"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, August 28, 2007

A Tester's Personal Bug Diary & Notes

I was wondering if there is a way that I could spill some of my secrets of finding a lot of bugs in anything I test to other testers who read my blog. I think, I finally found a way in which, I also could tell, how some experts with whom I interact are fantastic bug hunters.

It's not a big deal and it is simple enough for you to follow, if you intend to be wonderful bug hunter.

I got this idea after I did testing for a new application that a company developed and claimed that is tested enough gave it to me to check for some bugs that they might have missed.

It was a very important session both for me and for the company. Another interesting thing for me is that the company had sent their developers on some work to my office and I had a chance to make them sit with me while I was testing. Whenever I found a bug, I said a story. Here is one such: "I have not come across a user who would want to hover the mouse all around his monitor to spot that button, which is an important action that he would want to do after entering so much data. Do you know of anyone who would like to do that?" ...

18 important bugs in 32 minutes of testing and I met the mission that I set for myself - Find important problems, quickly. I said to myself "Wow Pradeep" and then added to it, "How could I do it?"

Rapid Testing taught me to observe patterns, carefully and decode information from that can be of great help and yes it did come handy while I observed the pattern of my tests and bugs that I found. I must admit that 95% of the bugs I found in that session are from ideas that I had already developed testing other applications over the past and by registering the pattern in my brain.

And here is an important question I asked to myself: "Pradeep, can you do this wonderful job all time?"

Here is the answer: No! Not all time because it depends on a lot of different factors, out of which some I can control and some I can't.

The pattern and behavior of our own brain is something that I feel is tough to understand. It responds to the queries we put based on the situation in which it is at that phase. If I am upset over something and I put a query to it, it doesn't retrieve immediately or it might have a performance issue at that context but the wonderful brain needs something to rejuvenate.

What can that be?

"Hey Pradeep, you said you found a way to help testers become fantastic bug hunters and now you try answering something else?"

A tester's brain needs questions and ideas and to rejuvenate, motivate, push, think... it needs to look at your own work. No, my idea isn't to carry a video of all testing you do but a database, for sure.

What kind of a database could it be?

Presenting to you, A Tester's Personal Bug Diary & Notes ( right click, save and open )

I pull my ideas to find a lot of bugs from my database that currently resides on my brain. I am excited about the one that I created and I would be using it and someday, I can just filter the results based on the application I test and find many important problems in a few minutes. I am sure my clients would be willing to pay a lot of money as they see cost v/s value.

Off topic: I added a Copyright section to my blog that says: I, Pradeep Soundararajan, own the copyrights of all my writing in this blog. If you want to reproduce a part or any of my posts anywhere on the web provide a link to the blog or a specific post or if you want to reproduce it as a hard copy, please send an e-mail to pradeep.srajan@gmail.com .

Plagiarism (stealing of posts and not owing credits or claiming to be authors) of any of the content or ideas obtained from this blog would be reported to Cyber Crime Department and my tester friends network is wide enough that ones who plagiarize have lesser chance of not landing
in jail.

-- 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


Ajoy Singha said...

This is a nice post and your excel sheet will help me keep my list of bugs. I maintain a personal bug list but yours is a more elaborate one and with guidelines that seems perfect.

Keep posting such valuable sfuffs.

Ajoy Kumar Singha

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

@Ajoy Kumar,

I am glad you would be adopting it.

Sharing notes and bug stories are important, so you might want to pass it to other testers you know. Interacting on a monthly basis about the notes and bugs with those testers can make each of them a wonderful bug hunter and a tester will million dollar smile and salary, too, hopefully.

Shanmuga Raja said...

Really useful and inspiring pradeep, i just updated this spreadsheet to my pda and going to update as frequent as possible... really good idea testers diary!!!

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Thanks and I am sure as you practice updating the spreadsheet, your bug finding rate might shoot up.

I wish you good luck and thanks for the support.

I thought it was simple but the kind of responses I have received say... :It is simple but many are lazy.

I want to release my updated version someday but fear that becoming a template to find bugs rather than the thought process.

Shrini Kulkarni said...

Good one pradeep ...

Creating your own bug list is a great way to build test ideas.

Few others that I think would be useful are -

1. Building pnemonics and use them
SFDPO is the king of all. Others like HICCUPS and the ones by Scott Barber, Ben Simo are quite useful.

2. Reading few bug reports (3-5) everyday. These bugs repoorts could be from you own company and opensource. Reading bug reports is a great way to start a testers new day in office (in house too ..).
This tip comes from another Great James - James Whittaker.

It has been my long curiosity to investigate how few testers (thinkers) are able to notice and come up with so many new ideas everytime, again again ...

This is something that I have never been able to crack ... May be they are blessed ones and practice the stuff very methodologically.

Yes, going too overboard on creating a test ideas has a danger of people using it like a checklist and switch off their mind hard disk.


Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Thanks for the comment.

I am glad that you liked the idea.
If a check list can help testers find bugs, that's great. This would be something like a cheat sheet that every tester creates. If you and me are colleagues and close friends, we share our sheets and learn from each other.

For those who want to use others sheet, it is still good value for the customer because they might find more bugs and it adds value or it might make them curious enough to create one on their own.

In my experience: those who find bugs, wants to find more, and more and more, and more.

Those who want to find more, will learn more, and learn more, and learn more.


The sheet that I have thrown up is just one way of learning more.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting idea to have a Bug Diary. I think I've been doing that informally inside my head for years but writing it down I know would help me remember much more.

Thanks for the new idea to try!

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Look ma, this idea is going good with testers!

I am glad you liked it and I am sure it would be worth a try and practice because I have unlocked the way to help testers learn from their own work, which they usually fail in a number of ways to first identify the good things they do and second rely on them when a situation demands.

I would be glad if you could pass this on to others, too.

I am learning to observe myself a lot better and hence these ideas pop up. I am sure more great ideas can pop up if every tester starts looking into their own work, more carefully.

Meeta Prakash said...

hey pradeep ........ great to see you back in action so soon and with so many good posts ....... !!

wish you goodluck !!

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Thanks and I am glad you too liked it. Why not put a word about Infy guys about this?

Divya said...

Hi.Thanks its really a very good idea.I will also implement it and will try to learn. Actually i am new to testing can you please guide me something so that i can put my efforts to the hilt in correct direction and will become a bug hunter like you in near future.. :-)
I liked your blog very much.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


You might want to chew the cud slowly. Eat something, chew it for a while that you practice chewing it every time and then chew something new.

You should be considering to read a lot of other blogs. I have mentioned those people's name a couple of times in my blog and all you need to do is to explore.

nagendragp said...

Hi, Thanks and good post as always. You know what you are doing really a good job in providing all this information it helps all of us to learn more and be successful in testing.