Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Beginners Guide to Testing - Mind map

Here is an image of the mind map (Mind map exported as .png)

This version here: Is a screenshot of the mind map by Jing {http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html}

Wish I knew few of these pointers on the day one of my testing career - If you ever felt this way, remind yourself it is never too late to learn to think well and to test well.

Here is a mind map with aspects to know about software testing, for any aspiring tester on where to begin and the how and where to from here.

Each of these points can be extended to include further details. If you have gone through the mind map and require to know more information, get in touch with any one from the testing world.

This post is edited to include the below links.
Happy Testing.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

User Accessible Error Messages.

Accessibility - The attribute of being easy to meet or deal with.

This article focuses on: Access to information versus access to right information.

While accessibility guidelines are followed and accessibility is being built into web pages, the guidelines themselves are brief and requires detail.

Excerpts from https://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?fuseAction=stdsSum

Video or Multimedia Products (1194.24)
Multimedia products involve more than one media and include, but are not limited to, video programs, narrated slide production, and computer generated presentations.
Provisions address caption decoder circuitry (for any system with a screen larger than 13 inches) and secondary audio channels for television tuners, including tuner cards for use in computers. The standards also require captioning and audio description for certain training and informational multimedia productions developed or procured by Federal agencies. The standards also provide that viewers be able to turn captioning or video description features on or off.
Information, Documentation, and Support (Subpart D) 
The standards also address access to all information, documentation, and support provided to end users (e.g., Federal employees) of covered technologies. This includes user guides, installation guides for end-user install-able devices, and customer support and technical support communications. Such information must be available in alternate formats upon request at no additional charge. Alternate formats or methods of communication, can include Braille, cassette recordings, large print, electronic text, Internet postings, TTY access, and captioning and audio description for video materials.
Image Courtesy: www.zobair.co.uk

Why is the above guideline not yet detailed?

1. Example:

An image on a web page, requires to have alternate text.

Is the alternate text:

  • Relevant
  • Right and
  • Contains sufficient information that explains the image.

If an image whose alternate text does not convey relevant, right and sufficient information but satisfies the guideline that an image - needs to be provided with Alt+Text all good?

2. Explanation:

The alternate text being read using a screen reader for any user may prove to be misleading if the text is present but is of not relevance.

Having an appropriate alternate text is an essential part of the design.

3. Exercise:
  • Use a screen reader to access a web page.
  • Close your eyes for a few minutes or simply turn off the audio of any video(with audio) and read the transcript provided. Is it informational and all rendering?
  • Try to navigate and perform the actions intended to reach all your users. 

Build and test for user accessibility for error messages while assuring that the error messages in itself are not a give away. 


Further Reading:

