"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, June 25, 2007

Curiosity (,s)kills (and) bad testers

Jon Bach ( brother of James Bach ) said, "It's easy to teach technology than to make the students curious" addressing students of a reputed university in United States.

I addressed Masters and PhD students who made into India's premier institute - Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai because they were more curious than others who prepared for the entrance examinations. The people to whom I spoke were also a part of incubatee company Feast Software in IIT, Mumbai. While returning to Bangalore from Mumbai, I had to spend a night in the airport waiting for the early morning flight.

Michael Bolton, had gifted me a Moleskine Note Book during our first meet and in fact Moleskine notes is something that pulled me and Michael together, more close, even before we had met.

I use the Moleskine Notes - to take notes while I test, to use my time wisely in writing something that can help me do a better testing, to capture all learning that nature has bestowed, to note down points, rants, musings, tips and tricks from testers and testing business guru's I meet.

I offered an Indian version of Moleskine to my student Sathish Kumar, who is a top blogger on testing in Cognizant Technology Solutions internal blogs.

The Moleskine notes had a busy time at airport while I kept thinking and writing a lot of stuff. One such topic that I thought, wondered and wrote is:

What has made me curious about things I hear, I see, I touch and things that I want to see, I want to hear and want to touch?

  1. In my childhood, my parents couldn't afford to get me things I wanted and it made me curious to know more about those things when I saw others using it or the ad's associated with it flashed on Television.
  2. I was forced to feel ashamed of not knowing certain things by my primary and high school teachers. I could have learned it as the information passed me.
  3. Some men appeared to be happy of knowing certain things. I wondered what kind of happiness do such men get when they gain the knowledge on something that interested them.
  4. Some people ate a food that appeared to be attractive to my tongue and brains, which I could not afford.
  5. A friend of mine claimed to enjoy something ( a toy, an experience at a theme park, a game that he played, a place to which he had been) which I could not because I could not afford it or I was not willing to go for it.
  6. Every time when I look back at my own actions, behavior, decisions, foolish stuff that I did... I wonder "why did I do that?".
  7. I couldn't be in all professions and hence learning from people in other professions interested me.
  8. I was a kid 2 decades ago. ( virtue of being curious )
  9. Sometimes I didn't have anything to do and became curious about 'what happens next?'.
  10. Knowing people, like Sir Thomas Alva Edison, my father - Soundararajan Govinda Rao, James Bach, Jerry Weinberg, Michael Bolton, Sridhar Krishnamurthy, Ravi Joshi, Sudhindra Haldodedri inspired me to think, "how could I become one such?"
  11. I was fooled, several times.
  12. I was christened "dumbo" in my teenage by my friends and high school teachers.
  13. My happiness was directly proportional to the things I knew.
  14. I enjoyed breaking rules. ( at home, school and at work - when I am testing )
  15. I always wanted to be the best (but didn't believe in getting 1st rank in school and college as the way to achieve it)
  16. I enjoyed failures and started enjoying more of it when people wondered and asked me "what makes you smile when you fail?"
  17. Since childhood, I was in love with questions.
  18. I enjoyed others curiosity.
  19. My father made me wait for over 20 years to appreciate any work that I did. ( although I could sense that he felt happy every time I shared a little achievement ). I was curious to get it out from him and the only way is to do something great that he volunteers an appreciation. I wasn't aware of what he might consider as a great work.
  20. My uncle N. Radhakrishnan, with whom I spent most of my childhood, kept inspiring me with the ways he solved problems that appeared in front of him. Today I realize, where I started off to learn "lateral thinking" .
  21. James Bach and Michael Bolton tested me against their exercises.
  22. I am curious to know what points I might have missed while listing this for you.
I doubt if you can show me a great tester who isn't curious about things but I can take a bet - "show me a bad tester, I shall help you discover a lack of curiosity in him". [ he might be curious on something else that doesn't help in testing]

Curiosity makes people to ask questions. Those who question, have more chances to become a better tester or be great problems solvers in the professions they chose.

Ben Simo, a senior tester from United States is one among the most curious people I have recently come across. You could see him write, think and comment on different and wide variety of topics in testing.

"If you are curious, you attract other curious people and hence both of your curiosity grows further". Ben and I have been attracted towards each other's work, blogs, ideas and thought process. Aren't you curious to know more about Ben Simo?

Curiosity helps in curing all diseases that stop you in becoming a good tester. Be curious, get cured!

-- 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