Saturday, December 29, 2012

Thank you 2012. Welcome 2013

2012 is almost over. This year has been a very good year for me. I want to highlight five good things from my 2012 experiences.

Two more books in What If... series.
When I wrote my first book, I did not realize that I could write three more. The first book took more than three months for me to complete. The response by the readers and testing community gave me the confidence to complete each of the next three books in three days each. I have testers emails and chat messages thanking me for the book. It was well received. Thanks to the readers, I plan to write more and not restrict to just two books per year.

If you have not bought my books yet, here is the post with the details:

I joined Fiberlink
Everyone keeps changing companies. I did after five years and six months of working at efi. There was no formal interview conducted. They liked my work, called for a chat and offered me the job. I was very impressed when I saw that they were using cheatsheet by Elisabeth Hendrickson. I could sense the passion they had towards exploratory testing and they were talking about exploratory testing. I knew that it would be fun working with them as they seemed to be passionate about software testing.

Its been eleven months and I am still enjoying. I got the Best New Joinee award and every day teaches me something cool.

Online training on software testing through Skype
I started training over Skype and there was a good response. I met many testers online. And some of them are really good. After completing four batches, I think that I should continue this exercise in 2013 as well. I do train testers on a 1-1 basis. If you are interested, ping me.

Workshop on software testing
Once I conducted the online training, I realized that I can do it onsite too. Thanks to Chennai Bug debug and Hyderabad testers meet, I conducted a one day workshop at Chennai & Hyderabad. Testers liked the presentation style and the content. I learnt a lot about conducting courses.

RTI event
I went to Rapid Testing Intensive event at Orcas Island for a week. The most hectic course I have attended after BBST and the best place I have visited till now. A superb combo. I can safely say that I have restarted my journey as a software tester after attending this course.

With the five points listed above, I end the year 2012 on a very happy note.
I look forward to 2013.

I did not have many expectations when I started 2012. Its the same with 2013. I am prepared. Let's see what's in store!

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Release of my 4th book on software testing

I have released a book each on my mother's birthday followed by my sister's birthday and my birthday. Obviously, my father was feeling left out and I am releasing a book on his birthday. This is my fourth book on software testing.

Book 1: What If... A question every software tester must ask.

When I logged my first bug, I thought – ‘What if’ this bug was found after release? Years passed, many products were released, and I gained a lot of varied experiences.  I made a few embarrassing mistakes too. There were few instances where I wished that someone had warned me beforehand. So, I started preparing a book of tips targeted at software testers. Special care has been taken to keep each of the 22 chapters short and to the point. Emphasis is on ready-to-use tips which would give you instant results.

Book 2: What If... 50+ tips to win testing contests. 

This book is a collection of tips which might help any tester competing in a testing contest. Testers are under tremendous time pressure and the competition is tough. Skilled testers have a better chance of winning the contests. After participating in a number of testing contests, I realized that it is easy to win any contest if you dedicate some time and demonstrate the right skills. In this book, I have tried to highlight few points which will improve your chances of winning the testing contest.

Book 3: What If... 50+ tips to boost your productivity.

This book is a small collection of tips, tricks and list of tools to help boost your productivity. This is entirely based on my experiences in software testing as well as using computer. Internet is so powerful. A simple Google search will yield you so many search results. Google for “Screen Capture Tools” and you will find a minimum of ten tools in the first page itself. Which one do you choose? Do you have the time to try each one of them? What about Windows command prompts? There seems to be more than fifty commands. Which one is useful for us, especially for a software tester?

Book 4: What If... 50+ tips to improve tester-programmer relationship

This book brings into picture a very important person - the programmer & the programming team. Each one of us might have the experience of working with at least one tough programmer. Some programmers are very friendly and help us with finding bugs. Some of them are very strict with their deliverables and do not respond to any queries outside office hours. Some hardly talk to you unless you ask them a question. There are different types of programmers and bring in variety to our testing challenges. As I write this book, I have completed over six years of software testing and interacting with multiple programmers across different projects within and outside the company. With a rich experience of working with tough programmers, I write this book to help you.

My special thanks to my family members (for having a gap between the birthdays), my friends for accepting me as I am, my friends on twitter, facebook who keep encouraging my work, the programmers who keep challenging me, those who bought my first three books, those who provided me feedback and those who continue to believe in me :)
And of course, my love and thanks to my father who continues to encourage me in everything I do.

How to buy the books:
Download from

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


:) The Moment...

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 conference

Dec 05th 2012
Thanks to the organizers and the team behind this event.

Leia Mais…

Friday, November 30, 2012

Less time? Map the bugs.

Last night when I came back from office, I saw the email from about a one day contest on Android mobile. I joined the contest and observed that the max limit of bugs per tester was 15 instead of 25 (for 3 day contests). For every duplicate bug one logs, there is a -1 point. So, one has to be careful before logging bugs. And when I joined the contest, there were already 50+ bugs logged. I like to spend the initial few minutes of any contest, trying to understand the purpose of the application, the focus areas by the other testers and the validation strategy by the contest owner.

I wanted to go through every bug logged and at the same time understand the application quickly. I started with few bugs and then an idea struck me. Why not map the bugs and categorize the features too as parent nodes?

This is what I got after 25 mins:
Mindmap of Bugs

This way, I went through every bug and still made a high level model of the entire application.
I liked it and after three hours of testing, I got the 7th position with 100% valid bugs. I logged 6 bugs.

Maybe, there is a better approach but I liked the approach of mapping out the bugs before testing. What do you think? Do you have a better way?

Leia Mais…

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tap Into Mobile Application Testing by Jonathan Kohl

One of the good things about working in a cool company like is that the management cares about learning opportunity for its employees. It understands that if the company has to be at the top, the employees have to work on their skills. One of the easy ways is to provide access to resources which will help the employees - books, conferences, contests, tutorials, memberships and so on. This is very easy to do but very few companies encourage such learning opportunity.

As soon as I got to know about the book by Jonathan Kohl, I wanted to read it. The request was approved and I got a chance to read the book on the same day.

As seen on the site, the book covers a wide range of topics necessary to know about mobile app testing.

