"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.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Apology to my dearmost readers

I apologize to all my dear readers who shocked me with their comments when I announced that I wont be writing further in this blog because (some) Indian testers were plagiarizing (claiming themselves as authors and not owing credits to the author [ me] ) my posts and articles.

Each comment that I received played an important role in reconsidering my decision. Kindly excuse me for that. I am ashamed of my behavior and I understand that things are beyond my intuition because this is not my blog anymore but your blog and your blog will always be active as long as I am alive and I shall be alive for a long time because...

James Bach said, "You can't be killed, your destiny is to help testers"

Yours,

-- Pradeep Soundararajan

26 comments:

Philk said...

Very glad to read that you have reconsidered your decision and the blog lives on.
It must have been frustrating for you but think of it this way - what you write here those people thought was worth plagiarising

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@philk,

Thanks for your comment. I am aware that they liked it but owing credits isn't in their blood.

Chris said...

I'm glad you reconsidered, too. Make sure that every blog entry has a copyright notice on it, and, when you put them together for a book, they'll be seen to be the plagiarisers they are.

Cheers!

Ben Simo said...


1.6 Give proper credit for intellectual property.
Computing professionals are obligated to protect the integrity of intellectual property. Specifically, one must not take credit for other's ideas or work, even in cases where the work has not been explicitly protected by copyright, patent, etc.

- ACM Code of Ethics, adopted by the Association for Software Testing


To those that have stolen Pradeep's work and called it their own:

Taking another's work and calling it your own is disrespectful. Instead of honoring Pradeep for his wisdom and hard work, you are treating him contemptuously. People generally like to hear others pick up their ideas and spread them to others; but credit should be given to the source.

Pradeep puts his heart and soul into his work. He tests testers. He challenges us to think and become better testers. He blogs without charge. He clearly shares due to his love for the craft.

He is clearly a student of James Bach and Michael Bolton. Pradeep gives credit to his mentors. Please give Pradeep the same respect.

------------------

Pradeep:

I am thrilled that you have reconsidered. I look forward to your next post.

Ben Simo
QuestioningSoftware.com

Alejandro Betancur said...

Glad to read that you would keep writing amazing stuff!!!

As a latinamerican test manager, it is great to see the point of view of someone outside america, keep going.

I add you to gmail, to keep in touch.

Rosie Sherry said...

I knew you didn't really want to quit. Happy to see you changed your mind.

Debasis Pradhan said...

@ Pradeep,

I was desperately waiting for this post! My intuition kept telling me that it (this post) had to come soon. How could you stop writing on a subject, you like so much! Testing is in your blood and you can't live without it. Be it blogging about it, or anything else related to it.

You might remember that yesterday, although I had commented on your post (End of Tester Tested!?) I hadn't pinged you to talk more on it. It was because; I knew you were bound to reconsider your decision!

However, I am the *Happiest Tester* today to read this post and thanks a ton for making me happy! Keep blogging and keep rocking! By reading your yesterday's post I was most disappointed because I thought I had lost my inspiration for blogging! I was wondering on how to continue my own blog (Software Testing Zone) without my strongest inspiration!

Thanks again for reconsidering your decision. Keep shining in Testing World! Happy Testing...

Regards,
-Debasis,
(Software Testing Zone)

Victor said...

Pradeep, I can understand your feelings when you received your own work.
I was very sad yesterday when I read the article about giving up on writing here. Sorry for not replying yesterday, I had abusy day and after I got home I just went to sleep.
Now I am very happy that they convinced you, and I hope you will continue posting interesting things.

Good luck,
Victor

Rajesh said...

Pradeep,
You have been a inspiration behind many of the bloggers like me. I'm thrilled to hear that you're back and will continue to inspire folks like us.
Regards
Rajesh

Erkan YILMAZ said...

Good decision.

"Kindly excuse me for that. I am ashamed of my behavior"
More should follow this example.

"I am aware that they liked it but owing credits isn't in their blood."
When considering that recently was 15th August: that is a shame.

"... this is not my blog anymore but your blog ..."
hm, it seems I have lost the password for the blog - would you be kind to resend it ? ;-)

since you know I like to make jokes about death (I am knocking on wood so you live as long as possible):
"You can't be killed ..."
What happens if someone wants to test this, just to see if James is right ? :-)

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

What happens if someone wants to test this, just to see if James is right ? :-)

James has a BB gun to shoot down Raccoons that are pestering him in his new home, he'd shoot down the person trying to kill me.

Bhargavi said...

I was very much disappointed for sometime, when I came to know about the end of tester tested..but then I was cool( v cool to be frank:) ) coz I knew this will happen and that is why I did not post my comment even though you said that would be my last comment on your blog.
I even know that your passion will not let you stop doing that because helping people is your nature and you do everything by heart and not just for something else or for someone else.

I do understand your feelings..it hurts a lot when someone steals your things and that too when it is done after putting lots of efforts.
But I believe.."Truth never dies and Hard work pays".
You said someone copied your posts,changed the author's name and forwarded to many people in an organization.When a person recognized that the forward mail is your post and informed you, don't you think that one person is enough to tell others about the truth??
and What happens when people come to know the truth??
I think they(people who copied my articles, put their name as authors and forwarded that e-mail to their friends ) are popularizing your name indirectly.

