TestToTester

I have woken up…have you?


Yesterday night I reached home from office at around 9PM, I turned on the TV news channels with hope, but could only see Taj burning. Even after approximately 48 hrs our India was burning. I felt angry, I felt annoyed, I felt terrible, I fumed on our leaders and then I felt like slapping myself. Why?

I don’t know my neighbors, I don’t know whose car/bike is parked near my house, I don’t know my area members, I don’t know anything about the community I live in. Why? Maybe I do not have time? (A typical answer by our community) Maybe I don’t see the value in knowing them? Maybe it’s not my job? I work hard from day to night? Or maybe it’s my ego, laziness and carelessness?

I think it’s all of these, that today I see my India burning; I feel I am also responsible for this terrible incident. I assumed I am a good citizen because I vote, but I feel our responsibility as a citizen does not end at voting.

I today have taken the initiative to bring my area people together and to build a better community. Here are the points I would like to address in the community meet probably tomorrow.

• Pay respect to our soldiers, police and all security personnel who rescued us all.

• Wish one another, when you pass by, at least smile; let’s try to build a better community we could all be proud of.

• Please know your neighbors.

• Ensure who you rent your house to, check his background, approach association (area welfare association) or police (area police station) if you seek more information.

• Greet and question strangers on their purpose of visit. If you get suspicious get your neighbors help or approach/call the police or seek associations help.

• Report any unknown vehicle parked near your house.

• Let’s all help ourselves to create a better community for our loved ones. We do not need our leaders to teach us to live in harmony, let’s take the initiative to show the world how united we stand.

Let’s throw our EGO’s out, to live a little longer

I have talked to my father and their association (“our area” welfare association) to spread the message today evening. But I shall pass my comments to our welfare association and from today on I make a promise to myself to be an active member of our welfare association.

I know I might not be able to counter terrorism, by trying to achieve the above, but I feel unity is what we lack in our country and a stronger community could be the starting point towards a better administration, to have better leaders, and to fight back against evil forces.

Hope you all have woken up.

Source of the image: http://blogs.reuters.com/india/2008/11/27/sitting-here-watching-the-taj-burn-down/

Update on Dec 01: On Saturday night I discussed the event with my area welfare association, and they were happy to see young men taking the initiative. They gave me a better idea to communicate with our area members. And so, on Dec 13-14, when we have our area gathering for an event, we shall communicate this message. I and two of my area friends are thinking on the best way to make an impact. I shall update you all after the event.

I hope this catches on, I repeat let's all unite, let us not forget this incident as we normally have, let this fire burn in our heart always.

Update on December 16: The gathering was fantastic and we had a senior citizen in our community (area) announcing the checklist (we could not find a projector and so settled for announcing). I felt extremely happy when I saw most of my community (area) people observe silence as a mark of showing respect.

I hope this catches on in other areas, which could in turn help us counter the evil forces to some extent.


Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

Award for Best Contributor to Testing Community - Test Republic


Hi All,

Felt like sharing the good news with you all

I have been chosen for the award “Best Contributor to Testing Community - Test Republic” which shall be presented at the 8th Annual International Software Testing Conference on 24th November at the Leela Palace, Old Airport Road, Bangalore.

Test Republic has truly lived up to it’s name and it’s quote “Meet. Share. Network. @ Global online social networking platform exclusively for Software Testing Professionals.” It has more than 2500 members and close to 200 discussions. I have learnt a lot from the discussions at Test Republic, and I hope to see you all as members and learn from you all.

I thank Edista and Test Republic Team for running such a fantastic testing community and to choose me for the Award.

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

How do you measure and appraise testers?

- Do you use a tool to measure testers?
- Do you measure them based on the number of bugs they find?
- Do you measure them by the number of valid (acknowledged by development/product/ team) bugs they find?
- Do you measure them based on the x% variance with schedule for a testing effort?
- Do you measure them based on the x% adherence to configuration management practices?
- Do you measure them based on the Ratio of defects found during testing (vs) defects found post release?
- Do you measure them based on the x% system test coverage of the assigned functionality as measured through Reviews and Requirement Traceability Matrix?
- Do you measure them based on the Test Environment Utilization Rate?
- Do you measure testers based on how testers improve development teams?(http://blogs.msdn.com/james_whittaker/archive/2008/07/22/measuring-testers.aspx)
- etc

For all those who strive by metrics and incentive plans based on metrics read this fantastic article “Employees will always game incentive plans -- because the geniuses who design them don't anticipate how employees will respond” By Joes Spolsky

I thank Michael Bolton for sharing the above link by Joel in a discussion at Test Republic.