Sunday, 15 September 2013

41 Definitions of Software Testing

What is Software Testing? – Heck! Define it yourself. I have been thinking about an answer for the same but have found it hard to convey in one statement. Am I a born, reborn or a resurrected tester? I hope to find out for myself and the below article is an attempt at this.
Testing – I will be using the word testing as I continue to write and as you readers read, read it as Software Testing. Here are my definitions of software testing.
1) Testing is a responsibility of representing information which is an essential necessity for bettering the application/product under test.
2) Testing is to learning to think well.
3) Testing is to understand the various contexts a system can be applicable in.
4) Testing is identifying the subtleties and extremities where the system can be used.
5) Testing is craving to dig deep into the system to look in the nook and corner to project the information that can awaken the product owner and the user to surprises and a wow-ness that a product can be used to perform.
6) Testing is to provide the consumer with an application which re-ensures confidence in the consumer and for the business.
7) Testing is that ability which the whole team is entitled to with an opportunity to grab the consumers attention, supply the consumers demand and to deliver well.
8) Testing is to convert that dormant thought into an active on-going action oriented process.
9) Testing is to continuously collect aids which aims at delivering quality information to anyone equipped to better build the product.
10) Testing is remembering to act in unison with the vision and mission reflecting in the consumable product.
11) Testing is questioning, challenging, being biased and up-rooting the biases about how the product is presumed to be built and used.
12) Testing is having an eye for details however miniature or magnanimous.
13) Testing is buying yourself a microscope and a telescope to look at how a product is consumed today and in future.
14) Testing is building a lifelong insanity to learn in all sanity.
15) Testing is a role play of that of an investigator, a doctor, a builder, a victim, a crime fighter, an intruder, a seeker, an evangelist, a doer.
Do you see such attributes in a tester? – Hire that person.
16) Testing is being in a context all assuming and continuously judging.
17) Testing is testing the assumptions and then falling prey for the judgments made.
18) Testing is re-opening a concluded case.
19) Testing is to don the hat of someone other than you, change perspective and test with a prejudice.
20) Test to KNOW.
21) Testing is time boxed and at-times unleashing the you, learning to think in a way which is not brand you.
22) Testing is building credibility for yourself, your organization which serves you and which you are serving.
23) Testing is learning to explore the path which you are willing to tread and paths which are road less traveled.
24) Testing is defining, redefining and un-defining.
25) Testing is breaking barriers to test.
26) Testing is a courageous act of preparing oneself to tread a new path, take another challenge.
27) Testing is taking ownership of mistakes with a pitcher of gratitude, that I learnt what not to do and what to do in this context.
28) Testing is story telling via testing and the experience reports.
29) Testing is diminishing confusion and expanding the confidence of a user.
30) Testing is that walk down the memory lane and think if this issue has occurred or is a déjà vu.
31) Testing is that feeling when you love yourself for learning to learn new every day.
32) Testing is together untying and revealing the product/application to itself.
33) Testing is you emerging out of the bath tub with a ‘Eureka’ moment.
34) Testing is a knock on the door of a developer to help undertake measures to provide a fix.
35) Testing is a wakeup call to innovation, to time travel back into the future.
Did you relate to any one or more of these?
36) Testing is an unconventional mode of transport to the minds of a user.
37) Testing is at-times masking the status quo.
38) Testing is closing in on the ‘I’ the consumer, ‘I’ the tester, ‘I’ the developer, ‘I’ the owner and illuminating the path of ‘We’ the team.
39) Testing is that run down the rabbit hole to discover the wonderland of Alice/Alfred to sketch the tomorrow of testing.
40) Testing is Learning.
41) Testing is Circus. :)
I am sure you have molded yourself into a tester with your own definition of testing and tester, do share your thoughts on the same.
Come, join and be a part of this community of information seekers and providers.
What is your definition of testing?

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Weekend Testing - India(WT), America(WTA) and Australia(WTANZ).

  • What
  • When
  • How
  • Who 
  • Where
of Weekend Testing. 

If you have already been a part of weekend testing, then you know where to go looking for learning about the aforementioned WWHWW about weekend testing, if not here is the link: http://weekendtesting.com/

I had heard about Weekend testing chapters of

India(WT) facilitated by Ajay Balamurugadas,
America(WTA) and 
Wished to be a part of it and this is where it led me to.


The what comprises of the mission and the agenda.

The mission comprises of what are we testing today?
Agenda will be shared by the facilitator and is as below:
  1. Introductions - Provide information on where you are from, what do you test and how do you test, your twitter handler - which could be helpful in the Where :)
  2. Mission and Charter(s)
  3. Open Testing - Test in your own pace. Pair with anyone and perform pair testing, gang up and learn from the wider group.
  4. A time check to see if we have enough information to go to debrief or if more time is needed.
  5. Open Season/Debrief - Debrief by sharing the session notes,your approach to open testing and transcripts. What you did and learn how it can be bettered.
  6. Closing Comments - Disperse only up until the next session.
What is the objective of weekend testing?
To help the testing community to network, learn from the learned community of global testers and share the lessons learnt with this community of learners. 

What did I not expect?
My first Weekend testing participation with WTA involved learning from the participants to improve the testing information on Wiki by editing Wiki pages.
This is as good as it gets. 


Look for announcements on Facebook and Twitter from the organizers. 

Get in touch with the organizers to know when is the next weekend testing session.
Facilitators will post the next weekend testing session dates on weekendtesting.com


The how involves questions on how this goes about.

Learn about the how by reading some of the transcripts. This could help one gain an insight into what is happening during weekend testing sessions. 
First timers need not be skeptical - this community of world wide testers are welcoming to the new comers.


Facilitators, testers across the globe and Skype.