So Just chill:)

PS:This is my first comment on your blog (I guess..)

Regards,
Bhargavi.

S.R. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mubbashir said...

Thank God, that you will keep helping testers, testers like me how are really looking up to you, who are really looking your journey as the Road Map to there success, who really wants to learn form you so that perhaps, one day they could change the perception of Testing in there local community as you have done for India!!

Thanks for Helping us, Thanks for reconsidering, Thanks for Bloging.

__
regards
Mubbashir.

lalit said...

I know Pradeep Such things really demotivates you. And they people dont know what exactly you and your work help us.
But I am happy to see you back.
We know your efforts and you are real Hero.


Lalit
Reader Tester Tested!

Shuchi said...

Pradeep,

I am a long-time reader of your blog and appreciate your efforts to help the testing community. Incidents of plagiarism can be extremely demotivating but that's a bitter offshoot of popularity - I hope that you emerge from this experience stronger.

Just curious why you emphasize that they were "Indian" testers when you talk of this, though - as if they were a more suspect species than "non-Indian" testers. Plagiarists may happen to be Indians, or not - why single them out based on their nationality?

Regards
Shuchi

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Shuchi,

Thanks for the comment and encouragement.


Just curious why you emphasize that they were "Indian" testers when you talk of this, though - as if they were a more suspect species than "non-Indian" testers. Plagiarists may happen to be Indians, or not - why single them out based on their nationality?


I respect your views but here is what I think: What I can't tolerate is the people to whom I want to serve the most disappointing me with the act of plagiarism. Blogging and cyber laws are new to the Indians and hence maybe this way they get educated about it, too.

Cem Kaner said...

I'm glad that you're back on blogging.

The plagiarism problem is very difficult. Most of my best work has been plagiarized. I see websites with my papers on them. I see professors' course sites using my slides without acknowledgment. I see my work in other peoples' books. The obvious cases are the straightforward theft of my text, word for word. The less obvious, but often more dangerous cases are reuse of key ideas that I brought to the field without attribution.

I am particularly miffed by people who plagiarize my course notes (www.testingeducation.org/BBST). We give these away for free. People are welcome to reuse them for free. All they have to do is leave James Bach's and my name on them. But a remarkable number of people take them, edit out our copyright notice, take our names off the slides and reuse them.

It is not realistic to expect that most of the plagiarism will be caught or that most of the people who pass off other people's work as their own will be exposed. Look at all the horrid managers (and professors) who rose by pirating the work of their subordinates (or students).

There are a few things we can do:

1. There are plagiarism-detection services, such as turnitin.com and mydropbox.com. Teachers use these to check the integrity of essays and projects they receive. Editors use them to decide whether to accept papers for publication. (The majority of papers submitted to the Journal of the Association for Software Testing were plagiarized--as editor, I will not accept new papers from those authors.) Authors can use plagiarism checkers to see who is copying their work and posting it to the web or to other checker-accessible articles. And lawyers can use these tools to prove theft.

As these gain more access to the professional literature, they can be more powerful detectors of copied work. Archives of documents that sit behind a password are unreachable by the plagiarism-checker. So, if you put your content out to the web and want it to be visible to a plagiarism-checking tool, it has to be open to the world (with no password). Aggregator sites like stickyminds would do their authors a big favor by opening access to their content, making money from advertising rather than from subscription. (I cannot say whether this would be more profitable for them, just that it would be much better for the field's intellectual integrity.)

The main professional societies have not yet reached agreements with the plagiarism-checking tools to allow the tools access to the online journals. For example, it is easy to plagiarize from IEEE journals without getting caught, because the services cannot get to the IEEE databases--yet. The IEEE is one of many examples of the same problem. Authors and editors should be putting pressure on their professional societies to open access to their publications to plagiarism-checking tools, in order to help their authors protect their intellectual property and to save their editors countless hours.

2. Once you catch plagiarism, the next step is to decide what to do with it. As a teacher, I flunk students who plagiarize. As an editor, I refuse to accept papers from people who have previously submitted plagiarized work to me. But as an author, sometimes I send takedown notices to plagiarists' websites, but in many cases (with non-US servers), those notices are ignored. In many U.S. cases, I choose not to send complaints because the ill will they would generate exceeds whatever value I might get from the protection. In a few of those cases, I have stopped interacting with the person who I feel is stealing my work--but that becomes a private matter. If it turned public, people would see it as a personal feud and that would damage my reputation as much as the other person's (or more). So, most of the time, as an author, I just sigh and try to ignore it.

3. Letting thieves silence you is the worst result, for you and for the public.

4. In my experience, people are more likely to credit you for work published in traditional publications, like books. Perhaps you should be thinking about how to turn a compendium of your ideas into book form.

-- cem

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Dr Cem Kaner,

Its very emotional moment for me to see your comment on my blog. I am very grateful to you for spending your valuable time here.

I am more disappointed that your work is being plagiarized, too. I pray God that you get credits for your work.

