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The Last Keynote on Software Testing


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This keynote explores how software testers are reliving past nightmares, while conferences talk about next gen future tech.

Published in: Technology
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The Last Keynote on Software Testing

  1. 1. TM   Rahul  Verma   A  Fellow  So)ware  Tester.     The  Days  of  Future  Present  Past   The  Last  Keynote  on  So5ware  Tes7ng
  2. 2. Not  that  kind  of  a  keynote.     A talk which empahisizes the underlying theme of this conference. ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma  
  3. 3. Not  even  this  one. ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma  
  4. 4. AGempt  at  this  keynote:   ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   So5ware  Tes7ng -  Some Forgotten Facts -  Some Forgotten Ideas -  Today’s Mood
  5. 5. DISCLAIMER Thinking is injurious to health. It causes awakening. Excessive thinking skills. ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Industry Wisdom: People don’t read Disclaimers and EULAs.
  6. 6. Dedicated  To     Ibn-­‐e-­‐Insha Who Wrote The Last Book of Urdu (Urdu Ki Aakhiri Kitaab) Inspired me to express frustration via jokes. Just make sure nobody understands them ;-) ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma  
  7. 7. In  Loving  Memory  of  My  Childhood     When  I  had  the  honesty   To Call a Fart a Fart. And It was not considered a Revolutionary thought. ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma  
  8. 8. Your  Silence  About   What’s Wrong in the Software Testing World Is more dangerous Than the Blatant Lies That Surround Us. ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Industry  Wisdom:  
  9. 9. ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Change the Spectacles. And You Might See A New Spectacle.
  10. 10. A Story of Tasting. ‘a’ is intentional ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma  
  11. 11. ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma  
  12. 12. They Realized… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  Chefs like their own food. So, they shouldn’t taste it. -  Chefs like to cook not to taste.
  13. 13. That’s how a separate role – Taster was created ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  Historically these were chefs. -  They knew about cooking
  14. 14. But, restaurant decided… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  Anybody can do tasting. -  Why should they be paid like chefs?
  15. 15. Slowly replacements happened with ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Anybodies! These people didn’t know even about what is a kitchen.
  16. 16. Colleges… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Had a Chapter on Tasting in one of the books belonging to 30+ subjects Nobody wants to be a Taster. An Anybody.
  17. 17. Companies… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Anybody not clearing a Chef Test was made that “Anybody” - Taster
  18. 18. Meanwhile, Tasters, the Anybodies… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Inside: -  Felt a sense of failure -  Felt they were doomed Outside: -  Said they are just like chefs -  Took pride anytime a dish tasted bad.
  19. 19. Industry… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Attempted: -  Automated Tasting -  Published numbers on how Tasting tools can replace human Tasting by x% (any number they felt was good for marketing) Never Admitted: -  Most automated tasting was a scam -  Human tasting had value -  Most human tasters were bad at tasting, so how come the code they write would do good tasting?
  20. 20. Certification Bodies… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  Made fortunes -  Asked Multiple Choice About Tasting -  E.g. What does Tea taste like? (a) Tea (b) Coffeee (c) S*** (d) Depends Tasters soon found out that ‘Depends’ is usually the answer. Questions anyways mostly came from books written by authors belonging to Certification bodies or dumps of previous exams.
  21. 21. “Experts”… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  Fought -  Got busy in showing expertise -  Fought -  Coined More and More Terms -  Fought -  Created fancy names about what Tasters can call themselves – E.g. XYZ Certified Taster, Exploratory taster, Context Driven Taster, Agile Taster, This Taster, That Taster… -  Fought -  The noise of the above was so much, that their concrete and beautiful work reached lesser and lesser tasters over time. Twitter was a chief noise catalyst.
  22. 22. A Typical Taster does not know… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   •  Recipes •  Ingredients •  Cooking •  Cooking Tools •  Challenges in Cooking •  Kitchen
  23. 23. Industry historically confined Tasters to know… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   •  Tasting •  Tasting Tools •  Processes of Tasting •  Processes of Cooking (without being in the kitchen)
  24. 24. What Today’s Taster in reality knows… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   •  A bit of Tasting •  A bit of a lot of Tasting Tools •  A bit of Processes of Tasting •  A bit of Processes of Cooking (without being in the kitchen) •  A bit of recipes •  A tiny bit of cooking •  A tiny bit of other bits….
