"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.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Gold mines opening up for Indian Testers

Hi Reader,

Yes, this post does matter a lot to you, if you are a tester from India.
For people who already know
Tester Tested! , You know testing is creative, since Tester Tested! is one such example to prove that. I would want you to know; who made testing creative?

Drum roll !!!!!!
James Bach , Cem Kaner , Gerald M Weinberg , Bret Pettichord .....[lots more] And also the people whom the above mentioned people have referred to, are the ones who showed to the world that Testing is a craft and not everyone can become good testers.

Now, if you are a developer, and lets say Dennis Ritchie or Brain W Kerningham is offering a training on C, wouldn't you be excited to take it? , despite, you having worked on C for sometime?. It sure adds a lot of value and its once in a life time opportunity. You feel, you are a good developer, after you learn C from Dennis Ritchie.

Similarly, is there someone, who could, help us in becoming a good tester?

To answer the above question, lets take up an exercise -

Do you see a picture above or rather, something written in bold or caps?
If you are asked to think as a tester, and test the above, right now, how will you test?

First of all, if I ask you to read out what is written in the picture, most of you would read "A" , "S" , "M" , "C" , "X" and "I", right. I too was looking at that picture from that angle but something improved my thinking as a tester and now I look at a lot of combinations and possibilities.

Are you interested as to what else can it be other than the above letters?

Yes, can it be a "A" , "S" , Roman numeral M, Roman numeral C, Roman Numeral X , Roman numeral "I"?.

Also, could it be "ASMC" multiplied (X) by "I"?

Also, could it be some Code/password?

Also, could it be a name of a processor?

There are 300 such combinations, I can think, on the spot, looking at the picture above, and this helps me in creating wonderful test cases, test scenarios, determine the quality of a product and above all, gives me the confidence to test anything in this world, and a faith in myself of producing good quality output.

It is more important for you all to note, what is that *something* that made me think better as a tester and be confident of becoming a good tester?

I have been undergoing a training on Rapid Software Testing, by
James Bach!

"Ah, Pradeep, you are lucky, you had money to travel to US for this training", If you ask me such a question, I would love to reply "I swear, I am in bangalore now, I have not yet applied for a passport".

Still, I could get trained by him online, and I was able to learn a lot or to surprise James, even better than the class room training, I have had.

Now is that a privilege for me alone?

No! James Bach, is showing a lot of interest to create wonderful testers in India and hence would want to coach those passionate testers, online.

Do you have it in you?

What do you mean by online Pradeep?

I mean, you will be put into a virtual class room, you get coached by James Bach, you can see him (through a cam), you can hear him ( with a speaker) and you can ask your doubts to him ( over a mic ). He would talk to each one of you personally, calling your names before he asks questions to you, that makes you think a lot better than, what you have been doing as a tester.

I see a great lot of difference, in me, as a tester, after I started interacting with James Bach and the resultant or the proof you have is my blog
Tester Tested ! It now caters, 250 testers world wide as a reference material and something that motivates them. Dont believe me, read it for yourself.

Also, if I was successful in creating an interest in you to take up such a course, for a reasonable price, I need to give you the details to mail your interest, to James Bach, and it is....
Click here to mail James Bach or if you wish to know his mail id without clicking on that, it is : james@satisfice.com

Why am I recommending this to all Indian testers?
  1. I have taken it, and know, the value of it.
  2. Its a great chance for Indian testers, to get trained by a Test Expert.
  3. Its a wonderful learning opportunity.
  4. Its a chance, to improve our stand on the international scale.
  5. Its first time any expert, has wanted to coach a tester, in India, online.
  6. Its because, I want people in the world, to look at India, as a highly competent testing hub of the world.
  7. Its because, I am so passionate about testing.
  8. I dream to see an Indian name on the expert list, it could be you, too.

What do you need to do with this post?

You just need to think on it. Am not sure, whether I have set a good example but for sure, HE has more to offer.

Forward this link, to all the testers you know, to your management, to your company heads, so that, they have an opportunity to think on making their testers, the highly competent ones, in the market.

For corporate heads looking into this post, you can ping him for an offer to coach many testers online.

When opportunity is knocking right at your door, if you ignore it, aren't you a tester, who would repent for it later?

