Next-Gen Testers

Many companies follow traditional way of Testing. They hire freshers in bulk out of college & expect us to write lengthy test cases. As a consequence, fresher’s waste half of their working hours in preparing test cases, maintaining other docs, wasting papers which are not referred most of the time.  All these docs are presented to customers as a proof of testing. But, do customers really understand these docs?

No hard feelings against such people. I do understand, that these people are simply following their chain of command & anticipates that new comers in this industry should do the same. Come on Man! What’s wrong with them? There is so much to explore in this world. Why do they want to slow down our progress? Especially, first two years are very crucial for any fresher’s growth. That’s what I believe. Don’t you guys agree? I have only one word to say for any fresher to kick start their career.
It’s “EXPLORE! EXPLORE!EXPLORE!

Stuff people can explore as a starter:

1) Addons:

A tester can utilize his time 10 times better by getting aid from various add-ons in his daily activities. Few of the add-ons which can help ease your tasks for different domains are:

Usability/Accessibility Add-ons: Web developer, UserScriptCSS.

Code/Edit/Debug add-ons: Firebug Lite, web edit, Page edit.

Security testing add-ons: Edit this cookie, Tamper data, Greesemonkey, websecurify.

Javascript add-ons: JavaScript tester, jQuery Shell

Screenshot add-ons: Lightshot, Fireshot.

Automation addons: iMacros, Reload all tabs

Validation: Link checker, HTML validator

You can download add-ons for firefox, chrome from the link:

Firefox: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/

Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/home

Folks, you should try learning 3 add-ons daily. I can bet that if you take dosage of 3 add-ons daily then at the end of one month you will find a new person rising within you, at the end of two months share your knowledge & contribute to society, and at the end of one year you will be on a whole new level of your own 🙂

Link to Add-on’s dosage: Add-on list mind maps compiled and used by testers at Moolya

2) Mindmap:

Mindmaps aids individual to brainstorming software, share ideas, better representation of ideas & save team’s time.

For instance, let us consider the entire add-ons list for different domains in the above add-ons section. Did you find it difficult to read those add-ons names? This is were Mindmaps come into picture & assists by its better pictorial representations. Tell me honestly, did you like the below mindmap approach or the add-on list in the above section?

Fig: Example of mindmap

Download Link xmind tool: http://www.xmind.net/downloads/

3) Avoid writing detailed steps for each test cases:

Avoid writing lengthy & recurring words in test cases.

For example, Test cases for filling up a form in a traditional way:

a) Validate for field lengths.

b) Validate for different combinations of chars, numbers, and special symbols.

c) Validate for proper exception handling messages.

Don’t fall into the trap of writing recurring words for each test case. Trust me it looks very bad when this list becomes longer & longer. Suitable way of writing test cases for filling up a form:

Validate for following functionalities:

a) Field lengths.

b) Different combinations of chars, numbers, and special symbols.

c) Proper exception handling messages.

4) Twitter Driven Exploratory Testing:

Sometimes companies fail to make their application well-known in market. They even wonder, why don’t end-users get attracted to our application? Why are end-users driving away from their apps? Why do they need to wonder when answers are hidden in front of them? Search for user feedback from various social networks like Twitter & Facebook. Millions of critiques are tweeted daily by users about their experience on applications. So, why don’t we grab this opportunity & add extra value to our application by converting those critiques into new features. Avoid falling into same trap repeatedly.

Getting excited to know more about Twitter Driven Exploratory Testing!

5) Reading & Writing Blogs:

Blogging is one of the most powerful ways of learning, sharing & networking across the web. It helps you acquire knowledge beyond the limits of university text books. Few blogs of passionate testers you might be interested to read are:

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

Pradeep Soundararajan: http://www.testertested.blogspot.com/

James Bach: http://satisfice.com/

Michael Bolton: http://developsense.com/

Parimala: http://curioustester.blogspot.com/

Dhanasekar: http://testingideas.wordpress.com/http://mindmapweekly.wordpress.com/

Perze Ababa: http://perze.blogspot.com/

Sunil: http://vividtester.blogspot.com/

6) Thinking out of box:

Utilize your time in thinking out of box ideas instead of following traditional chain of commands. Guys, I am not asking to stop following orders from your boss. If you do so, then you are going to get your butt kicked very badlyJ. Also, I would not want people to screw me via bad critiques. Hehe. All I am asking is to think how to add additional value to your project. To do something which is not a part routine task assigned to you. Something that helps to provide additional value to your customer/client. Something that helps you to build your own credibility.

