Yesterday I spoke to Jon Joseph from Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India. He has at least 4 times more experience than I. He had owned a software development company prior to 2002 and now works as a Senior Test Engineer in a company that develops e-publishing software. He will be coming down to Bangalore to attend my upcoming session on 29th September.
It was a great experience to listen to his appreciation of my blog and the impact this blog has made to his life. He having developed software as a start up and has had experience as a Lead for Java based products switched to testing after reading my blog (not because I convey that message).
That's not my achievement, it's his own but maybe what I helped him and he said; "my work and thoughts have got a lot better and your blog is something that I worship".
Well, if that seems too hard for you to believe here is what Michael Bolton said last week: If a test passes in a forest, and no one sees it... and James Bach quoted that line that Michael liked from my blog in Nationwide Insurance Conference in the United States, the same day.
That makes Pradeep a great tester!
Now, here are things that helped Pradeep (that's me) realize he isn't a great tester and Pradeep also wanted to share it with his readers because -- after listening to people who have been impacted by his passion, coaching and blogging, he felt responsible to let all of them know that I fail and I struggle just as they do.
I took up the BBST Foundations online course offered by Dr Cem Kaner, Scott Barber and Jon Hagar from Association for Software Testing in the United States of America. I miserably failed the course, in my opinion, and thankfully the reviewers had the same opinion.
There were bunch of things that contributed to my failure: lack of time, improper time at which I worked the course, over confidence, lack of humility, under estimating the complexity, different method of teaching that was new to me, blindness towards the quality of my answers, lack of math skills, frustration of not performing to my expectation mid way through the course, a sense of embarrassment after looking at others answers, ...
but that doesn't mean I did not learn anything from the course. I think I had a very different and fantastic learning. I also learnt a lot more about testing that I did not know. I was glad that I was honest through the course and I admitted what I did not know and also admitted that I forgot a few things during the exams and exercises of the course, which fetched appreciation from another student who reviewed my answers.
There was another Indian on the course who did perform very well and I am very, very happy about that. My close friend Ben Simo too performed fantastic and would be the person who teaches the course the next time I take it and he deserves it.
I was worried if James Bach and Michael Bolton might be disappointed with my result but I was delighted to know they weren't. They helped me understand a lot more and James said, "I see this as a learning process and would be great for your teaching, to help your students know that you too struggled and faced the pain, which can make them happy that they aren't the alone in facing such problems" and then said, "I would be disappointed if you do not take this up again and pass through it".
I also had another worry: fear of losing credibility with Dr Cem Kaner and Scott Barber, which I have not dared to ask and it is better not to know certain things. However, I have great respect for them and their time and I thankful to everyone who spends time for my learning.
I would be curious to know what you learned from this post?
Here are some things that I decided to do:
I am going to put this failure of mine in the presentation that I am doing this weekend at Bangalore. It is important that people know that I talk about my failure when I introduce myself and helps me in remembering that I am not a great tester yet.
I might not be willing to approve any more comments on my blog that just appreciates me or the post that I write. I am young and I am not wise yet to take such an appreciation not deter my growth. Your true appreciation would be when you let me know that some ideas or all ideas helped you do better testing just as Jon Joseph. He has been my blog reader for more than an year and has never commented but got in touch with me to say my blog has impacted the way he does and think about testing over e-mail or phone.
I am sure this might make my competitors (if any) feel stronger and I don't mind that. All I want to do is to become a good tester.
I wanted to post this on my blog that I can visit any day in future to help me realize my true self.
I also am going to be a little away from testing for a couple of months because one thing that I need to do is to take a break. I haven't taken a break in the last 2 years, which was another contributor of my failure. Too much of anything is bad and to keep myself alive in this industry, I have to be a little away from it for sometime. That doesn't mean I wont blog but it means I will not do a lot of things that you might or might not know for sometime. That also doesn't mean you should not get in touch with me for help. I love to help, especially after knowing that I am not a great tester yet.
Why do you think you are seeing words, "great tester", too often in this post?
It is because I thought I was an upcoming one such and also because I discovered that it is too far away than what I imagined and here is a post to
Don't forget an important message that this post is saying: Pradeep fails + be careful if you are following his ideas and suggestions.
It is also important to note that I don't intend to be a person who can never fail but I am worried about the reasons of the failure. There were things under my control which I should have taken care!
Here is my view of perfection: It is an illusion or lack of experiments that can help in discovering failure.
I think I forgot to tell you that becoming a great tester is like seeking the Holy Grail and I wish I am not as the knights of round table of Camelot to get lost in the quest. Jon Joseph said he shall pray for me and I am sure there would be a handful to do that along with him.
No training course, to my knowledge in testing offered anywhere in India can teach wonderful things that James and Michael's Rapid Software Testing and James Bach and Cem Kaner's Black Box Software Testing (BBST) can teach but I am optimistic about my workshops as they are reflections of these courses.
Time for me to appreciate things as how they are without questioning!
-- Pradeep Soundararajan - http://testertested.blogspot.com - +91-98451-76817 - firstname.lastname@example.org
"Pradeep's first language is not English--his first language appears to be testing." -- Michael Bolton