Friday, October 16, 2009

Three Years: Worth the wait?

Five Lessons Learnt from my last Testing project

1. Every project teaches you something new if you are ready to learn.
I tested a web based application for the first time. Introduced to terms like IISRESET, HOSTS, PROXY SERVER, RAD GRID, AJAX, HTTPS, DOMAIN NAME, DATABASE SERVER.

2. A tester's role is to meet the mission.
I found 73 bugs in 6 hours and had to close 69 bugs because they were not at all important from the customer's perspective.

Previous Project: Found 710 issues and 685 were fixed. Everyone appreciated me.
This project: Found 73 issues and 4 were fixed. Everyone asked me to concentrate on features which the customer would use.

3. Test on the expected environment.
Tested for two weeks on an environment which was not the environment at the customer end. Now I feel, why did we waste those two weeks?

4. Test the environment first.
Believed a technical person for setting up the environment and the environment was wrong. First build to customer and it failed miserably. Tested the environment and found that a simple mistake meant that we tested on the wrong environment for two months.

5. Work as one team towards one goal.
It is good to interact with programmers, product managers, tech support, sales manager, QA head, Development Head. Everyone has something new(read different) to contribute.

WOW, I'm very happy that after three years of testing in office, this is my first product release to market.

I'd say worth the wait for three years.

So, when's the next release BOSS? I'm waiting :)

Leia Mais…

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Are you a good note taker? Experience Report of WT 11

Date: 10th October 2009
Time: 3pm – 5pm IST

Session details:
Download link: Source Forge
Lecture: CSTER
Reference: Wikipedia

Mission: LISTEN to the lecture and Prepare the notes from the lecture.
Deliverable: The notes must be exported to a pdf file using Notalon application.

The best note-taker would be judged on the following parameters:
1. Content - Lecture Content
2. Easy to read notes.
3. Good usage of Notalon features.

Duration: 1hour.

We started the testing session at 3pm sharp.
The video being a short video of 6 minutes helped the testers to play it again and again.

Some testers were not clear with the mission. And they questioned till they got enough information to meet the mission. It was good to see testers question. Questioning is a very important skill and such exercises help the testers improve their questioning skills.

While some testers had questions related to the mission, some had questions totally irrelevant to the mission. Focusing on the mission is important and sometimes testers can get distracted by other interesting parameters of the testing activity.
Once all the participants emailed their report, the entire list of reports was then sent to everyone.

About the session, Sushant summed it up in one sentence:
“Testers had to take help of all the senses”.

Poulami started the discussion. She was very new to these kinds of exercises. The entire mission of listening to a lecture, take notes with the help of a new application, was in itself a big challenge to her. She took up this challenge and enjoyed multitasking.

She felt such exercises would help hone her multitasking skills. One more important point highlighted by Poulami was her increased concentration levels to help note taking. When asked if she would have concentrated so much if she was listening to the lecture alone, she replied in the negative. She learnt the importance of being detail oriented and at the same time look at the bigger picture.

Sushant was one of those testers who thoroughly enjoyed this session. He felt that such exercises would help testers improve their listening skills and to comprehend a lecture. He was happy that such exercises break the monotony of office activity. He highlighted the importance of filtering out the most important points in a lecture and reducing it to a couple of statements.

Next, Karan described his experience. As he was not clear with the mission, he questioned to get a clear idea of the mission. He gave more importance to listening to the lecture and just jotted down what was present in the slides. According to him, these kinds of exercises help to beat the boredom. Interesting point to note in his description was this exercise increased his self- confidence.

It is always good to know that such testing sessions help testers who are so busy doing testing that they do not learn anything new.
Karan felt that the biggest learning for him was to be smart in doing things and not get afraid by the mission or the application.

Bhargavi was next and shared an interesting point. She was trying to understand the relation between the three links: Application, Lecture and the Reference. The only challenge for her was to manage the entire activity and being late to the session did not help her cause. She promised to try this exercise again and share her experiences.

Regarding the mission for this session, she liked it and was of the opinion that such exercises would definitely make a difference in the careers of the testers. Her learning was to join session at right time :) She appreciated the ability to learn and use the Notalon application quickly.

Most of the testers promised to use Notalon application instead of Notepad. The feature to export to pdf is cool. We also discussed if anyone used the Preferences menu to change the pdf settings.

It was my turn to share my experiences. I felt very happy completing this whole exercise. I made use of the borders and fonts feature to improve the overall look of the pdf document. My approach was to pay attention to the video and simultaneously take notes in one shot without pausing the video.

Once I finished one round of video, I played it again and again to hunt for missing ideas/words. Playing the video five times helped me to frame my notes better. Please find my test report here.

I felt that if we could make our own notes for all such testing videos,
we could learn a lot than just listening to the videos.
Bhargavi and Karan agreed on that point.

And regarding best note taker of the day, Sushant won the title with his excellent summary of the entire lecture in addition to detailed notes.

With a happy learning session, everyone is looking forward to WT12.
Meet you next weekend :)

Leia Mais…

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Do not find Bugs but Generate Test Ideas :) WT session 10

Weekend Testing Session No.10

Date and Time: 03rd October 2009, 3pm - 5pm IST
Application: Converber v 2.1.0

This session was different just like every other session.
The mission was unique as the testers were not supposed to hunt for bugs.

How often do you see that?

Then what was this session about?

