Functional Testing Industry Wisdom Test Planning & Management

Sudden Thoughts of a Software Tester | About Testing

From the time I am blogging, it makes sense to me to pen down my sudden thoughts. Many a times you come up with an idea, memory, solution, problem, anything and it is lost since we don’t remember it in future. That’s when I started writing my sudden thoughts about Software Testing and guess what, the ‘Sudden Thoughts of a Software Tester’ is getting a lot of traction on my Social profiles. So thought of sharing it with you all. Here we go…

Testing Thought #1Testing professionals have a varied designation now-a-days.

Functional Tester, Quality Assurance Analyst, Test engineer, Automation expert, Security researcher, Performance engineer, Software Development Engineer in Test, Manual tester, Test architect, Agile tester, Test Lead, etc.

Does development offer you such a variety? Or any other technology? It’s always a Software developer, Database architect or a Business analyst. Software Testing gives you so many options to choose 😛 You can be a Jack of all but don’t forget to Master at least one ?

Oh by the way, did I miss any designation? ?

Testing Thought #2 – Agree or not, Automation is mostly scripted Manual tests, i.e. to identify missed or re-opened defects. What if we replace the automation team with exploratory testers?

  • No tool costs & script maintenance overhead
  • No need to wait for application readiness to start scripting. Exploratory tests can be run in parallel.
  • Resource billing is anyways neutralized
  • Exploratory tests might also catch other than missed/re-opened defects
  • Exploration is more likely a real-world end-user behavior than automated robots

Just that,

  • You need effective exploratory testers who enjoy doing it & are capable of identifying defects. Defect history of manual testers might help here.
  • Would need to study some effective exploratory testing techniques
  • ‘Defects’ identified will be the only metric available to gauge its effectiveness

Would definitely like to ‘try’ this approach, i.e. if leadership allows 🙂 What do you think? Ever tried this way? Or any other perspective to add?


  • Exploratory testing is something which is hard to measure. For any scripted tests, it is easy to estimate on how effective we are, however, in terms of exploratory, it would not be an easy task to estimate as the capability and efficiency of each tester would vary. Moreover, Exploratory Testing does not guarantee completeness. Exploratory Testers cannot replace the Automation Testers but, can certainly help in finding hidden bugs. The best way to proceed is Manual + Automation with periodic Exploratory Tests which can be decided based on the teams’ requirement. Exploratory Tests can also be conducted in the form of Bug Hunts which can help in uncovering defects skipped the primary testers (both Manual and Automation). This would also help in executing real user scenarios.
  • Good one! That’s why we always recommend the engineer who automates the scenarios should be a good functional tester or I should say good exploratory tester. Quality Engineer vs Quality Tester.
  • First, Exploratory testing does not take much time when you have proper regression/smoke automated/manual test suite is ready and executes daily (Nightly E2E run). It takes maximum 1-2 hour time. And hiring exploratory testers for this purpose does not make sense at all. If it is taking more than 2 hours, it means there is a need to update your regression suite. Second, I give you an example where an automated test is required/not exploratory testers. For example: Take a product who launched its 5th version is last year in 2016. And we have almost more than 1k regression automated test cases ready. Later in this year, same product launched its 6th version with some new features. But still, there are some customers, who are using or still want the 5th version only. So at that time, when the product sells its earlier version, the team runs automated test suits to make sure that everything is fine before delivering the product.  At that time, exploratory testing, manual testing does not make sense at all.

Testing Thought #3Why are we so worried about Automation eating up Manual testing jobs?

Manual Testing & Manual Testers are two separate entities. Manual Testing is still happening & will stay relevant. But as a resource, enterprises are now looking for ppl who can do both. Either one won’t work individually now. They don’t want Manual testers who don’t know automation and vice-versa. It’s not a competition between Manual & Automation Testing but a cooperation. What’s the bottleneck in learning something new?

Manual vs Automation Testing

  • You don’t want to write code?
  • You know you cannot write code?
  • You have gained too much experience now to start learning something from the start?
  • Self-learning is tough if you don’t use it practically in a project?
  • Suddenly how to gain 5-year work experience in different tools (JD now-a-days), by 1-year self-learning?
  • There is no guidance or training available in the organization?
  • You are content with whatever career path is moving as-is?
  • You strongly believe in a career in Manual testing and know you can build a career path out of it?
  • You don’t bother. Let it be. Whatever.

Would love to know your view point!

Testing Thought #4What are we? Super-testers? Because every other job description now-a-days portrays us as one ?

“Looking for a Testing specialist with working  experience in automation using Selenium & QTP, framework design & development, good in programming with Python & Java, knowledge of performance testing using JMeter, relevant experience in API testing, Test management using HPE ALM or Jira, Test planning & Strategy, Team management, Test design & execution, having worked in fast paced agile environment. Experience in Test complete or C++/C# will be an added advantage. And yes we need immediate joiners who can join within 15 days”.