Right now I do not have “the/a” answer for the question of this post.

But, isn’t it also our responsibility to not persist/continue in such a blind system.


Further reading:
- Software Engineering Metrics: What Do They Measure and How Do We Know? by Cem Kaner
- Side Effects of Metrics/Statistics by Shrini Kulkarni
- Remuneration and Punished by Rewards by Jonathan Kohl
- Don’t Use Bug Counts to Measure Testers by Cem Kaner
- The Darker Side of Metrics by Douglas Hoffman

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

Testing Interview Questions

Couple of month’s back I was invited for an interview at one of the big, reputed Indian service based company in Bangalore. This interview turned out to be an eye-opener for me at the state of testing in India.

Let me start with the conversation I had with HR of the company.

Me: When is the interview scheduled?
HR: 12:30 PM
Me: Could you please re-schedule it? Since it is a lunch time and I do not want the interviewers to be hungry.
HR: HaHaHa… no Sharath our interviewers work in shifts, so there will be no such issues.
Me: Ok then, I shall meet you at the location. Thanks.

Date of Interview

12:20 PM I submitted all the required documents to HR, at the interview location
12:50 PM HR informed me that the interview panel will be back after lunch by 2:00 PM.

A lesson taught by the mighty organization – “don’t show up on time for the interview” or “we do not value other’s time”

At around 2:10 PM I am escorted to the interview room by HR.

What followed was an enlightening conversation between me and the 2 interviewers (one of them over tele-con) in the room.

Interviewer 1: When do you do performance testing?
Me: Well, it depends on the context.
Interviewer 2: How can it depend on the context?
Me: If my mission it to test a program stores a minimum x number of packets per minute to help management take a decision on investing development effort - I shall be performance testing early.
If product development team seeks help to test the database for a certain number of transactions in the middle of a project to avoid bottlenecks towards the release – I would be performance testing in the middle of a product time line.
If my mission demands me to record the response time after a specific function – I shall performance test after functional testing.
Interviewer 1: Yes, I understand, but when do you normally do performance testing?
Me: :-)

Interviewer 1: Have you seen a use case?
Me: Hmm… yes, sir
Interviewer 1: How many test cases can you write from a use case?
Me: 0 to n
Interviewer 2: What?
Me: Yes, 0 to n, if a tester does not understand the use case – he might develop 0 test cases, if a tester understands the use case – he might develop “n” number of test cases.
Interviewer 1: Can you think of an average number?
Me: :-)

Interviewer 2: How do you determine the complexity of a test case?
Me: I do not know. I feel complexity of a module/feature under test is more important. Test cases developed for complex module is more important to me, when I compare with test cases developed for a comparatively simple module/feature.
Interviewer 2: Does not number of execution steps in a test case help you identify a complex test case?
Me::-), What if a logo is displayed across 10 different pages. A test case is developed to verify the result at 10 different pages. This test case shall have more steps when compared to other test cases, so does it make the test case more complex?
Interviewer 2: So, how do you know which test case is complex?
Me: :-)

Interviewer 1: Why do you always refer to context? I do not understand how testing is different from any other like development?
Me: Let’s consider an example: Test a program which add integers and returns a value. What will be your test approach? How many test cases will you have to test this?
- What if this program is used to display the number of sms’s in the inbox of a mobile application? Does your test strategy change? Or will it be the same?
- What if this program is used in a ICICI ATM machine? Does your test strategy change? Will you add more test cases? Or will it be the same?
- What if this program is used in a corrective laser eye surgery? Does your test strategy change? Will you add more test cases? Or will it be the same?
- What if this program is used to control a Dam (may be KRS)? Does your test strategy change? Will you add more test cases? Or will it be the same?
Interviewer 1: :-(

Interviewer 1: You use different testing terminologies like para-functional etc, which our customers will not be able to understand.
Me: :-)

Interviewer 2: We always refer Stability in Performance Testing, but you tend to use it for functional as well.
Me: :-)

Well, I was not offered and I acknowledge their decision. May be I did not meet their requirements, or may be I miss-understood their questions or may be my answers were pathetic or may be my attitude wasn’t right or may be....