What did I learn from this book:
Reading the book was a very good experience. Every page had something new. I liked the initial chapters a lot compared to the strategy, planning chapters. I wanted to read this book on my mobile phone - landscape mode using QuickOffice Reader. This experience helped me find some bugs in QuickOffice Reader application and I could also experience using a mobile app.

Examples of different types of bugs
I like the books where the authors don't just mention what to do but also highlight their experience when they followed their own advice. Jonathan Kohl does a great job in highlighting his experiences in testing different types of mobile apps and what kid of bugs he found. Some of his bug stories are like the detective puzzles and teach you a lot.

What's inside a mobile and how it can affect tests
To be honest, I knew very little about the mobile hardware before starting this book compared to now when I am writing this blog post. You regularly move your mobile but are you aware of which sensors are affected? Do you have any idea of how your test results are indirectly and to some extent, directly affected by the mobile hardware? This book has a dedicated chapter and is a good starter for someone like me.

Different Tours
Though there are many tours mentioned in this book, I like the Gesture tour. Pinch/Tap/Flick/Swipe/Press - Which gesture do you like? I tried few of the gestures and found bugs specific to them. There are many different types of tours mentioned in this book. Ok, he not only mentions them but also explains as to how to conduct each tour.

Testing Mnemonics for Mobiles
Jonathan Kohl - creator of I SLICED UP FUN mnemonic also explains about few other mnemonics in this book. As a tester, its good to know such mnemonics so that you can apply them as and when required instead of thinking of new tests every time.

Dealing with Intermittent bugs
This topic is not new to many testers. James Bach talks about such bugs here - BBST course - Bug Advocacy section too highlights tips to tackle such bugs. Jonathan Kohl talks about intermittent bugs found during testing mobile apps. Small distractions, movements, network changes, orientation differences - how can they affect the bugs - the topic covers them all.

The book is worth the cost. Hope Jonathan writes more such books and continue to help the testing community. Thanks Jonathan Kohl.

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

This is from blogger app on android

Give "time", some time. When your teacher gave you time, you did not complain. Now that you have become the teacher, you forgot that the student needs time?

Apply this to any practice we start. Just because few teams got to a great start, it doesn't mean that other teams should match the standard. Not everything can be measured objectively. And if one tries to measure, I have enough examples where the behavior can be tuned to meet the metric.

If you feel that this post doesn't make any sense and is very disconnected as a whole, its ok. I wanted to test blogger app.

Maybe, I should google for "learning mechanisms" or read on wikipedia.

Leia Mais…

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Workshop at Hyderabad - Done!

I conducted a one day workshop on Nov 27th at Microsoft India Development Center (MSIDC), Hyderabad. Close to twenty five testers attended the workshop.


  • Microsoft campus
I heard from one of the testers that he wanted to attend this workshop as he would get a chance to step into Microsoft campus. The conference room and the arrangements were almost perfect. Right from seating arrangements to projector, whiteboard, the two HUGE screens, lunch to the general ambience of the entire campus. 

When I came in with Raghavendra, I had the printout with list of attendees. I never thought that my name was to be included in the list as well. The security did not allow me inside as my name was not present on the attendees' list. Even though I told them that I am the speaker, they made sure that only when Raj Kamal - who works at Microsoft - came & explained the situation, they let me in. I am not blaming the security. They did the perfect job according to what is expected of them. I wanted to highlight the funny experience and the connection with software testing where you can have many aspects covered and yet leave the most important one untested.
  • Presentation on Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) tool
The first one hour, we had a presentation on how one of the Microsoft teams uses Microsoft Test Manager (MTM) tool and how it can be used for Exploratory Testing. I liked how the tool attached all the logs to the bug report. I did not like the concept of creating a test case for a bug. And if your company can buy the license, go ahead and use it. If you think its costly, there is Rapid Reporter, free screen recording software, Texter,, run > dxdiag to help your purpose.

As I have never used the tool, I cannot comment much about the tool.
  • First mindmaps
Many had heard about mindmaps but very few  had used it for software testing. Some of them were totally new to mindmaps and I could feel the joy and satisfaction when they told - "Today, I created my first mindmap". This is exactly the moment I cherish for a long time. Many people have helped me get started on many things. I am doing my bit to get few more people get started. How they fare after they start is totally in their hands.
  • Feedback for me
I like when people tell me where I can improve. I got feedback on the structure of the workshop, the duration of the workshop. I accept them and have already started working on them. I will try my best to bring in some more structure to the latter half of the workshop.
  • Check-out comments

Everyone had good things to say about the workshop. This is exactly the reason why I give them a blank notebook so that they can give their feedback in private. At the end of the workshop, each of the testers told me how they felt that their time was not wasted even though it was a saturday. One of them missed a movie and still did not feel bad :)

Thanks to the Hyderabad testers. My only suggestion is that if you are not sure of attending, don't block seats and prevents others from taking part.

If you want me to conduct a hands-on workshop in your city, email me [] Till next time, Thank you.
Thank you Hyderabad

Image Credits:

Leia Mais…

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Flipkart Testing @ Hyderabad - Session Results

At the end of Session 1 & Session 2, we preapred two mindmaps about the product & the testing plan.
The corkboard image is also put up below.
Thanks to Anurag & Raghavendra.

Consider this for testing
What to test

Testing Notes

Leia Mais…

Flipkart Testing @Hyderabad - Session 1

One of the reasons I travel at my own cost to present workshops at other cities is that I get a chance to meet  other software testers. I arrived at Hyderabad on 27th October early morning around 5.30 am IST. The first tester I met in Hyderabad was Raghavendra who received me at the railway station. From there, we went to his room, got ready and left for the venue for the workshop. The experience at the workshop is for a different post. I missed my train and had to stay one more day at Hyderabad. Raghavendra was generous enough to accommodate me in his room for an additional day. His hospitality is definitely commendable - right from food, entertainment facilities, the unlimited energy when asking questions on software testing and so on. Thanks Raghavendra.

Raghavendra wanted me to explain my testing approach from scratch. He wanted to know how I test, what tools I use, what bugs I find and so on. Though we were tired after the workshop, we were awake till 11 pm IST discussing about software testing. The TV was on mute and we don't know when we dozed off. The notebooks were filled with lots of notes.

