"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 12, 2014

Fake Agile - Test Consultant

I call myself a Fake Agile - Test Consultant. All consulting I have done in the space of Agile never exposed to me what some people over the internet seem to be talking about.

When I first read the Agile Manifesto I was excited. It sounded a lot like Context Driven Testing to me. I was hoping that tons of problems I faced in my career with poor software engineering practices would go away and people would be more happy developing and testing software. I saw more stressed faces or more irresponsible faces.

In reality, all places I have been exposed to in India is running Fake Agile. Consulting such teams, it would not be true if I call myself experienced in Agile. After working with those teams, I realize some Waterfall model teams I worked with had better maturity in being Agile and agile although they didn't call it that way. Even Natural Agile teams suffer with people wanting them to be Fake Agile.

I believe in collaboration. Even before I read Agile Manifesto. I believed in People over Process and Fake Agile makes me even more believe People over Process.

As a part of my consulting Fake Agile Teams, I get them to a point where they recognize and say "Yeah, this ain't agile". I end up creating a good foundation for the Real Agile Consultant to come and do the job they are good at. 

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Pregnancy Analogies - Part 2

We look at test case pass and fail to make shipping decisions

There are pregnancy tests whose results turn out to be false positives and false negatives. In the pregnancy context, it would be very disappointing if the result is false positive or false negative, especially if the expected was an opposite. In India, I have seen and heard women who cry out of pain when the result turns negative when they want it to be positive. Similarly, teenagers (and those who think they have had enough kids) expecting a negative and false positives could drive them crazy causing a psychological stress.

A test case pass or fail can be a false positive or false negative.

Skilled software testers are aware of the existence of false positives and false negatives hence they investigate every bug they find or if software "works" despite the test case pass.

When I do strategy for testing, my strategy involves - doing tests to determine false positives and false negatives. Building heuristics (test ideas) and oracles (or expected results) that cross check results without causing an over head to my test progress is an approach that I use for my testing.

For instance, in Moolya when we were designing a strategy for testing a mobile app for a banking application - we decided to put tests in a specific sequence (that I cannot reveal) to test for false positives. We were able to test for data accuracy while it could look like simple functional tests.