But, I personally felt the interview was useless. I felt the two interviewers have never tested or understood testing or might have never looked beyond the company process and their campus walls. I might be wrong, but my oracles tell me it was “useless”. I request you all to help me by answering the questions put forward to me by the interviewers.

Further Reading: The (bad) state of Software Testing interviews in India by Pradeep Soundararajan

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

Videos on exploratory testing with Pradeep Soundararajan


Hi All,

Creating good videos on testing is a hard job. A lesson learnt when Pradeep Soundararajan and I got together to create couple of videos on Testing. The experience made us wonder the effort Cem Kaner might have put in to create tons of fantastic videos for BBST, which are all available for FREE. I thank Cem Kaner and all test experts across the globe for sharing their videos for FREE, with sole intention of helping to build a better testing community.

On a Sunday afternoon we met at Edista Testing Institute in Bangalore to create some videos. The first challenge we faced was to decide upon a tool to record our videos. Pradeep had already spent hours together on tools that claims to do the stuff we want but actually didn't. We decided to use "Windows Media Encoder", but then we still had to explore the tool to understand how it might be working, and how we want it to work in order to achieve the desired results. After around one hour of investigating, exploring, testing we were all set to record the first video - The (bad) state of software testing interviews in India prepared by Pradeep.

We explored ways to record the video based on our expectations. It’s interesting to note that as exploratory testers we ran a short session of quick learning of the tool. Our mission was to learn things that matter to us for recording a video.

After we completed the video, we tested the video and it appeared absolutely fine.

With some hope and excitement, we took a quick bite and jumped back for the next video.

While taking a quick bite we had planned for our second video - to demonstrate exploratory testing. The roles we chose - Pradeep, the tester and me - the stakeholder.

I suggest you to watch the videos to unveil how Pradeep avoided traps that came on his way as a tester, uses tools (brain) to help him do manual testing, and importance of making notes, etc.

You can find both the videos @
The bad state of software testing video
Exploratory testing session demonstration – 1

You can also find the above videos + loads of other testing videos by testing experts @ Test Republic

Pradeep also teamed up with Ajay to produce another demonstration of exploratory testing and here is the link to it:
Exploratory testing session demonstration – 2

And the energy looks like we are going to have plenty of video demonstration of testing from Pradeep.

When Pradeep uploaded the videos, we got a surprise that the video was resized to 320X 240 instead of its original size 1024 X 768. This could be because Google Videos is resizing it when encoding certain format and resolution.

You could shoot questions on the video and we will be glad to address it at the comments section.

Update: As promised, Ajay Balamurugadas, Pradeep Soundararajan and I met on Friday 12th night to record our next video. Link: http://testertested.blogspot.com/2008/09/exploratory-software-testing.html

Disclaimer: The videos by Pradeep and me were created with the sole intention to help testers. All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

Why “For those who think Test Automation is easy, saves time, converts manual tests, etc,”? page element

Me: Why did you add the new page element “For those who think Test Automation is easy, saves time, converts manual tests, etc,”? in your blog?

Me: I have been asked questions like

# I am planning to change my job, which tool shall I learn?
# Will only manual testing experience fetch me a job?
# Shall I learn some scripting language? Will it improve my chances of getting a job?
# What will I say if the interviewer asks “Haven’t you done any automation”?
# Why don’t you automate the program? I have previously seen a test group do that, they run the tests and next day morning they have the results?
# How hard is it to automate? All you have to record it right?
# Let’s build a test framework; it will surely reduce testing time?
# You should not be stuck with manual testing, you should start automating?

And many more, so I felt the papers by legendary test gurus could help us understand “Test Automation” better.

Second reason why I added the new page element would be

When I was answering to a discussion at Test republic, I quoted “During regression testing, if you currently run the same test cases over and over again, go ahead and automate, atleast it shall save time. But, during regression if you hunt for new bugs, note observations, verify the fix doesnot do something it was not supposed to do, then stick to manual (exploratory) testing. Iam sure this would be more challenging and will have better learning.”

