Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Let your End user test & add more feedback

Currently i don't know exactly how many new software companies came up in to the market within last 1 or 2 years but most of the time we find some new names showing up in BDJobs or in LinkedIn. And i notice it only when i find ppl around me changing their job or may be those companies offering their opportunity announcements in public.

Some of us are working as Outsourcing service provider, some are developing their own products. I am sure enough whoever is engaged with outsourced developments they mostly have to put their cost into Quality or Testing the product at least even if it's in minimal scope. But what happens to them who releases online services or applications in public without properly tested? Or doesn't even bother to think about Quality?

I believe we have so many companies who develops new web applications or online services - but no one ever found to put their product in beta release to vet by public users. As for example: we got Bangla blogs, Community sites, Discussion forums, and Portals which are deployed live but you are not satisfied at all or face many issues which you can't report or get any developers feedback on them.

Suddenly an email from the company "Code71" impressed me a lot. The idea is - their Agile Project management tool needs to be tested by some Agile practitioners! And definitely i believe it will improve the product more than it was in their in-house testing scope.

The more you share the more you get and the more thoughts you find the more you get matured! I personally want to congratulate Code71 to step in to this great initiative - because it will let other companies to start thinking of it with an open mind.

If you are in to developing facebook applications, community sites, online portals, e-commerce site or any other online services or if gaming applications for iPhone - then you may pick the idea with an Open mind and start fixing the issues or get the usability assessment on public feedback. It will mature you product and will let your users claim that he knows a good service/application/product which serves his interest!

Actually we are not out of numbers in different products/applications/services but we are out of quality stuff and that's why we can't claim or see the success.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Thinking positive rather negatives

Most often we see ourselves criticizing a person - "He used to be in IT and now he moved into Business career. Man he destroyed his career - why wasted time studying in IT? "

Now i say.. we are wrong. Actually he found his strength in understanding business and he could be the best resource to get the idea of a business or assisting us in gathering requirements or identifying the risk or priority or dependencies on other 3rd party applications in Development cycle of an IT Project.

I met many IT background ppl or who studied in Computer Science in previously are now working in different business departments. And they are so helpful and understanding to get the things out of their department according to our IT requirements. As for example - it's always tough for IT ppl to make a business ppl understand about the technical stuffs or complexity or the format needs to be followed. Even sometimes it's very helpful to train other Business ppl in that department on certain technical stuff.

Most often we ignore trainings because of the title sounds very funny or silly. A training titled as - "Time Management Training" or "Effective presentation and communications" might lead you as -

1. Wat? do you think i am late at Office?
2. Wat? do you think i need to be trained how to use PowerPoint and how to talk?

Ok.. actually not. We just took it on a wrong way. Time management training that i had was mind blowing.. though i am very poor to start practicing something very new and little complex to me to follow unless it's deeply into my understanding. But i bet those who had been in that session was amazingly surprised why we never had this type of tranings in our early ages! This training is not only for a professional but it's for a human who wants to be successful in life. It's basically all about time planning of your whole life. How we wasted our important times and where to emphasize and which is less important in our planning.

Now about the effective presentation and communications - i was determined not to attend in this training on my sweet weekend. But suddenly it clicked in my mind.. what if i am going to miss something in my life as i was not aware of my time management? :) Though the session was too long but i learned at least few new things.. like how to introduce myself and what not to do and what to do while presenting myself in a glimpse on a short time. Mater of practice! But really effective!

I suggest everyone to get in touch with all those general self development trainings if possible - cause it may open up your mind! I have an interest of doing Anger Management training if found. Give me an answer why we can't accept any new changes easily? Cause we are so narrow to our scopes. We don't think of exploring or trying out new stuff. We can't accept the reality - what if someone points out my mistakes.

I know this post may sound very generic or OFF topic to you but i believe it may change someones thought to start thinking positive rather thinking always negatives. Hey? wait.. i am not asking you to ignore the negatives or the reality. But i am asking you to give a chance to think positive by not ignoring the reality. :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Learning to test better by teaching testing

Here i am sharing a post made by Pradeep Soundararajan!

Learning to test better by teaching testing: "Make a list of some of the bad teaching staff you faced at your school or college. You might be able to notice a pattern - most of them were the ones who were not willing to learn while they were teaching.

Case 1

I was teaching at Datamatics 2 weeks before and at the end, a participant asked me, 'What did you learn in these 2 days of workshop?' and I was so happy to have got that question. I thanked her for the question and listed some of the learning I had in those 2 days. I also mentioned to them that I make a note of the learning I have in one or the other way. I also mentioned that my blog acts as my note taking tool. As you might have seen my Progress Report, you might also have discovered the list of events that happened to me in 2008 is well documented.

