A Six-fold Example from Pradeep Soundararajan

Pradeep blogged this, today.

I need to amplify it because it provides a nice example of at least six useful and important patterns all in one post. This is why I believe Pradeep is one of the leading Indian testers.

Practical advice: “Ask for testability”

His story is all about asking for testability and all the good things that can come from that. It’s rare to see a good example present so vividly. I wanted more details, but the details he gave were enough to carry the point and fire the imagination.

Practical advice: “Try video test scripting”

I have never heard of using videos for scripted testing. Why didn’t I think of that?

Testing as a social process

Notice how many people Pradeep mentions in his post. Notice the conversations, the web of relationships. This aspect of testing is profoundly important, and it’s one that I find Pradeep to excel in. It’s kind of like x-ray vision– the ability to see past the objects of the project to the true bones of it, which is how people think of each other, communicate with, and influence each other. Pradeep’s story is a little bit technical, but it’s mostly social, as I read it.

Experience report

Pradeep’s post is an example of an experience report. Not many of them around. It’s like sighting a rare orchid. He published it with the support of his client, otherwise we’d never have seen it. That’s why there can never be an accurate or profound history written about the craft of testing: almost everything is kept secret. The same dynamic helps preserve bad practice in testing, because that bad practice thrives in the darkness just as roaches do.

Sapient tester blogging

I have referred in the past to a phenomenon I call “sapient tester blogs.” These are introspective, self-critical, exploratory essays written by testers who see testing as a complex cognitive activity and seek to expand and develop their thinking. It’s particularly exciting to see that happening in India, which brings me to the final point…

Leadership in Indian testing

There’s not a lot of good leadership in Indian testing. Someday there will be. It’s beginning to happen. Pradeep’s post is an example of what that looks like.

There must be more than a hundred thousand testers in India. (I wonder if some agency keeps statistics on that?) I would expect to see at least a hundred great tester blogs from India, not six!

8 Responses to “A Six-fold Example from Pradeep Soundararajan”

  1. m4i3 Says:

    Leadership in Indian testing:

    James, point well taken, just a matter of time, when the indian testers will start expressing themselves. and then it will be as they say, when it rains , it pours.

  2. David O'Dowd Says:

    Hi James,

    Are there any good testing blogs in Ireland that your aware of?
    I’m thinking of starting one myself. How much time would you put into blogging per week would you say?

    Thanks,
    David

    [James’ Reply: Anne-Marie Charrett is in Ireland. See: http://mavericktester.com/

    I don’t put any time into blogging. That is to say, I don’t plan to put any time into it. Then suddenly I’ll feel like blogging something.]

  3. excowboy Says:

    Why do you make the qualified statement that Pradeep is one of the leading *Indian* testers ? IMO he’s one of the leading testers, period; location or nationality should be irrelevant.

    [James’ Reply: I think culture is relevant, and nationality often associates to culture. There is a distinctive Indian testing sub-culture. I also think there is an American testing culture, too. I wouldn’t mind being called an American tester.

    I don’t think Pradeep’s influence extends much outside of India, yet. But that may change.]

  4. excowboy Says:

    I still feel strongly about the location / nationality issue, but rahter than start a comment war I posted a blog repsonse at http://bit.ly/cG0rR7

    [James’ Reply: Clearly you have strong feelings about this, too. But you haven’t provided me with any reason to change my own point of view. You declare that nationality and culture is largely meaningless to you, or that it should be meaningless. But it is meaningful to me and I think it should be– because testing is a human activity and to separate our humanity from testing would harm our ability to do it.

    I’ve studied Indian culture more than most Americans. I’ve read the Mahabarata and Ramayana. I’ve read Buddhist sutras and the Laws of Manu. I read a bit about the history of India. I’ve visited there. I’ve trained testers there. I have a number of students there, today.

    I think it’s a terrible thing to discount culture, because if you did, you would have to conclude that most Indian testers are incompetent. Why just look at what they write! Show me an Indian-written paragraph that isn’t overwhelmed of grammatical and vocabulary errors.

    I think its far better to understand how testing is perceived and practiced from within their cultural matrix. We might learn from that.]

  5. excowboy Says:

    James, I still can’t agree with you but I appreciate your taking the time to expand on your point of view. As you said in your post from Monday, it’s critically important to challenge each other in our profession; more power to you !

  6. Hitesh Naik Says:

    James , I agree that spreading knowledge that can help others to lead a better way , but Do you think that just by expressing ourselves into blogs and sites makes us a good tester i don’t think. They are so many great testers here in India but they never express themselves in blogs and sites. Just by judging them on what we call exposing in blogs and sites is truely unfair.

    [James’ Reply: How do you know there are great testers in India? What evidence do you have of this? Show your evidence!

    Until and unless those great testers you speak of publicly share their ideas, our industry will continue to be the stinky dark place it is today. The ISTQB and the people who believe they can create an ISO standard for software testing are like fungi that thrives in this darkness.

    Be a beacon! Light it up or shut up.]

  7. kranthi Says:

    That was a good point made by you James! Unless people come out and speak, it wont show up. But, pointing to your understanding of culture, is it not right to say that “commenting on the competence of indian testers who by nature are more introverts is something to be thought of?”. I have been in this profession for the last 5 years and went into arguments on “what does a workload model mean and what should it try to achieve” (still a burning topic with in my peer group) with quite a few performance testers who gave me lot of valid opinions. But they dont blog. Anyways, this is the first time i read your blog and was really impressed by the phrase “challenge each other”

    [James’ Reply: How are those people, and the Indian testing industry in general, going to make any progress as a whole if they stay quiet? Ideas must be shared to become part of the evolution of the craft.

    I’m not criticizing the culture in any way, but I’m celebrating people who, from within that culture, have gone public.]

  8. Mantha Says:

    It looks i am responding late to this post, but period or time i am talking about is just right.
    I was in banglore HP to get trained on HP ALM suite of products in early 2011.
    They said that, when they went around the world for new ideas/features to integrate into ALM 11, 80% of new features they implemented were from Indian cities (i think thats why sprinter is free add on that time ), that point makes it very clear.
    I think Indian test engineers are more busy doing and missing a bit in externalizing thoughts.

    [James’ Reply: Adding features to a suite of test tools that pretend to be able to automate testing is not really my idea of a useful impact. We need Indian testers to advance the culture of testing, not forge new chains of bondage.]

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