Plan for Sunday
Next day, as planned we got up early and I invited Anurag - a budding software tester whom I met online in my Skype training class and also at the workshop on Saturday. We planned to test a product for close to four or five hours and present a test report.

We started at 12.06 pm IST and decided to use to share notes.
The application to be tested was 'Flipkart'. We spent the next 45 minutes testing and noting the issues, tests, tips, notes.
Attached are the corkboard images before and after the 45 minute session.
When we started
After Testing Session 1

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bug Investigation - Never Give up...till you tried enough

          After many days, I got my office laptop home to verify some bugs assigned to me. Some are disciplined enough to focus on only the bugs first. I belong to the category of people who are inquisitive enough to probe areas closer to the bug, find new bugs and log them. On verification of one such bug, I noticed something strange.

The Bug Appears
There was a popup and there was a browse button to choose a file to upload. I clicked on the Browse button but nothing seemed to happen. I clicked again and the file picker window opened. I was pretty confident that I had clicked on the Browse button the first time too.
Confidence doesn't help you unless you have proof especially in the case of bugs.
And as I have got into the habit of recording ( ) my testing sessions, this too was recorded. The next step was to follow the advice given in BBST Bug Advocacy Course (Remember RIMGEA? ) on encountering a bug. I tried to identify the critical condition, recorded a shorter video and  logged the bug.

The next day morning, the programmer pinged me on Skype asking if I could still replicate the issue?
I could not :( 
Immediately, I noticed few differences.

  • Firefox browser was updated [The issue I replicated was on a lower version]
  • This build was deployed early morning whereas I had logged the issue on a previous build.
  • The programmer was testing on a different account. 
The advantage of recording the sessions is that I don't need to remember every detail of the bug. The important, obvious details are recorded and my mind is free to remember some other information.
I replayed the video. The programmer was also watching it. I could not replicate the bug.

It is easy to assume that the different factors has a major effect and close the bug as non-reproducible.

The bug is Nailed
I did not give up. Points from James' blog post were crossing my mind. I observed the video more keenly. Immediately, a thought process started. The video showed 12:27 AM - which means - I tested at home - meaning - a different network - TATA PHOTON data card. Bingo! Is the bug caused by difference in network?

I always carry my data card with me - what if the office network is down - I don't want to depend on one factor alone. I immediately disconnected from the office network and connected the data card to the laptop.

The bug was reproduced. I was happy that a combination of factors helped me replicate the bug.

Proof (Recording), Resources (Data card), Observation (Time & inference about the network speed).
I wanted to share this story - its like the war story where you successfully defeated your enemy.

I would love to hear about your war-stories.
PS: Did you know how I searched for the blog post by James. Refer the image below. I applied something which I learnt in the Power Searching With Google course. What is the use if one doesn't learn and what is the use of learning if its not applied? :)

Power Searching With Google course lesson

Leia Mais…

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Time for some Coursera courses :)

I received my Power Searching With Google certificate last week.
Sep 24 to Oct 10
My next target is Coursera courses. There are plenty of them. I signed up for the Python course which started today. And the next course I want to do is the Think Again: How to Reason and Argue
This should take care of this year. Hopefully, these courses help me to become a better software tester.

Meanwhile, I created a video for Bug DeBug Facebook channel on how to get started with mind maps.
Its less than five minutes long. Get started on your mind maps.
And thanks to Sudhamshu, Bharath & everyone involved, the next workshop is on Oct 27th at Microsoft, Hyderabad.

Leia Mais…

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Oct Batch - Online Hands on Testing Training

The first batch started in the month of April. It was well-received and you can find the comments here.
Encouraged by the participants, I conducted the second & third batches too. I have learnt a lot from the three batches, the participants, the drop-outs, the assignments, the emails and the feedback. Few of them attended all three :) Thanks. While I conducted three batches, I also attended the online 'Power Searching With Google' course.

To complement the online course, I have started conducting onsite courses on Software Testing with Exploratory Testing as the main theme. The Chennai workshop was a first time experience of conducting a full day workshop. So, I am back after a month's break. Some of you were asking me about the fourth batch and here is your chance.

Course Contents:

  • Mind maps - Introduction, Creation, Different types, Tools, Tips, Collaborative mind map.
  • Testing Session - Bugs and Oracles, Mnemonics, Heuristics, Tips, Intermittent bugs.
  • Tools - Screen Capture, Screen Recording, Note-taking, Shortcuts, tips to improve productivity.

What is different in fourth batch course content?
I have slightly modified the content and will be covering few topics in detail. This course will be slow and detail-oriented. I want to answer more questions in this course compared to the previous three batches.

How do I join?
Ping me on Skype [ajay184f is my Skype ID] and let me know that you are interested to attend the fourth batch of my hands on training on software testing.

Date & Time?
Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday starting October 10th till Nov 2nd.
Time: 10 pm IST to 11.15 pm IST
Cost: Its Free. I need your active participation, nothing more.

Any questions?
If you want me to conduct an onsite training in your city, email me [ ]

Lets meet, test and share what we know :)

Leia Mais…

Power Searching With Google - Done!

You can still take the course at
Calendar is booked with lot of tasks :)
Next week - New batch of online training, this month - workshop at Hyderabad, till Dec - important features to be tested at office,  project to be submitted for my MS degree... Life is busy and I am loving it :) 

Leia Mais…

Monday, September 24, 2012

Workshop at Chennai - Done!

This is going to be a short post.

I conducted a one day workshop at Chennai on Sep 22nd.
Thank you Chennai
Key points:
  • Building a feature map and providing feedback.
  • Few exercises on building a map, bug-hunting, recognizing oracles.
  • Live demo of building a map, test session, using Rapid Reporter.
  • Answering questions on software testing.
  • Multiple tips to improve productivity & find bugs quicker.
Thanks to Bharath, the organizing team, the testers who participated and the college volunteers who helped make it a successful event.