Observe the first 2 lines - I made an assumption that automating repeated tests is easy; I also made an assumption that running automated tests will take less time.

Why did I make such an assumption? Well, in one of my previous projects we had written a script in python for build acceptance test. But then the script was not dynamic because we only intend to verify the program at a very high level, to qualify the build for testing.

So, I assumed the same would work here, well it might, but did I consider the other risks? No, did I evaluate the product before suggesting automation? No, did I have enough information before suggesting? No,

I feel this is exactly what is happening in most of the places. We feel we could automate some thing because it worked some where else. The papers listed gave me an insight on the pitfalls, traps I was not aware of, and I hope it helps other testers the same way.

Me: The papers you have posted have been available for public from a very long time (one of them 10 years back); so, how will it help if you post it on your blog?

Me: Good question, the second reason I have quoted happened last week, Pradeep forwarded me the links, which in turn helped me understand Test Automation better. I am trying to do the same.

Me: Well, all the best I hope more people read this learn and understand Test Automation

Me: Thanks:-), I hope more people read this, learn, think, understand Test Automation from legendary tester’s experiences, rather than blindly fall for advertisements.

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

Bugs… with a human touch

“Dealing with yesterday’s bugs keeps part of our attention away from today’s bugs” – This statement from http://blogs.msdn.com/james_whittaker/archive/2008/08/11/if-microsoft-is-so-good-at-testing-why-does-your-software-suck.aspx by james whittaker grabbed my attention since I previously remember similar words from one of my manger before.

In today’s software projects I feel bugs are treated humanlike. Last week my colleague asked me “What is the life of a bug?” To which my answer was - the bug is born when you find one in the program under test, the bug is issued a birth-certificate when it’s logged in the bug tracker.

A developer who listened to our conversation expressed to torture it (bug). To which my reply was – the bug might die of a heart attack, or might have a slow death or might live in the dark stomaching your torture, until a day when he breaks loose, forms an army of his own or even better becomes a gladiator and takes down your empire.

My previous manager used to address bugs as – “yesterdays”, “todays” and so on. When bugs were categorized to set priorities, he used to question us “why are you finding yesterday’s bugs?” To which – I had no reply since, yesterday I was not in the project, and I was assigned to the project today.

Today when I read the above statement from James, I wonder are bugs bugs or we have newborns, infants, teenagers, adults, married, divorced, old age, sick, happy, ……, today’s, yesterday’s, tomorrow’s, bugs.

I thought harder what yesterday bug could mean

:-) Does it mean bug in previous version of the program which broke the prison?
:-) Does it mean bug reported by customer when he was just born?
:-) Does it mean bug found after formal release of the product?
:-) Does it mean bug reported by client in previous phase?
:-) Does it mean bug found today which was not unearthed yesterday, but was supposed to be found yesterday?
:-) Does it mean bug in previous version which today is well settled with family and leading a happy life with humans?
:-) Does it mean bug was caught yesterday, but let loose after counseling to wear the seat belt?
:-) Does it mean bug found today is the daughter of yesterday’s bug?

After making the above points I re looked at the quote “Dealing with yesterday’s bugs keeps part of our attention away from today’s bugs” and I felt may be I got carried away what if my mission was “Find today’s bugs”. Well, how do I do it?

Guys please help…

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

It’s Time or Never


Hi All,

My friend on gtalk asked me to find the name for image verification, which is normally seen in web blogs, website registration, etc. This led me to CAPTCHA: Telling Humans and Computers Apart Automatically.

I being a black box tester, who believe testing is dependent on human skills of a tester rather than magical formulas that make human independent, this was a good discovery. Now, there are applications/programs which want to differentiate human from a machine. In the age where people around feel automating all are the solution, CAPTCHA emphasizes on the human skills. It posses a (1)hard AI problem – is a problem which is solvable by humans but not readily solvable by computers.

