"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.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Pandavas and their testing skills ! ( of course my own )

Hi Reader,

I ran my imagination wild enough to think of the oldest testing exercise and had to pick one from the epic Mahabarata !

__ most indians would know this story for other country folks ___
__extracted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arjuna ___

Guru Dronacharya once decided to test his students. He hung a wooden bird from the branch of a tree and then summoned his students. One by one, he asked his students to aim for the eye of the wooden bird and be ready to shoot; then, when they were ready, he would ask the student to describe all that he was able to see. The students generally described

1) the garden
2) the tree
3) flowers
4) the branch from which the bird was suspended
5) bird itself.

Guru Dronacharya then asked them to step aside, saying that they were not fit to shoot.
It was now Arjuna's turn. Guru Dronacharya asked him the same question:

"What do you see, Arjuna?"
He replied "I see the eye of the wooden bird". "What else do you see, Arjuna?". "Nothing".

"Come now, Arjuna, describe all that you see". "I see the black eye of a wooden bird, sir". Such was his concentration! Dronacharya bade him shoot; needless to say, he hit the target exactly.

___the actual excerpt ends here __

Although Aruna was asked to shoot can you guess what others can be branded as ......

Of course others were branded as "good testers" ...

Why ? - They could visualize the whole system . The bird could be a feature of a system but the entire system consisted of the tree , branches , flowers , leaves.

1) A good tester should always look at the entire system when given a product/application for test.
2) A good tester should be able to list what all he understands.
3) A good tester should be able to collect the right test data and think of right tools for the product/application under test.
4) A good tester should be able to justify whether the test data collected is enough or not.
5) A good tester should be able to report the observations well.
6) A good tester should be able to defer and defend a defect/bug.
7) A good tester should be able to suggest changes in design.
8) A good tester should be able to grasp any new environment.
9) A good tester should be able to learn things from the domain experts.
10) A good tester should be able to do good documentation.
11) A good tester should not confuse/pass wrong info to others about testing and its meaning/definitions/types/limitations/career_options.

12) Good testers are not made in centres that offer tools training but after testing for years and getting inspired by people who are real good testers.

Thanks and Regards,

Pradeep Soundararajan


Anonymous said...

All the qualities of "Good Tester" that you mentioned are good except one has to determin what is "Good". So, it will be useful if there is any process to arrive at that "Good".

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Anonymous - Thanks and thanks again for letting me know what to learn more .. i shall surely research on the "good" factor and probably make a post sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

The example you have given is not appropriate to what you have stated. The story is a good example to emphasize how to be target oriented. And I do not see how the rest of your opinion of a "Good Tester" comes into the picture. If the others said that they saw the garden, tree, flowers, bird etc, it does not necessarily mean that they would be able to provide inputs on how to improve them. So what's the point of the Story

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Hi Arun,

Thanks for letting me know your point.

I have taken a story from Mahabarata and made an attempt to tell fellow testers that good testers need to look at the whole system , which is recommended by most test experts.

I am sorry for being unable to provide a good content for you ( if at all ) and its a limitation with me you and everyone that ... everyone cannot be pleased all times.

Maybe other posts were/are good ... did you have a look at it ?

Thanks and Regards

Pradeep Soundararajan

Anonymous said...

well the way u tell things is very intersting and its much easier to learn things this way

aysha haider

swati said...

hi pradeep...

all ur articles are too good..
do keep peasting it......


Munni said...

Hello Pradeep,
Do u mean that, Arjuna is not a "GOOD TESTER".
Generally people will say, u should set ur goal like ARJUNA (& tell this story as example).

Anonymous said...

According to the story, as like Arjunan our focus should be on the exact requirement. If we keep our concentration other than the one to be implemented. it is of no use :)

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


You mean keep the focus on one requirement although the customer has changed it.

In the original case, the bird didnt move and change, as testers we are supposed to know that the bird is in constant motion throughout the project and it changes its shape, color, smell, flight, habits and everything else it can.

Zakir Hussain said...

Although Aruna was asked to shoot can you guess what others can be branded as ......

I'm much impressed with your articles Pradeep. keep up your good work and keep rocking.

Just adding a slice of testing eye. It should be Arjuna as you've mentioned as Aruna in the above lines of your post. Don't mistake me Pradeep "a bug is always a bug" right:)

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Thanks for your comment. A bug is a bug for sure :) Will correct it soon.