The who are: anyone who is interested to learn and can join in.
Today and the last chapter of WTA had students from @PerScholas
And get to know who's who of the testing community.


On Skype and continue to learn with them by networking on twitter using the mentioned twitter handlers: @WTANZ_,@WTAmericas,@weekendtesting

Today's session involved coming up with a Test Plan.

I paired up with Jean Ann Harrison and Karthik who were flexible enough to help, learn and share.
Liked the documents shared by Roman Sheyko, Dean Mackenzie @deanamackenzie and Richard Robinson @richrichnz.

Shared below are the Google doc links to the same.

Hope you too can learn from the links shared below. 
  1. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jScKG8xCrWJbRV1CLg8W2eduGhsEq3zrZagfWLfQoOg/edit 
  2. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6Zi8YBvtNnfMUwyUG1vM1k0ZE0/edit
  3. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlIrPhx4JstPdHM1N0tPVUpVc3dTLVdsMXptdVk4dnc#gid=2
  4. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3U5XiI6J110U0xnN3YxTDM2SHM/edit?usp=sharing
  5. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1T5Ae1DmdEF-nUvEjEzC5lQCQiyIDjP1wQ2EYikLOLtY/edit
You can open the links if permission to view is granted by the owners. 
Thank you Michael Larsen(WTA) and Alessandra Moreira(WTANZ) for facilitating this unbiased approach to learning. I look forward to continue to be a part of this learning.  

Here is a mind map on Testing Digg Reader for Login, Logout and Profile Settings.

Thank you Ravisuriya @testinggarage for helping me with my learning to prepare session notes, Srinivas Kadiyala for introducing me to Prezi(www.prezi.com) and Pradeep Soundararajan @testertested for helping me sort out the conversion of mind map into an image.
Click on the image below.

Note in the image is expanded to:
Clicking on the link under Privacy Tab when no pages are Digg'd or Saved yields the below message to the user/diggreader.
"We're getting reports that this page cannot be found.
Stay tuned for continuing coverage as this crisis unfolds."

Or view it on Prezi(Happy zooming) : Users can click on Zoom in to view better post opening the below link on a browser. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

My visit to Moolya.

A day at Moolya and I have penned down my experience here by the dozen.
  1. One wouldn't think it is a Monday morning, there is no such rush what so ever of any kind. Free your mind and enter if you are a new comer :)
  2. Nothing but knowing and application matters here. Yes and there is scope for it. 
  3. Everyone is themselves. It is a people's place. And to know what it means step in to Moolya.
  4. The only promise to any customer is V.A.L.U.E(Moolya).
  5. People are at the core of what they do and deliver.
  6. Everyone is responsible.
  7. See through - a transparency in owning the work and doing.
  8. Value does define Moolya plus freedom and self owning.
  9. Freedom meaning- You handle your work in your way like it's your product by applying your thinking.
  10. And with this freedom comes responsibility and ownership.
  11. Enough talk about risk and courage,they are headed straight into it. Join them in their journey.
  12. Have you freed your employees yet? I don't think they mean firing, they are freeing people to help them tread their OWN PATH.
There is a unique learning from every tester there and each of them stands strong for Moolya(Value).

Post updated on 4th September 2013 to include the link to slide share presented by Pradeep Soundararajan at CAST2013.


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Part I on Claims Testing - TweetDeck

We testers Ravisuriya and I present to you: Part one of the report on Claims testing on TweetDeck.

During this exercise we:

  • Defined the mission
  • Derived the context 
  • Set out to gather information on claims with an intent to test claims for TweetDeck
  • Plus I got introduced to Scribd

The discussion spread to testing Claims on non-software products. This exercise can be helpful in understanding and prepare the tester for Claims testing and types of Claims to be tested. 

Claims testing spreads wide and deep into any claim made by the provider to the consumer on behalf of their product's/software application's feature,performance,usability,shelf life,user-experience,maintenance,warranty and others.

