"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.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Video : Against Best Practices in Software Testing :: Oredev 08

Here is my talk at one of the coolest conferences: Oredev, Malmo, Sweden, November 2008.

Great* testing stories from India
( Created by *not* following any best practices )






Highlights of the talk :
  • I was fired from Motorola trying to follow James Bach's advice
  • Test cases make people mad and sad.
  • Sharing 230 stories in 45 minutes.
  • The value of doing things that that context demands.
  • Questioning things that happens in India.
  • Truth of how many organizations get CMMi and ISO certifications.
  • Independence day for software testers
  • Brain is also a tool used in software testing, consider recognizing it.
Blogs about the talk so far:
I thought of making the video private instead of public and wrote to Michael Tiberg and he pointed out that this talk had received high rating from the audience and that I nailed some important points. I then decided to let it continue to be in public mode. I hope you'd enjoy the talk. Thanks to Michael Tiberg and Emily Holweck for putting up a great conference.

Oh you should watch James Bach's power packed keynote on Renaissance in Software Testing at Oredev. It left me crying for a couple of minutes.

11 comments:

Markus said...

Hi Pradeep,
I just watched the video of your talk (and subsequently the one by James Bach and also a third one).

I liked the content and also the way you presented it. Also me I see a lot of the "not invented here" syndrome, rejecting any new
possibilities which are brought in from new people. If something hasn't been prooved in a pilot we can't use it, but of course there
are (almost) never enough ressources available for a pilot.

I was happy to inject a bit of Exploratory Testing into a small test project over the last four weeks and the outcome was (at least)
respectable.


Regards
Markus

P.S.: Is it possible that the blogger.com captchas are not working with Firefox? Don't see the image in version 3.0.1 and 3.5 beta 4.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Markus,

Thanks for spending your time on the video. If you have taken more time on commenting, I am hopeful you liked it.

I was happy to inject a bit of Exploratory Testing into a small test project over the last four weeks and the outcome was (at least)
respectable.
The trick with humans is - they get better as they practice.

P.S.: Is it possible that the blogger.com captchas are not working with Firefox? Don't see the image in version 3.0.1 and 3.5 beta 4.Wow! Let me investigate that. Were you able to post this comment without CAPTCHA?

Anonymous said...

Were you invited to deliver a hate and mockery full speech against India or was your presentation on testing?

Markus said...

Were you able to post this comment without CAPTCHA?No, but I switched to IE. Tonight I'll also give it a try on the Epiphany browser in Ubuntu.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Anonymous,

Were you invited to deliver a hate and mockery full speech against India or was your presentation on testing?I spoke truth. You might want to ask yourselves, "Is faking and cooking up documents to get CMMi certifications by organizations in India a mockery of India or me speaking about it?"

I am a born Indian, love India and have settled in India to help it grow better by bettering myself and others who chose to be influenced by me.

QualityPoint Technologies said...

If you love India, why you should tell these things in International conf. instead of telling these things in India.

Rajamanickam
www.qualitypoint.blogspot.com

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Quality Point Technologies,

What is the guarantee that if I tell it within India, it wont be published by someone else who would be read by people outside India?

Terrorism is a global problem, so is bad testing.

Anonymous said...

I am a born Indian, love IndiaAt least your words in video do not suggest that... things like reference to 'a single white man' and a conference is called International. This is so mean.

Well...coming to the point...
Is faking and cooking up documents to get CMMi certifications by organizations in India a mockery of India or me speaking about it?Which country in the world doesn't have fraudsters and has not been affected by scams? Bad apples can be found everywhere.

Did you for once say what "good happen in Indian testing industry"? or are the good things only reserved for "white people"?

As you rightly said, there are two ways of bringing a good and bad tester at par... one is by uplifting a bad tester to the level of good and other is by bringing down the good tester. Similarly, I can say you have devised good means of competing with Indians("minions")Probably you can't compete with them in practical knowledge. So you pull them down wherever and whenever possible (especially abroad). Your blog is full of hate against Indians.

Cheer up!

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Anonymous,

At least your words in video do not suggest that... things like reference to 'a single white man' and a conference is called International. This is so mean.Why have all of the comments supporting India been posted as Anonymous?

Its like shouting from the dark and saying, "There ain't any cowards here"

Which country in the world doesn't have fraudsters and has not been affected by scams? Bad apples can be found everywhere. You seem to claim that, since there are fraudsters in the world it's okay for India to have fraudsters too. I am taking a different approach - other countries can do what they like, but I think we should fight against having fraudsters here.

Who do you see as a true service to our country?

If I spoke about bad apples that are here does that means there are no bad apples elsewhere?


Did you for once say what "good happen in Indian testing industry"? or are the good things only reserved for "white people"? Assuming I said that - Would all Indian testers start to work very hard to retain the title of India having good testers and being a home for good testing?

Did you really listen to that talk? Maybe the moment you witnessed something you hated to see, you stopped looking at the other side of the coin that I was showing.

It happens. When I decided to buy a specific car and walked on the road I realized there are so many cars of that model that are roaming over the road. When I was looking at those cars, I couldn't see other competitor cars going around them.

As you rightly said, there are two ways of bringing a good and bad tester at par... one is by uplifting a bad tester to the level of good and other is by bringing down the good tester. Similarly, I can say you have devised good means of competing with Indians("minions")Probably you can't compete with them in practical knowledge.I work for betterment of software testing community. I care about its future, its people, you and me. There has been enough evidence about it here and in other places.

I think your emotional reaction indicates how much you like the country. I am definitely proud about that. You might be surprised to know that I quit my job at McAfee to serve India for a period of 6 months without any return in money or credits when the country was in crisis during Tsunami and my brother fought the Kargil war from the front.