The question, 'What did you learn by teaching me?' is a powerful question to ask someone who is claiming to teach you because if the person has nothing then you know you might not want to sit in that class anymore or being in that class is a waste of your time. Sometimes I have an answer like, 'I learned that you can't be taught at least by me' and thankfully those people don't ask me that question. Learning and teaching needs an open mind. I think I must have a close mind to say, 'Not everyone have an open mind'.

I have learned some great deal of stuff about how to test better by teaching testers how to test. I understand that my brain is not capable of asking all the questions that I'd love to ask myself and hence I need other brains to ask me those questions. Where do I find those brains if I am stuck in one place and I keep interacting with just the same team for over years?

An year and a half back Ben Simo mentioned to me the idea of 'Apply inputs that force all the error messages to occur' from James Whittaker's book while we were discussing about error messages. I liked the idea and it then got included in my armory of heuristics to test a product and helps me in model the product in more ways than what I have been doing.

Recently when I was teaching the Hands on Testing Training for Freshers for Edista Testing, Muhammed Kothari, pointed out a tool to me that helped in displaying all error messages programmed in most Windows applications. At every workshop, I ask the participants to challenge me in demonstrating the kind of testing I talk about. At Datamatics the challenge was to demonstrate testing on Microsoft Freecell game. On using the Process Explorer tool, I demonstrated how I could learn how many error messages the product is programmed with and designed my tests to all those error messages ( in other words, all printable strings from the program ). That's one way of demonstrating coverage.

Some curious testers were excited about it and came up and said, 'I'd like to use the tool. It helps me find out areas that I might have been missing while testing the product' -- which is cool.

That's just one of the many ways in which Process Explorer can be of great help to a tester. Note that Process Explorer is a tool. A tool that a tester can use to augment his testing effort and do a better testing. Tools are not just QTP, Winrunner, Loadrunner, Silk, Cotton, Wool etc...

Case 2

Lunch tables are great learning ground. At Datamatics, I was joined by a group of testers who were attending the workshop. I ordered for a Dal Kichdi that some other people had ordered. As I ordered late, others had started off with what they were served. When I got my Dal Kichdi and rowed the spoon over it for grabbing the first bite, I saw a hair in it and then found more hair. I picked the hair and showed it to testers and asked, 'Did we order for this?' (meaning, no one order for bugs to be served with the software they buy) and then Saurabh Sahoo, Test Lead at Datamatics asked, 'Do you know why you found the hair while we didn't if it could be there in our Dal Kichdi?', and the curious me said, 'Can you explain, please?' for which he said, 'You were looking at the plate while we were so much engrossed in the discussion and were watching each other's face'.

That's a nice observation. It helped me explain to the people over table - that's what happens when you run scripts or test cases that have an expected result 'You are too engrossed with looking at the expected result that makes you blind to see other things happening in the environment and having multiple oracles in your mind helps you see more than just the expected result and hence you'd be able to spot more problems than what you have been doing'. I also added to it and said, 'I wish we could say to our customers, why are you looking at the screen?' when they say they found a bug with our software.

I think that at least made Saurabh Sahoo convince that its worth spending time to learn things that I was trying to teach (and learn) and he spend an additional two and half hours after the workshop with me and he is determined to do a much better job.
I learned a great deal answering the questions he asked me on clearing traps.

Facing and answering questions like that definitely helps me in negotiating with management and clients.

Case 3

I was teaching at a Fortune 100 organization in Pune a couple of months ago. Within just 20 minutes of starting my workshop, the Test Lead announces to the whole class 'This is waste class. Lets go back to work'. How do you deal with such a situation? How do you teach someone who doesn't want to learn from you?
How do you put them in a receptive mode? How do you know what to speak to them? How do you know if its worth speaking to them anymore? How do you know if they are more right than you?

What if you are in front of your customer and your customer wants to walk out of a meeting because they didn't like your idea? You might not be able to afford to lose all customers especially during these recession times.

I said, 'All of you have the freedom to walk out of the class but I'd be happy if you answer a question: Have you ever walked out of a movie just by watching the titles of the movie because the titles were not good?'

If your answer is 'No', why would you want to do it here?


I did something that I learned from the book Turning Numbers into knowledge that again cites Bruce Lee's master. I took a tea cup and poured water into it and kept pouring despite the cup overflowing and paraphrased the message, 'Either your cup is too small or it is already full of opinions'.

The result is, I am teaching in the same organization again next month. The legs that rose up to walk out sat back and enjoyed the ride. Some even wrote to their management to have the class for other testers in their group.

