"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.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bangalore Weekend Testers: Fun, Learn & Contribute

Let me brag a little bit and then get to the core. I don't believe in feedback forms that are asked to be filled by participants at the end of a training program. That's not a time to fill the feedback form because the value of the training can be determined only when participants get back to their work and apply the ideas they gained.

However, I ask all participants to fill it because the client who hired me wants it, so I don't necessarily change myself per se after looking at the feedback forms unless someone takes time to talk to me about it. As Mohan Panguluri says, "Pradeep, you are like Himesh Reshamaya. Either people fall in love with your music or they hate you at core" and its so true. My feedback forms hardly have an average rating. I am hoping that you saw this feedback report that I bet with all trainers of the world as hard to achieve. I either get a -30,000 rating or a 6 on a scale of 1 to 5. So, you see, how much they hate me?

Now, the actual feedback for me is when people go back and perform better at work. Of course you know about Sharath's great story that fetched him several awards at Mindtree. That's history now.

So, let's look at present. Quoting Jon Bach, "I prefer testers who are more curious than technical. Being technical does not make you more curious, but curiosity can make you more technical."

I mentor a few testers who are as curious or maybe even more curious than me. A co-incidence that these people also attended my workshops on Exploratory Testing and Rapid Software Testing. Among several good things they have done so far, I am starting to like their initiative of - Bangalore Weekend Testing

So, here is the deal of Bangalore Weekend Testing

They ( Ajay Balamurugadas , Manoj Nair, Parimala, Sharath Byregowda ) get together online, pick a product ( preferably open source ) and test together. At the end they publish a report that is helpful to the organization, team or open source project owners. Most important of all they have great fun and learn together.

I dont think you should be deprived of such fun and learning especially when it comes for free.
  • It can happen from wherever you are and is a great way to have fun during weekend if you claim that testing is your passion.
  • You will always have something to take back to your office on Monday and try out new things to help your organization.
  • You would get to meet a lot of other testers online and network.
  • You would learn from each other and better your ideas in testing.
  • You could end up meeting them and doing more testing together.
  • These people will also help you set up a blog and help you publish your experiences and could even mentor you.
  • You help the community of software testers by demonstrating your skills and or through your reports.
  • You help open source projects better their next release or plan for a next release.

  • Once you are subscribed to weekendtesting@gmail.com you will receive updates on time and projects that is planned for the weekend or it may happen as you find the registrants online
  • A chat group is created on Gtalk by a facilitator ( say Ajay ) and invite all registered testers to it. ( Registration means sending an e-mail to weekendtesting@gmail.com saying "hey, I am curious" )
  • With the help of a Session Tester, testing for a product would go on for about 2 - 3 hours or even more as the excitement goes on.
  • Participants then spend time preparing their reports and share it across e-mail, get it reviewed and then publish it on their blogs ( if they want to ) or in a website that is coming up.
  • Will be so much fun as you are in direct control of your tests. No manager or Lead watching you and no time pressure and no customer waiting for your report. Just do it!
  • You wait for the next weekend.

Examples from the past:

01st August 2009.
Ajay, Parimala.
Blogs posts:

Note : These people are doing thing to bring the community together. It does not matter who you are, what certifications you have, what school you belong to, whether you like our ideas or hate them. All it matters here is - do you have the curiosity and passion to have fun through testing and yet be valuable to the open source community. Only fun and learning can unite us all - that's their motto.

Curious? Wanna have fun and learn to test better? Shoot an e-mail to weekendtesting@gmail.com

Join Facebook group of Bangalore Weekend Testers

or Test Republic group to get updates about it or to keep a tab on their reports and activities.

To all those who were concerned that community was constantly being divided, here is what could make us all one - fun while testing together. Here are the guys who are doing it. Be a part of it and have fun.

Update: Aug 18th, 2009

Check out how Bangalore Weekend Testers - 3 went and see if you are fine missing the 4th?