When we scold our children, it is not because we hate them, it is because we like them so much and we dont want them to repeat mistakes. There is another way of saying that to the same child - a little softer way than the latter.

Do you see that we both are in love with the country and we are competing over love and not over hatred?

Of course, I am and will be competing with every other Indian ( or global ) tester at a technical level, skill level, knowledge level and others that matter to make me a better tester. I think that is what every tester needs to do.

Parthi said...

Hi Pradeep,

Am a tester (a younger one than most of you). I had the chance to watch & listen to your presentation (FULL). I liked few and would like to challenge the rest

I liked;
- testing is contextual, because I believe that testing is an attitude, Common-sense. All a tester need to do is to apply his/her common-sense without having any ASSUMTIONS (in your words should Question)

I would like to challenge rather like to know what is it you hate?
* Metrics or the WAY its used
* Test scripts or the WAY its WRITTEN & USED

in a word, you hate the tools or you hate the CONTEXT they are looked at and used ?

During your presentation, while talking on a scenario, you said "We found bugs which were enough for the dev teams to fix for the next 6 months"

I see this as an interpretation, and I would like to know how did you arrive at this?

In my own and humble Opinion, following is what I believe (very strongly, practice and preach in whatever way I can)

- Testing is an "attitude"
- Test Scripts are just a 'tool' expected to help the testers to have a path to reach the goal (If they have the common sense to find the right one).
- I see you speak a lot about Exploratory Testing along side wonder with lot of frestration that (testers) donot have the abbit of taking notes more so the 'Indian Testers' (???!!!!!!). For me, the mix if this is what I call test script or a test case.

- if you still hate the tool and not the way its use, we can have a private chat :) because I too love Coffee a lot.

- Metrics: again a tool. Everything in the world, if were to be judged, I believe it should be presented objectively, and thats metric to me.

hece I very strongly object the say you said "A tester not presenting metric?!!!!!"

I can bet from the dark, you must have been using numbers and their interpretations (subsequently) to show how good your models and methodologies are and more so how bad the rest are, There you are !!

Waiting to hear you !!!

Cheers

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Parthi,

Am a tester (a younger one than most of you). I had the chance to watch & listen to your presentation (FULL). I liked few and would like to challenge the rest"You are as old as you think you are" -- Muhammad Ali - The Boxer

Thanks for watching the video and most important of all thanks for the challenge. It is challenges like these that I blog for that helps in educating myself.

- Testing is an "attitude"Yes, And... what else? Just the attitude?

Test Scripts are just a 'tool' expected to help the testers to have a path to reach the goal (If they have the common sense to find the right one).A path to reach the goal, that's fine but what is the goal?

There are several goals a tester executing test scripts could have:

a) Finish running all the tests.
b) Find problems with the software.
c) Find problems in test scripts.
d) Run those tests as a confirmation that the product works.
e) That's the only job available.
f) A client wanted to verify if other tester did run those tests properly
g) Evidence of tests ran has to be provided.

And more...

I see you speak a lot about Exploratory Testing along side wonder with lot of frestration that (testers) donot have the abbit of taking notes more so the 'Indian Testers' (???!!!!!!). For me, the mix if this is what I call test script or a test case.Can you help me understand if you are referring to checklist?

Or can you define what does a script mean to you?

- if you still hate the tool and not the way its use, we can have a private chat :) because I too love Coffee a lot.You mean test cases - I hate - You are right. The damage some testers and managers have done by using it beyond when its usage was supposed to be extinct is extremely tough to digest.

We can catch up for a coffee though and let the coffee heat up our argument and learning curves.

- Metrics: again a tool. Everything in the world, if were to be judged, I believe it should be presented objectively, and thats metric to me.

hece I very strongly object the say you said "A tester not presenting metric?!!!!!"
You are 100% right.

Now that I used 100% do you want to know what qualified for 100%?

Would you be interested to know the basis of arriving at 100%?

Would you want to know why it is not 99% and the difference between 99 and 100?

Would you want to know in what context would your answer not be 100%?

Ah! So the story behind the number matters and hence it is important to convey that story in order to help management take better decisions.

It is much easier for people to cook a number, misuse the metric and misguide people around them.

Would you want to measure testers effectiveness based on number of bugs they log?

What if I find 124 bugs but log only 30 of them?

What if a tester sitting next to me was making a note of all the bugs I find ( as I pair test with him ) and he reports it from his login?

There are some Meaningful Metrics that I like, some of which are documented in Michael Bolton's blog post on that topic. Note when I used Metric in the talk - I was talking about testers using numbers to say why they achieved good results.


I can bet from the dark, you must have been using numbers and their interpretations (subsequently) to show how good your models and methodologies are and more so how bad the rest are, There you are !! Most of my work is public and I have been crazy and strange to make my failures public. You may look at my Progress Reports for the past two years on my blog.

So, I don't need to do something in dark. If I do things in dark and sound smart on my blog, you would have figured it out by now.

I have used metrics but I dont remember a situation where I have given a number without telling the story of how the number was generated.

Metrics are used as a behavior change management tool in many organizations.

While I was reading Jonathan Koomey's book on Turning Numbers into Knowledge, he mentioned an interesting thing - "Any measurement tries to disturb the system"

For instance you put a thermometer to measure temperature of a liquid and the effect of that is the thermometer ends up absorbing some heat from the liquid and then pass on the rest for the measurement.

Many IT organizations have too much measurement thereby disturbing the system so much that it becomes unstable. Fortunately they have trained people who know to run business only when the system is unstable.