Case 4

A common problem that most testers talk about - is being caught for missing a bug when a customer finds it. A tester in the previous workshop said, 'It is my responsibility if I miss a bug and hence I have to be more careful with the tests I do'. I was reminded of what Michael Bolton said, 'I am a character in the story of how a bug got missed'. It indicates that, we testers are a part of the entire story and we do not play the hero role in a bug that missed our hands.

That tester was adamant that testers should be made completely responsible for it and not anyone else because it was their fault and they shouldn't have missed it. I tried asking him, 'How about making the person who put the bug into the product more responsible for it than you?' and yet that didn't help.

I made a pretty bold move, 'I am going to slap you now. Would you blame yourself for standing in a place where I was swinging my hands or blame me for doing something I shoudn't have done?'

That tester remained adamant but other testers got the message that a tester is a character in the story of how a bug got missed and not the hero in the same story. Later that night when I was self retrospecting, I realized that I should have used a non violent example to explain it. Teaching testing to experienced testers helps in correcting your communication and thinking aspects.

Some important points to consider
  • Teaching testing to experienced people demands a tester to handle tough situations on the spot. It is easy to teach dull minds that don't oppose and appear to nod for every idea that you share with them but those bright minds are tough and demanding. They teach you a lot about how to test better.
  • Most people who teach testing in India at several training centers in India haven't done testing at all or haven't done enough testing. So, those who have it gains a competitive edge. You can further keep gaining a competitive edge by continuing to test products because the teaching doesn't restrict you to test and in fact it adds value to your testing.
  • If you have that competitive edge then there is good money as well.
  • Helps in meeting a lot of different kinds of testers and understanding different contexts, problems and different solutions to problems. It helps in avoiding traps much better and faster and translates to better testing.
  • It is a challenge to get to know more about ourselves, get tested , refine communication, thinking, learning, teaching and testing skills.
  • Make a list of some of the great testers you know ( in my case Jerry, Cem, Ben, James, Michael, Scott, Kohl, Elizabeth, Vipul ... ), you'd find that they teach extensively. Oh, you have been doing that as well but probably you have been teaching yourself all this time. Think about why do they do that?
You might know Sharath Byregowda and Manoj Nair if you have been reading my blog or theirs. They have now stepped up to the above challenge and are joining me as a Consultant at Satisfice India and Edista Testing Institute. Their extensive testing experience is now going to benefit the Indian testing community at first.

If you are a tester and is interested to join a small test group named Satisfice India that specailzes in coaching, consulting, and testing services, write to me.
You'd work with some of the upcoming very good minds who care and live for benefitting the software testing community.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

SQABD Lightning Talks 3 is coming up!

Ok! SQABD is coming up with the 3rd Lightning Talks soon. May be you had gone through this Lightning Talks session previously. If not then go through these following Teaser videos below:

New Teaser video:

Old Teaser video:

Get ready soon.. or if you are interested to participate as a speaker then don't forget to sign up this Google Spreadsheet Form!

To know more on the Event see: http://www.sqabd.com/announcement3.php

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Geeks Support Obama - GIZMODO

Watch this video how a president is being supported by most of the top Geeks!

source: http://gizmodo.com/5062639/geeks-support-obama

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How do you use Google? - Here is mine!

Google is going to celebrate its' 10th birthday soon (see: http://www.google.com/tenthbirthday/). And there is a section where it's asking - "How do you use Google?" to see user's fee

see the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNFf44pWuL8

Personally i felt describing my Google usage within 100 words is a big tough job. So i decided to post it in my Blog and i even thought of sharing this information for a long time .. So, here goes my post ...

1. www.Google.com
The giant Search engine for any type of information search. My best friend who replies with any search result even i type any slang words! :P

2. Gmail
My primary email account is Gmail. I love the labeling, filtering, accessing multiple POP3 accounts and love to read chain discussions under the same page using just a click of Expand / Collapse :) And interestingly it's giving me more spaces each day! Integrated Chat is there too! so do we need anything more? :P

3. Google Calender
A great online calender with addition of SMS feature which reminds me whenever and wherever i am. Till i am under a network i get my reminders on basis of my calender entries.

4. Google Documents
A great personal document repository where i can put and share documents or excel files with my other colleagues or team mates or friends..

5. Google Blogger
The great blogger service using which i am posting this post and my own thoughts and views or reviews .. I just love it!

6. Google Reader
Just awesome! I love it just like a blind lover! I subscribe all the RSS and Atom feeds using my Google Reader.

7. Google YouTube/Google Video
Great place for Tech Shows and Tutorials or entertaining videos! Can't think without these!

8. Google NoteBook
An online Notebook which is accessible for my personal use - I use this notebook using the google notebook firefox extension which is much more flexible and easier to use.

