What shall I call this testing?

In a recent assignment I was asked to test an application which downloads and displays pictures off the web with minimal features support like slide show, rotate, minimize, maximize etc. (I cannot provide any more information on the product because of NDA)

We knew that our internet connectivity thru LAN is slow, but had to observe and document the result on the same network.

After stating the assumptions about connectivity, speed, throughput available I started testing, in 2-3 min I decided not to use our bug tracker but instead write a story in a word document. What did my story contain – every step (test) performed on the application sequentially. An extract from it would look like

1) Reboot the < >
2) Click on < > for the first time. It takes approximately 13 seconds to display all the images in the < >
3) Click on < > and login to < >. The < > takes approximately 6-7 minutes to load 15 images.
4) When initially started it displayed loading x/37 images but after loading 15 images the message disappears and no other images are downloaded
5) Click on < >. It takes 4 seconds to get enabled

The story was easier to write because the application was terribly slow and I could think myself as the nicest/kindest customer our product could ever find.

Was the story helpful to my development team and the concerned team?

Well, they were surprised the way the story ended “30 button clicks – wait for the functionality to complete – took almost 1.5 hrs”. But liked the way the story was narrated, it helped them analyze each step and know the actual issues.

Now my question is - I initially set out to test the application functionally, but changed my tests based on the performance of the application and almost calculated response time for each function. But the final report (story) I documented after almost 1.5 hrs was helpful to both my development and the concerned department. Also, I could save time by documenting it as a story and not as individual bugs – I also doubt whether individual bugs could have revealed the story the same way the story could.

So, what do you call this testing?

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 keep Fresh Ideas Flowing?

Hi All

Last week at Software Testing Club, I came across a discussion started by Michele Smith on “How do you keep Fresh Ideas Flowing?” for testing.

I felt it is one of the most important questions but sadly very rarely discussed in our community.

This was my take on the question, what’s yours?

I have had team members complaining that it's boring to test the same program with no new features. I have also observed a pattern, testers who complain this way, usually are very enthusiastic when they begin testing but loose their interest may be after 1-2 weeks or so irrespective of the module they test. One of the reason I feel they get bored is because they run out of ideas to test. As a test lead one of my challenges have always been to keep myself and my team on the look out for information always.

Like in a recent assignment I found the number of bugs reported by my team dropping, when we sat together, I felt the ideas running out in the team – we initially focused on exploring the system with functional and domain related missions. After the discussion we changed the focus from functional & domain to Flow tests - explained the team on what to be targeted in flow tests and what could be the observations to note running flow tests – and what a change I observed I felt the energy was back, they liked testing the same module again without any new changes. If they again run out of energy I still have user testing, risk, stress, variability, etc lined up.
(I have found The Heuristic Test Strategy Model by James Bach extremely helpful in fact I have a print out of the model posted in my bay along with several others which keeps reminding me of the endless ideas/possibilities to test a product :)

When we feel like we are running out of ideas I feel we should change our approach/thinking a bit and the ideas start rolling.

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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