Monday, 4 March 2013

Reflections of a tester.


Here I have penned down my thoughts on my journey so far as a tester.
This is all my perspective, if found resemblance to anyone living or dead is not purely co-incidental. It simply is a ‘me too’ experience.
I had bagged a job in a company, where there was a lot of scope for learning, as test engineers me and the rest of the team who had joined, our first assignment was to evaluate test automation tools. Till this day there has been no such opportunity in the other two firms that I have worked/working with. Reasons could be many but the one on top of my mind is due to lack of faith in the employees.
Just out of college and full of confidence, many engineers are released into the world, who would want to embark on the journey of their best times ahead in the professional world. One such was I with an attitude that could not be broken easily. But after 1.5 years I was losing my attitude and I quit my first job, reason being I thought I lacked people skills. I was beginning to realize that Honesty is rarely appreciated. I was going to office to serve my notice period and a few days before I quit I was diagnosed with chicken pox and I had to prove it to my manager for him to believe it.
Next job, I was happy with the way the interview went. It made me realize that I deserved another chance to be myself at what I was going to be doing there.
3.5 years of my journey in the firm ended where I pushed myself to leave the firm because it was going great but there was no scope to express me as myself.  In one meeting I conveyed this to the CEO. Post that meeting when I was confronted by an HR with the comment: Oh how brave! I replied I was speaking the truth. It did not require courage at that point.
Moving on, my third job I did speak with the higher management regarding the concerns that many of us had, but it fell on deaf ears. The climax is a sad one. I don’t know why some of us are so stuck up on few(silly) things like ego, gender bias, like there is no tomorrow, bring him/her down to make your way up, old thoughts are enough, you can‘t do your tasks without me/my permission, I know it all, you have to obtain my approval to attend a training, we don’t have funds... this coming from a ‘big’ company, it is ok to live with problems, there is no other way out, you can’t install this feature into your brain without my knowledge, it is OK to salute someone to get the job done. Many of us have for sure heard one or more of these. And finally when you gather all your energy to bring yourself together and try again there’s the ‘who told you to do it’.
Did I Survive and how?
I stuck to being myself in spite of these tantrums. It is HARD. You will have fewer friends and fewer opportunities. More complaints and you will be the easy target and more at the receiving end.
I spent a considerable amount of time and effort to tell the others that this is NOT how it is! And it’s OK to stand up for your own self but in-vain. Most of us are tuned to one frequency, anything else is just noise.
And then I met another learner who reassured me that am headed in the right direction and to continue to tread that path in style. I was introduced to more knowledge sources and my learning in the past week included.
Concepts of web testing:
1. Fiddler (Web Debugging - Functional and security)
2. Web Traffic
3. Search Engine Optimization (Business Perspective)


What did I learn?
Testing types, techniques and tools:
a. Accessibility testing and tools used – Ability to access an application/system by the differently-abled. Wave is used to an extent where it captures a few of the features built in to the web application/system for the differently-abled/for the end user.
b. Adware – advertising ware
c. Alexa – www.alexa.com – site information. Searching pattern of the users can be used to derive keywords for a website.
d. Bots – What are robots.txt? It’s usage. Where the file needs to be placed and how can it used for security testing.
e. Bug advocacy – Get the dev team to fix the bug if it affects the end user in any which way. How to put forth your case? help them to fix it And in the process save the cost and building credibility.
f.  Captcha – What is captcha, can it be automated, www.free-ocr.com – to decode the captcha, how to remove it from the browser.
g. Checking v/s Testing
h. Client Side validations
i.  Database auto -increment – Why is this used in a DB query? Where is it applicable? If not what happens? What are the other approaches?
j.         Data generation – www.generatedata.com
k.        Ethical Hacking
l.         Fav icons
m.      File and Image types
n.        Firefox (Mozilla) and its add-ons
o.        Google Adsense, Google analytics
p.        Grub – Grand Unified BootLoader – allows the user a choice to boot one of the multiple OS.
q.        Heuristics to Test the Login Page
r.         IETF – Internet engineering task force
s.         Mind maps – Usage
t.         Moolya – About the testing community, weekend testing, talks, people. http://moolya.com/
u.        OS and its history
v.        OWASP - Open Web Application Security Project
w.       Profiling – w3techs.com
x.        Rapid Software Testing
y.        Section 508 – https://www.section508.gov/
z.         Security testing
aa.      Server requests
bb.     Server side validations
cc.      Short cut keys – Alternate keys
dd.     Spider – Crawler – Keywords used on the webpage’s to fetch the result page based on the user search criteria.
ee.     Testability – Is the version released for testing worth being tested.
ff.        W3consortium – Standardization of html code

And about: http status codes, content-type, different browsers, html tags, Google analytics, security testing, concept of ethical hacking, functional testing, installation testing, types of keyboards.

ADD ONS for Mozilla Firefox:
ColorZilla – Used to capture the pixel, a colored dot on the screen and areas on the page that which requires to be reported as a bug.
FireBug – Used in RST, unearthing client side validations, to gather if there are any comments in the source code that which needs to be excluded from the source code. (Inspect, selecting each element on the webpage to learn more on the same)
FireShot – To capture screen shots and formatting which helps reduce steps to reproduce while reporting a bug and help understand the problem.
IMacros – Used for performing functional, load and security testing.
TamperData – Alter real data before submitting the data to the server... Used for security testing and for the purpose of ethical hacking.
  Web Developer Tool

Links for reference:
a)        www.99tests.com
b)        www.alexa.com
c)        http://browsershots.org/
d)        www.bugcrowd.com
e)        http://www.cynthiasays.com
f)         http://www.developsense.com/
h)        www.issuu.com
j)         www.opensourcetesting.org
k)        http://testingcircus.com/
l)         www.Utest.com

Apart from this I did learn the below:
  Building credibility
  Having a vision and being an agent of change
  How a combination of tools like excel, notepad++ can be used for the purpose of checking and rapid software testing
  How to learn, remember and revise
  Implement the learning’s to tackle life and work and in general help improve life
  That there are more than one ways to solve a problem
  To start living with zeal and to never give up no matter what and
  Yes the trick on how to boot the laptop with a disobeying charger :)


A tip to every tester:
Don't be shy when it comes to admitting something you don't know. Grab every opportunity to introduce yourself to the way of unlearning and learning the new age testing approaches. 

6 comments:

srinivas kadiyala said...

Wonderful Post.
Feedback: Increase of font text size.
Look for spelling mistakes.(Client side validations - its mentioned: h. lient Side validations)

Thanks for the post.
Srinivas

Sharath Byregowda said...

Fabulous Post Jyothi.

Most of us have had a similar tale to share before we were pulled out of the sucking hole from an amazing mentor.

Good luck on your next steps and feel free to ping back for any testing challenges!

Cheers
Sharath

abodeqa said...

Great Job, but you have made a small encyclopedia for testers and you have just make this post full of knowledge and experience.

-Thump Up!!

Jyothi R said...

@Srinivas - Thanks for the feedback, I skimmed through your blog http://testingeduindia.blogspot.in/ and I find a pattern in both our writings.

@Sharath and @abodeqa - Thank you for your comments.

Santhosh Tuppad said...

Jyothi, Welcome to the blogging world. I was amazed with your first blog post itself in terms of writing. You write very well being a starter (When I say starter, I am referring to blogging in Software Testing).

Looking forward for more and more awesome blog posts from you in future.

Thanks,
Santhosh Tuppad
http://tuppad.com/blog/

Jyothi R said...

@Santhosh: Thank you. You are an inspiration at many levels and a good mentor and implementor of the learnings learnt