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Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

Skills needed for a Software tester

In Software Testing, Testing Jobs on January 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Many a time I have been confronted with this question ” What skills do I need to be come a Software Tester?”  The answer to this is not so simple.  I believe a strong understanding of human Psychology is a must to be come a successful professional.  Communication skills and your ability to analyze are the next most important skills that would be needed.   Then comes your skills in software, browsers, OS, Databases, (yawn) certifications or whatever seems to be appropriate.  I would strongly recommend reading Naomi Karten’s book –  Communication gaps and How to close them. It is one book that should not be missed.  I would also, you guys have a look at her other book on Managing Expectations. Do visit her website on http://www.nkarten.com

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Please post your questions here

In I have a question on January 22, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Do you have a question on Software testing, that you were afraid to ask? Please feel free to post those questions here

IT industry, Testing and social relevance

In Software Testing, Testing Jobs, Uncategorized on January 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Some testers are good, some testers are bad, some testers just work for a salary.

I seem to think most Software testers at least in India, or as a matter of fact many in the IT industry are here just for Social relevance.  The image of the IT industry seems to be a ticket for affordability of a car, or for getting married.  Come recession and these so called  sought after grooms go out of favor with the girls parents.  Not many of us love our job.  It is high time we discovered what we like and stop this herd mentality.

Where does testing go from here?

In Software Testing, Testing Jobs on January 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm

As far as I remember Software testing started off as a specialized offering in India sometime during 2001.  Yes it existed earlier too, but it started making waves only around 2001.  10 years down the line, I believe the testing market is worth$13 billion.  Leading industry experts put the figure at about $50 billion by 2020.  I bet it goes much beyond the stated amount.  The reason is , we cannot predict a figure 10 years from now because IT industry goes through rapid changes.  I for one do share the opinion that testers may become redundant (although I hope I am proved wrong).  The day is not far when testers would have to re invent themselves.

Is Automated Testing the answer?

In Software Testing on January 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Automated testing or manual testing?  This question seems to be on everyones mind.  Several job openings specifically mention the requirement, that experience in automation is required.  This seems to make sense, as a majority of outsourced projects to India consists of mundane work, which includes but is not limited to comparing two sets of data, verifying if the output from an older version matches with the input of the newer version etc.  These kind of activities can really kill a testers analytical and bug detection skills.  A fellow tester who has been working in the testing industry for about 6 years now had to relent that the role that he performs the above mentioned tasks manually and feels he is not doing justice to his background (which includes a Masters in Computer Science).  Unfortunately, it is the feedback from these people which gives the testing profession a repulsive outlook to many of my juniors that I have seen over the years. Ultimately the choice of whether to Automate or go Manual with the testing effort solely rests with the client ( I am referring to the Software services Industry).  I believe it is under these circumstances, that automation can definitely help.  Yes, I know there are a lot of other things that we need to consider such as budget needed for licenses of  some tools that are so expensive, that it makes me wonder whether there would be a Return on Investment at all.  Add to the fact that some companies would enforce a de commissioning of their tools with which the skills learned could also become totally obsolete.  Yes I know open source tools could bring down the costs, but the timely support may once again cause expenditure on Investment rather than a return on investment.  These very thoughts are scary enough for the customer to go manual.  Yes I am a strong supporter of manual testing, but please spare us the mundane torture.

A brief Introduction to Boundary Value Analysis

In Testing Methodologies on January 3, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Jack and Tom were next door neighbours.  Theirr home were seperated bya  compound wall which was not thick enough for a person to walk  comfortably.  People would fall if they were not careful enough. Jack and tom were discussed  a bet.  The bet was to walk on the compound wall seperating their two homes, without falling down.  Whoever achieved this would win the bet. 

       Boundary value analysis is probably one of the most elementary of test methods.  It is like walking on the compound wall mentioned above. The belief is that, if a person can walk on that compound wall, it can be safely said that he will be able to walk on the ground easily.

       When you have lots of input data, you could partition the input domain and select values that lie on the boundaries of this partition.  If the application does not throw any error, it can be assumed that the application would work fine for data values from inside the input domain.

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