"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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Technology that failed in India ( Testing Bowl of the world )

Hi Reader,

Once while at work I was getting my test cases reviewed about a project/domain which I was new to and one of my colleague gave a strong comment "Pradeep , please think of more cases".

I was a bit dissapointed because already there were enough test cases that it will take 3 days to complete a cycle and I thought "should I further shoot at my own legs ?" ( the more cases I write , more I have to test , its painful , isnt it ? ) .

I tried to defend that testing would become complex if more cases are there than beyond the objective of the release/product requirements.

Ha ! thanks to what I told , he tshared with me a great story which happened in his previous company and it is one of the best lessons I have had as a tester !

__ This (could be a) is True Story that happened in some company ___

A digital camera was released in the market and after sometime a customer came back complaining that .......

Problem :The camera's software was crashing continously while he tried to capture images.

FIR : They first asked some basic information from the customer and made an attempt to reproduce the issue but it was not reproducible.

Analysis :

1) Software is crashing - so they listed out all possible scenarios where the software could crash.
2) Tried putting the camera to all listed possibilities.
3) Giving a report to the management that it was unable to be reproduced.

Further Analysis :

Taking this as a challenge , a great tester had the following concern -

1) He was concerened what festival was it ?
2) He was concerned what was the customer was trying to capture ?
3) He was concerned what is the frequency of the crash the customer noticed ?
4) He was concerened about all other surrounding factors like temperuature , place where the festival was celebrated ... etc ?

Outcome of Analysis :

1) The festival was Diwali or Deepavali !
2) The customer was trying to capture fire crackers , explosion , fireworks display in an open ground at around 22 00 hours ( night ).

What a fantastic tester was he !

He identified the problem and told the developers

"The camera software is crashing when the viewfinder is black ( because of dark night ) and a sudden gush of light through the firecracker explosion is putting the DSP ( digital signal processor ) to a load/stress beyond its boundaries to display the image. And at this point of time when the user tries to capture it simply crashes"

What he said ?

was right !

Finally they fixed it and now today its a robust digital camera !

____ End of a probable true story _____

Summary of lessons -

1) Collect real time data for testing a product/application.
2) When you are unable to reproduce an issue , think out of the box , think out of the black box.
3) When you are unable to reproduce an issue call someone who can dig deeper than you.
4) Dont assign test case draft to the person who is going to test it, he may omit complicated cases to bring down his/her complexity in executing it.
5) Review the cases with a non team member/customers/domain specailist/tester network.
6) When you release a product : aniticpate and be prepared to face such situation.
7) Hate the product while testing and love the product after its release - emotional testing ( ha new concept introduced by me , i do it , to be frank )
8) Good Testers not only report bugs , they suggest a solution ! ( more to come abt this )
9) Keep learning to be a good tester !
10) Test all your products in India , its Testing Bowl of the world !
11) Dont terminate an issue just because you are unable to reproduce , it could kill your company !

"If you are a good tester you win your customers heart , Mind it she could be beautiful !"

Thanks and Regards

Pradeep Soundararajan

Disclaimer : This post is no way in any intent to showcase how bad or good a company's product is but it is for sole use to learn a few good lessons for the software or testing community. This may/maynot be a true story and it is posted here not to affect their business or reputation ! This post is dedicated to that tester who saved his company from drowning ( provided its true ).I and any tester would love every product that is there in this world because we know how much of effort has gone through to bring down the product to have just few bugs or one bug as the above example.


Anonymous said...

good one!!! really inspiring :) and worth a reading for all the QA ppl.

Anonymous said...

Inspiring example for a Product Tester.

Viji Sundararajan said...

good blog !

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@viji : thank you !

Anonymous said...

Good, a very informative blog.


Anonymous said...

Very Intresting and Informative!! Keep posting....cheers.

Anonymous said...

nice inspiring story ...

Anonymous said...

good write-up! :) Inspiring!

Anonymous said...

Good work Pradeep...U are rocking!

Anonymous said...

Good Article, especially the 7th and 8th points in Summary of lessons

Anonymous said...

Excellent example to make a tester think out of the box

Anonymous said...

Hey it gr8 yaar,
Gud to read it and know how a tester is useful for a company.

Unknown said...

I really learnt a nice lesson from this " Hate the product while testing and love it after release"

Anonymous said...

Hey Pradeep..Abhijeeth here....

You said that :-
"If you are a good tester you win your customers heart , Mind it she could be beautiful !"

I don't agree with this because when a good application without any flaw is deployed..A credit goes to developer, But if it's deployed with bugs, a question is raised "Who tested it??"

Anonymous said...


Your comment clearly shows that you failed to enjoy the joke.

However if a customer has outsourced testing, what I said could still be true.

nagendragp said...

Really inspiring!!!!
Now I think this was the reason why I took up testing as a career, winning customers (her) heart :)

Anonymous said...

Another great Ex :)
I'm working on Sustaining/Field Issues as most call it.
This was helpfull


Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Anonymous ( Avinash )

Thanks for liking it. I hope you would share the link an owe proper credits if you are sharing it with your friends because this post in particular is my most plagiarized post.

DM said...

" Hate the product while testing and love the product after its release " - Good One !!!

Selim Mia said...

You've presented an excellent story to motivate testers to think out of the box!
Also enjoyed summary lessons. Ahem, it is important to keep learning to be a good tester.

- Selim

Anonymous said...

simply amazing....

Gaurav Khanna said...


I just got to your blog and it is damn Amazing. I love it and will read it more. Thanks for nice posts.

Anonymous said...

Nice One Vijay Keep it up!!!!!