Date and Time
9th January 2010, 3.00 PM – 5.30 PM
To find all the bugs you can find in the product
Paul Jerald, Manjanna KN, Rahul, Mohit Verma, Krishnaveni, Ajay Balamurugadas, Hari Singh
James Bach’s Triangle program is an interesting program to test. I was thinking that this has to reach out to more and more testers as a testing challenge. Often times, testers fall into the trap of judging a triangle program too early as being simple to test and find bugs. Small programs or products may or may not be simple to test, but some testers trick themselves into this assumption.
The session started with a few participants complaining about the network issues and the size of the triangle program. The session started 20 minutes late thanks to problems downloading and using the program.
Ajay and I experimented a human trap during this session. It was none other than Ajay Balamurugadas. He messaged me saying ‘I will be the Devil’s Advocate today; I want to divert others from the mission. Let’s see who falls into the trap’. When the testers set out to test the product, Ajay started distracting the group. He asked Jerald if he knew programming, Rahul about testing tools etc. Hari Singh stated that he found a bug and started discussing the bug on the chat window while others got busy testing. Ajay got a chance to trap Hari J Few testers gave in by discussing Hari’s bug while few didn’t even bother. Few were confused if they missed something by not following the chat window. As a facilitator, I reminded testers that bugs can be discussed during the discussion round. Still, a few testers started discussing bugs without knowing that Ajay was wasting their time. Ajay continued to ask questions unrelated to the session like ‘What if I don’t stop testing at 4.20 pm, What if I write detailed bug reports and so on’.
The following 3 questions were the focus of discussion:
1. Share the biggest challenge you faced in this program
2. Describe the Best Bug you found – why do you think that it is the best
3. Were there any traps while you were testing? If Yes, how did you overcome the traps?
Jerald Paul did not find the program to be challenging (a trap). His best bug was ‘Input fields ignore any other values after a number’. He discussed a few plus and minus points on the usability and performance side of the program. He did not seem to find any traps during the session. Ajay was giggling J
A few people did not understand what I meant by ‘Challenges’ and ‘Traps’. Surprisingly, not many questioned until Manjanna asked a question ‘What do you mean by challenges and traps’. Just like Jerald, Manjanna did not find any challenges or traps, but found many issues. His best bug was ‘Check button is enabled even when input fields are empty’. It was very intriguing to see how testers can oversee traps and challenges so easily.
Krishnaveni was the next one to discuss her learnings. She listed down many observations about the features that she tested and tried to find a pattern in each behavior. She also said that she brushed up her knowledge on the Triangle concepts before starting testing. It was interesting to note her detailed explanation as well. Her best bug was this: ‘when the value is followed by a few spaces, no error message is thrown but the results are computed and displays an inappropriate image a straight line’.
This session was the first one for Mohit Verma. He mentioned that the program is very challenging to test though it appears to be simple. His best bug was: ‘Clicking on check button does not display the triangle as told in the specification’. He used specifications as the base for his testing. He also mentioned that he liked this bug most because a lot of testers overlook what is given in specifications during testing phase. He said that he did not spend much time on Test Documentation (listing bugs) because it could have wasted his time spent on testing.
Hari Singh was signed off when his turn came due to technical problems at his end (Power Cuts, network problems etc).
Ajay and Rahul demonstrated pair testing by testing the program together. Ajay talked about sticking to the mission, avoiding distractions and traps to which everyone agreed. He also spoke about collaboration during testing and using appropriate tools to speed up testing. Rahul apparently tested with different data values and noted his observations based on which he found a few bugs.
Points to note
It was interesting that some testers found that the program to be less challenging because it appeared to be a simple triangle program (trap 1). It was also interesting to note that many of them did not identify the traps that they got into until I spoke about these traps (trap 2). The beauty of traps in testing is that they don’t appear as traps. Few testers spent lot of time writing detailed bug reports while all I asked for was a list of bugs (trap 3). Ajay’s distracting questions and discussions (trap 4).
At the end of the session, I highlighted the importance of sticking to the mission, identifying traps, clearing the traps, working on questioning skills, testing product logs, learning new tools and emphasizing the importance of testing simple products which are complex.
This was the first time I facilitated the Chennai chapter and it was both fun and learning to me. The participants also reiterated that it was a great learning experience for them too.