Looking forward to the event in Hyderabad now.
If you want me to conduct a hands-on workshop in your city, email me []

I loved the experience and hope to conduct more sessions in the coming months.
This was my first public workshop and as every first, this is also special :)

Leia Mais…

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Power Searching with Google

Thanks to Mohan Deepak who gave me this link few minutes ago:

On first impressions, this looks good. I have set my eyes on this for the second week of October.
What about you?

Once again, thanks to Mohan Deepak
Update: Starts on Sep 24. So, hurry up :)

Leia Mais…

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Learning from RTI - Recording my testing session

Can you replicate the bug again for me?
How many times have you answered the above question? It might be asked by testers, programmers, managers and anyone interested in the bug. Sometimes, even you will like to replicate the bug. So, lets consider that you discovered a bug, a good bug, a important bug!

Now, you need to replicate but you are not able to! Oh, what do you do now? Try again? Call for help?
You don't have the proof but you have seen it. You were smart enough to take a screen shot too immediately. But, no one is ready to believe you. No one can help you unless you identify the exact steps to replicate the bug. This has happened to me many times. After attending the Rapid Testing Intensive event, I learnt a valuable lesson:
Be ready for scrutiny with some proof of your testing activity.
James Bach recorded most of his testing sessions. In fact, Rob Sabourin had all of his sessions recorded with audio! I was impressed with his work. The first thing I did after returning to work was to install the Fast Stone Capture application. I wanted to test like the experts. I wanted to improve my test reports and testing efforts. I had Jing already installed on my machine but the limit for recording was 5 minutes only. I started recording my test sessions. The first few recordings were huge and covered some unnecessary stuff too.
When I say 'unnecessary stuff', I don't mean Facebook, Skype chats, Google Chat pings. What I meant to say was that it recorded whatever I typed in my testing notes, the time I was browsing through multiple folders, the emails I checked, the testing status blog I updated about the testing session.

Later, I realized that I could anytime pause the recording, complete the tasks and resume recording.

Now, for the benefits and questions part:

What did I gain:

  • A proof of my every testing session: In previous releases, I always had the doubt if it was tested on build 17 or build 15. I can now go to the particular folder, watch the appropriate video - I save my videos with an appropriate name - and figure out if it was tested or not.
  • Attachments to the bug reports: People are now able to figure out the issue better by going through the attachments. This has saved me a lot of time.
  • A happy feeling: I am open for scrutiny once again. I have better answer to what I did in the given time and why a particular test took X amount of time. As a tester, I feel complete (read satisfied) now after this activity.
  • Uninterrupted testing activity: If I notice any problem, I don't stop there and worry about taking a screenshot, calling a programmer or testing on a different environment. I either pause the recording and save immediately or note the time on the video. I will get back to it later.
  • I learn from my testing sessions: I play back the recording in my disposable time and notice patterns of what I do well and how I waste time. The next testing session, I try to incorporate my learning. This is important - As Robin Sharma says - "Many of us are busy being busy". If we don't learn from our mistakes, how will we improve?  

Now for the questions:

  • Is FastStone Capture a free tool? - No, its available for free trial for 30 days. Ask your company to buy the license. Use it for 30 days, demonstrate the value addition and if they still can't afford the 20 USD license, I am sorry. 
  • What about the quality, size of the video? - I like what I got out of this tool. A very important point to note is that the tool saved a eight hour session successfully. I had left the recording open and forgot to stop it. It crashed after 8-10 hrs maybe BUT it gave me the option to SAVE the session. 
  • Is it just a screen recording tool or can it be used for screen capture too? It has very good screenshot editing tools in built and many other options available too. As I use Jing for screenshot, PotShot for screenshot at periodic intervals, I don't use FastStone Capture a lot for Screencapture.
  • Have you tried XYZ tool? I don't know :) Please let me know which tool you use?
This is the first post of a series of posts planned on my learning from Rapid Testing Intensive (RTI) and how I have implemented in my day to day testing activity.

As I mentioned on the last day of RTI, I feel like I am restarting journey as a software tester!  

Leia Mais…

Friday, August 3, 2012

Powercut for 15 minutes

Power cut for 15 minutes

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August batch of online course on "Software Testing Skills"

Its time for the third batch to start. Third batch of my course - "Software Testing Skills".

What this course is about:
The rough outline would be

1. Building a Feature Map
3. Information gathering through Application 
4. Effective bug hunting, investigation and reporting
5. Preparing a Test Report

I am open to changes based on the testers' skills and experience.

Is there any mailing list where I can see artifacts by students of previous classes?

Every monday, wednesday and friday starting from August 06th till August 31st

10 pm IST to 11.15 pm IST (4.30 pm GMT to  5.45 pm GMT)

It costs only your time. There is NO FEES.

The sessions are over Skype chat only. No calls.

Email me ( with the subject: "AjAug2012" and provide your Skype ID in the body of the email. I would appreciate if you would add me on Skype too.

What will I learn? Can you tell me more about how will the experience be?
I will let the students who attended comment on this post.

Leia Mais…

Thursday, July 26, 2012

RTI 2012 : Day 3 - Status Check

Leia Mais…

Does every post need a title?

A quick recap of the last 15 mins of my life...
I am very lazy and do only the things which I like. Though I wanted to read about eBay motors, I switched over to twitter instead and saw this tweet.
Useful Info
I clicked on the link and I watched the complete video

At 1:50 - 1:55 of the video timeline, I noticed a typo.
I practiced my test framing skills by adding a comment. I am not sure if its framing a test but I will get to know soon.

At the end of the video, I got to know about the tool -

So, I signed up for the tool.

See, how I spend my time. When people ask me, how do you know so many things? I reply that the more I learn, I more I get to know of my ignorance. But I can't be complaining. Think of it as a cycle or a scale.
At one end is ignorance and the other one is about knowledge. Just that the scale keeps expanding at both ends. I am afraid that we might lose out on important stuff with so limited time we have. So, I spend most of the time I am awake learning stuff which I feel will help me one day.

Why did I write this post?
I wanted to share how I spend time learning and how I am aware of what I do. Any experience is a learning experience if you can turn it into one.

And when I wanted to insert the picture of the tweet, I learnt about a new stuff which I kind of missed all these days.

