Productivity increased last month. Fewer interruptions, less meetings, more work, more fun and frolic and our office looked like a place where we could enjoy work; all of us liked to come into work, and working was less tedious, more fun and more learning; all of it came crashing down this Monday. Our manager Delspe (“Delegation Specialist”) was on a long vacation and when he came, work became “work”.

A Short story about Ants

This month, I am going to start with a very short story. This story is about a group of a small colony of ants that live near my house; sometime earlier this week, I observed that I did a few experiments with ants and the findings are below. I placed a small sugar ounce near a colony of ants and they were all gone; I placed a cake that’s 1000 times the size of the ant and the ants broke it down into smaller parts; Now I put a 3rd huge piece of huge solidified candy at the same spot, but still, all of them cleverly co-ordinated to carry them to their nest. The lesson that I learnt from the above story is that whatever be the complexity of the problem, the ants group together to solve it. “Team-work is the name of the game”!!!
Before you go on reading, the above was a 100% PLAGIARIZED PIECE from an internet blog. Now, tell me truthfully, did you know that the above was plagiarized text?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: – The above piece was not an original piece, but was a plagiarized piece from Pradeep Soundararajan’s blog. Pradeep did a piece on Dec 10 2007 on “Ants solving problems that testers struggle to” and the plagiarized version is above. I neither changed the numbers, nor the creature used and made sure that you cannot find the original by googling. Terribly sorry, Pradeep. Everybody plagiarizes from your blogs and I thought that “if you can’t beat them, join them.”

Now, defining plagiarism… Plagiarism is defined as the act of shamelessly copying content without providing credits from a source, so that the intended audience of the current piece think that the author is the genuine creator of the column and give him credit.

9 Places where Plagiarized Content is very evident –

1) Among test cases and test scenarios – how many times have people done a Google for the simplest test cases and test scenarios? They are paid to write scenarios and not copy/paste them from Google and other locations.

2) In Presentations to new clients – When a new client shows up, a lot of companies are tasked with having to give them a new presentation; what do they do? They go and dig up some presentation by another company from a whitepaper available; and copy paste like I did.

3) In conferences and speeches – surprised? 50% of the content that you hear in conferences is plagiarized from other sources; 72% of the content that you see in presentations for product launches and seminars is plagiarized from the other 28%.

4) In articles and blogs like this – Yep; blogs is a very nice place wherein you can even claim to be the original source for plagiarized content; you can cleverly change the text and pass it off as your own idea.

5) In interviews – 95.6% of the interviews can be accused of plagiarism; both the interviewer and the interviewee. A most common thing is that I have seen an interviewer ask questions listed in a common forum on testing, the interviewee giving the same answer that was provided in the same forum and both of them coming to the conclusion that the candidate is the best one for the company. Interviewer, please make use of your brains and ask original questions.

6) In Your Resume – Most candidates want to work for the company that offers them a chance to work with the latest technologies and the most brilliant minds; haven’t you noticed? Doesn’t your resume contain this? The 1st line in your resume is mostly your career objective which would be something like that. Is that an original piece or did you plagiarize that from someplace?

7) Test Plans – Usually 2% of the test plans and test strategies that you see strewn around are original; the others are plagiarized content which have been copied and pasted. Want evidence? Go and look at your test plan and see what it contains; check the test plan of a peer project and the “test strategy” of another project. Compare the content.

8) Security test cases – This section in most of our testing is 100% copied from OWASP top 10; not 1 bit is original and this is a weak bid by most companies to try and prove to the clients as to how their testing would ensure credibility.

9) Your Job Description – Ever take a look at your job description? Ever wonder why your job description provided by your company is almost similar to the job description of your competitor? Ever occur to you that how can 2 jobs with 2 different companies that have different clients and very different values be almost the same?

On the flip side, Plagiarisms do wonders for your career; they can earn you “16 minutes of fame”; they can earn you “company awards”; it can earn you “new projects”; they can earn you “seminar time” when a company asks you to represent it for your plagiarized content; it can earn you “promotions”.
But, at the end of the day, it does a lot of injustice to the original mind that wrote whatever you are reading; and I don’t think that’s fair. Now that I’ve shown you places where you can find plagiarism, do the hunt and find much more of this evidence in your organization.

How to kill Plagiarism? More in the next chapter.


Fake Software TesterA Fake Tester's DiaryFake Tester,Fake Tester's DiaryProductivity increased last month. Fewer interruptions, less meetings, more work, more fun and frolic and our office looked like a place where we could enjoy work; all of us liked to come into work, and working was less tedious, more fun and more learning; all of it came crashing...