Given a chance to improve yourself, and your country's technical competence, would you drop it?


Pradeep Soundararajan


Disclaimer: If you think, I am trying to market something for my guru, you are right,if Guru Dakshin is marketing, to you. I am selfish about making all other testers, as fortunate and as better I have been. If you think, testers are not treated well, in companies, it is time to challenge the best developers with the best testing skills.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lessons learnt from Junior Testers

Hi Reader,

Sometime back, I was asked to train a few fresher, its a new learning I had, which I am sharing with you. I asked them to imagine a bug and write test reports, after giving some gyaan. I was suprized to see the examples, they came out with, which left me thinking; was I as smart as these fresher's?

Also, when I asked them to come out with Load and Stress test cases for any product, they can imagine, I again, learnt from them, the examples and test cases for Rubber band, Shoe...

I found the examples of Rubber band and Shoe for Load and Stress testing, a very thought provoking ones. Thanks to the freshers, I learnt a great deal from them.

I just did not give them some exercises but I also did the homework, what they did, taking their examples, to check whether I am a good tester.

_ Bug report _

Disposable cup bug

Summary – The disposable cup leaks when a hot drink like coffee or tea exceeding 95 degree centigrade is allowed to remain in the cup for a time of about 15 minutes.

Cup type: Hard Paper cup
Manufacturer: XYZ Corporation
Version: 1.0
Customer: ABC Corporation

Test Content: Hot Coffee/Tea (> 95 degree centigrade)
Test Case mapping: TC_43_HT_LQ

Steps to Reproduce

1) Take 3 – 4 disposable cups for testing.
2) Place them on a table and ensure the room temperature is below 40 degree centigrade.
3) Prepare coffee and/or tea and check/ensure the temperature of the tea or coffee is above 95 degree centigrade.
4) Pour the prepared hot coffee/tea into the cups on the table and ensure, each cup has different volume. (For ex – 1st cup contains half cup coffee, 2nd cup 3/4th coffee)
5) Repeat the above steps for a different sample/batch of cups.
6) Repeat the above steps with other hot liquids such as hot water, hot malt drinks…

Observed Result –

1) After around 10 minutes, all cups under test, having different volume of hot liquids, start to leak. (The leak is from the bottom of the cup)
2) The hot liquid leaks entirely out of the cup in one minute, when the cup was filled for full up to brim.

Expected Result –

1) The cup should be able to hold hot liquids (90 – 100 degree centigrade)
2) As per specification, the cup should not leak when a hot liquid is allowed to remain in it for an hour.

Reproducibility – 100 %

Suggested temporary fix

As per experiments, it is found that, if two cups are used one over the other, the hot liquids are held and does not leak out for an hour.

Recommended permanent fix

Consider re looking at the material/thickness of the paper and glue.

Risk of the bug

Customer will be annoyed to see the tea/coffee has leaked and the customer is forced to clean the surface where the cup was placed. There could be some important documents/dress/money/anything important that may get spoilt because of the leak.

Severity: 1
Priority: 1

Limitation of testing

1) The above scenario was reproduced using hot coffee and tea only.
2) It is not experimented with hot water or any other liquid.
3) No testing was carried out to find whether the glue making the coffee/tea toxic.

_ End of bug report _

Now I have some points, I want you to go through -

  1. If you are training, freshers, ensure, you do not misguide them.
  2. Do not limit their thinking to software, make them run into wildlife, they shall make you think, in turn.
  3. Teach them examples, dont put them on the project, directly.
  4. Give things in bits and pieces and not macro blocks, which is hard to digest for a fresher.
  5. Teach them; how to search on google?, else, you learn it first.
  6. Ask them to choose any product, they like, and test, first, before, you make them test junk.
  7. Dont limit the training to your needs, give them an opportunity to learn and experiment.
  8. Stress on the importance of English skills, in software testing, never mind, you may not have it.
  9. Make them enthusiastic about work and not excited about work.
  10. When you do not know something say "Can I refer to something before I tell it clearly?".
  11. To know the complexity of the homework, you are giving, you too work it out, at your home.
  12. There are more points, you yourself, need to explore.

