Friday, October 21, 2011

LinkedIn – Error message is invalid and unhelpful

I see that the error I posted last year November 2010 to LinkedIn still isn't fixed. If you had missed that bug report, you can view it from here - "LinkedIn-Error message is valid but unhelpful". While trying to reproduce the error which I had posted last year, I found yet another error. However this time, the error danced at me is very invalid and ultimately unhelpful. It blocked my action to precede what to do next. Crazy me!

As soon I reveal there is a quick challenge awaiting for you. So closely follow up to reproduce!

Bug Title: LinkedIn- User warning message is invalid and unhelpful.
Defect Module: Invite Friends.
Severity: Medium
Priority: Medium
Tested Environment: Google Chrome 14.0.835.202 m on Win 7

Steps to reproduce:
1. Login with valid credentials to in any browser.
2. Choose a friend, to whom you want to connect from the top right navigation of the page from "People You May Know" section.
3. Click on the "+Connect" link
4. Choose the "Friend" option button from "How do you know '?'
5. Replace the existing personal note with below message

Hi user,
I am a new user.Please add me up.Thanks.

6. Click on "Send Invitation" button
7. Refer the screenshot to view the error.

LinkedIn - Invite Friends

Observed Result:
I got warning message in RED stating... "We're sorry, you cannot include website addresses in invitations. Please remove the website address and try again."

Expected Result:
Require appropriate user warning message. Field level error validation warning message needs to be examined to offer necessary user status message which could add value to the existing user base.
-Bug Report Ends-

Hey LinkedIn - You asked me to include a personal note, so I did. But you are asking sorry, to inform me that I cannot add website address in invitations. I also feel sorry to say that I did not add any website address in the personal note. You can very well see my personal note in the screenshot.

Testing Challenge:
Hey testers out there,
Can you do a quick bug investigation on the error that I have reported and let me know - How that error message could have been triggered?

If you would like to learn more about Bug Investigation skills before you start working on above testing challenge then click on these link here & here.

Best Regards,
Shiva Mathivanan

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bridging Relationship: Testers vs Programmers

Today my co-tester and I had spent few minutes talking about the problems he faced during his test iteration over a cup of hot espresso cappuccino at office cafeteria. He was explaining about the problems he faces with a programmer (in his cubicle) to whom he closely interacts and works. After hearing him for a while I diagnosed that my co-tester is actually diseased. Yes, he is badly infected with 'programmer syndrome' disease. The cause of this disease is to show high symptom of 'always complaining/talking about developer's incapability/problem'. The effect of this disease is it will create adverse effect on his own thinking capability of not to acquire more testing skills and in other words it affects the right way of building tester mindset.

"Leaving the problems apart, ah...wait...NO - I can't leave my problems just like that, I still have more problems to complain my developers - Yes I'm a tester, how can I be without problems? 

Gurr...I too have many problems to complain a tester in my module who is really bad. - Yes I'm a programmer, I face unnecessary problems with 'that' tester!"

I have also heard from many testers complaining about programmers that they write buggy code, creates buggy product, doesn't know how to code well, doesn't accept my valid bugs and specifically pointing to a specific programmer complaining like...'look THAT programmer is not good', etc. Concurrently I have heard programmers say like, I hate THAT tester every time when I read his bug reports -writes silly bugs, 'THAT tester always annoys me -I don't know why', 'look THAT tester does real bad job'. My question to both the programmer & testers is -Is being bad a birth trait? Please start thinking about it. I think, being bad is an acquired skill as being good. At the same time we cannot dwell well with the bad programmer/tester if we are highly skilled enough (at least to our presumptions), yeah? That's where the underlying problem is. So how are we going to bridge the good and bad of a tester or a programmer to smash this bias thereby one can bridge the relationship better. It's a highly debatable topic, isn't?

