"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 30, 2007

Walking along Testers Street!

Hi Reader,

I don't want to kill your excitement of reading THIS ARTICLE by giving an introduction to it. Feel free to share it with anyone you like, if it is that interesting. I felt it interesting and hence I shared it with you all in my blog.

This article is important in a way that makes you think of how you ......

-- Pradeep Soundararajan - http://testertested.blogspot.com - pradeep.srajan@gmail.com - +91-98451-76817

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Meet Michael Bolton in Bangalore Tester Meet

Hi Reader,

Michael Bolton has been traveling to India quite often these days. Here is an opportunity for you to meet him at Bangalore Tester's Meet.

Michael has played a pivotal role in inspiring testers worldwide to better their skills and is on the verge of creating more passionate and skilled testers. A meet has been planned in Bangalore where he can meet as many testers as possible and help them to better their skills. Bangalore, is one potential place in the world which attracts investment from the western world.

India is a growing potential market where we will run out of skills to produce the products that we would want to use. Let's start thinking about skills hereafter, just in case if we have not been doing so far.

People like Shrini Kulkarni from iGate, Mahantesh from Hewlett Packard are the early Indians to have caught Michael's attention. In western countries testers meet, share their learning and take away ideas from other testers and overall contribute to the community BUT we have not yet been doing it so far except the conferences.

Some Test Managers at Mindtree Consulting, Bangalore have expressed their interest to offer a place for all the testers to meet. They just need to confirm it with their management before I make that an official news.

I am sure the Mindtree testers are wanting to be leaders of the race of becoming skilled testers and lets catch up with them guys :)

This is an open meet for testers and IT IS FREE. We made it free because we see that in India there are passionate people who are unable to afford costs that the conference puts up. I am sure this is one among the best thing that is going to Indian testing community.

If your destiny is to become a skilled tester, the meet is for you.

Come and discover the skills of testing!

Some Indian testers with whom I have been interacting with have a notion that learning testing is all about learning definitions and terminologies and knowing how to write test cases, test plan and talking about BVA, EQP, COCOMO, Certification.... Ah! To learn all these you need not be a tester, anyone can learn or memorize these things.

Come and discover the skilled side of testing.

The year 2010:

Tester-A meets Tester-B and says "Hey, how are you able to test so well. We both have been studied the same thing from the same books. What differentiates me and you?"

Tester-B says, "Well, from Jan 31 2007, I started attending "Skilled Tester Meet" and those regular meetings, workshops and interaction with so many testers have made me what I am today"

I wish you don't be Tester-A at 2010.

Keep coming back to this post to know the updates and more information on the meet.

You can get in touch with me through pradeep.srajan@gmail.com, if you want me to keep you posted on the information on meet. I am trying to organize things and hence I might have real time information on this.

I shall post a road map, place details and bus routes to help you reach the venue on time.
Get a bunch of your colleagues and help them too to get skilled since you need competition to keep improving your skills :)

See you all there!


Pradeep Soundararajan - http://testertested.blogspot.com - pradeep.srajan@gmail.com - +91-98451-76817

( For non Bangalore city testers, get in touch with me: I can help you organize such meets at your places )

Update: The meet was a great success. Take a look at what Michael Bolton wrote about the meet!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Testing treasure for free

Hi Reader,

On Jan 18th 2007, it's birthday of
Tester Tested blog. On this occasion, I want to honor all my readers and the way I am going to honor is pretty different from what any other bloggers might have tried doing.

Hey, I am here for the first time, I am not your blog reader so am I not going to be honored?
You have read so far, so you are my reader now :)

As my blog reader, here is a chance for you to win a free book written by Cem Kaner, James Bach and Bret Pettichord.

All you need to do is to just send me your mailing address and I shall send it to you within 5 working days.

Well, if you thought that is how you can get a free copy of Lessons learned in Software Testing. You are wrong!

This is how you can get it:

The above picture is a screen shot of something that you are going to enter and test it. Wait, here are the rules to win a free copy of "Lessons learned in Software Testing" -

I want to hear a story about how you explored the program. ( Contest Closed )

Do not send me your test ideas or test cases but I need a story, you might find a couple of stories in this blog and you might build your own. Take a look at a sample story .

The first 8 best stories win a free copy of Lessons Learned in Software Testing !

  • You can e-mail me your story to - pradeep.srajan@gmail.com
  • The copies would be sent to you if you are within India only.
  • I would take care of the postage charges and you just need to receive it, read it, enjoy it and become a better tester.
  • I am giving these books for free to encourage skill development of Indian testers.
  • 8 is a number that I love and if there are more than 8 good stories I receive, I would love to send a free copy to them too.
  • The winners name will be updated on this post.
  • You can also get your story critiqued by me, and you need to mention in the e-mail if you want me to spend time on it. Unless you specify, I would learn something from your story and keep quiet :)
  • To challenge your skills, get the testers in your company to work on this exercise.
  • There is no last date. As long as I have money to send you a book, I can keep giving you a book.
  • I shall upload the best stories I receive and shall share the link, so keep coming back to this post and check what's new.
  • Even if you do not win the book, you have a chance to receive a link to online treasure that can make you a better Black Box Tester!
I thank you all so much for encouraging me. The number of people this blog has brought to my life is amazing. I wish to get more people to my life!