Off late we see CAPTCHA used in most blogs, web registrations, etc to protect the online polls results, email addresses by spammers, website registrations by bots, spamming of blogs. The recent addition in the ICICI bank website is a virtual keyboard and they quote on their page that (2)The Virtual Keyboard is designed to protect your password from malicious “Spyware” and “Trojan Programs”. Use of Virtual keyboard will reduce the risk of password theft. The latest version of Kaspersky Lab’s security software suite, Internet Security 2009, has introduced a virtual keyboard using which (3)Users can bring it up on screen whenever they wish to input securely and totally bypass using their physical keyboard. (4)“I will only accept an email if I know there is a human behind the other computer” could be the next solution from CAPTCHA.

With more and more applications trying to differentiate humans and computers, for obvious reasons, how do we as testers plan to test these applications or even applications which embed these? I definitely do not feel the automation tools in the market (especially record and playback) could provide us an answer to this. Imagine an automation tool used to test a program which is used to differentiate humans and computers apart. I am definitely not against automation, but the meaning of test automation is different for different testers, managers, nationals. For me automation tools do not test A to Z of a product, or use it only to run regression tests. I feel automation should help a tester test well, like providing me the combinational input I need to feed the program, create xxxxx virtual users to stress test an application, send similar packets at a regular interval for a longer duration of time, etc. Even to write or create good automation tests we need the human skills so isn’t it time we start recognizing, appreciating and developing the human skills required to test our current and future applications?

Or will there be a new buzz word created?

References
(1) http://www.aladdin.cs.cmu.edu/reu/abstracts/humanoracle.ppt#264,8,The CAPTCHA Idea
(2) http://www.icicibank.com/pfsuser/webnews/virtualkeyboad.htm
(3) http://www.kaspersky.com/version2009
(4) http://www.captcha.net/


Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

I cleared the AST BBST Foundation Class :-)

Hi All,

I was overjoyed on clearing the AST BBST foundation class, shared the information with few of my friends and colleges the immediate response was “What is AST BBST foundation course?”

Was it surprising? “NO” definitely not. BBST is no match to testing certifications like CSTE, ISTQB in terms of popularity.

Why? Well, you might know by the end of the blog, but I do not guarantee.

Let’s start with some basic fundamental questions. I recommend you all to write the answers for the below questions before you proceed, if you can’t well, continue reading.

- Why are you testing? What are you trying to learn?
- How should you organize your work to achieve your mission?
- How will you know whether the program passed or failed the test?
- What would it take to do a complete testing job?
- How much testing is enough?


Were you able to answer all the above questions, if “yes” that’s great but

How do you know your answer is correct?
How do you arrive at the objective?
How do you choose the strategy to achieve the objective?
How do you decide on the bugs that are less important to bugs that are more important?
How do you decide how much to test?
How do you decide on how much documentation is required?
How do you know whether the information you provide is of value to your stake holder?
How do you know what information is of value to your stake holder?
How do you know metrics you have chosen provides you with the right information?
How do you know whether you have met the objective?
Is your answer good enough to convince your development team to fix the issue?
Is your answer good enough to convince your manager or peers that testing can never be complete?
Is your answer good enough that the program/product under test can never be bug free?
Is your answer good enough to educate your manager, what cannot be tested? Why?
Is your answer good enough to negotiate for more time to strategize your testing?
Is your answer good enough to help your manager understand that running more tests might not fetch you the right results?
Is your answer good enough to argue on the measurement used?
Do you want to discuss, argue, agree, disagree more on the above questions?
Do you want to know how testers from different domains, experience, and country analyze the same questions?
Do you want to know how Cem Kaner, Douglas Hoffman, and other testing greats analyze the same question?
Do you want to learn how to answer the fundamental questions in a better way?

Then join the AST BBST foundation course, it might help you answer the above fundamental questions better AST BBST Courses

For those who could not answer the fundamental questions (I was one among you), try AST BBST foundation course, it might help you answer the above fundamental questions AST BBST Courses

Require more information on my experience with the course, feel free to leave a comment or ping me at sharu.b@gmail.com

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies. The article is only my observation of the course and highlights my learning from the course.

Is Tester|||Doctor?

I met with an accident one and a half week back, my shoulder was in pain. Guzzled some pain killers, applied Pain relievers on my right shoulder went to sleep, next day I could not move my shoulder.

Next day...

I called my Dad, to enquire if he knew a good orthopaedician. Got the details went to the hospital took an appointment and waited for 1.5 hrs to finally meet the doctor.

