"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.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A tester's screen saver

When man stepped on the moon, the cost of being on the surface and experimenting was a Million US Dollars a second in 1969.

Many projects that we work on today are as critical as the one above, not in terms of the cost of the test but the cost of missing a test, which matters to the client or affects the end user or the organization to whom you deliver your services. It is my opinion that the definition of "complete testing" many testers have, isn't convincing test experts or philosophers of testing. Hence it seems to be less plausible if someone says; I have tested this completely. It is interesting to note that some testers, in my experience have been using this knowledge of , impossibility of complete testing, to defend their work when questioned about a bug that they failed to find.

Investigative scientists and data collection team at NASA used guideword heuristics to maximize value of running test or observation at the cost of One Million US dollars a second. Refer to page 52 of Rapid Software Testing Appendices for more information.

Reading that would motivate a passionate tester to maximize value for the project he is working and would work in the future. The concept of thinking like an expert, enters a passionate tester mind on reading such articles.

It's time you realize, the importance of heuristics for testing a product better than what you have been doing so far, if you haven't been thinking about heuristics.

Now, all this is fine but who is going to help you each time to remember some of the most important heuristics that might help you to test in a way that makes you thank the heuristics and the people who came out with it?

It's none other you, dear passionate tester.

I like to offer a help to all those passionate testers who would want to use heuristics and think of cost v/s value when they test. I was delighted when I got the idea of offering a help and started working on it immediately. I am confident that most of you would like my idea and would recommend the usage of it to other testers too. My fingers remain crossed, though.

It's time for you to have a look at it. So download this www.satisfice.com/RST36.zip . Do not be afraid to run the exe, it's a screen saver that I have built for you, dear tester.

The idea will speak the rest and I stop here :)

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

Note: There were some issues with the screen saver earlier. Thanks to Venkat Reddy and Rosie Sherry for identifying the issue


Anonymous said...


and what's your own Heuristic?

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

Thanks for your question!

I might be having my own set of heuristics but I think I haven't named them yet. How did you find the idea of running the screen saver to keep reminding a tester of heuristics?

Anonymous said...

I love the Idea of the screensaver, but has you add in it, the james bach idea of have your own heuristic, thats why I ask you about yours.

What are your steps? your key points?

I have found that the Bach-Bolton one can be remembered easy if you make that a MindMap as you have the JK one.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Thanks for the explanation. James insists on having our own mnemonic for remembering heuristics and not necessarily own heuristics.Instead of a mnemonic, a screen saver of heuristics is my idea.

Anonymous said...

I installed screen saver to default location, but when I try to run preview, I get error pop-up with title Rsthv1-1, and text register key not exist \Software\1ststudio\Paths\.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Željko Filipin ,

Thanks for dropping by. This error was appearing with my earlier version but I am not sure why this error exists with the latest version where others are able to run it without issues.

I tested it on two different machines and it seem to work for me, even a couple of minutes back.

I am disappointed that you are unable to preview or view it. In case you get hold of another system, could you please try in that?

In the meanwhile, if I get some support from 1st studio personnel, I shall keep you posted. Many thanks for your interest in it.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Željko Filipin ,

Many thanks. Your exploration skills came handy and thanks for sharing the information. I hope you enjoy using the screen saver.

Anonymous said...

I installed on my machine. It is a great idea of having these on a screen saver - repetition / consistency keeps the person efficient.

However the following phrase didn't appeal to me
"I tested it on two different machines and it seem to work for me, even a couple of minutes back."
although it worked ok on my dell laptop, it looks like it took my machine's memory to toll making it too slow to bring up a browser instance until I changed the screen saver.

hope it can be fixed...

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Thank you for liking the idea and hope you would recommend this to other testers too.

The issue can be fixed but not by me because someone else owns the code and I just used the eval copy to do it.

I hope they listen to you!