Time for some tester games at RTI. And I thought, I will sleep for some time before it ;)
Well, see you after the games...

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

RTI 2012 - Day 2 - Light Center - Map

Leia Mais…

Day 2 - Status Check Map

Status Check

Leia Mais…

Formal end of RTI 2012 Day 1

Final official map of Day 1

Leia Mais…

RTI 2012 - RST Framework and Galumping

Parts of Framework
Some more information:
Rapid Software Testing Framework:

Leia Mais…

RTI 2012 - Day 1 - Rapid Software Testing - Overview

Overview of RST
To be followed by Rapid Software Testing Framework

Leia Mais…

RTI 2012 - Day 1 - Usability Testing Feedback

Just after the exercise
The different documents highlighted in the map can be found below:

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RTI 2012 - Day 1 - Usability Testing

The morning session
A great start to the day. Chatted with family, showed them the scenery and then got ready for the Day 1 of Rapid Testing Intensive.

Orange juice - my secret ;) helped a lot.

And then we started on time.
24th July 2012 
9 am PST

The first task output can be found here.
Time for a break! :)

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Experience Report - Online Coaching Software Testers

Thanks to all the publicity about my course by my well-wishers, I received close to 60-70 emails. I was not sure how many will actually attend as it was from 10 pm IST to 11.15 pm IST, three nights a week for five weeks. It was a happy problem. I added everyone who emailed me before the deadline to a google group. Let me highlight the overall experience in different sections:

I added the blog post about the course, updated my status on twitter, GTalk, Skype and the rest of the publicity was done by the testing community. That is the best part of the testing community. It gives you much more than what you contribute to it.

By the registration emails, I was worried about missing anyone. Imagine if you registered for a course, you are excited and later get to know that you were not invited! I did not want that to happen. I created a filter for the subject in the email and all the email ids were added while creating a new google group. I did add those who had a different subject than what was asked for in the blog post. If you want to join the google group, here is the link:
I added everyone manually on Skype (ajay184f is my id). Some pinged me, some were already part of my contacts :) Some gave incorrect Skype ids, some did not have Skype ids.

It is easy to think that the teacher is not responding to the student's emails or ping. If you apply Dr. Bono's OPV(Other Point of View) method, you will understand that the teacher has to reply to n students' emails, answer questions for every student, make sure each student is comfortable. This is one of the reasons, I have high respect for everyone associated with AST's courses. If you are interested in learning about software testing and not experienced the courses offered by them, you are MISSING something BIG.
You want to know more?

Diversity ruled. Someone who had never tested to someone who had tested for ten years, a programmer to a tester, different domains to different tools, different time zones to different languages and interests! Awesome diversity but everyone seemed to have one thread in common.
Open mind, patience, enthusiasm and dedication. I am sure that the team learnt something relative to the effort they put in for the course. I did not hear any complaints till date (tomorrow is the last class of 1st batch). I am assuming that there are no hidden complaints :) I believe in one thing for sure - Everyone is talented. Yes, everyone. It just depends on
a. Do they practice enough to keep the talent shining?
b. Do they recognize the talent and/or are they interested?

My only worry was that if there would be any fights or misunderstanding between the groups. There was none. Happy family :)

What did we discuss:
A lot.

What did we learn?
I leave it to the students to comment :)

Next batch? Interested? 
Date: June 04th to July 06th 2012
Time: 10.30 pm IST to 11.15pm IST (4.30 pm GMT to  5.45 pm GMT)
For other time zones,
Days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

How do I register:
Please email me with subject "AjJun2012" and mention your Skype id in the body of the email.

Fees: Its free. Except for your time & effort of course :)

Thanks to
a. All the testers, programmers I have interacted till date and everyone who helped me spread the word
b. Dr.Cem Kaner for the comment on my blog post about my course.
c. Jon Bach for the encouragement that I can conduct this course and James Bach & Michael Bolton for the continuous support & encouragement.
d. Sirisha, Teri, Sudhamshu, Monirul, Narasimha, Satnam, Bala, Praveen and everyone else who participated in my course.
e. Tata Photon - for a reliable data card!

Leia Mais…

Friday, April 20, 2012

Free Online Course on "Software Testing Skills"

Course (Five sections): *
1. Building a Feature Map
3. Information gathering through Application Tours
4. Effective bug hunting, investigation and reporting
5. Preparing a Test Report

Every monday, wednesday and friday starting from April 30th till May 30th

It costs only your time. There is NO FEES.

10 pm IST to 11.15 pm IST (4.30 pm GMT to  5.45 pm GMT)

The sessions are over Skype chat only. No calls.

Email me ( with the subject: "AjApr2012" and provide your Skype ID in the body of the email.

Please hurry as I don't want the class strength to be a big number.
More details once you confirm your interest.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Online Course with Tea Time With Testers & Quality Testing.

I learnt a very important quote from Robin Sharma. "Relationships matter"

Yesterday, I read a tweet from Tea Time With Testers:
"@TtimewidTesters in association with @qualitytesting launching Online Training Course . Register Now !"
The tagline made me happy. "Certifications might get you job but ONLY your
Testing Skills will define your GROWTH !"

I was happy that at least someone other than CDT school members understood this concept.
The name of the trainer - Savita Munde made me even more happy. I had heard good words about her from Ilari Henrik, Shrini Kulkarni and a bit from James Bach.
But when I clicked on the syllabus link, all the happiness disappeared.
The syllabus had close to zero content matching with testing skills. It was like a certification course syllabus.

I tweeted that "Disappointed with this:" and put a #testing tag to it.

Immediately, Lalit and I had a discussion on Gtalk and I decided to take a course for free through their site.
The word "Free" did not go well with few people.

I was not against anyone. I was against the syllabus. I was confused. I did not know if what I did was right or wrong. Should I have taken the issue in private? Who am I to criticize the syllabus of someone else? These questions were troubling me and I pinged James and Michael.
At the same time, Lalit was also talking to them.

James & Michael supported me that I did the right thing but definitely, there is always a better way to do things. I don't know who did it but I assume that James/Michael helped clean up the syllabus. The syllabus now looks a lot cleaner. A lot of terms, definitions are no longer part of the syllabus. I see a big influence of "Lessons Learnt in Software Testing" book on the syllabus which according to me is a good thing.