As you suggested I have already started off with writing books and I am sure to win my credits back that were stolen from me because the plagiarized posts of mine would be covered in the book with a special mention on plagiarizing incidents that happened with those articles.

A special thanks to God!

Ajoy Kumar Singha said...

Pradeep,

We are glad that you are back with your posts. Keep posting interesting works.

RAVI said...

Hey if all professors stop teching by thinking they are dupicating hic lucture then none of the fellow's in the earth. Keep going no bady can take place of gold but there are so many gilty one.

Cem Kaner said...

Pradeep:

You said:

"As you suggested I have already started off with writing books and I am sure to win my credits back that were stolen from me because the plagiarized posts of mine would be covered in the book with a special mention on plagiarizing incidents that happened with those articles."

Are you writing for yourself or for your readers? Do you really think your readers will care about who plagiarized what article?

I don't think that this solution will work. I think a lot of readers will be unsympathetic. I think a lot of people don't understand that what they are doing is plagiarism and more of these people come into the field every day. I think a lot of people do understand what they are doing and will ignore your complaints.

Second, I also think that it's important to choose how a person spends his or her credibility. Do you want people paying more attention to what you say about testing or to what you say about other people taking your work?

Third, I think it's important to decide where to spend emotional energy. It's easy to be angry and to stay angry about people abusing my work. The anger feeds on itself. But if it doesn't help me be more productive in my work or more supportive of my family, students or staff, what good is it? Should I let myself be distracted by bad things done by people who I don't know, who I wouldn't associate with (or by other people who I do know and who are no friends of mine)?

I have only allowed myself to be angry and stay angry about one person's abuse of my work--but even though I think this person deserves my contempt, it has probably limited my options and cost me more in other ways than any retribution could be worth. I would be a better person if I could get past that emotional involvement.

There's value in seeking my own center instead of being controlled by people who invite my irritation.

There might be things you can do at a system-wide level--impersonal things that trigger less emotion but that reduce the broad, future probability of theft.

But beyond that, compare some costs and benefits.

(a) How much do you gain from spending time attacking people who steal some of your credit?

(b) How much do you gain from spending time creating new work and adding new value to the profession?

When I ask that question of myself, (b) outweighs (a) by a lot.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Dr Cem Kaner,


Are you writing for yourself or for your readers? Do you really think your readers will care about who plagiarized what article?

I am writing for a bigger audience and one of the books I am writing that I have named it as Testing Stories from India would cover different aspects of testing happening in India. For instance, I talked about the Fake experience with some Indian testers and the feedback that I got from people listening to it suggests that they are encouraged that at least someone is guiding them towards a better (safe) career in testing.

Plagiarism, would be one such I would want to attack because it would help the community to get healthier. If the book can make 3 people to do not do it, I win!

Second, I also think that it's important to choose how a person spends his or her credibility. Do you want people paying more attention to what you say about testing or to what you say about other people taking your work?

I could be wrong but to help myself get the attention of people from different backgrounds and experiences, it is important to talk about a wide variety of topics and yet keep the focus on what I intend to talk about testing effectiveness associated with it.

Third, I think it's important to decide where to spend emotional energy. It's easy to be angry and to stay angry about people abusing my work. The anger feeds on itself. But if it doesn't help me be more productive in my work or more supportive of my family, students or staff, what good is it? Should I let myself be distracted by bad things done by people who I don't know, who I wouldn't associate with (or by other people who I do know and who are no friends of mine)?

I initiated a project that made news in the media for a couple of days. The project was featured in newspapers and TV news channels in India and it won great appreciation from people in India because it was timely and solved a problem that they were bothered about. However, *someone* did take it away from us ( me and my team ) and at least I was left a pauper ( without job and money) .I did get too emotional and today I am happy that I learned an important lesson after that incident. I have very little to lose today as compared to what I consider as my biggest loss in terms of money and position.

There's value in seeking my own center instead of being controlled by people who invite my irritation.

There might be things you can do at a system-wide level--impersonal things that trigger less emotion but that reduce the broad, future probability of theft.


This point helps me understand to refine my ways of doing things.

But beyond that, compare some costs and benefits.

(a) How much do you gain from spending time attacking people who steal some of your credit?

(b) How much do you gain from spending time creating new work and adding new value to the profession?

When I ask that question of myself, (b) outweighs (a) by a lot.


(b) outweighs (a) for me, hereafter.

I challenge myself here to come out with the best for the profession than to fight people who do not deserve to be fought by me and yes, what I would do, depends on context :)

Thank a lot dear Sir!

S.R. said...

i just saw my comment.. i want to leave a small correction "i'm not as experienced as you are" sorry

Pras said...

Pradeep,

I just stand here saying WOW....at your blog. I was actually hiring some testers for one of my client in San Francisco and guess what your name came up while that fellow was explaining something...and I told this guy ..know what?..Pradeep is my college buddy and this fellow freaked out...I am so happy for you man. I am glad you continue to blog.You are doing a great job.

Prasaath

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Prasaath,

In typical style, "Thanks Machi". I grew up competing with people like you, so you have played a role in this journey.