For example, Let us suppose you have various forms to fill up whose values are being validated at client side. Now you need to test for various test data of each field. Traditionally, what people think of is to enter values for each field & submit the form. This is not a bad start. What if, you need to perform the same test repeatedly? What if, other testers want to perform the same test? Doing all this manually each time consumes lot of time. You can use iMacros add-on of Firefox to fill up forms with specific test data & run the script each time you wish to test. You can even share your scripts with other testers which helps them to save their time.  This is where you add value in your project by helping everyone save their time bit by bit.

What I believe is that “New generation will always surpass the old one”. Folks, let us stand together and try change the system by contributing new ideas, value added service, way of approach to testing, & something which even I haven’t thought of yet! Let us stand together & kindly help our seniors, managers understand Next-Gen Testing so that we can help them provide better valued services.

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14 thoughts on “Next-Gen Testers

  1. Hi Yagnesh,

    Thanks for the post. Nice to see young guys in the field and already blogging!

    “They hire freshers in bulk out of college & expect us to write lengthy test cases.” Definitely this is a common case and not only to proof what testing is done, but also for example to make testers easy to be replaced. Quality is rarely a high priority for these organizations.

    I would love to hear more about how you use Web Developer and UserScriptCSS in Usability and Accessibility testing. Maybe you could write a post about that?

    For security testing, I use a wide variety of tools, including Firebug, other addons and some standalone applications. The problem is that the tools are usually really good in scanning and many managers think it’s enough if a system passes a scan made with a tool. I am happy to see you listed tools which provide means to do testing easier rather than scan the system.

    The mindmap you made from the addons is really nice. I think testers in general should learn better to visualize their work, plans, reports and results. Testers need to be able to talk to different stakeholders. Some of them for example need estimates in money, but most would like to have a visual representation instead of numbers and long text. Mindmaps can also work very nicely instead of detailed test cases.

    It’s fantastic to see how you have implemented for example iMacros in your testing process. What is even more important is to recognize when these tools are needed. Constant questioning is a big part of testers’ work. There are definitely contexts when repeating similar checks/tests provides value. However, often testers/managers believe they should automate things that are not relevant or provide very small value.

    It was fun to read your first blog post. Looking forward to read more in the future! I’ll keep you posted on Twitter when I’ll start publishing my posts. 🙂

    Have a wonderful end of January and a fantastic February!

    Best regards,
    Jari

    1. Hi Jari,
      Thanks for you wonderful comment. I took note of points you mentioned & you will see more posts on usability & security from me in the coming month. Looking forward to learning more from everyone & sharing it.

  2. Hi Yagnesh!

    I got the link to your blog from Jari Laakso. This is good stuff! Keep spreading the word! 🙂 The more people promote testing the better it gets.

    Few thinks came to mind when reading this blog entry. I love the way you use mind maps! Mind maps are really useful tools in testing; test design, test idea brain storming, cause-effect charts, risk analysis, test reports, test charters. The list goes on and on. And the good thing is that you can then change and drag-n-drop the maps to suit the current need. I wrote something on my blog also, you should check them out.

    The test case thinking (from my point of view) is outdated. I like to think more like test ideas, scenarios, missions, tasks, etc. Test case is so restrictive and veers towards artificial “steppifying” all tests and make you incredibly biased towards making the test case pass (human psyche, or something like that). Like all testing, the test case thinking should be tied to a context. There are no best-practices in writing test cases (except not to WRITE them but to test the cases), but tips, pointers, good advice is always encouraged. Just don’t fall into the test case trap. 😉

    Just keep on blogging and I’ll be here to challenge the stuff as much as possible.

    BR, Peksi

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