After working in this software testing craft for 5 years, I realize that this gap between a tester (who tests the functional/non functional code of a program) and programmer (who writes software program codes) should be bridged well for smooth commutation of software product releases without any bias. Thus I tried to implement a practice to myself i.e. the practice of understanding a good tester/programmer and spotting a bad tester/programmer with 10 noticeable points. I consulted the same to my co-testers & programmers and they found it useful. Glad to know it was also useful for them to understand who is a good tester/programmer and thereby they cleared their mind traps and let the decision with management for bad tester/programmer actionable points. Later good testers have continued to start bridging excellent reputation with good programmers and good programmers have got everything they wanted from a good tester (effective bug reports, test reports, feature modification requests, heuristics, etc.). My co-testers & programmers have got benefited to build and bridge excellent relationships together for successful product releases. Thus I would like to share the same tips in this post, presuming it may embrace another tester/programmer as well.

Ten good tips to spot a good tester:
1. Use sapience well.
2. Have high technical aptitude skills.
3. Have strong analytical, lateral, logical and critical thinking skills
4. Does bug advocacy & brainstorms well.
5. Writes effective/reliable bug reports and loves to gain/build credibility from programmers & team.
6. Involves programmer in test design reviews and have excellent go-getter attitude.
7. Enjoy playing around with business logic against the application under test to uncover more defects.
8. Looks intellectual, updates his testing skills periodically through weekend testing.
9. Always acquire high reputation from the development house of managers, programmers, testers, clients and also creates high demand to assist other testers. Possess training & mentoring skills.
10. Will be a good team player with excellent team building skills.

Ten good tips to spot a bad tester:
1. Write bug reports which seem to be very unique & useful for programmers. However realizes lately that it was a one-line bug report, no records of identified-problem attached to the artifacts, no screen grab/video capture, no clear bug summary, etc... More realization happens when programmer comes to tester desk and ask for "I don't understand 'what the problem is?' in the reported bug, can you please explain more in detail?"
2. Waits until information comes to his desk, doesn't hold high energy or go-getter attitude. Love not to come-out of comfort zone.
3. Compare & complain about the work culture, test teams, programmers with current employer to his/her previous employer. Knowingly or unknowingly kills own time along with the person who sits next to him or an online chat friend. Rather than spending time in other useful test activities.
4. Misunderstands business logic.
5. Doesn't show interest to increase his/her knowledge space by doing collaborative or paired testing
6. Never question the functional instructions, follows blindly.
7. Restricts sharing.
8. Hesitate to seek for help or never asks
9. Restricts learning.
10. Sleeps in office.

Ten good tips to spot a good programmer:
1. Write neat codes with clear comments.
2. Understands tester perspective & customer demands well.
3. Knows the importance of extensive unit testing.
4. Put right questions to tester to seek defect co-occurrence.
5. Fix bugs considering integration & regression issues.
6. Informs tester to test diligently on specific modules as there would be higher chances of code breaks, well in advance prior customer release/review.
7. Follow up with tester periodically to assess "how recent build works?" Sets expectations of what needs to be tested, based on current situation.
8. Invites tester to periodic developmental team meetings that he/she participates to urge the interest of knowing "how tester tests differently unlike programmers".
9. Motivate testers to raise more defects on the built code, sits next to tester and observe carefully of the tests he performs. And appreciate for the bug he/she finds in programmer code.
10. The wire frames, business logic, software requirement specification, functional workarounds will be in his finger tips.

Ten good tips to spot a bad programmer:
1. Writes lengthy & duplicate codes with improper naming conventions.
2. The desired functionality will be made to work, without integrating the dependency features of the same functionality taking into account. This leads to adverse integration issues.
3. Often forgets to commit the updated codes to repository.
4. Writes buggy codes with unclear 'comments'. Comments will help another/new programmer or tester to understand the logical work flow of the written code.
5. Often forgets the syntax.
6. Poor understanding of the business logic, leads to write complex code for simple workaround.
7. Never do Impact analysis, fails to plan & analyze the overall cause-and-effect of the functions before writing codes. 
8. No development patterns.
9. Considers testers are of no use. Who has false presumptions of anyone can test & tester do not necessarily require any skills. Doesn't appreciate a good tester who adds value to the product of the programmers build.
10. Who is not afraid to re-factor whenever and wherever applicable.

Tester Vs Programmer
All we need to do is to understand the good and bad of both to realize current contexts. I believe and follow that he, who understands the realism, can wisely react well. I truly believe that there are no best practices. However, there are lots of good practices available. If the good practice seems best practices in your contexts, then it may work for you go-ahead!

