"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, February 10, 2006

Sir Thomas Alva Edison - The First Tester !

Hi Reader,

Let us start writing or reading this post singing ....

"Happy Birthday To You , Happy Birthday Dear Edison , Happy Birthday To you !"

Had you read my first post , you would see Edison's name because he changed my life downside up. Yes I owe everything I do and did to Sir Thomas Alva Edison becuase without HIM , I wouldnt be whoever I am.

I was so called dumb till my class 10 and lost an year of academics despite getting a first class result in my 10th grade. In this duration of one year I wasnt clear what I would be but ....

Twas someday night 11 o clock when my father woke me up from sleep and asked me to watch a movie "Edison , The Man". Hmm I was sleepy but still sat infront of the TV for the sake of following my dad's words.

Slowly as the movie proceeded I lost sleep and that is where Edison started inspiring me... the movie went on and on and ended showing the death of Sir Thomas Alva Edison. Tears rolled from my eyes , I didnt have any control over it and it kept rolling.

It took me years to realize I hadnt seen the death of edison but a birth of new hope/ambition/fire in me.I then worked and worked ... and today I too have a dream ... "The things I do in this life should make The Man greet me in the eternal world and I know he will"

Talking about the current things I have achieved -

1) State level best exhibit award for a project "Telephone based remote control of home and industrial appliances" - This project you can find it anywhere but the invention I did in it was to control gas stoves in home from a remote place and also valves in gas turbine power-plants". This enables you to put the gas stove "off" after you come out of the house , in India its so common that we come out of the house and your mom/wife tells you "Oops ! I doubt whether gas stove is off"

2) National level prize for best paper - "Wireless Transmission of Heart Signal using Bluetooth Technology" - this project not only got me a job after engineering but also made me go places like .. Wipro GE medical systems , Siemens Medical , BPL medical , Avanttec , Impulsesoft and so on.Except Avanttec no other company was willing to grant us fund for this project but we couldnt take it up with Avanntec as well as our college head was not broad minded to allow for such a research.

3) Ewacs - A project which many people I know cant forget for their lifetime ... want to know what is this ? check out ... EWACS
Will you be surprized if I tell you that we got appreciation from -
1) Dr PS Goel - Director , ISRO
2) Mr N R Narayana Murthy, Chief Mentor , Infosys
3) Mr H Sudhindra , Joint Director , DRDO
4) Dr VS Ramamurthy , Secretary , Dept of Science and Technology of India.
5) Director , VP - McAfee ( I was working there then )
6) Many people from the public - which was beyond a dream come true and we were flocked with some media news on TV and news papers.

4) A project which I have completed a month back , can very well make a huge impact in all your lives but just that I am looking for right time , right people for the right project I have.

5) The biggest appreciation I have got as a Tester came from one of the world renowed Test Expert - James Bach ...
"Can I show your work to my other students" he travels across the globe teaching many universities - these were the words which added charcoal to the burning desire to prove to the world that I can test well.

All this and more to come I owe to my mentor Sir Thomas Alva Edison !

"Now pradeep , where is the post of Edison as the first tester?" could be your question and here it goes .. ( pretty small ... dont worry about the time :-D )

__ Start of __ Sir Thomas Alva Edison - The First Tester___

Lets take up a bulb ...

HE experimented with 1600 filament materials including ... his colleague's beard hair , coconut fibre and anything and everything -- out of the box.

a) As an inventor although he was experimenting but considering as a tester , given a bulb the filaments he used forms great test cases.

b) He wrote 40,000 page document ( hand written and not pdf file ) for his experimentation before he tested it for 40 hours - Ah good documentation skills are always a mark of a great tester.

c) HE could think of 3000 filaments which formed an excellent learning of collecting Test Data.

Coming to phonograph , HIS favourite invention - HE tested his invention by singing "Mary had a little lamb" rhyme .. ( had we invented we would have told some gals name in mind with whom we were in love with at that point of time :-D )

a) After testing his phonograph Edison said "I am afraid with something that works for the first time" - Hmm ! why dont developers/unit testers tell this or learn from this ?

b) Today we hear songs and enjoy and this phonograph was the mother of all the CD , DVD you use and the Blue Ray you may use in future.

Last but not least -

He earned so much money out of his inventions and spent the entire thing on one project -

Seperation of iron from its ore... Finally it didnt work and this is considered to be the biggest failure but I say today to the Birthday Man - this did put more fire in me and many others.

a) He spent 10 years working on this project and never gave up until his entire money was depleted.
b) He passed tough times and yet never gave up his efforts to come out with an invention for seperating iron from its ore... and the Tester was Tested !

