"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.

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 :-( ]


Joy Forever said...

Kabir said "Ninduk niyare rakhiye, angan kuti chhay; Binu pani sabun bina, nirmal kare suhay." (Keep people who criticise near you, give them a place in your own house. For they clean your habits without soap and water.)
So we should really pay attention to the "testers" around us who try to find our bugs. Thanks for showing the way Pradeep!

Anonymous said...

Nice Post Pradeep!!!