Parimala's Report : http://curioustester.blogspot.com/2009/08/bangalore-weekend-testing-3-bwt-3.html
Ajay's Report: http://enjoytesting.blogspot.com/2009/08/weekend-testing-session-report.html


Rahul Gupta said...

Thanks for this "innovative idea" Pradeep and certainly it would be like learning over a weekend and getting better prepared for Mondays.

I'll soon be sending a request to the mail id mentioned in your blog as "I am curious". Thanks Again!!!

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Your thanks goes to those guys ( Ajay, Sharath, Manoj and Pari ). I am just passing this on to people out there.

Kashif Ali Habib said...

Nice Post Pradeep,

Ajay, Pari ans sharath and mono taken a great inititative, its quite interesting to spend your weekend with tetsing, it will help me a lot in grooming my skills in software testing and interacting with testers community.

you have floated a nice idea,i really appreciate pradeep.

keep it up :)


Jassi said...

Thanks Pradeep..Kudos to the team and you....the weekend testing was really wonderful, looking forward to next weekend, finally I felt like I am a software tester......


Anonymous said...

Nice wee concept ...

Couple of curious questions though
"great way to have fun during weekend if you claim that testing is your passion"

Does that mean testers who don't test over the weekend are not passionate enough ? OR testing over the weekend makes you are more passionate testing ?

What about the lovely concept of work life balance ?

P.S -> Testing here means actually getting down to executing testing and publishing reports and stuff
Not thinking about test ideas/concepts/day dreaming etc etc which all passionate testers do all the time !

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Does that mean testers who don't test over the weekend are not passionate enough ? OR testing over the weekend makes you are more passionate testing ?

Well nothing like that. However, if you are passionate about testing you might always want to test along as many testers as possible. You may want to seize this opportunity as often as possible and did I mention it is a compulsion?

What about the lovely concept of work life balance ?

If you see performing testing activity as a work then you are right you need to have a balance of not performing testing over the weekend or preferably even during the week.

Not thinking about test ideas/concepts/day dreaming etc etc which all passionate testers do all the time !

If you look at what happened in BWT-4, after testing there was a discussion o testing strategies taken by each and other participants questioning it.

Ajay Balamurugadas said...

Hi Anonymous!!!

I'd be very happy to learn from you if you have better ideas to improve the testing skills other than what we do.

Let me tell you what we do:

1. Make testers comfortable by giving full freedom to test.

2. Expose testers to a diversity of products.
BWT 1: www.vischeck.com
BWT 2: www.tinyURL.com
BWT 3: WireFrame
BWT 4: FreeMind

3. Brainstorm test ideas and test strategies after the testing session.

4. Publish and circulate reports to every member.(Learning opportunity: How to write better reports)

5. Have fun while learning. You learn best when you WANT to learn not when you are FORCED to learn :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Ajay...

I believe you got me wrong over there..
I did not intend to question your methods/approach to testing

In fact I had appreciated/liked this concept in the first sentence of my post

My intention was to question the claim OR get a clarification from Pradeep regarding
"if you claim that testing is your passion. "

because the vibe that i was getting form the post was that passion for testing was maybe being directly equated to enthusiasm to work on weekends :).

Which i believe has been clarified by Pradeep.

In fact i feel I am culprit of the same...sometimes I feel I need to defocus from testing/being critical of things for a while! :)

One feedback that I would like to give you Ajay is that -

Do you track the issues that you guys raise or followup on them ?
i.e.which ones were accepted in development/fixed/need verification ?

because -
1.It would be great if that is done from a value measurement point of view to that particular Open soruce project OR to your testing session ?

2.Provide direction to the areas that need testing focus the next time such a session runs maybe on the same/another product OR type of testing you might want to execute the next time

If I were part of such session I would strongly push for such post mortems !


Ajay Balamurugadas said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for your ideas. Good points.

We have got replies from the open source programmers appreciating our testing. The main point they share is that they are very busy and would take 2-3 weeks to go through our entire bug reports.

We do circulate each participant's reports to everyone with comments like "Unreproducible", "Why do you think its a bug with justification". This goes on as an offline email discussion.