Best Regards,
Shiva Mathivanan

Disclaimer: Like how doctors hide patients database to anonymous I'm purposely hiding the diseased co-tester name as he is under my treatment now. I might reveal his details once he gets completely recovered from 'programmer syndrome' disease. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Super Star Tester of Chennai

Hi there, please read the above blog-post "title" if you did not read it for the first time. I'm sure you would have read at least once by now. However you can only have the privilege to read, because this "title" had already been grabbed by someone from Chennai region for Jan-Mar 2011. If you're a tester from Chennai and if you would like to get this awesome "title" for Apr-Jun 2011 then, all you need to do is to continue reading this post to dig more! :)

As you had read above "title" you probably may have many questions to ask like 'Super Star Tester', what is it all about? - Might be you're very first question, isn't? Followed by 'how it is assessed'? And 'on what basis though? Etc. Like you, I too had the same thought when I received the first-email from Bharath on Mar 31,2011 at 11:06 AM IST. Bharath is an enthusiastic tester and active moderator of Chennai testing Google groups. His second-email had all answers to the questions I have had. I hope you too will be answered.

Bharath had sent two emails, first-email was regarding the award "title" and the second-email was about the winner of the "title". The first-email regarding the introduction of awarding "title" is copy-pasted over here:

from bharath s
date Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 11:06 AM
subject Super Star Tester of Chennai
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Hi All

I know this would be as a surprise to all of you... So here is the news..

Chennai Testing User Group has planned to recognize a Super Star Tester Of Chennai every quarterly and in recognition of their contribution Chennai Testing User Group would send a PRIZE to the Super star Tester of Chennai.

Selection of Super Star Tester is based on what that person has done for the testing community and to the Chennai testing User Group...

So For the month of Jan-Mar We have selected a SUPER STAR TESTER from Chennai and that persons is........................and this person has done........................

Will be announced in 15 min... ;)
After a while, I received an second follow up email addressing the winner. The email was packed with full of surprises and new rewarding strategy of Chennai testing user group. The unedited draft is copy-pasted below to preserve the spirit. :)

from bharath s
date Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 12:01 PM
subject Re: Super Star Tester of Chennai
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So how do I become a Super Star Tester of Chennai?
Your contribution to the Testing Community by any ways will make you eligible for the super star tester of Chennai. contribution can be in terms of 

 - sharing your learning in the chennai testing group or your blog 
 - Giving a presentation on your learning during the chennai testers meeting 
 - Inviting speakers for the chennai testers meeting
 - Helping the Chennai testing User Group to have their meeting in your office conference hall (of    course with permission from your office).
 - Spreading the awareness regarding various events and playing a role in making people attending workshops and conference and letting them know about the      importance of networking. 

What do i get?
Chennai testing user group will recognize your work and send you a prize and also blog and let the people from the outside world know about your contribution in Testing. 
PS - If you would like to sponsor the next prize for the Super Star Tester of Chennai .. do let me know before.

So what has the winner done to get the Super Star Tester Of Chennai?
- He has traveled to banglore just to meet testers in Banglore to gain and share knowledge in Testing.
- He not only trains his Juniors in his office but also let them know about the events related to testing and he had come with his entire team for the bug debug event     which    happened in chennai.
- He also shares his knowledge to the entire chennai testing group by blogging about his learnings and also sharing various other great testers blogs to the community.
- He will soon be a major part of the Chennai testers meeting and increase his contribution for the Testing community.

and the list goes on...

If you think you also want to become a Super Star Tester in Chennai.. Start helping the testing community in chennai to GROW. Contribute as much as possible for the community. "You may not get result of your contribution immediately but you will get it someday when you actually deserve it."

After all this build up the winner is .... None other than...Shivakumar Mathivanan 

The winner for the month of Jan - Mar 2011 is Shivakumar Mathivanan. 

