26 September, 2009

Bangalore Weekend Testing 8 (BWT – 8)

Date and Time
20th September 2009, 3.00 PM, BWT testers meet up on Google Chat.

Mission
Choose one of the quality criteria out of the following –
Installability / Usability / Performance / Reliability / Compatibility /Testability.

Product Overview
Areca-Backup is a file backup software that supports incremental, image and delta backup on local drives or FTP servers.

Testers
Ajay Balamurugadas, Vasupratha, Bhargavi, Sudhakar, Gunjan, Parimala Shankaraiah.

Reports
My Report
Ajay's Report

Approach
The beauty of BWT 8 lay in the fact that there was a flexibility to choose the mission by selecting any one of the Quality Criteria listed: Installability / Usability / Performance / Reliability / Compatibility / Testability. Previously, I was fascinated by the results of testing Nokia 1650 Insert Options by breaking down the feature sets and choosing one small testing chunk to test. I wanted to learn to better my previous testing performance. I chose Installability as the quality criteria - something that I had not tested earlier in session based format. I set out to test and loved the entire experience.

One thing I noticed in this session was that a few testers chose the much known, much easier quality criteria. In short, they chose to be in their comfort zones. Please note that if any product is given to test with a vague mission like find bugs in the product, we as humans have a normal tendency to choose areas that we are comfortable with. For eg. I love functional and usability testing and I would just jump at any opportunity to do just this . Over a period of time, I realized that other areas like performance, claims, reliability, compatibility etc are important as well based on what the stakeholder demands. Hence, as a tester, it is good to have basic skills in different test techniques if not great skills. This in turn can be improved over a period of time by practicing more and more.

The best way to learn is to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Test what you are not sure about. Test what you do not know about. Test what you have not heard about. Ask questions. Find answers. Question your answers. And ask more questions. The final answer could be well within your reach. You be your first critic.

Advantages of testing smaller chunks of the product
1. Brainstorming one feature/task results in an umpteen number of test ideas
2. Improved Focus on a single feature/task
3. Adequate testing can be done in a 90 – 120 minutes session
4. Finding lot more valuable and hidden bugs (bugs hungry? – Naa!)
5. Highly buggy features can be retested in future sessions possibly in short session say 60 minutes

If you have tried testing by breaking testing tasks into smaller chunks, feel free to add to the above list.

Get Uncomfortable Today,
Parimala Shankaraiah
http://curioustester.blogspot.com