The doctor started testing

Doctor started with a set of questions

How did you meet with the accident?
Did you fall on the ground?
Previous troubles with the right shoulder?
Did you do some self medication?
And so on...

Later he examined the shoulder, confirmed where exactly the pain was. But asked me to get the x-ray, and handed a prescription for the X-ray.

After getting the x-ray, doctor looked at the x-ray confirmed that there is no fracture but a ligament tear and required at least 2 weeks of rest.

No it’s not the end it just got interesting

2 weeks no way doc is there a way I could start using my right shoulder in a week? It’s very hard to apply leave for so long? What about my anniversary plans? Who will answer my clients?

The Doc explained the later effects on the shoulder, the risks if required rest not provided. He later put the ball in my court.

After one and half weeks I am still at home resting my right shoulder and typing this blog with my left hand.

This made me wonder how testers and doctors are different. Well, according to me they are not but the way stakeholders acknowledge information from a tester is different to the information received by the doctor.

Or do we as testers miss to highlight the impact in the information we provide?

Comments guys

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

How many bugs in the software?

Hi All,

How many bugs in the software?

Let's read a story of Birbal (Birbal was an advisor in the court of Akbar and is very popular for his sharp intellect and sense of humour)

One day Akbar was strolling in his palace gardens with his dear minister Birbal. Many crows were flying around. The King enjoyed their flying. Just then he thought, that how many crows could be in his kingdom and immediately posed this question to Birbal.

Birbal thought a moment, then said, "They are ninety-five thousand, four hundred and sixty three (95, 463) crows in your kingdom, Huzoor." "How do you know that for sure?" the King asked. "You can get them counted, Huzoor." Birbal said.

The king again said, "If there will be less than that, then?" Birbal replied immediately, "That means that the rest of them have gone on vacation to some neighboring kingdoms." "Or if there were more than that, then?" "Then it means that other crows are visiting your kingdom, Huzoor."

I hope the story answers “How many bugs in the software?”

For more stories and to know more about Birbal Stories about Birbal

Please feel free to disagree with me, challenge me, discuss with me, by posting your comments. Also, feel free to reach me at sharu.b@gmail.com.

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

Welcome, the Specialists

Hi All,

Read this astounding article The Surprising Right Fit for Software Testing to know about people with Asperger syndrome or some form of ASD, who are now considered best in class testers.

I thank my college Vinod K for sharing this fantastic information.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Autism spectrum: The autism spectrum, also called autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or autism spectrum conditions (ASC), with the word autistic sometimes replacing autism, is a spectrum of psychological conditions characterized by widespread abnormalities of social interactions and communication, as well as severely restricted interests and highly repetitive behavior.

Behaviorally, certain characteristics identify the autism spectrum. The type, severity and/or number of autistic traits present determines the severity of autism in the individual. These autistic traits may be beneficial for some disciplines like science, mathematics, engineering and computer programming. Some autistic individuals might show a marked proficiency in rote memorization which may help learn the foundation of these subjects; however, the exceptionally good aptitude (in these subjects) of high functioning autistic spectrum persons may be due to their ability to readily identify patterns and apply them consistently to new situations outside of established knowledge or teaching. These savant skills, although popularly considered to be a major part of autistic disorders, are evident only in a small fraction of autistic individuals, with estimates of the fraction ranging from 0.5 to 10%.

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

Black box test puzzles

Hi All,

Are you free?
Are you ready to exercise your brain?
Are you ready to learn?
Are you ready to test?

Then join me in exploring the Test Machines by James Lyndsay.

Here is an arrangement, testers interested in solving these, which include me as well:-), shall share personal email id’s(send a test mail to sharu.b@gmail.com or post it in the comment), once we have a pool of testers, could be even 2, never particular about the numbers, shall start investigating these interesting puzzles.

Warning - these machines may change the way you test! – James Lyndsay

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

Testers punished for testing...or are they???

Hi All,

This came up from an interesting discussion I was having with a friend (tester). He was happy because he was able to get the software working so that he could run tests on it the next day. I felt a little awkward with the happiness expressed and so delved into his happiness to find out that

• He was happy because he would not go to work in shifts (night) for testing, because he was able to get it started by EOD.
• He was happy because he shall be able to run the tests as per the schedule defined.
• He was happy because he could start testing.
• He was happy because he could send a report to his manager about the test status as scheduled.
• He was happy because he could find bugs faster, since other members of his team have not got the software to work yet.

