A Software Tester's journey from manual to political

Test automation is an interesting activity. When teams start their journey, interesting things happen. Teams become more efficient, test coverage increases, communication between software testers and developers increases, fewer defects are reported by customers and so on, isn’t it? But does it happen every single time?

Let me tell you a story – BTW, all persons portrayed in this story are fictitious and any resemblance to living or dead, manual, automated or political tester is purely coincidental.

A small team of few developers and testers was working on a product at company X. Test team at company X wasn't experienced and lead tester of the team was Jim. Jim was a good tester. He was extremely good at finding defects - unfortunately he never got opportunity to work on the test automation projects. Management at company X had no interest in approach – they wanted results and they never pushed team ...

EuroSTAR 2012 - Reflection

Last few days were awesome - My presentation at EuroSTAR was well received, builders are out and I had nice Diwail celebration with friends and family. Don’t worry, this post will not cover Diwali celebration or our home improvement project - I will stay on course and cover only EuroSTAR.

It was my first EuroSTAR and I truly enjoyed it. I attended EuroSTAR as a speaker and my presentation topic was - “Test Automation Framework, Don’t design it, let it evolve”. It was in-line with the theme of conference - Innovate and renovate. I will write about my presentation in detail - but for now - let’s focus on the overall conference.

On day 1, I reached early for the conference and spent around an hour in the exhibition hall. One of the vendor (Sorry forgot name :-() in the exhibition hall had few really nice puzzles to solve. I started by looking at ...

How is your software testing experience?

The word experience has become overused. What does it convey when you say I have 10 years of experience or 5 years of experience in software testing? Nothing.

Experience, in my opinion is a very broad term. Experiences in software testing could be physical, mental, emotional, religious and social.

If I recall my software testing experience, it’s a mixture of all of these.

Software testing takes the form of physical experience, when I compare product with the spec in any form. It can also take this form if I am doing it subconsciously. Few activities which fall under this category are

  • Comparing UI elements on screen against design
  • Sound produced by the application is not according to specs
  • Application is not responding well to the touch screen gestures
  • Application is not working as specified
  • Creation of throwaway record and playback scripts

In nutshell, role of my brain is probably ...

Software Testing Games – do they help?

And one more post on my experience of CAST 2012..

I realized pretty early in my career that theory of software testing (In books and course material provided by certification bodies) and practical on-field testing have very little in common. That was the primary reason for me and Komal to come up with testometer few years back. Learning by exercising our brain is much better than filling our brain with definitions. Unfortunately, we did not spend time on testometer lately, but may be in future..

At CAST 2012, there were plenty of opportunities to exercise and challenge our brain. Every evening after 7:00 PM, ball room was open for the testing games. Testing games were not new to me - I did Rapid Software Testing with Michael Bolton and he uses many games in his class. I also played few games with Jon Bach at STP Nashville last year and ...

Serious about software testing? - Come to CAST 2012

I have been to many conferences related to software testing but unfortunately could never make to CAST for various reasons. Fortunately, this year I will be at San Jose for the CAST 2012, and yes I am excited about it.

I am speaking on two topics at CAST 2012.

In the main session, I am talking about the perils of over-reliance on acceptance criteria, continuous integration and deployment to prods. My second talk is under the emerging topic category and I will talk about randomization in automation and how we can make automation more powerful by introducing randomization. In one session, I will talk about limitations of automation and in another session I will talk about how awesome test automation could be.

After the conference, I am attending full day tutorial from Karen Johnson on testing mobile applications and mobile websites. I have been to Karen's session in STP ...

Find defects to find defects quicker

This post is a combination of two things - an advise and a request. In case you are wondering, it is not complicated advise and simple request, it's a simple advise and challenging request. If you like challenges of testing web applications, you may like this challenge as well.

So let's talk about the advise first. Find defects to find defects quicker - I am sure most of us already know this, isn't it? But sometime we do need to state and explain obvious. We do it all the time in testing - we state and explain obvious defects isn't it? Well, we need to that because obvious is obviously not obvious for everyone :-)

Software testing is a skilled profession and like all the skilled professions, you get better at it with practice. However, there is a difference between doing day-to-day testing in job for many years and practicing ...

Can we write test charters as user stories?

I attended weekend testing America’s session number 18 on Saturday. It was my first WTA session and I must say it was a good learning experience. There was an interesting exercise given by James Bach. The exercise was about Test Charters.

As part of the exercise, we had to critique existing test charters and improve them. I went through the definition of test charter given in the exercise to understand more about test charters. I tried to critique and improve the example charters, based on the definition given in the exercise. I was not satisfied with the outcome and wanted someone to critique my (improved /modified) charters.

My (improved :-)/modified) test charter was discussed during the briefing session and Michael Larsen , Wade, Shrinik and Lalit gave interesting feedback on my charter. During that briefing session, I realised that I can draw analogy of writing test charters to writing user ...

What is Not Software Testing? - Exploring Myths

Software testing is a relatively new field and has changed considerably in past few years. It is not taught in many universities and when I moved from development to testing in 2001, I was confused about it. I tried to learn from internet, books, forums and was not impressed with the information I got. I even did my certification (CSTE, if you are interested) but that wasn't very useful either. During that time, I came across many interesting theories / concepts and after working in the industry, I know they are not true, and are myths. Unfortunately, some of these myths are still in practice and widespread.

Myths in software testing has done this field more harm than good. In this post, I will explore popular software testing myths, why they are myths and what wrong these myths are doing to our profession?

1. Testers are Gatekeepers Of Quality - Nothing ...