_ End of _ Lessons learnt from Junior Testers _

"A true senior, learns from a junior,too"


Pradeep Soundararajan


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Self critique your testing skills

Hi Reader,

It is interesting to know that we all have had a common problem in our career. I do not want to call it a problem, perhaps, it is a situation, which makes most of us uncomfortable to handle it.

It is a situation, we seek out for help and it is frustration that makes us seek out. You may agree if I say "There is a smart way of dealing it without asking help from others".

Now, Pradeep, what is that situation?

If there are no one to give a feedback about our work and we do not know; how good is our work?

_ Self critique your testing skills _

This is a way, I am adopting, to self critique, my own work and I am sharing it with you, to learn from you, if I could revive anything, for my self improvement. Just in case, you had missed this in your work, time to take it up.

Lessons learnt from people who kept appreciating:

I did work on a project X, for quite sometime and of course, there were no one to say "Pradeep, you could have done it better" but there were people to appreciate my work, which in a way, is a curse, if you would like to improve yourself as a tester. As a fresher, I thought, I am the best at doing it and to leverage my career, I started applying for jobs and attended a couple of interviews.

It was shocking for me to note that, I was rejected technically, in quite a few. I looked back at those appreciation mails I got in the company and was another shock that the interview results was not matching with the appreciation I got for the work.

It was only then I realized, there needs to be someone, who keeps saying "Pradeep, I think there is a better way of doing it and you can improve" and luckily I found a guru for that, Mr Ravi Joshi. He is a perfect guru I could have found at that time. He made me cry for many mistakes I did and more important of all, he did teach me a way of doing things in a possible correct way. ( I did pick up/grasp things rapidly, of course)

Wait, I am sure, some of you might ask "Pradeep, how do we find such good people? and what if we dont get such people to guide us?"

Today, I am self reliant, because sometime back, I thought, "Hey how long should I keep disturbing Ravi Joshi to avoid mistakes?".

I framed a strategy:
  1. I ask the questions, myself, and having understood Ravi's mindset, I get out with answers, without his help, many a times, it has been as wise as what Ravi would have said.
  2. I thought, "if I keep asking the Ravi inside me, when will I get to become Ravi Joshi?" and then I started to experiment with things. I was careful with my experiments and did continue to get answers for the questions I have had, I have done better.

Example -

I was given a task to write test cases for a new project. I did think on my own and came to a conclusion that, I shall write use cases and then develop test cases from it. Of course, the requirements document was not updated and not a good one to refer.

I did get to see, I wrote better test cases. Wow ! ( Hope you get a clue out of this)

Lessons from being passionate about testing:

Every passionate tester, wants to become one of the best testers in the world and he does enjoy a lot learning things in testing. Also, as a passionate tester, I have a fear that I may not become one such, if I do not work hard. So a passionate tester, is a person, who enjoys learning testing and fears that he may not become one such if he does not work harder than what he is working.

I fear a lot, hence I work hard. Simple!

I read many articles in testing, and try to evaluate it. I always want to experiment, ( which is a quality of a passionate tester) before I believe something that I read.

One such experiment is with Cem Kaner's Article : Interviewing Software Testing Candidates ( A right click and open would be better :D )

After going through the article by Cem Kaner, apart from me falling in love with his thinking, I did experiment it in some interviews I conducted and also in some interviews, where I was a candidate to believe his thinking and writing.

Similarly, to believe my writing too, you should experiment and not go by the fancy associated with it.

Note : No one guided me to that page of Cem Kaner, I did search it on the web. If Google is your best friend, then you have a friend who can make you the best tester in the world.

So let us summarize -

  1. You need to find someone, who can mentor you. ( If you find a wrong person, you are screwed up further)
  2. You need to become your own mentor after sometime.
  3. You need to read a lot of articles, books and experiment with it, carefully.
  4. You need to write your own articles, it could even be information about your mistakes in the past, yet, helping the community in making new mistakes.
  5. You need to crave for more and redefine your goals. ( not reducing the road length to reach the goal)
  6. Compare yourself, when it comes to work and skills and say yourself "Being naive, I could get to this point in one year, now I should get to the next point in 3 months or less".
  7. Self proclaim yourself as a "good tester" and work very hard to prove it, each time.
  8. Never get carried away when someone appreciates your work, feel unlucky when people do that.