It’s like – “QA required with total 4-5 years’ experience, having 6-7 years’ work ex in different tools who is already serving the notice period” ? Oh by the way, did I miss anything?

** We are the Avengers **

Some wise & witty comments:

  • Very true. The same company has the policy of 2 months’ notice period but while hiring they ask-“we are looking for someone who can join with in 15 day-Max”
  • Required to Bake cookies, makes Coffee and tea, and be a happy person
  • “Must be willing to leap tall buildings in a single bound, and be faster than a locomotive….”
  • Totally agree. Companies now look for testers with all the skills in the world even if at the end of the day you are just doing manual testing.
  • Superman also would think twice @ this requirement.
  • …. They want Rajni..!!!
  • Well said…I wonder if someone got all these tool exposure can deliver a quality product. Transforming exposure to experience takes long effort n years. All that is needed in any organization now is to fill the gap in low package.
  • They want Rajnikant in the salary package of Rajpal Yadav
  • And if the ‘Robot’ gets selected in the interview and joins the company …all he has do is update Excel files …

Testing Thought #5 – Recently a lady commented on my post “Companies want Testers who know all the tools even if at the end of the day they just do manual testing“.

Is this a right approach? Yeah! I agree that same tester can automate if needed, but do you ‘really’ need that skill with that ‘if needed’? What’s the future like?

Testers learning all the tools >> Interviewed for Automation >> Actually doing Manual Testing >> Automating “if” required.

Something is not right here!! Your views please…

Comment: Test automation is one of those things that sounds great, like it will save time and increase confidence in the stability of the software. In practical terms it’s really time consuming, expensive and if a test fails you have to spend quite a bit of time to figure out if it really did fail or if the test failed. Manual testing ftw!

Testing Thought #6 – People are sharing a photo with the quote,

Hire for Attitude Train for Skills

But do we really follow this? Nah! Motivational talks are fine in the reel world, but it’s different in the real world. In reality your skill comes first, attitude later. First is always the Technical round, Managerial & HR later. Job descriptions specifically point out the required skills & tools. You might have a learning attitude but you won’t even get a call for the interview if your skills doesn’t match.

I think the only use case where this is applicable is “Fresher recruitment”! What do you think?


  • I don’t think attitude gets you job and appraisal. Its only your skills that make you. I have seen numerous people with bad attitude but good skills reaching heights in the professional world.
  • Exactly theory Vs practice
  • If one have both that helps to build a great team.
  • One should have the attitude to present and use the skills. One should have the skills to present and use the attitude.

Testing Thought #7What drives a fresher to Software Testing technology?

Recently I have seen many people getting “trained” in QA from different institutes to land a job in IT industry. What is the driving force?

  • It doesn’t require you to learn programming?
  • A well-researched decision?
  • Non CS/IT engineers feel it’s easy to get a job via the QA route?
  • For fresher there are more Job opportunities in QA as compared to development?
  • Once campus-placed, you go by whatever tech the company assigns you to?
  • You understand the QA technology & sincerely want to pursue a career in it?

Did I miss anything? This is especially directed to all the fresher…


  • There are few who joins the QA wagon for some easy quick earnings so that they can pursue their near future goals hence they actually don’t see QA as a mainstream job profile.
  • One fact that I would like to highlight is the agenda of the institutes to get their student placed in one of the reputed MNC’s and they actually don’t help the candidates to choose a career option but they get more aligned on getting into the company than into a suitable career. (in India, Infosys is still seen as a bigger brand than Apple or Google.)
  • Lack of awareness on the options available in the market segment, this could be one other reason.

Testing Thought #8 – Recently I received a message at Software Testing Studio that,

Software engineering is ridiculously boring. I don’t want to get stuck in i=0;i<10;i++ loop”.

Manual Testing is Boring

This got me thinking. For ppl who believe Software Testing is boring, we do have ppl in all technologies who get bored of their profession. It’s not just with Testing. It is more related to your attitude – don’t crib & don’t expect the company to always give you different & interesting tasks to work upon. Identify your core competency, keep learning new technologies, and innovate. Nothing changes if you change nothing!!

What do you think? Is Software Testing boring?

Comment: If you are stuck in a project and keep waiting for reply from developers or manager you get bored, but if you are in an assigned task and every communication chain good and still got bored then you are in wrong profession.

Testing Thought #9How many companies actually reap the benefits of automation?

We invest time, money & resources to build an automation framework just to ‘maintain’ it with the changing application. Yeah! Automation maintenance is one long process. Or run it ‘sometimes’. For what? Just to ‘confirm’ nothing is broken? Yeah! Automation hardly catches any new bugs. Or to pretend that the company is a market-leader in technology? Or just to sell it to the client? Yeah! It surely creates an illusion of cost-cutting. Practically speaking (current state of automation not in theory but real projects), do you really get that ROI out of automation?

