Friday, June 27, 2008

Base state of a software application

This is a post on the importance of base state or initial state of a software application.
In the last post, I had mentioned about activating mobile office on my mobile.

I had not taken any note of the condition of my mobile connection settings. After I deactivated my mobile office, I was unable to access any websites on my mobile. After a lot of trial and error, setting up some other settings, I decided to approach the customer care and ask them to solve my problem. Finally I got it solved.

> I was careless not to note the initial settings of the connection.
> I should have gathered more information about the new service(mobile office) as it did not support my access to wap enabled websites.

Connection with testing:
How many times have we come across a situation where we could not reproduce a defect or a behavior due to the change in the initial settings. We waste a lot of time reproducing the issue and finally realize that it was environment specific and had to ghost the system and start afresh. After this mobile experience, I realized the importance of noting the settings of my mobile. In testing, an environment of a test plays an equal role as the test itself.

Lessons learnt:
A tester has to know each of his test case/input. We never know which test may give the unwanted result/behavior.
How about running a test in our mind, imagining the probable consequences before running it in real. If testing was that simple, anyone could do testing.

Sometimes, we do need to probe a defect further to unearth even more critical defects. At the same time, we have to be careful to note the initial/base state of the application.

So, how do you deal with the ever changing state of a software?
Do you know each test you do?
How do you handle the issues you fail to reproduce at the first attempt?

Share your comments. And finally a question to you:
Is it necessary to know the initial/base state of the software under test?

Happy testing :)


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Rajani said...

Thank you for commenting on my Blog on Quality Management.I had introduced some pictures purposely so that everyone feels the how it feels to see something Inconsistent like my Blog for them to find Bugs while Reading.I will be soon writing a Blog which wil as per your feedback.
Thanks again
Rajani Ashok