Following details were given to testers:

Context: A client wants Beta Testers for testing Converber. You have to prove them that you are the best Beta Tester for them.
How will you be judged?
You have to give a list of Test Ideas/Scenarios you would cover if selected as the Beta Tester.

Based on the list of Test Ideas/Scenarios, you'd be selected/rejected as the Beta Tester.

Most of the testers were surprised with the mission and set out to achieve the mission at 3pm IST sharp.

It was a different experience for me too. I was busy browsing through different articles on Exploratory Testing Approach to identify most of the quality criteria.

It was already twenty minutes and I had not even launched the application.

Luckily, I found these two documents:
How Do You Spell Testing - James Bach and

Heuristic Test Strategy Model

I found some testers interested in finding bugs in some modules of the application.
Being the facilitator, I reminded them of the mission.

It was challenging for most of the testers.
While some were finding it hard to put ideas to paper, some could not resist the idea of hunting bugs.

This particular session went so quickly that we realized that it was already 4pm IST. We stopped generating test ideas!!!

One of the challenges faced by Tejas was not to start testing as soon as an idea popped up in his mind. Dhanasekar echoed Tejas's concern - he too started testing as soon as he came up with any idea.

Rajesh wanted to clarify what a test idea meant and how it is different from a test case. I felt it was too late for this question to come up as the testing session was already over. Rajesh learnt that he could have gathered valuable information had he raised this question at the start of the testing session itself.

Dhanasekar and Tejas were of the opinion that there are too many terminologies to add to the confusion.

We started off with Dhanasekar sharing his experience, challenges, learning of this session. He found it easy to hunt for bugs than documenting test ideas and promised to work on that aspect. The major challenge he had to tackle was to not to test the test idea he generated. Being unclear about the mission too did not help his cause.

He got diverted on finding a crash and started investigating it.He realized the importance of questioning which could have saved him a lot of time.

His biggest learning was to

and he was of the opinion that this exercise would help him present his test ideas better.

Rajesh started off by sharing his experience. His favorite subject being Maths, he loved to test this application as it involved a lot of mathematical calculations. His limited knowledge about different conversions forced him to experiment with only those units which he was comfortable with. As he did not ask questions to clarify what a test idea was, he was hunting for bugs along with the task of generating the test ideas.

His biggest learning for the day was
He had read about questioning the stakeholders for more information and today was his practical experience of questioning the stakeholders.

Dhanasekar added a valuable point that it is difficult to generate test ideas just by looking at the GUI. I'd say that's another trap : The mission did not specify that the application should not be used. Questioning can help us clear traps.

The general challenge most of the testers faced was highlighted by Sushant:
...even though we may not want to hunt for bugs, but eyes find them out...

Sathish re-framed the mission statement:
"The mission is to find ways to identify the bugs"

Vivek was next to present his experiences. He faced difficulty in defining the test scenarios. He decided to give a broad idea of his test scenarios. As I shared with him this link : Heuristic Test Strategy Model, he was happy that being a part of Weekend Testing increases his knowledge base.

Sushant tested the application keeping in mind the age group of the audience. He has a habit of testing any application from user-perspective. As he was exploring the application, he found some issues which he could not ignore. He also highlighted how being in an informal environment helped him think and test better.

He was confident that such Weekend sessions would prepare him for the tough environment at office.

Satish brought with him - a different perspective - he searched for failures in the previous releases. Based on the failures, he modified his test scenarios. Satish concentrated only on the generation of test idea. As part of it, he learnt the application.

The biggest challenge was the lack of knowledge of the categories in the application.
He had never attempted a Beta-test and this entire exercise itself proved to be the greatest learning. He stressed the fact participating in this exercise increased his confidence.

As a tester, we have to concentrate on the mission and not on hunting bugs. Many testers find it difficult :)

Tejas had a major challenge: Unclear requirement. Even he fell into the trap of not questioning.

He highlighted the importance of

One more important point which came up in this discussion was that it is OK to fail in front of friends than failing in front of stakeholders.

He promised that he needs to give more attention to record test ideas in a systematic way.

Next, I had to present my learning and experiences.

I listed the two links which helped me and the quality criteria I concentrated on.
We had a discussion on the difference between Claims Testing and Acceptance Testing.
My learning was to improve my knowledge on the different quality criteria used to test any application.

We had a further discussion on each other's list of test ideas. Every tester had to justify his list of test ideas and why he must be selected as the BETA TESTER.

The test reports were really interesting and covered a lot of different ideas.

Ajay: "I have taken care of more quality criteria : Functional, Usability, System Configuration, Data, Domain, Performance, Claims Testing and Operating System and hence increased coverage."
Vivek: "I can cover different versions of different OS. Installation and Functional testing would mean good coverage"
Tejas: "I can discover most of the functional bugs"
Satish: "Functional, Usability and Scenario Testing were my main focus areas."
Rajesh: "I concentrated on Functionality, Usability, Domain, Installation, Upgrade, Performance and Claims Testing"

Finally after the poll, Rajesh was selected as the BETA TESTER.

Congratulations Rajesh!!!

"It is more important to meet the mission than knowing the terminologies"
Even though Rajesh did not understand what a test idea meant, what mattered was his list of ideas to have increased coverage.

This session was lively with interesting mission, discussions, learning and polling.

Thanks to all the testers. See you all in WT Session No. 11

Leia Mais…