As I promised to Lalit, I will take a course on Testing Skills with focus on hands on exercises.
When I asked Jon Bach if I will be able to do it, he was more confident than me.

Now that I like the syllabus, I am going to promote their course and offer my course too.
As I don't ask for anything other than your time, I want to make sure that you are serious enough to attend the course. As a pre-requisite to my course, I request you to attend the course conducted by Savita. It should be worth every rupee or dollar spent by you.

I do not get any benefit from Tea Time With Testers or Quality Testing apart from the free platform to conduct this course.So, dive in and lets enjoy learning from each other.

And why did we argue yesterday but friends today? Because "Relationships Matter" :)

Leia Mais…

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Release of my 3rd ebook: "50+ tips to boost your productivity"

Thank you for all the birthday wishes. My third ebook is finally released.
It is titled - '50+ tips to boost your productivity'

I want to keep this post short and sweet.
My special thanks to Jon Bach for inspiring me to write the blog post on tips/tools/tricks which later gave me an idea to expand it to this ebook. He also agreed to write Foreword to this book.
I am honored. Thanks Jon.

What is this book about?

This book is a small collection of tips, tricks and list of tools to help boost your productivity. This is entirely based on my experiences in software testing as well as using computer. Internet is so powerful. A simple Google search will yield you so many search results. Google for “Screen Capture Tools” and you will find a minimum of ten tools in the first page itself. Which one do you choose? Do you have the time to try each one of them? What about Windows command prompts? There seems to be more than fifty commands. Which one is useful for us, especially for a software tester?

I feel that one learns the best based on personal experience. Remember the time when you lost all your data and the lesson along with it - “Save your data frequently” Or the trick to use notepad as a diary. Some of the tips might be known to you but I hope that some of them are unknown to you as well. I have not written this book keeping a specific audience in mind. Anyone who uses computer should be able to benefit from this book. At the same time, I have tried my best to bring my experience as a software tester to the forefront.

How do you learn new tools and tips? Do you follow any specific websites? Do let me know. After my first e-book - “What If…” and the second e-book - “What If… 50+ tips to win testing contests” which can be bought from, I hope that you enjoy this book too. Hope you enjoy the snippets while I wait for your comments…

This book is an extension of the blog post: If you liked the post, you will like the book too.

Without any delay, here are the details to buy the books:

Download all the books from

Details about the previous two books is here:

Leia Mais…

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Tools/Commands/Tips I use - Part 1

Thanks to Jon Bach for the inspiration behind this blog post.
This blog post is an attempt to tell you the different tools I use and how I learnt different tips & tricks useful for testing. Feel free to comment with your choice of tools/tips/tricks.

The first time I switched on a computer was the time I joined a computer course. The class was about DOS and MS-Office. That day I got to know what Ctrl + Alt + Delete did. It was like a magic combination. I did not know anything about what an operating system did. All I knew was that, you needed to press Ctrl + Alt + Delete to unlock the computer. Then I happily played Dave for the next one hour.

After few months, I understood the joke about a software engineer shouting "F1" when in danger. Well, he needed "Help" and the most common key associated with Help was F1. As I typed my college assignment in MS-Word, I found it difficult to edit long sentences. I pressed the left/right arrow keys till the cursor was at the right word and then I edited the word. My friend then showed me the power of Home and End keys.

During college days, me and my friends used to watch movies on friend's computer. Windows Media Player or VLC were the most commonly used tools. I was surprised when Alt + Enter changed the mode to Full Screen. Then I got to know what PrntScr did. I was always hesitant to use those keys - specially the F1 - F12 and the Insert, Pg Up, Pg Dn, Home, End. I did not want something bad to happen as most of the savings went into buying a computer.

Then I joined as a software tester in a company. The first day in training, the application was not responding. It was happening only on my machine. The programmer was called for by my trainer. He came and pressed some keys and Windows Task Manager popped up. I asked him the combination. It was Ctrl + Shift + Esc. That key combination was the first combination I learnt as an employee. Then, he right clicked on the Application name, Go to Process and clicked 'End Process'. This was how he force closed the application.

I spent more time observing the programmers. I did not know how to check the version of any application other than using the About/Help menu. The programmer taught me to check using the Add/Remove Programs window to note any application version. When I made a note of the flow to get to Add/Remove Programs from Start > Control Panel, he immediately showed me an easier way. He asked me to try 'Run > appwiz.cpl'. When my eyes asked the question "What?", he told me that appwiz = Application Wizard and cpl = Control Panel. I smiled and thanked him. My other friend taught me what Run > temp and Run > %temp% did.

Then I started using more tools. I used CCleaner. I was surprised by how much space it cleared for me by deleting the temp files and fixing some registry related files. The amount of free space increased. This tool was specially useful to me who never cleaned the temporary files. It cleans up your computer in minutes. As a tester, I have to take many screenshots. My friend suggested Greenshot and it was quite good. I used it for some time before I found Jing. I think it was Elena Houser who introduced me to Jing at CAST 2011. Yes, it was Elena. We used it for the testing competition. I continue to use it.

As I tested more and more applications, I found many application crashes. Then my programmer friend taught me how to use DrWatson. He was happy that I attached the logs and I was happy that I learnt something new. In one of the applications I tested, I found that the logo appeared to be a bit different from the one on the company website. When I showed that to the programmer, he attributed that to my machine display settings. I was not convinced. I searched for a tool which will let you know the RGB values of the color and also the hex code. I used ColorCop and proved to the programmer that there was indeed a difference.

After attending Rapid Software Testing (RST) workshop, I started using Perlclip a lot more. It was easy to generate lots and lots of text very quickly. Some of the programmers were impressed and the testers surprised. :) I started attaching video files to my bug reports. WebEx Recorder proved to be a very good tool for this task. The only drawback was that you could play the recording only using WebEx Player as the output file format was .wrf . So, I started using Jing to record the videos too.