__ There is no End of __ Sir Thomas Alva Edison __

"Sir , While I/we march ahead to meet you , come forward in helping us , we welcome you back to Earth"
Thanks and Regards
Pradeep Soundararajan


Viji Sundararajan said...

Great blog !

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Thanks a ton VIJI,

I thought people would like this more but looks like other posts are deviating the attention !

Anonymous said...

Keep the Good Work Going!!!
You Inspire Me! when i feel the lowest!!! thanks!!


Anonymous said...

Today I read about the Thomas Alva Edison In ur blog, Its really heart touching ,its really moving from the 11:00

clock night till date incidents in ur life.Its really nice to hear about your projects.Daily at some point of time I read one of your article in your blog


Anonymous said...

>I thought people would like this more...
Pradeep, this posting still awakes interest in people.
Since some might not have an account for Orkut, I post here what has been written so far here:

person 1 writes:
Sir Thomas Alva Edison - The First Tester !
HE experimented with 1600 filament materials including ... his colleague's beard hair , coconut fibre and anything and everything -- out of the box.

person 2 then answers:
First tester.
Nice...! But i think he was not first. In all the world peoples serches a lot of formulas, machines, arkitecturs, palmestry like combursom subjects which are much older then BULB. and can not be possible without testing. there for First inventer should be the FIRST TESTER. no matter if we can not find him/her, but in the way we can select the older inventer, he/she must be THE FIRST TESTER. and in the world many ...... who serches somthing before the bulb. there for Thomas can not be declared as.......

Anonymous said...

my answer:


I assume Pradeep meant it in a certain context - perhaps he can tell more about this, since I can not speak for him. I would recommend to read Pradeep's article to understand the context. There come to mind possibilities like wording play: e.g. do you know the movie First Knight ? There the knight is a person who is/should be a role model. Someone who is an ideal, whom everybody loves and admires and wants to be like him/her.
Think: what associations could first also awake ?

But if someone would only read the title, (s)he might come to the conclusion that the statement would not be correct. So, let's assume someone just reads only the title.

You can go then much more back in time (than "First inventer should be the FIRST TESTER. no matter if we can not find him/her" and "in the world (are) many" - see text of person 2):
regarding James "Testing is questioning a product in order to evaluate it."
so, you might say, the first person asking questions did testing.

Or not ? Wait: can we go even further back in time ?
Not only people can ask, probably also other creatures can do this - somehow - (we just do/can not see this or they do not tell us or other reasons).

OK, so close your eyes, imagine the time flowing backwards. Do you see, how things around you disappear and other things reappear from the past at that places?

so, stop now...
let's assume we are now at a point in time where no creature asked (may be different reasons, like: they were not able to or they just did not want to think :-) ).
Then - perhaps just by accident - the first (kind of) creature did an action and this arose some kind of thinking process/interest in it.
Yippie, we reached the point where the first asking took place.

Did we really ? Let's imagine we go even further back in time:
Earth doesn't yet exist, probably there were other creatures on other planets.

Ok, let's not even stop here, let's continue the time machine travel.
BTW: Are you still with me on this journey ? Might be you are exhausted of all this (thinking), let's speed this up.

Imagine at some point/place it all really started (some might call this God or give other names).
Let's come to the Cosmological argument / causa sui. You don't know what this is ?
e.g. hint: Prime Mover, thinking on thinking, eternal process of pure thought.
Be a good tester: find out more about causa sui.

Hmmm, but wait: aren't there objections to the cosmological argument ?

BTW: How do we know that what we know is true ?
let me correct this (since I might not know your context): How do I know that what I know is true ?


I invite everybody to share his/her views.
Dhanyavad in advance

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Thanks for your comment.

I'd like to use the re-phrase heuristic to what I wrote an year back.

"Thomas Alva Edison - the first tester, I know"

Vinod said...

Good Job!! I appreciate your optimism. Good going, we wish you a bright future and a prosperous career!!

Rahul said...


I read your blog after coming from a doctor appointment for my 3 year old son. He said my son will struggle in class and asked to read about Edison. Your blog rekindled my spirit....I am sure my son won't be a loser with proper help from family. Thanks for the post

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


I was glad to receive your comment. Its exciting to know that you hope your son has a great life just as Edison.

I also suggest you read the book "Secrets of a Buccaneer Scholar" - James Bach - which is a true story of how James Bach became one of the greatest leaders of the field of software.