Well, there’s more to it and then came an interesting story. Two testers were asked to test 2 different features of a printer. During upgrade of the software, one of the testers removed the n/w cable connected and this crashed the printer. The printer had to be sent for repair. The tester was asked to come in the night shifts, and would share the other tester’s printer to complete his testing.

Fantastic, isn’t it a real motivation for testers, see what this event had impact on the testing team. I couldn’t take this incident out of my head and thought a lot about it.

• Was the tester punished for testing? (Tester could had removed the cable intentionally or not, that’s a different scenario…my friend did not had the information about it)
• Why was the tester not appreciated for crashing the printer?
• Why was the tester viewed as some one who halted testing, wherein he had found one of the most important defect.
• Was there a specific document available to the tester that he was not supposed to remove the cable while upgrading?
• Even if a document specified not to remove the cable, the tester shouldn’t have ever tried it?
• Why do managers feel that running tests are more important than crashing the system?
• Why sufficient number of hardware (printers) not available for testing, this makes me wonder “crashing the printer was never anticipated”?
• Does customer want a tested product which could still crash?

When, I put across some of these questions to my friend and I got loads of excuses like resource crunch (not “human” but “hardware”)/budget/time to deliver/you are not being practical/those are invalid scenarios and finally “you suggest a solution to this”.

Well, testers provide information, what “one” (stake holders) makes out of it is not the tester’s headache. And so “or are they” got added to the title. Hence “Testers punished for testing...or are they???

Please feel free to disagree with me, challenge me, discuss with me, by posting your comments. Also, feel free to reach me at sharu.b@gmail.com.

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

Lessons learnt from a phone call


Can you refer some of your friends for technical training at my college? – sis (sister) asked,
Me: What is it about, why do you need them?
Sis: for assisting my students clear campus interviews and get placed
Me: What language/technology/domain trainers are you looking for?
Sis: C, C++, JAVA.
Well, the answer for this question could have been a “Yes” or a “No”. Let’s analyze both the scenarios….

Scenario “No”

I say “No” to my sis, wish her good night, ask wife/mom to serve dinner, and sleep well on sleep well mattress.

Scenario “Yes”

- Commit to her, that I would refer some of my friends.
- Call a friend who is good at any of them(C/C++/JAVA), or in some cases ‘master of all’, ask him/her to make some money, share my sis number.
- Sis shall get a call from my referrals, invites them to her college, they teach C/C++/JAVA for may be a day. They go back with money, sis goes back happily that she conducted training, students go back with WHAT??? ( Neither I Know)

Let’s analyze the same scenario handled in a different way.

Well, I love questioning and as a tester one of most important skills required (I am still practicing, I am no expert either, but determined to be). I went on and on asking for questions.

- Students from which semester would attend the seminar/workshop? (since sis was not sure what to call it)
(the reason behind the question)Curious to know whether it’s 1st sem or like all other colleges is it 6th or 7th sem
- How long will this seminar/workshop conducted? Will it be on a Sunday??
The longer it is the boring I felt….Sunday…a definite NO NO
- What do you want the technical trainers to teach?
Straightforward what do you want them to teach….nobody knows what the interviewer would ask …right???
- What do they have to prepare before addressing your students?
Dependent on the previous question….calculating how much time it is required for the guy/gal to prepare to address the class
- How are you planning to pay them? Is it hourly?
Most important question…don’t you guys feel so...
- If I am referring my friends from the industry, should they have prior experience in teaching?
A probable question from my friends or co-workers, whom I would have referred…. Good to anticipate their questions in advance right??
- How will you measure whether the training was successful?
How is my sis planning to convince her management that the exercise was successful
- How many of your students do you think will attend? Or will it be compulsory like how we were made to attend during our school/college?
This was a must-know information…the gut feeling my sis has about the program…also if it’s made compulsory remember the days we used to attend those long lectures.

And then the most important question of them all

– What are your expectations from this workshop/seminar?
This was directed at my sis alone…not her management….I wanted to know what is her expectations

Now, my sis could answer some of the questions, some were unanswered (not thought of it yet), and some was partially answered (which also included the most important question “expectations”).

