Bach Brothers Legion of Testing Merit

My brother and I are instituting a new award at the CAST conference on Monday: The Bach Brothers Legion of Testing Merit.

We will give this award periodically in recognition of certain testers who, we feel, deserve to be famous, but aren’t yet internationally recognized in the way they should be.

The first recipients of this award are:

  • Ajay Balamurugadas
  • Parimala Shankaraiah
  • Sharath Byregowda
  • Manoj Nair
  • Pradeep Soundararajan

The first four on this list are the founders of Weekend Testers which is a grassroots testing professionalism phenomenon. It is non-commercial, and in most respects is completely out of step with the Indian testing industry. The people who participate in it are going against the flow and ignoring the typical reward structures. Contrary to the trend of commercialized efforts at “testing professionalism”, such as ISEB and ISTQB, these people are actually doing the Weekend Testers not for glory or money or to maximize the chance they will be hired into safe boring job, but rather to achieve personal excellence in their craft.

We’re fortunate to have Ajay speaking at CAST, this year. Pradeep was invited to speak as well, but he couldn’t make it.

Pradeep Soundararajan is being given the award because, as far as Jon and I can tell, he has nearly single-handedly inspired the Context-Driven testing movement (in other words, the skilled testing culture) in India. The Weekend Tester founders credit him with inspiring them. Yes, there are other voices out there, too (Shrini Kulkarni and Meeta Prakash for instance). What makes Pradeep special is that he has suffered for his cause, enduring long periods out of work because he refused to do bad testing.

I wish I could say there was a large cash prize that goes with these awards, but at least there is honor. Jonathan Bach and James Bach honor them!

Now, go and save India, guys.

(NOTE: Do you see why we named this award as we did? We could have called it “The Context-Driven Testing Award” or some other neutral title. Why did we name the award after ourselves? Well, first, it’s not about ego. It’s about integrity. This award is based purely on the arbitrary and possible unfair opinions of two guys named Bach. The value of the award is nothing more or less than the value of our reputations. Hence its title. And this is why I keep harping about how testers must protect and build their reputations by refusing to knowingly do bad work. Here’s a question for you: if YOU were to recognize a colleague for his excellence as a tester, would that tester feel honored… or just awkward? The quality of your reputation determines the answer to that question.)

38 thoughts on “Bach Brothers Legion of Testing Merit

  1. Congratulations to all of the recipients, especially to the founders of Weekend Testing. I’m proud to be affiliated with your movement (and to be the ambassador of your idea here in the Americas), and grateful for the example set by all. I know who each of you is, and yes, I believe just like James and Jon, that more people should know who you are, too :). Here’s hoping that this can help you all achieve that!


  2. Congratulations to all, not so much for the ‘award’ but mainly for doing something that is challenging the status quo. Whenever you do that you’ll have detractors and nay-sayers, ignore them as you are doing. After a while, ‘radical’ ideas become the norm, it just takes time.

    Weekend testing has also spawned the Weeknight testing and Weeknight Testing Live in London, so it goes from strength to strength. Looking forward to facilitating one in September. Come along and meet Sharath there, a great guy with a passion for testing.


  3. James & Jon – that’s a truly great initiative! Congratulations to all the recipients – and while you guys are saving India, you might as well save the rest of the world in the process

    — Z

  4. Awesome News,quoting Zeger’s words again a great initiative!!Great News for all the Testers, its a big deal to be honored by you Both.

    Congratulations to Pradeep,Ajay,Pari,Manoj,Sharath!!


  5. Most prestigious award for me. Thanks everybody. I am honored and I must say (although it might sound traditional) that I am standing in the shoulders of many giants from India and other parts of the world to be seen as a leader. This is a huge achievement and hope for many Indian testers.

    For me and my students to win this award together, it makes the occasion a very special one. I congratulate them for what they have done. With the blessings of Lord Saraswathi, my parents, I accept the award on behalf of many Indian testers who might have tried to do great work but something didn’t favor them.

    With good teachers, good mentors, good testers as my friends and good students, I am one of THE richest tester in the world and I shall remain one.

