TestToTester

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.

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