Monday, May 9, 2022

Can you convert art to algorithms?

In a series of experiments, I tried my hand at a toy piano. 

The first song was easy - Hot cross buns... I and Moganesh mastered it in a few minutes. Then, I wanted to try out "Happy Birthday to you". It was a little tough and Abi took up the challenge, learned it soon enough. I and Moganesh were happy with Hot cross buns tune (Lazy guys).

Then, I realized that there are many more such songs that can be played on the piano. So, the hunt began for the song to be learned. Remember that it is a toy piano and not the actual piano shown in the YouTube videos.

Think of this toy piano as a model of the actual piano and the mapping of the keys had to be done accordingly. The fun of learning from the YouTube video started. Copying every step, the configuration was setup. Instead of the notes, they were translated to numbers and I had to press the key corresponding to the number. 

Here is the image highlighting the order of keys. There were multiple lines and each line had its own order of keys. So, you see two strips of paper one above the other. Later, I realized that there were few keys which had to be pressed and I had to attach extra bit of paper to accommodate those keys.

With all that done, the output was decent, if not great.
Can you guess the song?

After this experiment, I couldn't help think how testing is treated like the above experiment.
If you can run a set of test cases, is that testing? Yes, it helps you confirm few things just like it helps play a tune to an extent.

Can someone finding few bugs or automating few test cases claim to be a tester?
Testing is much more than test cases or automation. If you saw what I did, I also played a tune within minutes but ask me anything around the tune or change few parameters, I will be exposed. Same is the case with many testers who claim to know testing just because they saw early success and are able to replicate certain steps again and again.

Testing is much more than bug hunting or automation. It reminds me of this post I wrote few years ago:

If you want to sharpen your skills in testing software and mindset, I am happy to engage you in exercises and feedback. Email me at 

Till then, it is fun to play around but if you want to master something, work hard.