PS - Shiva you prize will reach you in a week's time
Note to Myself: What did I do to achieve this reward "title"? I did NOTHING. 'Nothing' compared to what? 'Nothing' compared to my limelight mentors tireless efforts and their service to testing community. Frankly, truly, deeply I wanted to help myself learn better testing. To which I collaborated with other like-minded testers to get educated. At the same time, I never hesitate to help my co-tester who shows great potential to learn. I practice learning, practice reading, practice better testing, practice writing. I constantly seek feeds from limelight testers. Read and re-read good books, blogs and thereby I get a chance to interpret every human testing mind. All the more I share what I learn.

It was a great moment for me to get cherished by Chennai testing community to shower their best wishes and appreciations. I'm very grateful for the prize book received - You're Hired. Thanks to everyone involved!

Best Regards,
Shiva Mathivanan

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chennai Testers Monthly Meet

Hi Testers,

I was longing for one such meet in Chennai for the testing community to get benefitted after attending one in Bangalore . There's a fantastic group of testers meet-up happening every month at Chennai. It is being conducted by Indian testing board. As Pradeep Soundararajan rightly pointed in his latest post on Testers Meet Across India here comes an panel of opportunities for Chennai Testers. If you're a tester or an emerging tester who want to learn free education through constant self learning by collaborating with other successful testers in industry then here is a chance for you to drive success within you're self. Go Join Chennai Testers Monthly Meet.

To seek more information on Chennai testers & forth coming testers monthly meet should join Chennai testers Google Groups, here .

Best Regards,
Shiva Mathivanan

Monday, March 7, 2011

Compatibility Test Report

I was asked to-do compatibility testing for an upcoming large consumer website. Compatibility testing is a part of software non-functional testing. This testing is conducted on the application to evaluate the application’s compatibility against browsers in respect to different computing environment.

I'm extremely delighted to do compatibility testing for the 8th time, in close to 5 years of my experience in this testing craft. However, when about to do compatibility testing for a new large customer website I was thinking how good am I going to report this time, when compared to my previous test experiences?. Usually I do create a check-list of tests that I perform during my test activity, basically it’s kind of recording my tests in an Microsoft office excel during test execution and fail the respective tests across browser/OS if bugs are discovered or pass the tests if I'm happy that the current .html file works fine with the updated design specification. I know I'm following a conventional method of reporting to which the management is already happy with. But I now wanted to try something new, which I haven't tried so far. Thereby I can learn new things from the planned test activity. That's when I received a tweet from Lisa Crispin pointing to Christin's blog on Going to the extreme - xBTM. I started to read Christin's blog, I liked the way she used mind map for creating test reports. Her reports impressed me a lot and it amplified my right brain thinking to create my own Compatibility Test Report. Isn't that sounding interesting?

Compatibility Test report using Mind map:
The mind map can be used to easily understand in which all operating systems and browsers the html pages works well with the design specification we referred to match with and in which all browser/OS it doesn't work as expected. This will be an on-going mind map which we can update in consecutive test-iteration as well. The static html pages marked with ‘X’ symbol denotes it has bugs, those marked with 'tick' symbol has passed through QA. And No Entry ‘(-)’ symbol denotes it has not assigned for testing. Smiley denotes we, the development team have developed perfectly matching the design specification. Look what I have created from below snapshot. It may serve you're purpose as well if you would like to create one for your organization! :)

Compatibility Test Report_encompassing first-Iteration results
I got great appreciations for this compatibility test report initiative. If it also serves your purpose, then please do let me know. Also, I would love to hear your hurdles while creating this test report. So together we can learn better!

Best Regards,
Shiva Mathivanan

PS: The .html files mentioned are not real file names. I had purposefully hidden the project name and relevant html pages of the website I test for authentication issues.  

Monday, January 31, 2011

Why testers should attend software testing conference?

4 weeks ago, I received a tweet from @sbharath1012 with early bird registration details to unite participants for software testing conference in India, Chennai on 29th January 2011. It is all about the Bug.deBug test community. In next few fractions of seconds I started to share this tweet to my co-testers, they seem to be exciting about it. This time I'm glad to see all my co-testers were interested to attend Chennai testing conference, unlike few of my co-testers who was reluctant earlier in Aug 2010 for Bangalore testers meet up. They might have rejected because of geographical delimits I guess ;) but this time everyone was prepared to meet other testers to confer & learn. Yes, that’s when I started to realize the change in Indian tester’s mindset.