_End of _Self critique your testing skills_

"A passionate tester, never knows, he has become a good tester. He keeps learning as though there is lots pending"

Thanks and Regards,

Pradeep Soundararajan


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The first customer is always a tester

Hi Reader,

How many developers do realize, it is a Tester, who acts as a customer, when an internal release is taken for testing?

How many testers realize that they need to help the developers after rejecting a build for testing?

Are the above questions essential for you?

While you try to answer the above questions, I would want to help you with some gyaan**, I got, either through someone or through mistakes.

_ The first customer is always a tester _

I have had an experience of rejecting a few releases that were made to me for testing, before releasing it directly to the customer. Yes, I did my job well, so did I reject the release.

Sometimes, it so happens, you have to wait for your managers approval to reject a release and there is nothing wrong in it, since, we are not in those loops, which has the discussions of business needs and customer dissatisfaction.

I need to tell you, when can we(testers) reject a build?

  1. Reject a build/release, if it fails in BVT (Build Verification Test)
  2. Reject a build/release, if it even fails to install on the target.
  3. Reject a build/release, if it fails to come up after the installation.
  4. Reject a build/release, if it fails in core functionality.
  5. Reject a build/release, if the bug, which was supposed to be killed, is alive and active.
  6. Reject a build/release, if the previous working features, works more with bugs.
  7. Reject a build/release, if there is no time to test, even basic functionality.
  8. Lots more... (context based)

I also need to tell you, what is the way to reject a build?

  1. Before you reject, ensure, you have solid proof to support rejection.
  2. Before you reject, go through pointers from the test plan, which has the criteria to reject.
  3. Before you reject, state it clearly in the mail you draft, as to , why you think it can't be tested?
  4. Before you reject, discuss it, informally, with the developers/testers/lead/manager. Don't give them surprises.
  5. Before you reject, plan on the help, you are going to provide the developers/management, in an effort to make the next build, a better quality one.
  6. The mail you draft should be soft and not in a way that, you are pointing finger on a particular developer.
  7. Be a good customer, to a developer.

I should not forget to tell you, What should you do after rejecting a build?

  1. Sit with the developer, work a way out to fix the blocking issue, provided, he/she needs help and is comfortable, working, while having you next seat.
  2. Engage yourself, in an activity, preparing for the next release.
  3. Request the developer, to review his unit test cases. As of now, I would put it in a way like this "Hey XXXX, there have been wonders when a fool looks at something, similarly, I would like to do a wonder with your unit test cases, would you want to witness it?
  4. Utilize the time, you may have, after rejecting a build/release, in improving yourself.

_ End of _The first customer is always a tester _

"Dont feel bad when she rejects your love, just because you rejected her build"

Thanks and Regards,

Pradeep Soundararajan


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Million questions a tester should ask

Hi Reader,

I was wondering, "is there a way I could have learn't testing more effectively?", than what I did, had I asked *good questions* to myself. This post is a result of it, through which, I want to guide (misguide) upcoming testers through a set of questions, good ones, to be more precise.

"Pradeep, how can you be sure that *good questions*, lead to better understanding of a subject?"

Hey, that itself, is a good question, you may ask at the beginning of this post.

Before, I tell some gyaan, let me take a situation, which makes you more confident to read this post.

Let me touch a sensitive part of all of us, money. You must have asked yourself, "Am I earning enough?", which would have lead to -

a) Comparison, of your salary with your peers ( a common mistake, though).
b) Change of a job/company/profile.
c) Plan for a side business.
d) Change the way you work.
e) Change your attitude, all together.

Isn't at least one of them true? Have you never witnessed your friends doing the above?
If not, time to hit the close button which is appearing on your right top corner of the window.