I started registering on many social networks. The number of open applications too increased. While I knew that Alt + Tab switched between applications, I faced a lot of difficulty when the number of tabs in my browser increased. A browser is a single application and Alt + Tab did not help. Accidentally, I discovered that Ctrl + Tab switched tabs on a single browser instance. It was all good until Ctrl + x opened the xth tab where x was a number. Example: If you had ten tabs open, Ctrl + 2 opened the second tab. Ctrl + 9 always opened the last open tab.  Well, it doesn't open the respective tab, it just brings the focus onto the tab.

There were instances where I used Ctrl + to zoom in and Ctrl - to zoom out on a browser window. But I did not know how to view the original size through any shortcut. Ctrl + 0 seemed to be the shortcut.
I received a lot of emails with broken hyperlinks and I had to manually copy the entire link text and paste on the browser. Then, my friend showed me that using "" and typing the text between the quotes and pressing enter would turn the entire text into a hyperlink. This helps avoid broken links specially for network paths. Try it on Outlook.

There was an informal group in my company started by me and my friend. We called ourselves the Mission group. There was no hierarchy and we shared useful information about testing via emails. As we shared lot of article links, we used a lot to shorten the url. I used to take a printout of the article and write just the 6 characters of the link at the top of the page. We used a lot to take simultaneous testing notes sitting at different computers.

Sometimes, the visible screen on the browser was not enough to highlight the problem. I used F11 to view full screen and then take screenshot. I have also used the website PDFmyURL to convert the entire page to a pdf file.

And for mind map lovers:
Don't forget to comment with your choice of tools/tips/tricks. Thanks.

To be continued...

Leia Mais…

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sympathetic testing

One of the reasons I like BBST courses is that there is a focused reading on a topic. There are questions asked about a document. You might have read the document before but one seems to learn more when there is a focused reading of the same document under time pressure. In the Test Design course, I learn about "Sympathetic Testing". There seems to be an excellent document explaining how to learn an application. The focus is on learning about the application and not testing the application.

Do go through this article by Michael Kelly here.

I decided to learn about the application ClipX in a similar manner to how Mike Kelly learnt about the Magnifier tool. The first tour described was the 'Feature Tour' where the focus is to move through the application, getting familiar with all the controls and features one comes across.

I installed the application ClipX from
Based on the Mike Kelly's blog post, I prepared this mindmap.
Application Tours
The next few hours, I will be focusing on the application tours. Let me start with the feature tour.
When I was installing the application, I found one interesting behavior. The 'Run the application now?' popup appeared even before the progress bar on installation window was complete.
Click here to view the partial report of the feature tour. I did not do a complete feature tour.

What did I learn from this exercise?
It was a different experience to focus on learning about the application and not hunt for bugs.

Rich model
As the focus shifted from "Can I test for this bug" to "What else this product can do", I learnt about the product in detail. The additional information will help me frame better tests and target each of the areas I learnt. This also helps me in relating a test on a single feature to its effects on other feature. The rich model helps me think of the big picture.

Better bugs
As I learn more about the overall application, I ask questions related to the design of the application. If I were to concentrate on a single feature, my question might be limited to the particular feature. Looking at the bigger picture, I can find bugs related to the absence/presence of a particular feature. I can question the very existence of a feature instead of a bug in a feature.

Risk - Coverage - Priority
I can talk to my stakeholder with my initial report and ask for the areas to be tested. Based on my initial tours, I have an idea of how a test might affect the other features. How risky is a particular feature? What percent of coverage would be achieved in terms of features? Which feature demands highest priority testing? I have a better answer to such questions after this exercise than before the exercise.

Learn in five minutes
After I finished prepared the report, I realized that few of my tests could have been avoided if I had seen other features before. The next time, I will quickly go through most of the options within five minutes and then focus on tours.

I am still learning to do sympathetic testing well. Have you experienced Sympathetic Testing? What do you think? How do you learn about the application? How much time do you spend?

Leia Mais…

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Blink test using browser tabs - Blink tab test?

Michael Bolton describes Blink Test and many other quick tests here:
Blink Test
Find an aspect of the product that produces huge amounts of data or does some operation very quickly. Look through a long log file or browse database records, deliberately scrolling too quickly to see in detail. Notice trends in line lengths, or the look or shape of the data. Use Excel’s conditional formatting feature to highlight interesting distinctions between cells of data. Soften your focus. If you have a test lab with banks of monitors, scan them or stroll by them; patterns of misbehaviour can be surprisingly prominent and easy to spot.
I had to test the (supposedly) same registration form across different services.
Here is the image of the different services that we support:

Either you can open the registration form on one service, test it to your satisfaction and close the form. Then you can move on to the next registration form.
You can open the registration forms for all the services and test them simultaneously. 
I followed the second approach and opened each form on a new tab.

Then I thought of checking if there was any inconsistency across forms. To start with, I clicked on each tab using the mouse. As it was time consuming and distracting, I switched to Ctrl + Tab. There were six tabs open. I pressed Ctrl + Tab to move to each tab. Slowly, I increased the pace. Then it was fast. I had the keys pressed and it was a blink test in action.

Here is the sample video highlighting the Blink test.The test was quick and highly valuable for the cost involved. Apart from checking the basic look and feel of the form, position of different elements, I tested for error messages for each field.

The only issue I faced was that I had to align the screen's position after every request sent to the server on each tab so that there was very little difference in the position of the screens. Once the position was set, it was easy to concentrate on the different elements.

Have you tried any similar tests? What was your approach?
I would like to hear about your experience.
By the way, I thought I will name the test as Blink Tab Test :)

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Introducing MUG – Mobility User Group, in Bangalore

Introducing MUG – Mobility User Group, in Bangalore

Are you a techie, gadget geek or developer in Bangalore and passionate about Mobile Platforms, if so join the Mobility User Group (or, MUG) to debate and connect with pros.
What is MUG? MUG stands for Mobility User Group. This is a group of passionate individuals who will meet regularly to learn and debate the technologies driving new age mobile device platforms.

