22 August, 2009

Bangalore Weekend Testing 4 (BWT 4)

22nd August 2009, 3.00 PM sharp, BWT testers assemble (on Google chat). The product was Free Mind 0.9.0 RC5. Mission: The Mission is to test the entire product and find bugs.

Product Overview
FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java. The recent development has hopefully turned it into high productivity tool. We are proud that the operation and navigation of FreeMind is faster than that of MindManager because of one-click "fold / unfold" and "follow link" operations.

Schedule
3.00 PM - Gather on gmail chat, download and install the application FreeMind.
3.30 PM to 4.30 PM - Testing FreeMind.
4.30 PM to 5.30 PM - Discussion of Test Strategies used for Testing.

Testers
Ajay Balamurugadas, Anil Sonune, Parimala Shankaraiah, Rajesh Iyer, Ravisuriya, Vivek Bhat, Jaswinder Kaur Nagi

Final Reports
1. My Report
2. Consolidated Report

Approach
In BWT 4, I wanted to overcome the challenges I faced in BWT 3. Though the mission was to find bugs in the product, I was concentrating more on overcoming my shortcomings from previous BWT session (a slight shift in the mission). I was able to shift my mindset from finding more bugs to finding quality bugs. Instead of rushing for bugs, I focused mainly on Installation testing, Basic functionality and Help for FreeMind. I was able to overcome my pressure to perform/find more bugs in a short period of time. Like it or not, there is always going to be time pressure whether it is in hours, days, months or even years in the worst case. The only way to handle it is testing the critical features in the product and uncovering bugs, then move on to next critical feature etc. My reporting capability has improved quite a lot.

I still had the challenge of learning/understanding the product in a short period of time and test. I am yet to figure out the following based on a question Ajay asked me during BWT 4:

1. Should a product be learned/understood for testing or just find defects without learning the product?
2. Does understanding the product better help uncover more bugs while testing?
3. Should learning and testing the product be a simultaneous activity?

I am still thinking about these questions. Any thoughts are welcome.

Happy Testing,
Parimala Shankaraiah
http://curioustester.blogspot.com

6 comments:

BugMagnate said...

Hi Parimala,

Thanks for sharing this. You asked 3 questions and I'll try my best to answer these.
1. Should a product be learned/understood for testing or just find defects without learning the product?
- If we start finding bugs without understanding the product, there is always a possibility of bugs getting rejected though in that case we can raise issues as "Clarifications" in real time situation.

2. Does understanding the product better help uncover more bugs while testing?
- Yes it does because you will have first hand understanding of "What the product is supposed to do" and more importantly what it is not supposed to do because thats where we find a lot of bugs.

3. Should learning and testing the product be a simultaneous activity?
- Yes Learning and Testing the product can happen simultaneously but it is dependent on the product under test. For smaller applications it can be a good approach but if application is huge then there can be two ways to test it.
a) Concentrate on one feature and do both learning & testing simultaneously
b) Take a bigger slice of the product and then first spend some time in understanding and later begin testing.
Please let me know if answers are satisfactory.

Pari said...

@BugMagnate
Please let me know if answers are satisfactory.


Thanks for the answers Rahul. Apart from the satisfaction that answers bring in, it is about how well they work for each of us as individuals. This can be known only when put to practice. I understand that Testing and Learning need to be a parallel activity and a tester needs to be prepared for it.

Happy Testing,
Parimala Shankaraiah
http://curioustester.blogspot.com

Thejaswi said...

Hi Parimala,

Thanks for all your interesting posts. I have been reading your post since few weeks, from which I gained good knowledge and your writings definitely inspire many testers. Let me try to share few points regarding your questions;
Lack of software understanding in any software under test is necessary. I believe, we need to have a special combination of ‘understanding’ and ‘lack of understanding’ to test anything.
Most of us are aware about how effective software understanding would be to find quality bugs, achieve better coverage, define clarity between bugs and features, design most possible test cases and so on… Apart from software understanding, ‘lack of understanding’ would also help in testing.

If everything were understood/learned/known about the software, Tester’s intensity in exploratory outlook would be reduced. Many testers have the exploratory wit, the intensity of which, I believe is directly proportional to software ambiguity/lack of understanding. (I do not say that lack of understanding the product would yield better exploratory test results). Testing, when approached without product understanding could be referred to as ‘novice user’ working on the software, which would invoke tester’s exploratory interests.

Thanks again!

Pari said...

@Thejaswi
I have been reading your post since few weeks, from which I gained good knowledge and your writings definitely inspire many testers


I am glad indeed to know that my posts are inspiring. Thank You.

Apart from software understanding, ‘lack of understanding’ would also help in testing.

You have brought up a very interesting point by talking about 'Lack of Understanding'. From what you say, I now infer that Inattentional Blindness to some extent is caused by 'Good Understanding of the product'. Your comments are very valuable. Thank You.

Happy Testing,
Parimala Shankaraiah
http://curioustester.blogspot.com

Jassi said...

You missed me Pari, I was also there Testing Freemind and it was my first time at BWT :)))

Cheers,
Jassi

Pari said...

@Jassi

Apologies. I realised that being a participant, this may happen. Now I cross check with Ajay's list before I post.

I also see that you are blogging. Welcome to the World of Blogging.

Happy Blogging,
Parimala Shankaraiah
http://curioustester.blogspot.com