_ Million questions a tester should ask _

Now, I am not going to list a million questions but just giving you an excerpt from the article, I was planning to write and stopped it mid way. ( I am ashamed to say, I do not have time, right now)

Assume you have been asked to frame a testing process for the company, which is establishing a new testing team, answering the following questions, may help you -
  1. Should I be getting more clarity from the management, as to what kind of testing team, they are planning to establish?
  2. Should I spend some time in documenting my understanding after a meeting with them and get the document reviewed?
  3. Should I read, process documents, case studies, understand what process is followed by other companies?
  4. Should I need to attend some training on the process and process management, in order to gain more understanding on the documents, I read, or will be reading? If "yes", who are the best trainers, I can talk to?
  5. Should I write a document of my whole understanding after the reading/training and get it verified by someone who is deemed to do that, which will help my company to be confident of my proposal?
  6. Before, I write a proposal of process, should I need to consult the developers/management to ensure, it meets their requirements and is easy for them to implement or adapt to the implementation?
  7. Should I be directly taking the process from somewhere, which may suit, or, I need to tailor it to the needs?
  8. Should I make the process tester friendly/developer friendly, or both?

..... lots such, without which, your process is a screwed up one. I quit a company, for its process being screwed up by a person who asked only one question to himself "How much hike will I get after I frame the process for testing?"

Now, let me take another example -

Assume, you are about to raise a bug you have found, asking the following questions, and beyond, may help you in writing a fantastic bug report -

  1. First, of all, is it really a bug?
  2. Am I sure about the way I reproduced it?
  3. Is the same or similar bug already raised by someone else, existing in the bug tracking system?
  4. Is there any other possible way, I can reproduce the same bug?
  5. Am I clear about whom should I assign the bug?
  6. Have I written the description of the bug, in a simple, one line sentence?
  7. Have I written the "steps to reproduce", in a way, that any tester/developer, can reproduce the issue, with the help of that?
  8. Have I given them the test input/files, I used to reproduce the issue?
  9. Am I sure that whatever I wrote in the "Observed Result", is same as what I observed?
  10. Am I sure, the "expected result", is the same as what the document/spec/design expects it to be?
  11. Have I given any extra information, which may help the developer to fix the bug faster?
  12. Have I taken the logs and attached the same with the report?
  13. Do I know, where the problem is, to suggest a fix?
  14. Am I sure about the "Severity" and "Priority" to be set for the bug I have found?
  15. Did I miss out anything that may make the job of reproducing the bug, a difficult one, for the tester/developer, who is going to reproduce it?
  16. Did I include screen shots/snaps/video, supporting the bug?
  17. Do I have enough information to clarify someone, if they defer it?
  18. Do I need to ask some other tester to reproduce it before I log the bug?
  19. Is it a fantastic idea to first ask someone to read the information I have jotted down, and ask them to follow exactly what has been written and observe, what difficulty they are facing in reproducing?

Lots... lots ... but never ask yourself "Why should I spend so much time for a simple thing?" , that is the last question, you will ask yourself, if you would want to improve yourself.

_ End of _ Million questions a tester should ask _

A man died without asking any questions, God asked him “Did you ever use brains?


Pradeep Soundararajan


Monday, August 07, 2006

The bugs within a tester

Hi Reader,

In the recent past, I gave many people, an opportunity to find the bugs in me.

"Yes, I made this post interesting for you, with the first line I wrote".

I am happy, about myself, for giving others freedom and chance to find bugs but I am interested in sharing *the method in which they got a chance to find bugs in me, I facilitated it*.

Sometimes, I consciously provoked it and rest were driven by daily happenings of life.

I am finding it comfortable to talk about the bugs my peers/well wishers, identified, as some bugs are fixed, some are getting resolved at high priority and the rest are deferred, since, I am more sure that, those are my features.

_ The bugs within a tester _

"Pradeep, why did you title it as *The bugs within a tester*, than * The bugs within Pradeep* ?"

I felt, if it applies to me, it applies to someone else too. I am no super human to have a bug that is unique to me, sorry for my assumptions.

Here, I give you an example of an accepted bug (bug fixed, of course) and a deferred bug. There are many such, perhaps, you can get in touch with me, to check, How good you are as a tester, by feeling good for not making mistakes, I have made.

The story of directing and re-directing

As you may be aware or not aware, there are many testers, whom I claim to help, for they contacting me personally, provided their queries are well within my reach of proposing a better solution. It so happened once that one such tester, popped up on Yahoo Messenger, and sought my permission to say something about me and with open heart and mind, I said, "Yes, go ahead". He has been someone who has been in touch with me for quite sometime, since the existence of this blog of mine, which has a great impact of my life.