9. Google Desktop
Most usefull part is the use of Desktop Search! :)

10. Google Groups
We old friends do use a Google group where we share and discuss many things with our old friends.

11. Google Feedburner
Feedburner which is used for all of my Blogs i manage.

12. Google AdSense
Adsense integrated with all of my Blogger blogs.

13. Google Analytics
Google Analytics used for most of regular Blogs that i manage.

14. Google Picasa
Being a hobbyist Photographer i use Picasa for faster photo post processing.

15. Google Alerts
I customized some google alerts up on my requirements..

I have experience with Google Maps, Earth, Browser Sync and Orkut, though i don't really use them very often these days. And at last i am using Google Chrome too! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I am .... mania

Watch these interesting videos on I'm a Mac, I'm a PC and I'm a Wii

I'm a Mac

I'm a PC

I'm a Wii

South Park Mac vs. PC vs. Linux

Get a Mac - Feat. Mr.Bean

Get a Mac ad with Gisele Bundchen

Mac vs PC vs Linux # 2

Windows Live Hotmail announcement

Once upon a time we, most of the internet users used to use Hotmail or Yahoo as our most popular free webmail service. Hotmail was really cool and Yahoo too with their Pop3 service. Then running after time to time, competing with each other Yahoo and Hotmail came with shorter storage facilities and made their POP3 services a paid service. Suddenly Gmail launched in the market and then kicked off the whole market of free webmail service with increasing peoples expectation getting 2GB Free inbox size with free POP3 facilities.

The email representation and browsing options in Gmail are getting day by day more user friendly with new options and better facilities. Personally i stopped using Hotmail cause it became more messy and most of the time i found it getting stuck in a moment without any specific reason. Even I found many people around me, are very much enjoying Gmail while Yahoo is getting bulky with a big fat tummy and Hotmail with a getting wider with their header banner to advertise their Windows Live (don't really understand what's the specific business plan in it's background).

Interestingly i found useless to rename Hotmail into MSN then again into Windows Live. Whatever! They knows what they really want to claim with all these service names and other messy features.

Here are some commercials on Windows Live Hotmail :
Windows Live Hotmail Video (part 1)

Windows Live Hotmail Video (part 2)

Windows Live Hotmail Video (part 3)

Windows Live Hotmail Video (part 4)

God knows what new messy inbox that Hotmail gonna gift us in a few up coming days.

"Coming soon! Even better, even faster." - are they claiming of a new a webmail service which is at least error free and at least loads the page without showing loading clocks even faster :P
The new announcement is not that impressive or eye catchy to me at all:

Let's see what's coming up! :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

SQABD Meet the Mentors (Episode 4) - - Teaser Video

Watch out the Teaser video released recently on the Upcoming Meet the Mentors Episode 4 which will be released soon. Those who are interested to sponsor this upcoming 4th Episode of Mr. Sohel Islam by SQABD may contact: info[at]sqabd.com

SQABD came up with this Meet the Mentors service to aware people of Bangladesh with the Noteworthy IT experts and Mentors that we have in our country. To aware people with their career focus, how they came upto now and what they suggest to the beginners and their followers, SQABD came up with this Video Podcast technique so that everyone who is able to get connected through internet from anywhere in the World can get in touch with these valuable information and share their feedback and thoughts to do more better in future!

You will find the other Episodes at: http://sqabdmentors.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Google Chrome - Present and Future

It's really a sudden buzz on the whole internet world that Google released their own browser named Chrome (beta release) and which is quite stable and slick, not that bad like IE6 or IE7 ;) (from an end user point of view). Hope it will not show javascript errors like IE6 or IE7 does most frequent :) Thanks goes to Shajib and Zuberul, my colleagues who buzzed me today morning while i was deeply busy at my work.

From technical perspective after watching the googlebook on Chrome:
www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/  - really liked this new idea of process oriented tabs.

Here is an official video on Google Chrome:

This is all that we can see at present. A beta release rocking the world with it's sudden presence. But what about the future? The giant information base of Google is getting larger day by day. Now saving your user/pass or your session or cookies under Google browser going to let Google know more about you and your personal information. Don't you think who once started shouting about the privacy issues will start shouting again against Google - thinking Google collecting more private user data?

I still have faith on Firefox - that it will not be getting killed so early for Chrome's presence. But I doubt about IE6, IE7 and IE8 to compete in this strong competing market of Chrome, Firefox 3, Safari 3.1 or with Opera (:p). Large repository of Firefox add-ons are still highly delicious to the end users. Where most of the Safari users are also looking for customized extension usage like Firefox. There are large number of people still using several Scripts in Firefox browsers. Firefox 3 release is already a well welcoming release in the market and secondly Chrome is a lightning buzz on the head! :)

Truly speaking Google is stealing my mind day by day :P Still there are more i need to test on Chrome! :)

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