I was able to frame more questions, since I got most of the answers, and could analyze where my sis stands….so the next list…

- Where would you find resources to train your students for the campus recruitment?
Since, I am from the industry and I knew this was a tough task, and wanted my sis to feel “whether she is defining the right procedure”
- If you are looking for one who is very good technically/has great communication skills/ adapts quickly/ thinks on the run. Aren’t they the cream every industry/institution wants?
This was related to my previous question, but here I emphasized that it is tough to find them and wanted to know whether she still wanted to follow the same procedure….
- Will students be really interested to attend workshop/seminar on a Sunday, which is their only holiday since Saturday is no longer a holiday? Will they not have tuitions/friends/girl friends to attend?
Again, questioning the entire process and her confidence level
- Why are you starting the training so late (6th sem), by 6th sem they would had developed a learning pattern of their own?
Again, questioning the entire process and her confidence level
- What are the value-add for your students, would they add it in their resume, that they attended the training and shall attract more questions on the subject during the interview?
Again, questioning the entire process and her confidence level, and this time I was hoping her to drop the current process she has in mind and work on a different, a better procedure.


If I analyze the phone conversation again, I could see that my sis (client) knows her requirement (students to clear campus). But she is not sure of the approach required to meet the requirement.

Let’s dig a little deeper. Initially she was looking for “technical trainers” for the procedure she had in mind(training students), but then she was questioned on the kind of trainers required, the procedure, returns from the procedure or workflow, student’s interest and so on.

Now let’s relate it to our industry. Client is definite on the requirement, but not on the approach. So a requirement spec is drafted, which lists all the requirements, one of these I would relate it as my sis asking for technical trainers.

While testing if we as testers overlook it or consider requirement spec as a rule book we need to act by, I would have had ended referring some of my friend’s.

Some of us (testers) do follow this wonderful pattern of questioning but do not appreciate ourselves for it. And if there are testers who do not follow it and feel questioning could raise few eyebrows “GOD HELP YOU ALL”

For those who by now feel questioning is an essential skill for a tester, please refer to another excellent blog on questioning by
Pradeep Soundararajan.

Currently I and my sis are brainstorming on what could be the best approach for the requirement she have. I have also roped in my father (principal) for the brainstorming exercise….I shall post all the outcome of the discussion later.

Please feel free to disagree with me, challenge me, discuss with me, by posting your comments. Also, feel free to reach me at sharu.b@gmail.com . I stay in Bangalore and my phone number is 9845400742


Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.


Why TestToTester????!!!!

Hi All,

Let's start with the basics. Who AM I?
My name is Sharath Byregowda, a self inspired, passionate software tester with around 4 years of experience in testing. In the 4 years of testing, I have learned/ disagreed/ challenged/agreed/questioned -- the process/managers/co-workers/software/myself.
On the personal front, I am married to a wonderful human being “sunitha”, I thank her for reading all my blogs/listen to my ideas/supported me/and sometimes forgive when I stay late :-).

Why TestToTester??
After 4 yrs in testing, not very satisfied (though appreciated from clients and managers across most projects), the passion to learn more, the urge to prove myself, the urge to prove the industry that testing is not a click-click job (I shall not categorize every one into this, but yes I have come across many) all of these led me to the world of blogging, where I came across many inspiring, thought provoking articles. The blogs which inspired me the most are
http://testertested.blogspot.com/, http://shrinik.blogspot.com/, http://www.satisfice.com/blog/, http://www.satisfice.com/kaner/ , http://www.developsense.com/ . I know the list does not end here; I have been going through only these as of now and will surely add to the list.

Pradeep Soundararajan blogs has been the most inspirational for “TestToTester”. The coffee with pradeep changed a lot within me as a tester, which you would know if you continue reading “TestToTester”.

“TestToTester” is about my learning’s, tests to myself(a tester) – hence called “TestToTester”

Please feel free to disagree with me, challenge me, discuss with me, by posting your comments. Also, feel free to reach me at
sharu.b@gmail.com . I stay in Bangalore and my phone number is 9845400742

Disclaimer: All the blogs shared by me are my ideas, my thought, my understanding of the subject and does not represent any of my employer’s ideas, thought, plans or strategies.

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