  25. 25. You know why it’s working? ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Industry expects you to be this… today Hiring is increasingly happening based on how many things you can talk about. Not how well you know them. How long this would continue is the question? And mark my word, when that happens, somebody would give it a name e.g. “Skinniest Lean Agile”, segregating chefs & tasters into specialist roles and it would be hailed as a “Next big thing”, “A revolution”, “A masterpiece” Don’t believe me? Look at the history of Bell Bottom Pants e.g. here
  26. 26. Tasters… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  More Confused Than Ever -  More Fake Than Ever about their identity -  Know a little bit of tasting, a little bit of cleaning, a little bit of how to switch on a gas. -  Profiles filled with all skills needed to run a restaurant -  Designations hardly mention the word taster. -  They are an Everybody. They thought it is different from Anybody
  27. 27. And Questions Haven’t changed… Neither have Answers ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  Check Quora, Linked In, other forums. -  Questions/Concerns about Tasting profession are the same as they were 2 decades back -  Taazaa Example: Today’s Panel Discussion
  28. 28. Tasters… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  Are “Generalists”, which practically means you can not ask them any detail about anything as that would be TOO Specific. -  They are glossaries of names of tools, processes etc.
  29. 29. Tasters… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   What Went Wrong?
  30. 30. Tasters… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   I think the answer is Identity Crisis.
  31. 31. ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Those with a past they are not proud of, want to forget it. They must never do that. while  FORGOT_PAST  is  True:    Repeat  and  Suffer     When you enter the loop you think it’s future.
  32. 32. But That’s About Tasting! What About Testing? ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma  
  33. 33. My Recent Experience… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Interviewed 40+ “experienced” testers (7-12 years) for Test Automation Lead Role in a Product Company -  1-2 knew what is a fixture -  1-2 had used any assertion beyond assertEquals or assertTrue -  All were users of frameworks created by others -  Knew hardly any test design technique beyond BVA -  All of their profiles had passed keyword filtering as well as human filtering of profiles -  An average profile listed 25-30 tools, 3-4 programming languages, 3-4 Oses, networking, had taken initiatives, “solid” test automation skills, awards, many hobbies…. -  If I asked anything apart from their Product domain, answers were “…well I just….”, “…aa…hmm.”, “…” -  All were Agile (who isn’t? J Who dares not to call himself/herself Agile today? )
  34. 34. Closing Thoughts ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  What is replaceable would be replaced -  Most of us entered into testing as it was an easy entry. Accept it. We were never “passionate” about it. We might have found passion along the way. -  Stop using excuses like “Looking at code would make me biased”. First Learn coding. Earn this remark, else this makes us a laughing stock. Think about a snake without venom saying – “I forgive you!” -  Focus on skills. Find an area to specialize. You can continue being anybody in other areas. -  Processes, models are transient. They are not the goal. Blind following is dangerous.
  35. 35. Closing Thoughts (Contd…) ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  It has become more of a fashion statement to talk about future tech, what testers should do etc -  There is a lot of benefit in such discussions, however testers are in general shifting from doing poor testing in basic domains to doing even poorer testing in complex domains -  IMO, we haven’t tackled our past challenges yet. We need to deal with them head-on.
  36. 36. Because It is A “Next Gen Testing” Conference… ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   -  So, here’s the actual keynote. Don’t leave a debt of problems for the next generation. If we don’t tackle these problems today, our next generation would still live in the past. Industry opened a Pizza store and is demanding Burgers today. Tomorrow industry would demand Biryani. Stop being a Pizza or a Burger. A rat race is not even a race, it’s an illusion. Be a key ingredient. Know Your Profession. Testing is beautiful. Be beautiful.
  37. 37. Thank You ©  2017  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Found Rash Speaking? Call: +91-99022-83387 Email: Lagaa Kyaa?
  38. 38. ©  2016  -­‐  Rahul  Verma   Picture  Credits   h;p://­‐content/uploads/2013/04/PastPresentFuture.jpg   h;p://­‐content/uploads/2009/11/dc-­‐no-­‐brain1.jpg   h;p://­‐content/uploads/2015/05/ibn-­‐.png   h;p://­‐   h;ps://   h;ps://s-­‐media-­‐cache-­‐   h;ps://­‐qimg-­‐9eda89e8203f1bf7e804ed6d9755V2c   h;p://     I’ve  tried  to  keep  a  track  of  all  images  used.  Please  let  me  know  if  your  link  reference   is  not  there,  so  that  I  can  include  the  same.