Saturday, September 19, 2009

A five minute conversation with a programmer

This is a post highlighting the conversation I had with one of my programmers.

Programmer (P): Hi Ajay! I need your help in reproducing the defect #abcdef

Defect #abcdef:
Step 1: ...
Step 2: Enter a value 50 in the text field.
Step3: ...

Ajay (A): Sure, How can I help you?

P: I'm unable to reproduce the defect.

A: Which OS are you trying it on? I had logged it on Win 2003.
P: Yes, I know that. It would be easier if I could reproduce that on Win XP.
A: (he he smiles) OK, I'll reproduce the defect first on Win 2003 and then we could try on Win XP also.
P: OK, great.

A: Step1, Step2, Step3 and here it is, REPRODUCIBLE!!!
P: Ok, let me try it. Step1, Step2 and Step3 and ??? Where's the defect?
A: Oh!!! Let me try again. Step1, Step2 and Step3 and again REPRODUCIBLE!!!
P: (Smiles) Step1, Step2 and Step3 : NOT REPRODUCIBLE

Silence for few seconds.

A: (thinking what could be different) Hmmm, maybe the speed with which I execute the steps is different from your speed of execution.
P: Maybe. Very little chance of that happening.
A: OK, let me try consecutive times. Step1, 2, 3: REPRODUCIBLE. Step1, 2, 3: REPRODUCIBLE.
P: Oh!!! How do YOU reproduce that Man!!! See, Step1, 2, 3: NOT REPRODUCIBLE.

P: Maybe you are pressing 'Enter' after entering the number.
A: Hmmm, I'm not pressing Enter key.
P: Then maybe single click causes this problem. Or maybe double click to select the field before entering the number.

A: (thinking WOW, so many factors!!! Let him go on)
P: Or this might happen if you select the text by 'Click and Drag' using mouse
P: OK, I'll look into this issue. Thanks for your time.
---------- END OF CONVERSATION ---------

This particular conversation refreshed my memory of how many different factors affect a single entry in a text field.

> Operating System
> Response time
> If the focus is on the field or not
> After entering the number, did the user press Enter or Tab?
> Did the user double click on the field to select the default text?
> Did the user delete the text before typing in the new text?
> Did he press 'Delete' or 'Backspace'

I'm sure there are many more factors related to the single entry in the text field.

The point I want to highlight here is "How useful is it to have a conversation with a programmer about the product?"

In my case, it was useful. Have you experienced such an interaction?
Do let me know.

Please feel free to share such experiences(Good & Bad).


Amit Kulkarni [Admin] said...

Indeed! It really helps when you have talk with your developers once in a while.

Best Regards,


testing is my passion!!!