Get honored!

Pradeep Soundararajan - http://testertested.blogspot.com - +91-98451-76817

"Pradeep's first language is not English--his first language appears to be testing." -- Michael Bolton

Monday, January 08, 2007

Testing exercises, found everywhere

Hi Reader,

After getting Satisficed, I find myself craving for more testing exercises. I have started to work on my own exercises for coaching my full time student Rajesh.

The exercises are usually ad-hoc.When I say ad-hoc, I mean we both go out for a walk and I see something, get an idea and throw an exercise to him. I attach a testing context to it and I set traps. A tester is supposed to clear the traps and accomplish the mission.

Such exercises are helping me to think of ideas, set traps, clear traps and pair testing. Michael Bolton, once gave me an exercise, 2+2=4 and it is that exercise, which made me realize exercises are everywhere.

Here it goes, "A bullet and car glass exercise" that Rajesh and I were playing yesterday:

A man fires a bullet from his gun, aiming at a car window glass. The glass remains undamaged.

List the possibilities for the glass remaining undamaged.

(you might want to work on the above exercise before you have a look at our answer)
  • Glass is bullet proof
  • It was a toy gun with a plastic/rubber bullet.
  • Aim was not proper.
  • Misfiring.
  • Car moved.
  • The object did look like a glass but it wasn't.
  • Someone inside the car, opened the door/window.
  • The man shot at the reflection of the car/glass window.
  • It was a mirage.
  • The barrel was bent in an angle.
  • Someone/object/bird/animal, came in between.
  • Car was protected by an invisible shield ( As shown in the movie "Independance Day")
  • The man shot from a distance more than the range of the gun.
  • The man shot the bullet from underwater, the bullet lost its potential or momentum to break the glass.
  • The car was in a paper advertisement and the person reading the paper changed the page by the time the man fired a bullet.
  • In some Indian movies, the hero catches a fast moving bullet with his bare hands. There is a possibility that an Indian hero caught the bullet before it hit the glass. :)
  • The bullet was deviated due a strong wind/storm.
  • The time the man was pulling the trigger, someone shot him.
  • The barrel was blocked.
  • The glass we are talking is not the same car window glass.
  • The man always missed his aim by a couple of metres.
  • The car was inside a showroom protected by transperent bullet proof doors/windows.
  • <>

It appears to me that such an exercise, helps a tester in coming out with test ideas, brainstorming the possible situations of a bug found by the customer, reproducing the bugs that are found by non-test teams/clients/end-user.

I see many testers struggling for ideas. Working through such exercises can improve spontaneous idea generation, which helps when practiced and put in testing projects.

Here is another one:

The image you see above, is a screen shot taken from PuTTY. I had enabled logging the session and the image you see above pops up, each time I try to login.

You might observe the options "Yes" , "No" and "Cancel". If you take a careful look you might also observe a "Close" button "X" on the top right corner. Now, work through this:

  • What is the difference between "Cancel" and "Close"?
  • How would you test "Cancel" and "Close" functions?
  • If "Cancel" and "Close" produce the same result to end user, can one of them be removed?
  • Why would a user prefer to have both?
  • If you were to design this window; what would be your design considerations?
  • What evidence would you give or look for to differentiate "Cancel" and "Close" as two different operations?
  • On finding an evidence that "Cancel" and "Close" are two different operations, would you log a bug for a situation where you are testing a different application that has "Cancel" and "Close", as same operations?
  • What are your test ideas and oracles to test this? ( Oracle: is a principle or mechanism used to recognize a problem)
  • List all possible applications that you have toured and tested, which has a "Cancel" and "Close" and also try remembering whether all of them behaved in the same way.

Asking a lot of questions like these helps you develop your questioning, clears assumptions, find bugs and see the smallest things in front of you as the most challenging and learning opportunities.

You have exercises everywhere. If you need to see them, you need to have a passion towards the craft, a passion to better yourselves as a tester and "(smart)testers way of thinking" and willingness to help other testers.

"A good testing exercise, reveals a hole in your education" - James Bach

(I vaguely remember James saying this to me, if I worded it wrong, James would correct me)

Pradeep Soundararajan - http://testertested.blogspot.com - +91-98451-76817 - pradeep.srajan@gmail.com

"Pradeep's first language is not English--his first language appears to be testing." -- Michael Bolton

Monday, January 01, 2007


Hi Reader,

2006 has been a great year for me and I am sure it has been great for you, too. This post, is a milestone post for me, not because I am posting this on Jan 1, 2007 but because "I AM SATISFICED".

What do I mean by "SATISFICED"?

I mean, I have been hired by James Bach as an Indian Representative of Satisfice Inc. Read this in James Bach's Blog! . This is the biggest thing that has happened to me as a tester next to getting a chance to become a disciple of James Bach and Michael Bolton.

There has been a lot of hard work that has gone through to reach this position of being recognized by James Bach and to become the representative of Satisfice in India. Perhaps, the "first Indian" feeling, is much more great.

