"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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy testing and Sad Testing

I don't know from where I heard "Happy Testing", the first time and fear to think if it echoed within me. I also don't know how I caught those words to sign all my e-mails to testers I communicate, writing "Happy Testing" at the end of the e-mail. I noticed that a lot of other testers to whom I communicated also started doing that in their e-mail communication to me and in their blog posts. I didn't know what "Happy Testing" meant when I started using it long back but I think this post explains what I mean by Happy Testing.

For the moment, forget about people ( that includes me ) asking you to do good testing, better testing, great testing, pleasing customers, pleasing managers, and getting great hike. Think about doing happy testing.

As a tester what makes me happy is when I find 'a' bug. What makes me more happy is when I find more than a bug. What makes me the happiest is when I find more and more bugs in every product I test.

I come across a lot of Sad testers and observe a pattern of the bugs they find. Most Sad testers that I come across are the ones who follow test scripts or cases to find bugs. You might observe that those Sad testers say "These test cases found those bugs". I am sure if test cases have life, they would be happy set of organisms because a lot of Sad testers owe credit to the test case for whatever bugs they ( humans ) find.

Its not that those Sad testers are always unhappy about the bugs they find, its that they are happy and not happy enough to recognize how they can be more happy.

If finding a bug doesn't make you happy, how sad a tester you are!

Don't ask me the secret of being a "Happy Tester". I am sure a lot of Sad testers won't believe my reply, "Rapid Software Testing, Exploratory Testing and Context Driven Testing that provides me freedom to think, experiment and find a lot of bugs".

In every Skilled Exploratory Testing corporate workshop I do, I challenge testers on testing their product for 90 minutes and find a lot of bugs within that short span. One of the recent experience was in SAS, Pune, where testers started clapping after the 90th minute witnessing the Happy Testing I did. It felt like a Hero to receive clapping from testers for demonstrating Rapid Software Testing.

What I heard from Rajesh K , one of the managers who nominated his team and attended the workshop in SAS over an e-mail was "The bug count has certainly gone up". Happy Testing Rajesh, Vikram, Manoj Nair and their teams.

Jerry Weinberg revamped his website recently and a sentence in his revamped website made me think what Jerry was trying to say and here is the sentence for you "Dedicated to Helping Smart People be Happy". It made me wonder if smart people can be unhappy. I then thought about all those talented testers in India ( and probably other countries, too ) who have been forced to write and execute test cases and follow best practices that might have worked for someone else.
That reminds me to say, I get happy when I read Jerry Weinberg's books because reading his work makes smart and I made myself a lot happier when I bought Jerry's books for about 300 US dollars during my trip to Canada.

Speaking of all that, let me ask a question to myself: Am I never unhappy?

Oh yes, whenever I come across people who are unhappy and they don't want to listen to stuff that can make them realize they are smart and can be happy enough, too.

Am I talking as though I am Mr Perfect?

Oh well, I forgot to share with you that an important lesson I learned is that - Humans are fallible and so are their ideas. Everything is a heuristic and it is a choice of heuristics in a suitable context that makes a person smart. If you think Perfect Software and Software Testing is possible, read Jerry Weinberg's Perfect Software and other Illusions about Testing.

Unfortunately, I want so see those sad testers I come across as happy as me. Unfortunately, they aren't happy that I am claiming to be happy by doing things that they think is impractical or hard.

Fortunately there are some sad testers who are smart and want to be more happy. I live to help them. Oh! Did I forget to tell you that I get happy when I help testers find more bugs.

-- Pradeep Soundararajan - http://testertested.blogspot.com - +91-98451-76817 - pradeep.srajan@gmail.com

"The test doesn't find the bug. A human finds the bug, and the test plays a role in helping the human find it." --

Friday, August 08, 2008

Testing to avoid being sued or embarrased

North American, European Union and some Asian countries laws and law enforcements are much stricter than those in India. Most testers in India who have not known much about it, tend to ignore that fact while they test. I too didn't know till I actively kept reading. The value of reading is - I know to focus on problems that matter to my clients in countries like North America.

You might want to know that the cost of being sued is heavy on the organizations. All investment on a product and estimated profits go for a toss on that single day of verdict. Organizations like Microsoft, Apple, Sony and a lot of them have suffered losses by being sued or have withdrew released products on the fear of being sued.

As usual, I was browsing through Orkut today [ 8th August 2008 at 14:00 hours ] and recognized a problem. Please go through the following screen shot carefully before you read further.

One of the newly introduced feature from Orkut is an option to let friends know what I am updating in my profile and vice versa. A friend of mine hadn't added his gender in his orkut profile since he created the profile . He probably decided to do it yesterday.

What I ( and you ) see as an update is "XYZ updated gender". Well, he just added his gender and nothing else.

An update of Gender column could mean, "I have changed my gender" - which sounds absurd or might offend people to know that their friends are thinking that he changed his gender or their friends are thinking that she changed her gender.

This might invite trouble to Orkut or Google if there exists a law in any country that organizations should not mislead or misinform about one's gender. If there exists such a law in any country then they might be susceptible to be sued for showing something that mentally hurt one's gender status amongst their friends and other society members to whom the profile is visible. It also causes a lot of embarassment to someone whose friends make a joke of him/her updating "gender".

Orkut has been in news all over India after people claimed it responsible for being a channel for pranksters who even ended up killing for money and a lot of other cases. What if someone attempts a suicide attempt and blames it on Orkut saying "I could not withstand the embarrassment
of my friends asking about my gender".

Do you think its worth Google's time to fight such cases?

Do you also think such problems can be found by test case base approach?

Minutes before I was planning to post this, I thought of getting this post tested from Ben Simo and Jonathan Kohl. Ben Simo shared with me that Facebook came out with some gender issues recently.

A lot of other testers might have seen the problem that I highlighted in this post while they were browsing Orkut, why didn't they find it?

Answer Ben's question to find out the answer to above question : Will you recognize a problem if you see it?

Pradeep Soundararajan - http://testertested.blogspot.com - pradeep.srajan@gmail.com