He had to say "Pradeep, you write so wonderful that I have actually marketed your blog in my company, to the testers, since I feel, it makes a tester, learn a lot, beyond that, think a lot" BUT "I see you talk a lot about yourself, your achievements.... actually, without you mentioning it, people will talk about it for your blog speaks who you are"

ACCEPTED, on the spot !

Bug Fix : Well, the problem is, I spoke a lot about myself, my achievements, and sentences like "I did that, I did this, Wow, I am great" and then I asked myself, *Did I wanted to mean it?*

Answer is, sometimes "Yes" but not always and wondered what made someone think like that?
Well, it is the sense of happiness, I wanted to share, I wanted to make the people whom I am guiding/misguiding, realize, I am eligible for what I have been doing. Also, people who are very close to me know, *How I came out of my so called physical handicappiness*, which makes me so proud of myself, for even the smallest of my achievement, I am doing.

Should I correct this?
Yes, very much, if someone is saying, my blog speaks for me, then I need not waste much energy in speaking and becoming redundant loosing the genuine.

The story of arrogance

I was happy to meet a person, what made him meet me, is this blog. He is a fan ! ( of this blog and not me, unacceptable, I write it)

He is a very good person at heart, I could get it. During a conversation he said something that interested me, to listen more from him "I am one big fan of your blog, I keep checking frequently to see new content in it and yes, there is a learning" BUT "you sound very arrogant, I have seen your replies in a Yahoo group on testing, that made me draw this conclusion"

Could he be right?

Yes, he could be but what was my intention when I sent replies to a few threads, discussing on testing. I went back home, looked at those threads, that made me reply in a very arrogant manner.

I thought for about 20 minutes and when I felt I had done with my thinking, I wanted to defer the bug raised.
All, so called, arrogant replies, were the ones with which, I got irritated, as a passionate tester.

A sample is here -
A manager, in India, had mailed to a Yahoo group,moderated mostly by non indian testers, seeking help to *manage/face the Dev Manager who was trying to screw his happiness*. It was written in such a way that, myself, despite being poor in english, felt *I think I am a bit better than this guy*.

I replied to him in such a way that, if you were in that group, you would also have felt that I was too arrogant in advicing something to the manager but that is all you would know about that, since I replied *you deserve it*.

Truth - I was shocked to see his personal reply, accepting his mistake and seeking help from me for his improvement. It made me feel a bit guilty but I was happy to have come across a person, at managerial level, accepting mistakes and seeking help from a junior. Of course, he sought help, after going through most of the posts here.

Slowly, we started communicating and I am sure, he is improving.
I feel "Who am I to brand *he is improving*?".

When, my so called *arrogance* can bring such good people to me, I wish, having it for this lifetime. For people, who form an opinion about me and leave, you need some more patience, at least with me, if you think I can add any value to you but I feel, I can learn from you.

However, if someone posts, queries that did not involve basic search in internet to find out something, seeking help for day to day activities, I shall, work on my arrogance.

The story of "I am not good at testing myself"

She is smart, since she found the bug I was looking for. She, is my cousin, who wanted me to help her of "How to face a new tough situation in life?".
"Pradeep, I called you up, since I felt it is your testing skills which impressed me. I now feel *in life, you may not be as smart as you are in testing*", is what she could conclude.

Bug Status : Needs further investigation
Accepted partially because, I myself knew, I could not add value for her situation. How can I say "that situation is easy to handle", without me experiencing it or experimenting with it. I should have said "I do not know much, do you still want me to help you?", I took it casual, as I thought, it was personal talks and I can loaf and need not be high technical and professional.

A smart tester,need not be always smart and that too, I am a self certified *smart tester*.

The story of "Lessons from peers"

She - again, was able to identify, a bug, rather an interesting one. That added one more reason to like her (just *like*, mam). "Pradeep, you spend too much time worrying for something that does not deserve it".

Is that a bug? Yes, I thought, I can spend time, worrying more ( spend more time) for things that I have been worrying, which could make me technically more tactical.

Bug Status: Medium Severity - Medium Priority bug, will find a fix, it takes time. ( Am I worrying too much about what you said, mam?)

_ End of _ The bugs within a tester _

Well, that is not the end, some learning's, are a treasure, I would want you to experience it.