Portions of the software's tested,extends to be tested for claims in the below mentioned affected areas of software and it's documentation: 

You can add to this list and if you have a Mindmap of the same do share it with us. 
  1. EULA
  2. Warranty
  3. License
  4. Trademark
  5. Policy
  6. Privacy Policy
  7. User Manual
  8. Help File
  9. History of Previous Version
  10. Marketing Claims
  11. Business Claims
  12. Problem Statement and Solution Model of product
  13. Sales Claims
  14. Consistency Claims
  15. Contractual Claims
  16. Maintenance Claims
  17. Support Claims
  18. Assumed Claims
  19. Assumed Claims -- Implicit
  20. Assumed Claims -- Desire/Wish
  21. Assumed Claims -- Change Request
  22. Strategy Claims
  23. Strategy Claims - Designing Benefit
  24. Strategy Claims - Delivering Claims
  25. Quality Assurance Claims
  26. Quality Assessment Claims
  27. Error Rate Claims
Do head straight to the Scribd link provided below to view the report on the hands on session on claims testing: 

A sneak peek into Scribd here: click on the Image

If you find this interesting, you can perform Claims testing on TweetDeck or any other application that you choose and share your Test Report on your own personal space and/or share the link of the same.

Rest in the next session report. While we wait for this, do visit the chrome web store and install the TweetDeck - chrome extension from the below link.


Happy testing readers!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

WCNGT - 2013

WCNGT - World Conference on Next Generation Testing held here in Bangalore had so much to offer. Thanks to the organizers Unicom and all involved in making this learning happen.

A list of take away points, that which are part of my learning are jotted below.
  • Learning is possible by meeting, interacting and conferring with like minded people with a vision to just do it.
  • The presentation/talk comes alive by encouraging constructive questioning.
  • What is constructive questioning? Questioning to help the speaker and in turn help yourself learn a perspective.
  • There was a call from the testing industry revolutionist Pradeep to join in this need of hour to help create value for customers and credibility for ourselves.
  • A lightening talk on Evolution Of Testing by Padma Bindu from Robert Bosch.
Picture from the same talk is shared here.

At WCNGT, testers were found testing, bug hunting, bug reporting and doing more than conferring.
It helped me learn about Social Testing, Mobile Testing and learn by the way of questioning.

Julian Harty had a lot more to share other than Mobile testing. I relished the time spent with him conferring and learning the tricks and tips for Windows Phone.
Paul Gerrard on the approach to testing with a broader perspective and customer centric model.
Pradeep Soundarajan presented on being and doing what he does best to bring in a creative change in the world of testing.
Rahul Mirakhur from Atimi was found shedding light on his work around iOS and the need for testers to gel with the GUI designers to learn to test.
Rahul Verma from Test Mile shared his ideas on 'Design of Test Automation: Principles and Patterns' and I liked the usage of iMindMap in his presentation.

Conference material:
Julian Harty's presentation is shared below in his blog.

A tester who thinks well, tests well - Ajay Balamurugadas
Your business is where the consumer's eye ball is - Rahul Mirakhur

Unicom organizers and the Speakers at WCNGT - Bangalore 2013
Further Reading:
A heuristic by Jerry Weinberg - Mary Had A Little Lamb - By Ajay in his talk 'BYOD: Should I Change My Test Strategy?'

A/B (experimental) and Multivariate testing by Julian Harty in his talk 'Mobile Testers Guide To The Galaxy'

Sunday, 23 June 2013

STePIN Summit 2013

Why should we attend software testing conferences?
  1. Learn to test by networking with the learned.
  2. Get to learn what's happening in the testing world.
  3. Learn the trending techniques and tools used for testing.
  4. Share your ideas and implementation, used cases and lessons learnt.
  5. To learn how to be better/excel at what you are already doing and how you are doing it.
  6. Learn presentation skills.
  7. Question the crude ways of testing.
Excerpts from some of the talks at STePIN Summit.

Lee Copeland - Author of A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design.
Writes at StickyMinds 
Connect with Lee at lcopeland@sqe.com
Presented @ STePIN Summit on The Mismeasure of Software: The Last Talk on Metrics You’ll Ever Need to Hear
  1. Don't measure if you don't know what it means.
  2. Focus on reality. The map is not the territory.
  3. If something is not working for you, don’t do it just because it is in the model, template or a rule book.
  4. Don't measure effort, measure accomplishments.
  5. Don't measure the number of defects, test cases. Have someone to measure the cost saved through testing.
  6. Don't turn your measurement into a goal.
  7. What gets measured gets manipulated.
  8. Don't obey everything told and presented to you by elders blindly. Invest some time in investigating prior to approving.
  9. While testing if surprised by any behavior, examine the reason for surprise.

