I attended an interview over the weekend with a Tier-1 consulting company in India. The question put to me was “When will you stop testing?” I said “9 PM IST”.

“What did you say?”

“9 PM IST” – I replied.

“What does that mean?” queried the interviewers.

So I explained to them that I always thought that health comes first and stopped doing testing at 9; historical record was also in my favor since I don’t have any track record of identifying nice defects after 9 PM IST. Sadly, looks like that answer did not gel well with them since I was asked to leave; on my way out of the room, I also heard them curse their recruitment teams for lining up idiots. I still haven’t figured out what they wanted to hear from me; if you do know, send me a note at my email that’s printed at the end of this article.

I got a query from one of you asking me for a top 10 list of testing ideas; well, I really don’t have any top 10 idea-list, but if you were to ask me for a Top ten list, here goes a list of 12 things that I’d like you to do on a weekly basis. (I see myself becoming a manager soon.  Look at my tone, becoming more directive).

1) Spend 1 day without testing – Every week, spend at least one day away from your testing work; not physically, even mentally do whatever you need to do so that you don’t have to even think of your work for that day. Watch a movie, meet people, hang out with friends; it’s very important to spend at least 1 day away from testing every week.

2) Get rid of that stupid test metrics – Keep looking at the 1000 metrics that your project manager keeps track of; get rid of one meaningless metrics every week. This will also ensure that your management doesn’t look at dead data, and you are one step from moving away from “fake testing”.

3) One Testing Book a week – Read one testing book a week; and at the end of each reading, make a two pager document about each of those books. Write about one habit that you would start following and one habit that you would stop following after reading the books. After all, if you don’t have a way to digest whatever you read, then what’s the use of reading books?

4) One Blog a week – Write one blog a week; by blogging, you also allow the world to evaluate all that you have understood from your testing. Make a blog network; imagine your impact on the world of software testing at the end of one year with your 52 blogs. Imagine how you would challenge yourself when you have to think about writing new things about new areas.

5) Five newsgroup queries on testing a week – Work with newsgroups and make a network; answer questions, pose questions and make an impact on the newsgroup world. There are many software communities like test republic, sqa forums, softwaretestingclub and so many that I don’t know. Crawl through these forums to make an impact.

6) A new tool a week – Make a list of a new tool that you learn on a weekly basis and write tool reviews in your blog; you would become a much wanted person in this space if you start making an impact to the software testing community with the tools that you learn.

7) Automate a test case a week – Spend some time in automation; understand the pain of the automation engineer when he tries to automate your test case.

8) Wear the hat of your customer – Spend at least 30 mins wearing your customer’s hat; look for easily visible customer pain points, product improvements in terms of feature and constantly keep updating a backlog wish list. Keep visiting the forums that your customers frequent so that you can listen to the voice of your customer. And remember, one size never fits al.

9) One New test case a week – At least try to write one original test case every day; When I say original, I mean a test case that’s not present in its current form in Google or any other forum. This will tell you how difficult it is to write a test case.

10) Test a new product – Every week, test a new product that you don’t own; that will tell you if you are unable to unearth new bugs, or if you are able to suggest new features. And in vice versa, influence a new person (your peer) to test your product every week; pair up with him for testing and observe what you learn from his ways of testing and the bugs that he identifies in your product, that you’d have taken for granted.

11) Interview yourself – Every week, keep interviewing yourself; and find ways to try and increase your bar to clear your interviews. Ask yourself the toughest interview question and answer them; over time, you would become the top tester that you aspire to be.

12) Sympathize with your manager and do a self-appraisal – Most of you might feel that your manager’s only agenda is to hinder your career progression; stay on his side for at least 15 mins a day. That will help you understand his viewpoint and why he said something sometime back; while you are wearing his shoe, do a self-appraisal of you and your peers and rank yourself amongst them in terms of performance (and not potential); and sometimes, you might even find yourself agreeing with your manager.

And last but not least, though I have not mentioned this above, ensure that you spread the word about Testing Circus to a new colleague who has not heard of it before; this way, you would be marketing the magazine on which you heard this.


Fake Software TesterA Fake Tester's DiaryFake Tester,Fake Tester's Diary  I attended an interview over the weekend with a Tier-1 consulting company in India. The question put to me was 'When will you stop testing?” I said '9 PM IST'. 'What did you say?' '9 PM IST' - I replied. 'What does that mean?' queried the interviewers. So I explained to them that...
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Fake Software Tester

What has this author achieved in testing? This author has tested more than a million lines of code and has logged more than a billion defects; He has reviewed other test cases and found at least a trillion missing test cases and has coached his peers to log more than a quadrillion bugs; He has talked more than a Quintillion words while participating in triage meetings and he has been a part of sextillion arguments convincing the developer of the bugs. He has done good researching on septillion testing conferences; every day, he has Octillion thoughts that come to his mind on the problems that plague the world of software testing. He has selected Nonillion testers from his Decillion testing interviews and has unsuccessfully attempted to coach Undecillion testers about testing. His writings are followed by DuoDecillion readers and the comments on his blog are more than Tredecillion; he has answered Quattuordecillion questions on testing in various forums. And by the way, like the monthly columns, the above contains Quindecillion amounts of exaggeration on what I have done so far in my life.

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