Sometime back, I read somewhere "Testers should be good enough to fix the bugs", I didn't believe it but I better believe such things, I fixed the bugs and working on the huge list I have. I am still in Beta !

I personally thank James Bach and Jerry Weinberg , who do not even know, they are inspiring me so much, to an extent that, I started feeling , *The biggest achievement what I claim, itself, is nothing, tons to do,before I can even claim of having done one*.

No, I do not want to miss out Mr Ravi Joshi, Sridhar Krishnamurhty and Girish Hampali as the ones, with whom I am in constant touch, who also make me feel the same. Thanks to you all !

Thanks for taking time reading this.

"When you ought to find bugs in you, even if you are the smartest tester, leave the job to others"


Pradeep Soundararajan

Disclaimer: Simple truth, yet, happy for being so bold. Not a single time did I think, *I may spoil my own reputation, * [ others :-( ]

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Why cant you test without documents?

Hi Reader,

One common problem, we currently face, is to test something, without documents. I have received a couple of mails asking "How do I test without documents?"

I have carried out a research on this and would want to present to you, a way, I think, can benefit most of us. (my assumption)

I have tested this experiment, I am proposing, with myself, with the testers who have contacted me for the above problem and yes, it is, Tester Tested!

Why should you believe me, especially with this post?

It is simple, when you see something wrong, it gives you one more point, to think, to be careful not to commit the mistake, of my experiment.

_ Why cant you test without documents? _

Let me take an example -

Shyam is a tester, working with a company XYZ. He has no documents to test something which he has been asked to test. He has no knowledge of the product he is supposed to test and his seniors are not willing to experiment by having documents to test as they have got accustomed to test in a haphazard way and the most important of all, they de motivate Shyam by telling, he *does not know how to test*.

Assume, if Shyam is OK with what is happening for him -
  1. He would, first of all, may not be doing an efficient testing.
  2. He could raise features as bugs.
  3. He could remain in a state of not knowing the importance of documents.
  4. He could work more harder than what ideally a smart tester would.
  5. He would not be sure, if he has tested a feature completely.
  6. He feels, he is not competent, when he tries to look out for a job.

Now, let me tell you the experiment I propose -

  1. First, spend some time, understanding the product by using it. When I mean *use the product*, I would want Shyam to note down the testable scenarios while using the product, make a list and refine the list.
  2. Understand the technology, no technology lives without documentation, that is available in the internet.
  3. Take a look at the bugs, customer has reported earlier and think, which is the most difficult part, analyze, how did the bug slip from the company and landed in customers belt.
  4. Start writing -

When I say start writing, these are the points I expect every Shyam to write -

  • Write an understanding document about the product, get it reviewed by someone, who wants to become a better tester in your organization, or catch hold of the manager, if either of them deny, no harm in leaking the document to someone outside, who could be of help to you.
  • Join those discussion forums, focused on the technology and product, you are supposed to test. Wait, before you join, prepare a set of good questions, you may want to ask to the community, which will help you, test more efficiently than what you could have.
  • Write a Use Case document. A use case document, to my (mis)understanding, is a document, that describes, *What are the possible and impossible ways, does an end user, use the product?* and of course, get it reviewed.
  • From each Use Case, generate a test case, chuck out the one the other testers are using, and evaluate and get it reviewed and compared with the earlier draft that the so called testers are using, test the test case document for its effectiveness.
  • Further, once you test, write a crystal clear report.
  • It does not stop there, take time, immense energy, to write a User guide, get it reviewed by the end users of similar product.

Congradulations Shyam ! You are many steps ahead of people, who crib, for, having to test without documents.

_ Why cant you test without documents? _

There are better ways, I might agree but I disagree, unless you come out with it.

"The probable way to test without documents, is to write one of your own"

Thanks and Regards,

Pradeep Soundararajan


Disclaimer: This,unfortunately, is my own experimented, so called *good result* yielding technique to go about testing without documents. In any case, you follow, to find out, it is not good for you, is a lesson, you learnt in a hard way. I can take the credit of imparting a lesson to you. I have missed the point of "You need to work very hard to make it happen" , intentionally. Kindly refer some articles of Test Experts to get more clarity of *How to test without documents?*. Shyam is not the original name and has been change from Pradeep Soundararajan for privacy reasons.