The history, so far - ( condensed for a good enough reading experience )

It was Jan 11th 2006, I first sent an e-mail to James Bach saying "James, I have 2 years of experience as a software tester and I am a good tester". I never knew that it was a good way, to make James reply to my e-mail, since I received a reply the same day but with a lot of questions that was tough to answer. Some of the questions that is now obvious to me from James were...

- Are you good at testing? How do you know?
- What is your approach to learning about testing?
- What is the most useful book you have read that taught you something about testing?

On a reply, to the above questions that did not convince him, he put me through an exercise -

If you want to show me what you can do, I have a URL I can give you that contains something worth testing. It is here:http://webapps.ncua.gov/CapDep/OnePercent.asp

I checked the e-mail 9:30 PM IST and tested that application for 8 hours from then. I involved myself to such an extent that I forgot I had to sleep and I sent my test report at 5:30 AM IST.

That was the birth of a new, serious,passionate student for James and a nuclear energy injected into me through his interaction. It also was the birth of sleepless nights :)

Some people might consider that I was lucky to have reached this milestone (being "SATISFICED"), but at least me and or James know, I have worked hard amidst odds. Financially, I had some very tough times when I lost my job in Feb 2006. I had no money to afford an internet connection that was essential for me to keep in touch with James and learn more than what I could individually. After getting to know Jerry Weinberg, I became too curious to know what is happening inside SHAPE forum, where great minds keep discussing something that is of my interest, it costed me 2800 rupees. The money I had in my Citibank account was less than the number of digits of the account number, however credit card came handy. I am not putting a show of a poverty struck person but it was a tough time that I passed through and yet, nothing could stop me from learning, practicing and work on exercises that James gave me to work. The exercise from James Bach was the only thing I got for free during those days.

When I did a good enough job with those exercises, I was happy and when I did not, James was happy, as he had more lessons to teach. We have been happy all this while :)

Introducing Michael Bolton, was another gift I got from James for working on more testing exercises. I could not have expected a better gift!

It was May 2006 that I got a job and started to earn again but I was offered less than what I earned previously, yet I took it up since I had to repay the credit card bills and other debts. I could not resist myself even for a short while to get a broadband internet connection at home and I bought a lot of things and ended up utilizing my salary for making myself more equipped for a good enough online learning experience.

Meanwhile, I coached a couple of testers in India and also as my blog was becoming popular within Indian testers, I could see an increase in the testers who contacted me with a lot of questions. I practiced a lot coaching other testers, experimenting and thinking. I offered free consulting and I interacted with different people too. I was happy that I did testing at the organization I was working for.

Many Indian testers, who were not wooed by certifications and were concentrating on their skill as a tester kept encouraging me and added a responsibility. I offered to share my learning with them, It happened through my blog, personal meet, peer conference that I organized, e-mail discussions....

I still owe them a lot and I wish to see a future where there are more context-driven testers, Rapid Software Testers, doing a good enough job in India.

I am fast forwarding the history to December 8th 2006. I met Michael Bolton, at an international testing conference in Hyderabad, India. The sessions were lined up in such a way that I was next to Michael Bolton. [ I wish to be next to Michael,always, but he is in the same race I am running; I am catching up with you Michael :) ]

I conjecture, by the words of my manager at the organization I was working for that I was doing a good enough job. On the day I quit that organization to become a part of a Satisfice, following is the e-mail, my supervisor sent as a note of appreciation to the entire test team there -

All the best, Pradeep.

There are learnings for all of us from the way Pradeep has conducted himself in this tenure in the team. The confidence he has shown and willingness to help others and constantly exploring for new ideas are some of the higlights.

Fortunately I was also part of the team which Pradeep was associated. One more thing I would wish to share with you all is that, he was handling the testing for XXX ( customer name masked by me) and I feel proud to say that, there isn't any bug which customer found apart from what we or Pradeep found here. On behalf of the team and on a personal note I wish him all the best in all his future endeavours.

It put tears into my eyes to read such an e-mail from a supervisor. I used exploratory testing and all the learning that I have had through exercises that James and Michael gifted me, so far. [ I welcome such gifts from you, too and would love if you pay me :) ]

A lot of Indian testers, have mentioned that I or my blog, have inspired them too and it makes me responsible than happy. India, is my base and I am here for you all. I was delighted when Rajesh Kumar joined me as a full time student after looking at my work and the many interactions we had.

I have never been to US or any other country so far but the first time I would want to travel abroad, to meet,learn and work with people like James Bach, Jerry Weinberg, Cem Kaner, Jon Bach, Jonathon Kohl, Mike Kelly, Bret Pettichord, Johanna Rothman, Elisabeth Hendrickson, Hung Ngyuen, Scot Barber, Simon Fields..... ( I have a list of 200 people that I'd like to meet and the first few names I remembered now, are listed above. You could be one among the 200 and yet not be in the list of names mentioned here, so please offer an appointment if I contact you when I come to your place)

_ history ends, there might be a better history, next year! _

I am preparing myself, for the challenges in 2007. Wish to be my client - contact me at Pradeep@Satisfice.com or pradeep.srajan@gmail.com or +91-98451-76817