"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, October 12, 2009

Testers & Blocks Consulting - Puzzle 2

You haven't yet read Testers & Blocks Consulting - Puzzle 1? You know Testerlock, right?

"Are you Testerlock of Testers & Blocks Consulting?" screamed a voice on the road just when Testerlock was buying some vegetables. Before Testerlock could respond, the young man filled with excitement said, "I have watched you test at a webinar and I loved the way you brought in so many heuristics to your testing approach. I even wrote an e-mail to you a couple of months back".

"And you are..."

"Oh, I am Philip. A senior tester at PepLabs and I really wish I could learn more from you. In fact my whole team would love to learn from you"

"I am glad you are interested at my testing as much as I will be interested to watch your team test"

"We have a problem though. Our manager somehow wouldn't get convinced that we need your training?"

"Really? Do you have some time, let me pay for these vegetables and we can sit around for a coffee"

"Oh, sure"

A few minutes later, Testerlock and Philip were at a Cup-O, a coffee bar in Portland, Oregon, discussing about the problem that Philip raised.

After the first sip of a coffee, "So, you think your manager is a barrier to bring me in, to coach your team?"

"Yeah, sure, he is", said Philip in a confident voice.

"Well, how do you know that?"

"I know because we have made that proposal and he rejected claiming the value of your workshop wasnt good enough"...

"So, he isn't convinced about the value of my workshop although he is convinced that I can be good?"

"I think he needs a reason to stop you from coming in and has been poking the value of the workshop"

"But we aren't enemies, yet. Are we?"

"Well, he might be. He had been to STCQA 08 conference and he heard you speak against CMMi and Six Sigma" and with just half the coffee over, Testerlock asked, "Philip, what strikes to your mind if I say Brian"

with eyebrows raised, "My manager!", exclaimed Philip

"Ok, so now I know why he doesn't want me to there. A part of speaking the truth about CMMi and Six Sigma is that - I lose a lot of business opportunities. Not that I loose, I am deprived of. Brian, your manager had a huge argument with me. I should say debate than argument because he wasn't willing to change his stance. He thought I was an idiot. Maybe he was right but he didnt present to me evidences that could convince me about it"... "Now, we have an interesting problem"

"One of the ways is to get your team spend from their pocket but if there is a budget for training that is lying in the bank with no one claiming for it, I'd like to bet on it"

Philip, "Some of us wouldn't mind spending from our pocket but we hope we could take this workshop along with Brian so that he is synchronous to the kind of testing he wants to"

"Well, no problem in hoping that he would change. The chances of the change are as much as me agreeing to his ideas"
"You mean Nil?"
"No, not at all. Note: I still called it a chance"

Testerlock interrputed Philip and ordered for another coffee - Solar Eclipse, typically the one that indicates Testerlock is taking up this problem as a problem to solve.

Now, if you were Testerlock, what would you talk to Brian in order to convince him about getting you do a workshop in PepLabs? 

Don't limit yourselves to the first few ideas that sprout in your mind the moment you read the question.


Ravisuriya said...

What is the problem, who has the problem, when they have problem and how well that problem is describable and described by them? It is human problem and looks like the problems appears to be there because we humans exists who can see and perceive them.

Anything will not have the complete information. And word 'complete' is not at all complete. So the processes, practices, our thoughts are i.e., will never have complete information. It gets gathered and constructed when we begin to work on collect, assemble, model and use them. There are context's which can prove our information are incorrect and incomplete.

If the questions below are answered by Brian and Testerlock for themselves, and discussed between each other, might help.

>> "what is 'complete' and 'incomplete' and when we say them so?"
>> "what is 'complete information' and 'incomplete information' and when we say them so?"
>> "how the 'complete' and 'incomplete' can be or appears to be?"

The fear of loosing the debate, blaming and the ego should be eliminated to possible maximum extent here to solve the problem in first place.

Instead of seeing who is the fittest to survive in the debate, if both discuss reasonably with their thoughts and accepting the pros & cons (which everything has) in both of their discussion, may help here.

Everything has the essences which is neither likes or dislikes i.e., it has no shapes. It depends on a person for which the prominent is shown (like or dislike) and models with the shape one gives. The other person may model with an other shape for the same.

In a simple word, Brian and Testerlock should know "Information are always incomplete and it grows while learning and identifying them.".

Markus said...

Hi Pradeep, this is actually a tough one for a person like me who is not used to having to sell things to management. However I thought about the situation a few days and will give it a try anyway.


Dear Brian,
my name is Testerlock. You might remember our argument about CMMi and Six Sigma at the STCQA 08.

Your colleague Brian approached me and asked me if I could do a workshop for you and your team.

He made it also pretty clear that the team will not take the workshop without your attendance since they want to stay aligned with the kind of testing you want to be done.

Since your team seems to be interested in what I have to teach I would ask you not to lose a chance to offer them some new ideas even if they decide to reject them.

In addition I could take the chance and probably make my positions regarding the aforementioned CMMi and Six Sigma clearer and also discuss them with the whole team in your special context. If you have requirements for these processes I'm more than willing to accept your point of view.

With all people involved we might even establish that my ideas of testing can be integrated into the way you implemented the improvements with these tools.

I hope to be hearing from you soon.


Pradeep Soundararajan said...


this is actually a tough one for a person like me who is not used to having to sell things to management. However I thought about the situation a few days and will give it a try anyway.

Although you may not have experience selling things to management - you don't seem like one such. Your response is very nice.