Keith Klain 
Writes at qualityremarks
Connect with Keith here
Presented @ STePIN Summit on Creating Dissonance Overcoming Organizational Bias towards the Value of Software Testing

If you are a change agent at your organization:
  1. Be the change.
  2. Get the team involved to understand the change.
  3. Get connected.
  4. Get educated.
  5. Get more organized.
  6. Start a movement.
  7. Understand changing culture is hard.
  8. Don't mandate a change.
  9. Don't be rigid on process. Don't be process oriented.
  10. Manage your own expectations.
  11. Be an active advisor. Take charge {not an order taker}.
  12. Be an organizational navigator.

Find answers to these questions.
  1. In case of crisis who did you reach out to?
  2. Will you suggest others to approach this person in times of their own crisis?
  3. Which is the last testing book you read? When was it written?
  4. Who are the people that are advising you?
Learn by questioning, while building the skills, build a network that would together help you achieve a common goal.

Why is it hard to support an idea?
Guess this is what differentiates many firms from the likes of many others who support and encourage their employees to dedicate a certain amount of time for working on their own projects while being associated and working on other projects.

Naveen S Yeshodara, Software Consultant, Novell Software Development and Sumanth Krishna, McAfee India two presentors at the STePIN Summit 2013 who shed light on this topic while also conveying their idea, Data Leak Prevention application on Consumer Electronic Devices.

Here’s a face book page for all idea generators to log your ideas.
This is a place holder for ideas. Any user can log in and like this page, and log your ideas here.

What Next?
Find friends who could help your idea be a reality, contribute to your idea, take it to the next level and help implement your idea.

Further reading:
  1. Map-territory error
  2. Reification error
  3. Blink – Malcolm Gladwell
  4. Satir interaction Model - Virginia Satir
  5. Jerry Weinberg's Rule of Three.
  6. How to get approval to attend conferences or training's
       Next testing conference held in Bangalore.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Let’s Explore

As I continue my journey towards brainual testing. Here's a snippet on exploratory testing.
I choose to frame this article as a Q & A session as I learnt it from Carsten Feilberg, I thank him for sharing his knowledge. Connect with Carsten here.

SBTM - Session Based Test Management - is a scheme for managing testing by dividing the testing into chunks of time, called sessions.

What is Session Log?
Session Log - the log of the testing carried out in a session of Exploratory Testing.

Where does this term Session Log stem from?
The term session comes from session-based testing.

Is there a minimum and maximum time for session based testing?
Session based testing could be x minutes of uninterrupted time, which is devoted in testing a set mission. The tester can set the max and min time.

Does 3-4 testers together doing testing for a set time qualify for SBTM?
Not necessarily SBTM, but the approach could be same wrt using Session logs and debriefing at the end of the session.

If the mission is to 'Test a login page'
Set the time. 
During that time set focus just on the mission, nothing else. No interruptions in any form, not even meetings ;)
Yes, you can clarify doubts and ask someone - but no interruptions of any kind ideally.

At the end of the estimated time, Debrief.

Debrief with the test manager, fellow tester on what you tested, bugs you found, paths you followed - or didn't and what needs to be done in the next session.

To sum it up: A mission is written, a time slot is set and the tester is off to do it - in the estimated time slot without interruptions.

How many such sessions can be done in a day?
Per day 2-3-4 such sessions*estimated time.

How long or short the duration of these sessions should be?
Not less than 20 minutes and a max of 2 hours.

There is no standard time. These numbers can be arrived based on personal experience.
The trick is, that over time the test team learns pretty well how much of time is needed on specific tasks. And gets better and better at estimating the time slot for various tasks.
And the beauty of SBTM is that the testers debrief often and learn from each other, and share knowledge.
A quick way to grow domain knowledge.
While the testers are doing this (sharing of knowledge) they can change the direction of testing. Venture into other interesting areas of learning and testing if required to be tested.

