"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, May 07, 2014

Misfits of the software world

Natalie isn't just talking about exploratory testing, she is talking about value. However, the value she is talking and what the PMs want seem to be different. I know there are people like her across the globe. I am one of them. Welcome to the world of misfits.

Misfits don't fit into many organization who want lesser value than what these misfits could bring in. So how do people like Natalie fit in this world? They don't and they won't.

I am now a CEO of Moolya, the company I co-founded. A bunch of things I am doing (and loving) is not what I imagined I would do when I started this. What impacts Moolya's growth is how we can fit into this world. There is plenty of money if we fit into this world. So much that I will be super duper rich if I can fit myself in. I can be a multi millionare in an year. The same is the story with other misfits like me. The world is telling them; fit to us and you will be fine. However, for us, fitting into such a world, kills us. This world is like a black hole. It keeps sucking whatever it comes across and once something is sucked, it sucks the next available thing.

I am not having a pessimistic look at the world. There is a small little world of misfits too. The House of Test, Barclays GTC, Doran Jones, Moolya and there are hundreds of my friends in the testing community who are a part of this world of misfits. We give each other hope but we all fight wars at different locations with different people who think like the PMs Natalie mentioned. We don't give up. Natalie didn't give up. Look at the conversation following her tweet. She repeatedly tried helping those PMs see things but they had an optical and sound filter. They will only hear and see what they want to, and what they think is good.

At Moolya, we received an RFP (Request for Proposal) with questions for us to answer about how we test. The questions were in such a way that it kills testing. Some humble examples from RFP,

  • What will be the speed of your test case execution? How many test cases per hour?
  • What are your SLA's for defect leakage? Can you assure all critical S1 defects are found before release?
  • Can you assure at least 96% of requirements coverage during your regression testing? 
This RFP was sent to other services companies but this customer only had trouble understanding our response to this RFP. We challenged every thing there and also proposed what they really want to know and how we have helped our existing customers do well. If we don't get the work (which is my pessimistic and at the same time optimistic view) they see us as misfits to their context. They are going to work with another service company and their revenues shall grow by millions of dollars.

Is this the end of the world for misfits?

No way. You read that right. The fight I am in is to make the current fits the misfits. The fight Natalie and people like Keith, Henrik Anderson, Huib Schoots are in is the same. I took to be a businessman because I thought this gave me more power to change things faster. It is helping great deal but the momentum isn't yet good enough for me to oppose the force that is pulling testing down.
I think the world is waiting for a tipping point. I see it coming. Every little thing the misfits do is helping improve the chances of reaching tipping point. Till then, the kind of chaos we are seeing with people saying testing is dead or want test cases instead of testing will continue. When the world changes, we will be kind to them and forgive them for their past life sins. We aren't Gods, we are humans. Humans are fallible. That is exactly what we have been telling and that is why we are misfits in many occasions. The misfits are reverse-fallible. We have been failing usually with these PMs, we need a chance of win and we don't want an occasional win. We want a win that stays. The tipping point, we are working towards you. 

-- An arrogant courageous misfit