  6. What I like about this award is that it’s personal, such that the subjective and arbitrary aspect is easy to see. From whom, exactly, does one win an Academy Award? A Nobel Prize? A MacArthur Genius Grant? Who (not what) grants an ISTQB certification? To whom do I address a message, with whom could I have a meaningful conversation if I disagreed?

    Whenever I raise an objection with someone who supports the ISTQB, the conversation doesn’t go anywhere because, in the end, the person defers to the anonymous and shadowy organization, and mumbles something about the certification and the syllabus being some kind of collective effort. If they’re to be granted at all, certification and awards—it seems to me—should be about respect extended from some identifiable person or group to another identifiable person or group.

    I absolutely concur with you, James and Jon, in granting this award to the Weekend Testers and their muse. Were I to disagree with the choice, though, I’d know who to argue with.

    That’s why personal endorsements beat sock-puppet certifications every time.

    —Michael B.

  7. A proud moment πŸ™‚ Thank you All

    I would also like to highlight Santosh Tuppad’s effort to Weekend Testing. He was the one who shaped our website and contributed a lot in the backend.

    Thanks All again.

  8. James,

    It would be terrific if you could expand on the criteria you used to select honorees, other than “deserve to be famous, but aren’t yet”.

    What makes (or would make) someone worthy of this honor?

    [James’ Reply: What Jon and I look for is heroic behavior, over a significant period of time (or a single heroic and substantial contribution to the craft) from someone who is unknown to the majority of the world of thinking/studying testers. It has to be something that inspires us and earns our respect.

    We mean heroic in the classical sense, rather than the modern comic book sense. Heroism means making a free and personal choice to perform a difficult or risky task for the benefit of others. For example, it’s a fireman’s job to fight fires (therefore it’s not a choice), so that’s not heroism. The heroic moment for a fireman is probably to *become* a fireman in the first place (unless that is the only job available) or to perform otherwise above and beyond any reasonable expectation.

    In my opinion, most young mothers, on most days, behave heroically on behalf of their children. Heroism is not super-human: it’s wonderfully and intrinsically human.]

  9. Thanks James and Jon. And my Hearty Congratulations to Fantastic Five for winning this award. This is proud to be moment for all the passionate testers.

  10. Congrats to all recipients of the award – all of you have made context driven community in india proud. As one of the early members of this community in india, I would say, weekend phenomenon is greatest thing that happened to CDT india and CDT at large. These folks really deserve the award for sustaining it through tough times. I hope that this award creates many more Pradeeps, and Ajay’s all over and builds a testing community that values personal reputation the most and strives at professional excellence.

    Personally, happy to be named as one of the voices of CDT india – this inspires me and I am proud to be part of this community.

  11. Congratulations to all of you!!!!!!!!!!!I I am proud to see my fellow country men excelling in their Careers.You all are my inspirations.Great going.

  12. Congrats to all the Five Winners of this Award.

    Even though i am from different Engineering field , i have been following their efforts and their hardwork on testing arena and their works are coomendable.

    Special wishes goes to Pradeep and all his team members (Sharath & Parimala) ….

  13. Congratulations guys!!!
    I am so proud of each and every one of you. Highly inspired by you all.

    SIMPLY SUPERB!!…also special thanks to James and Jon for starting this wonderful award.

  14. Congrats to all!. Getting this award from ‘The Bach Brothers Legion of Testing Merit’ at the CAST conference is like Nobel price & Oscar award to you guys. You guys are inspiration to all passisonate tester..

  15. Congratulations to all,

    Yes, There is still so much to change in Indian Testing community, where tester skills has to be identified on what he is capable of rather than certifications and there is lot more required that had to be changed even in terms of culture.

    Weekend testing a good program for testers, there is an opportunity to individuals to learn a something new atleast the ideas how others think while testing.

  16. Congratulations to All the Five stars (Ajay , parimala, sharth , manoj , pradeep) on winning the award.

    U are truly an inspiration for all the passionate testers ..

    and i wish all the participants as well…
    (No matter how hard the loss, defeat might serve as well as victory to shape the soul and let the glory out)

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