What does a session log comprise of?
  • Testers own notes of thoughts and ideas with the mission in focus.
  • Date
  • Time
  • The Mission
  • Estimated time
  • Environment
  • Data
  • Platform
  • Version
This is not an exhaustive list but contains important elements only.

How to use the session log to actually work from it?
  • Write down the current time stamp.
  • Note the time and record your observations, what you see, did and achieved.
  • Make a note of what to try next
  • New ideas
  • Observations and
  • Bugs in the session log.
The session can be screen recorded using wink (download it from here)
The time stamp enables to find the screen dump in the wink file, use the wink file to pick data from there.

The session log is the documentation which states what is tested , how and when.

It also serves as a reference point for the tester during the session. To decide whether to follow a certain thread or break off and try some other things mentioned in the mission statement.
The session is the testers own time. The tester is not interfered by any other during this time. How you test and what to do during the session is up-to the tester. How you think provides most information/value. Log bugs in any tool used at your org. Jira, Quality Center, Test Track. 

If the tester decides to log the bugs outside of the session time, then the session log serves as a 'memory' of a bug.
The session log can be taken to the developer and shared if the tester is testing at a stage where bugs need not yet be reported in a formal way. And can be fixed right away.

Get on to twitter and connect with the community of testers to:
  • Learn
  • Share
  • Interact
  • Communicate
  • Network and
  • Learn
There is more to Exploratory Testing. Here are a few links:
  • Carsten Feilberg - EuroSTAR conference - sign up and watch the webinar here on SBTM.
  • What Exploratory Testing is Not at satisfice.com here
  • Michael Bolton 's blog here Created by James Bach, Jonathan Bach, and Michael Bolton.
Exploratory testing is not done outside of a testing phase. If you noticed, you could already be doing exploratory testing.
If you have set out to do it, learn how it's done and do it the way it's done.
  • Add your own ideas.
  • Brainstorm with fellow testers and
  • Share your thoughts.

Happy Exploring!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sit Down Series – Week 4

DNS - Domain Name System

Is a Server which can be in-house or with an ISP, which caches in the IP addresses of the frequently visited web pages.
DNS Server - can be configured for recursive search, which forwards the request to other DNS servers.

Why the browser/DNS client contacts the DNS server?
To fetch the IP address of the web server to which the client needs access.

Why IP addresses are required by the client and server?
To help two computers connect and transfer data.

What is DNS Spoofing?
  • Overriding the DNS server with the server information which the attacker wants the client to connect to.
  • Overwrite the DNS settings on your computer.

What happens if the DNS server is unavailable?
The user will not be able to access the internet.

How can this add on from Firefox: Flagfox be used?
Flagfox provides the user with the server location, domain name and the IP address of the requested webpage (and much more).
Configure the host file to include this information:  IP address and the corresponding domain name.
No longer will the requests be forwarded to the DNS server if configured in the host file.

Is it preferred to do this for all sites? NO.

The client will look for the IP address in the host file. If not found sends out the request to the preferred DNS which if cached in sends out the IP address to the client.
Client/Browser uses this IP address and places a call to the server. Server responds with the requested page to the client.

If the preferred DNS server does not have the requested IP address in its cache, the preferred DNS server performs a recursive search (if configured to perform recursive search) on other DNS servers until a response(positive/negative) is obtained, which is then sent to the requested client.

Beware of malwares that could alter the DNS server settings on your computer/network.

What to do if infected by such a malware?
Issue this command from the command prompt
flushes the DNS resolver cache, on the computer this command is issued.

Reset the host file.

Interesting Read:
DNS Jumper

Useful link to compare anything

Thank you Teemu Vesela (twitter handler- @teemuvesela )for helping me in my learning journey and for providing crisp and clear answers for the questions about DNS Servers.

This and the past week we shared knowledge on the below:
Firefox Add-ons:

  • Live HTTP Headers
  • Edit Cookies
Testing Types:
  • Agile Testing
  • Soak Testing
Security Testing:

Why should we be part of the testing community?

  • Get to learn and share the testing discipline from this community comprising of members from across the globe.
  • Discuss testing challenges and how to overcome or understand others perspective on the same.
  • I met people who inspire me and helped expand and broaden views.
  • Learn from many who are willing to share.
  • This community is for us. Come be a part of this community.