Mindset-change to confer has begun:
The time when rest of the testing community would probably be having a long day sleep on a Saturday morning, my co-testers like @GreatApeTested, @senthil_k_v , @aparulprasath, @siva_qa@ponkm and I were all set to participate in testing conference at Tidel Park Auditorium . The registration process started to begin even before the scheduled time 0900 AM IST to manage the crowd. Yes, I was able to see more than 200 passionate testers waiting in a long queue to enter into the conference hall. That’s an amazing big crowd of the first ever meet of Bug.deBug testing event isn’t?

Events scheduled to trigger testers thinking hats:
The time when the volunteers of Bug.deBug council was pushing each esteemed guest speakers to meet the start-and-stop time with the minute hoarding as per their planned-scheduled, I was thinking wont each speaker continue to share their test experience throughout the day, I know it’s an impossible claim :) . Each tester-speaker was unique in the way they had grown up from a beginner to expert level. It was a great forum for every one of us to learn how they grew, and what problems they faced during their daily-test-activities and how they resolved to become a successful tester today. The elite speakers showcasing the presentations can be viewed from the below links for FREE.

1. Vipul kocher, President, Indian Testing Board, presented on “Present problems and future solutions"
Notes from Shiva Mathivanan: Time is a terrible teacher, so am I. The future of testing lies on we thinking innovatively and let code do its best. Technology is the slave, Idea is the master. Ask yourself are you a better person today than yesterday BUT ask how better are you? Is the question we must ask ourself.

2. Narayan Raman, CEO, Tyto Software presented on "Economical, Robust Web Automation using Sahi "
Notes from Shiva Mathivanan: Sahi a free download test tool, works well with Ajax, web 2.0, Agile methodologies. Sahi records on all browsers

3. Pradeep Soundararajan, Director, Moolya Testing, presented on "Notes from a problem solving tester consultant"
Notes from Shiva Mathivanan: Pradeep's speech was too short to me. I felt he should have spoken for much longer time :). It had so much of humour, fun & learnings.

4. Ruturaj Doshi, QA Lead, Eual Experts India Ltd, presented on "Smarter ways of doing Selenium Automation(Functional Test Automation) "
Notes from Shiva Mathivanan: Great explanation of functional test automation.

5. Anuj Magazine, Manager, Products (Globalization Services), presented on "The Emerging Trend of Cloud Computing and Software Testing "
Notes from Shiva Mathivanan: Cloud is a metaphor for Internet. More information is provided in slides.

6. Ajay Balamurugadas, Senior QA Engineer, EFI India Pvt. Ltd, presented on "I am the Bug Hunter"
Notes from Shiva Mathivanan: Mindmap, MerryHadALittleLamb. Test for yourselves. Finding bugs is one of the information you provide to stake holders. Get to know/understand who we are? Why are we here?

7. Praveen Singh, Founder, 99 tests presented on "Testing at Startups "
Notes from Shiva Mathivanan: 99tests is an inspiring website to participate and win prize during weekends for passionate testers.

Testing Tips: 
All the testers were requested to stick testing tips for the rest of the testers community to get learnt. I have placed my three tips onto the sticky board. I know its hard to find mine in the snap shot :). And the best testing tip was awarded with great books. 'Lessons learnt in software testing by Michael Bolton' and 'Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono'. I was worried that my testing tip was not up for the it. :(. During the testing event a donation box was kept to help our tester friend. We still have time to help him. Please do help chandru, thanks!

Interactive Q&A session:
Participant testers who ever raised hands was provided with microphone to shoot the uncover questions for which they found straight-forward answers from the guest-speakers. The best question was awarded with fabulous books. We all had drinks, cookies, lunch, T-shirt and participation certificate as well. On the whole, the Bug.deBug in association with non-profit society RIA-RUI did a remarkable testing event to be cherished in the hearts & brains of Chennai software testers. I'm sure the participants whoever attended cannot disagree my statement, rather they could have more interesting stories from their end unlike me to share about it. If so I would like to hear about your stories as well!

If I have missed to highlight any important factor, please comment about it!
Best Regards,
Shiva Mathivanan