in software testing but I might be able to say if I have discussions with you on testing if I am looking to hire someone. Your resume or profile is a set of claims that you make about your technical skills and knowledge. By going through the claims your technical skills or the knowledge you have in testing, cannot be quantified, in my opinion.

One of the problems I have with resumes is that people tend to focus on their technical knowledge instead of telling the reader the impact of their knowledge. Most of the resumes I see are difficult to differentiate. Nearly all the resumes I see list the same set of skills. However, when I talk to people, I see a wide range of skills and experience.

So what makes a resume stand out?

The resumes that stand out are those that not only list experience, but describe the value a person brought to a company or project. Don't tell me you know how to use all the latest tools and techniques. Tell me how your application of those tools and techniques brought value.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@ Ben,

Thank you!

Your point about resumes/profile is true to Indian context too.

You might be surprised why I said Indian context. Well, it's because there are a lot of things that differs from how we do and how you do.

Maybe, we see resumes as how you have mentioned because many people follow a template that was hosted in a website.

Golda said...

Hello,

I am working in Manual Testing field for past six months.My domain is telecom (ie) speech recognition.Can I continue in manual Testing ..whether there is future in manual testing field . I soon want to shift my job.plz suggest

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Golda,

I am surprised as to why you haven't realized that the question you asked has been answered in the above post.

If you still are looking for an answer... here it goes - There is definitely a great future in manual testing field but I am not sure if you have, if you continue doing it with an attitude like this

Many Indian testers to my knowledge spend most of their career time thinking about where they should go next than exploiting and learning from the current place they are.

Speech Recognition is a wonderful technology and if you are running a tool to do that or doing a poor manual testing, your customers might look for a better choice!

Ben Simo said...

@Pradeep

Your point about resumes/profile is true to Indian context too.

You might be surprised why I said Indian context. Well, it's because there are a lot of things that differs from how we do and how you do.


I'm not surprised. A majority of the resumes I see are from Indian immigrants to the USA. :)

l.likedbyall said...

Very informative Indeed. I thanks pradeep for sharing his knowledge with us.