If you are interested in watching the videos of the First MUG Hangout to see the type of stuff we cover, click the link below:

This times Hangout, on March 10th will feature the following topics (see the event details on Facebook for more information):

Product Hangout:  Microsoft's take on Mobility - Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8
Technical Hangout:  Developing web apps for iOS and Android
Q&A and Networking

Fiberlink Software
3rd Floor, Regent Insignia
#404, 100 Feet Road, Koramangala 4th Block
Bangalore. 560095.
Landmark: Above eZone electronics store, Opp Sukh Sagar restaurant

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Where was this option till now?

Launch Twitter on any browser, login to your account and note the icons displayed next to the Search field. An icon when clicked displays your profile details and other options and 'Compose new Tweet' icon. Now, lets get to the scenario which prompted me to write this post.

I was following a particular conversation on A conversation is different from an isolated tweet as you will a tweet in reply to another tweet. Isolated tweets are individual tweets and not typed using the Reply link. You can recognize a conversation by the text 'In reply to SomeUsername' below the tweet.
Once you click on the 'In reply to SomeUsername' link, the entire conversation is displayed.

And if you notice carefully, once you click on the link, you will see an additional icon next to the 'Compose new Tweet' icon. Where was this icon till now?
What will you do if you were the tester? Let me make it very simple - there are only three icons to be tested. The icon to see more details, the 'Compose new Tweet' and the 'Close all open Tweets'. When you launch twitter, you will not see the third icon. Let us relate this behavior to the software we test everyday.

There might be options or functionality which are no so obvious. In fact, they might be enabled based on some action. These options might not be displayed by default. I think this is an interesting situation for a tester. Many times, a tester has to focus on things which are not just obvious but what is hidden behind the obvious.

As a tester, what will you do? I am not interested in answers like 'As testers, we will receive requirement documents which will mention all the functions.' or 'I test based on what the programmer asked me to test.'
When I thought about such scenarios, these questions came to my mind:

  • What are the hidden functions?
  • Are they important functions? Should they be hidden by default?
  • Is the user informed about such functions? Should the user be informed that some options are hidden? I am thinking of contexts where displaying all the options by default is not a good idea. Maybe games where you would like the user to discover options. 
  • Have you tested for all of the hidden functions?
  • How do you know if you have tested for all the hidden functions? Who has the list of all the hidden functions?
  • Why are are some functions hidden? What should be the criteria for hiding a functionality by default?
As a tester, this exercise should be interesting. Look at your software and discover the hidden functions :)
Who knows, you might find a bug that was hiding from day 1...

What other questions come to your mind. Let me know through your comments.

Leia Mais…

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New job: The best is yet to come :)

After I resigned from my previous job on Jan 27th, I did not take any break. I joined the new company on Jan 30th and was excited as this was the first time I changed company. Its been three weeks as of today and I thought that it would be a good blog post.

Strange Day 1:
I got a laptop and there was a welcome email sent to the entire company. I received few skype contact requests and I immediately accepted :) For the next six hours, there was zero disturbance. No one gave me any tasks, no emails, no phone calls, no meetings, nothing. I was chatting with my friends in my previous company. There was popcorn, biscuits, juice and chocolates to give me company. Finally, my manager asked me if I can start training from the next day.

I was happy that I would get a chance to learn about their product. But I was supposed to conduct trainings and not attend :) I sent an email with the topics and the meetings were scheduled.

Testing Classes:
I started taking classes for the QA team. It was a different experience as testers from US joined through a conference call. There were testers attending the session from the same room and at the same time, multiple testers calling in. I had to take extra care of the pace of the session, voice clarity and the examples used in the session. Luckily, the sessions are going well. I don't use presentation slides. I use a lot of maps and practical testing sessions to highlight the point.

Testing Competition:
After two weeks of training, I conducted a testing contest for the testers. Close to thirty testers participated and presented their reports using Rapid Reporter. Yes, Rapid Reporter :) It was good to see different and new test ideas from different teams. Prizes were distributed to the winners.

Arranging sessions by testing experts:
We were so lucky to have a webinar with James Bach and Michael Bolton last friday. An inspiring session and the best part was the interactive audience. Those who never asked any question were curious and asked few questions. Everyone liked it and we will continue to ask many other testing experts to conduct webinars or testing sessions with the testers. I am so lucky to be in touch with many great testers :)

Creating Mindmaps:
When I highlighted the benefits of mindmaps, I was encouraged to create maps based on the product. Different testers liked the concept of mindmaps for different reasons - tracking results, understanding product better, training purpose, taking notes :) When I was asked to write user stories, I started with a map first.

Session using HTSM model
We had one session where we discussed the HTSM model. Now, we will analyze the requirement document using the HTSM model and come back with a list of questions. Hope the session will be benefit everyone - the testers as well the managers.

Designing tests for interviews
I started designing tests for the interviews. This was a good learning experience. You need to design tests based on different experience levels. Also, you need to be careful on what you expect from these tests. You need to try them on yourself, other testers and then improve them based on the feedback.

Taking interviews
I also took an interview - my first formal interview :) Though I can't reveal much details, it was again a good experience. Meeting someone from the other school of testing proved to be an interesting interview experience.

Ordered books:
I ordered books authored by James Bach, Jerry Weinberg and Dr. Cem Kaner. The management approved the order and paid the full amount. As soon as the books came, curious testers jumped on it. :) Hope to have some good discussions from the book readings.

Three important goals:
The fourth day at the new job, director calls me for a meeting and highlights the three challenges the company is facing. So, I have got three important goals to work on. I have set two months time as a deadline to achieve some measurable results. I submitted my first report at the end of first week. He sent it to the appropriate team and forwarded the report to the entire company. I liked the appreciation :)

Exploratory testing sessions:
There are testing sessions dedicated to exploratory testing sessions. There are a list of special missions to concentrate on every session. The energy and the atmosphere is amazing. Though the debrief isn't the ideal but its a good start. I hope to blog more on the learning from these sessions. And yes, it was here where Rapid Reporter was introduced. To my surprise, everyone accepted the tool immediately and now everyone uses the tool!

On a personal note, I continue to play table tennis. And I have started doing something which I have not done for the past 26 years. I have participated in a gym contest and today is the fifth consecutive day where I have exercised in a gym :) It feels very good.

Thanks for reading this post. Let me get back to mind mapping.

Leia Mais…