Friday, July 8, 2011

Dropbox: I love you

Being a tester, I like to test many applications. This exercise also helps me in choosing a product for the weekendtesting sessions. Over the last two years, I might have installed more than a hundred applications. I would download, install, test, retain it if I like it or uninstall after few days.

There are some applications/tools which have taken a permanent place in my toolkit. Today's post is about one such application and it is Dropbox.

What is Dropbox and how is it useful?
It is a free web based file hosting service. Once you install Dropbox on any computer and save files in the Dropbox folders, they automatically are backed up on Dropbox website. If you want to access the same files on some other machine, install Dropbox on that machine. If the Dropbox service is running on both the machines, any files you modify on one computer gets automatically synced and saved on both the computers and on the website too. You no longer have to copy folders/files from one computer to another. Let Dropbox do its job and you concentrate on the files.


  • Backup feature: Every file you edit is saved on the Dropbox website too. 
  • Online availability: Forget your test machine, personal machine and all the different machines you use to test. Be assured that your files are always available online.
  • Freedom from emails, USBs, CDs: Are you in the habit of emailing yourself copies of the document every time you edit and switch to a different computer? Do you carry a device with the data everywhere you go? Dropbox solves it. 
  • Sharing feature: Do you share files with your friends a lot? You don't want to spend on the upload/download charges and make it a simple process to share? According to me, Dropbox solves it in a matter of few clicks.
  • Accidental Deletion: Did you delete the files by mistake and work on them from scratch? Dropbox saves even the deleted files and you can RECOVER them easily!
  • Free upto 8GB space! When you install, you get 2GB free space and when you refer friends (share link) and they install, you get 250MB/referral. 
What are you waiting for? 
Click on the link , install Dropbox and enjoy the benefits! 

Post your questions about Dropbox as comments to this post and I will answer them for you. 
If you are someone like me who can't live without Dropbox, feel free to share this post or comment on how Dropbox helps you. 

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Testing Mindset: Should we compete against each other?

I participated in a recent competition conducted by
There was a restriction of 40 testers and limited to 4 days contest. I saw few new testers join this contest. Whenever I join the contests, I do not jump in right from start. I wait for few hours and watch the bugs logged. I observe what areas are being tested, what testing oracles are being applied and so on. One of the advantages of starting late is that I get to know the thought process behind bug validation. What kind of bugs are termed as invalid and what bugs are accepted - these are useful information for me participating in the contest.

So, this time too I waited for sometime before starting my testing sessions. There were close to 20 bugs logged and some of them were validated too. The top three listed on the leaderboard were unknown to me. I love this challenge. New faces, new application and this application was a bit tough to understand. I felt the users had more of read-only access and no rights to create the data. It was different from the usual applications where the bugs danced right in front of you.

End of Day 01: Total bugs logged: ~200
Day 02: ~350
Day 03: ~400

Once the competition ended, a thought stuck me:
What made the testers log so many bugs even though the contest was a tough one in terms of easy bugs?
Is it the mindset of *find bugs at any cost* or *the five prizes* or *the competition mode* that brought out so many bugs out in the open?

In the daily projects, most of the times - there is a bug pattern: xx number of bugs. I have rarely seen so many bugs logged in such a less time. I do agree that the number of testers is different and might be the biggest factor in the number of bugs logged. There is obvious difference in having forty testers testing an application and say five testers testing an application.

It might not be feasible to add so many testers to every project. So, my question is: 
Should the testers test with a competition mindset once a while? 
It might be a good idea to engage a group of testers to test as if there were in a competition and there were prizes for the top testers. Maybe spend ten hours/week and see how it works...

I am going to try it out with my team in few days time :) Idea worth trying?

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