Is it a best practice that a post should have only one title? ;-)
Sharath's manager, Murugan, wanted to make the award ceremony a very special one and surprised Sharath by bringing me in for the award ceremony. A manager so excited about giving away an award of Best Performer of the organization to his subordinate - made me feel wow. While traveling together to Mindtree office, I discovered that Murugan had a good diversity throughout his career and even tried doing business in the United States long ago with his friends. With all that experience, he thought, freedom plays a vital role in testing and hence provided it to Sharath who seeked it. India needs more Murugans. I think they have lot of Sharaths out there.
Freedom with responsibility made Sharath get him the award. This is the second time my student is getting an award at the organization level. Most of you might not know much about Shaham Yusuf but then he won awards for slogging important bugs and an unmatchable record of the highest number of important problems found in Deloitte India.
Of course my other students are doing very well. I wish they fail as much as they seem to do well and I think failing early gives them a better edge over the future.
Parimala also got noticed and was blogged about by James Bach and mentions by Michael Bolton and Chris McMahon . Ajay Balamurugadas, Manoj Nair, Sharath and Pari are being noticed for their contribution of Weekend Testing and Fiona Charles personally appreciated their effort and it also got mentioned by Anne Marrie and Michael Bolton. Ajay won several scholarships at STC and also is a student of Heusser's Miagi Do School of Testing. Sathish Kumar Chinappa is another interesting exploratory tester who is one of the most sought out tester of Cognizant Technologies. Look at his brilliance: He came forward to teach exploratory testing - no one came forward to listen - he then created his own self certified exploratory program and that has attracted testers in CTS. He is running the second batch now. Santhosh Tuppad, a rookie tester is also going to be great guns in future. There are more names...Mohit, Jassi, Rajkumar Pandian, Tarik Seth, Satabdi Roy, Bhargavi... and more names...
In Sharath's award ceremony he spoke about how a coffee with Pradeep changed his whole life but I think what changed his life was himself and his ability to be responsible when freedom is provided. That is exactly what I see in others.
Half of them have already surpassed me by finishing the BBST Foundations and graduating to Bug Advocacy. Others are on their way.
Thanks a lot folks! You make me proud and you were kind enough to allow me to call you as my students. I know you will keep making me proud and push me beyond my current boundaries.
So, here is a self interview:
Pradeep: Now what's all these to do with the title?
Pradeep: All these Indian testers names you see here including mine have one thing in common: Our investment strategy has been working well. We invest our money and time on learning and practice.
Pradeep:What's great, everybody does that, right?
Pradeep: I remember a quote from Jerry Weinberg which is like.. "When you buy a degree, education is an option. Most often people drop the option." and I feel this is what is happening.
Pradeep: So whats your observation about testers in India?
Pradeep: Of course, most of them think they need their organization to sponsor even to attend attend a workshop that they know is of a lot of significance in their career. They are unwilling to spend from their pocket because they think its too expensive to spend from their pocket. I dont understand what is their idea of expensive. Of course expensive compared to what?
I personally wouldn't allow an organization to limit my growth and learning as a tester.
Pradeep: Did all your students pay from their pocket?
Pradeep: No, some of them did. Others, I met them at a corporate workshop. Sharath was wanting to pay from his pocket but I said if you want to be my student, the first trap you have to clear is to get your organization to sponsor you. It was a trap because his organization had a lot of internal trainers and inside-their-organization-context experts whom he had to face and explain what is different about the workshop.
Pradeep: So, whats your recent investment? How is this going to help you be a better tester.
Pradeep: I went to a book store, invested my one hour reading a book for free :) and then picked up a few books: Black Swan and the first copy of Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar plus a few other books on questioning God. I gifted Sharath a DVD of Sherlock Holmes for his award and Pari a Moleskine and a DVD of Shawshank Remption. Gifted Santhosh a book - Lessons Learned in Software Testing on the occasion of his joining his first full time testing job. All costing more than about 2000 rupees. I make such investments twice a month. When I cant afford a book, I sit in Landmark book store, complete reading the book, make notes and come back. I talked to the Landmark manager at Swagath, Bangalore who permitted me to spend any amount of time reading any number of books for free. Those who complain that they cant afford books are merely saying "grapes are sour".
The book Black Swan starts with the story of how people were fooled by the notion that swans are always white untill the discovery of Black Swan. Just reading the prologue made me think if in testing I have been thinking of a swans-being-white-only. So, I am in that thought process and questioning myself. I am going to use this book to help me question my own ideas.
Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar book by James is a kind of an autobiography of the man I believe is my first Guru in testing. I am going to always look into it for gaining confidence if it happens to drop. James promised me to gift me a signed copy of his book on my birthday but he became busy ( a gentle reminder James ).
Gift to my students, well, I am sure they will get back to me with their learning from it. So, I am going to learn new things from it.
Pradeep: Wow! That sounds cool. So, what investments are your students doing?
Michael Bolton's workshop on Rapid Software Testing for Testers, Leads and Managers in Bangalore and they are taking out about 20K from their pocket or even more to attend it.
Pradeep: Hey, 20,000 rupees is a lot of money in India. How are they able to afford it?
Pradeep: Well, I know how they are able to afford for it. They are looking at cost versus value. They have been reading Michael's blog and articles. They know the value is going to surpass the cost. Of course this is Michael Bolton's 7th visit to India and he has an amazing skill of connecting with the way testing is done here at India. They also are aware that the ideas and thought process that they might gain might help them progress in their career much faster than they would have without it. Michael's vision and way of presenting information is something unique and you may have a look at an example of it: www.developsense.com/presentations/e2008twofutures.pdf
They think its cheap because they see it this way: If they were to attend his workshop or of James which doesnt happen in India as often as in North America, they have to travel + afford the US dollar costs. Well, isn't it cheap?
Pradeep: So, is he here just for the workshop?
Pradeep: Oh, I forgot. There is more fun you could have at a conference he is keynoting. Please check out these links:
Plus, you can meet a lot of other interesting people from India at the conference, including, Gangadariah, Head of Testing - Wipro, Minal Deshpande, Head of Testing, Deloitte, Meeta Prakash, Infosys, and I am hoping my Indian heroes, Vipul and Ashok joins, too.
Pradeep: Well, so you propose investment of money and time on learning and practice as a good plan for testers with high returns?
Pradeep: Exactly. Investment of time and money on learning and practice can make you rich - in skills and in your career. Once you have the skills that others don't or you have it to an extent that others want to learn from you then money would come to you. For instance, in IPL Kevin Peitersen was the most expensive player to bid. Why was that? Because his name was unique?:)
When I started to offer workshops, I never thought people will pay from their pocket to attend my workshops but they did. Some even came down from Mumbai, Chennai, Pondicherry, Mysore, Trivandrum to attend it. They all proved me wrong.
There is a strong evidence that I have that Indian testers are changing ( no that doesnt mean the scene of testing in India is changing because we are in need of more Murugans ). See you at Michael Bolton's workshop and at the conference.
Make up your mind and get an early bird discount. Stop cribbing about money, lead a rich life. Rich in knowledge and skills, if not money. Register by sending an email to Akshay or call him at +91 98451 76034.