Projects first need to understand the ‘actual’ ROI instead of blindly implementing automation. Yeah! Your project could be an exception with good ROI in automation. If that is the case, would like to know the special ingredient ?

** It’s automation, not auto-magic **

Comment: It’s not Magic but certainly useful when implemented properly. Very necessary to identify and convince the customer what is a good and not so feasible area to automate.

Testing Thought #10Proving the importance of Software Testing is just like Women empowerment.

Women, though equal, have been denied their stature since a long time. They have been treated as the weaker sex even after knowing that they are the source of life on this planet. Women empowerment groups fight for equal rights across the globe. Women are now marching in every field to prove their mettle. But the “empowerment” still continues…

Software Testing, though important, have been denied it’s due importance & credibility since it’s inception. It is treated as inferior to development even after knowing that it is the source of a quality product. Test evangelists fight for equal stature, equal pay across the globe. Testers are now even marching in the programming, coding & automation capabilities to prove their mettle. But the “empowerment” still continues…

** Women & Testing don’t need other’s empowerment **

Testing Thought #11Kill yourself in training so you don’t die fighting!

Training in Software Testing

This applies to both experienced as well as fresher candidates. Is training required for Software Testers? Do all companies provide training to a fresher entering the Software Testing world? What about experienced candidates? Are training’s organized as per the industry needs? Or about the future? Why do you think coaching centers are cropping up for Software testing? Are company-provided training not good enough?

They say ‘Experience is the Best Teacher’. But as a fresher it’s good to have a basic understanding of the Test process. Thereafter testing is more sort of work-and-learn. For the experienced, Companies should focus on training the resources for the future. Even if organized, we as testers neglect the importance of attending these sessions. Both need to be pro-active; Training & Learning – it secures the future of both!

Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Sir Richard Branson.

Testing Thought #12QA enthusiasts promote Testing from the very beginning of the project. That’s a good point for theory but how do you implement that practice in real?

  • Requirement analysis & discussions to clarify/rectify ambiguity.
  • Design & Code review as part of white-box testing.
  • Test driven development.

Apart from the first, how many projects actually implement other practices? Are you involved in Testing from project inception? Do you follow any of these or any other test technique at the very beginning? If yes, would love to know some ways or best practices to be followed initially…

** Starting from the Start **

Testing Thought #13Why do we have so many confusing terminologies in Software Testing?

  • Testing, Quality Assurance, Quality Control
  • Test Strategy, Test Approach & Test Plan
  • Testing types, Testing methods & Testing techniques
  • Test Levels, Test cycle & Test methodology
  • Bug, Defect, Error, Fault & Failure
  • Smoke, Sanity, Retest & Regression
  • Ad-hoc testing, Exploratory testing, Monkey testing & Guerrilla testing
  • Tester, QAE, Automation expert

Does every (or any other) technology have such terminologies? Or just we are the ‘chosen ones’? & why? Oh by the way did I miss any other ‘similar sounding’ Test terms?

** Testing Glossary, confused? **

Testing Thought #14Is learning automation testing tough? No? Then why are we not accepting the fact & learning automation even if it’s good for our own career?

  • We have passed that learning stage? To start afresh…
  • We don’t want to learn programming?
  • You are focused towards Business or Management role.
  • It’s hard to self-learn without actually working in an automation project.
  • No guidance for where to start, which tool, what to learn & how?
  • You are good at Manual testing & want to build a career out of it? (Though tough)

What are your thoughts about it? Would love to hear some…

Comment: People become very much comfortable with what they already know i.e. manual testing and don’t want to get burdened with another set of task i.e. automation unless it is an utmost requirement. Learning automation is a necessity today and people will learn only if they have to move out of their comfort zone or their job is on stake. They are very few people who are self-learner.

Testing Thought #15Do we really understand Agile?

Agile revolutionized the Software development & testing process. Every company boast about moving to agile now. Only few projects follow W or V model. Though it is beneficial to both customer & vendor, but it’s not just about so-called “faster delivery cycle”.

Agile Sprint Backlog

  • Do we measure the req. changes to decide that agile is now more beneficial than waterfall (or V).
  • Documentation is now replaced by unnecessary meetings.
  • The pressure is to make faster delivery impacting software quality.
  • Prototyping is not always followed to get customer feedback.
  • QA team is now seen as a hindrance in project delivery instead of Quality enabler.
  • Short development & QA cycles build subsequent pressure on the teams.

Why do you think we have ‘Agile coaches’? Did you ever heard a Waterfall coach? Nah! Something is not right here. I like to call it a Pseudo-agile process, which is like a slow poison to Software Quality. What do you think?

** Agile boon, Pseudo-agile bane **

Got a sudden thought to share? It’s related to QA? Post it in comments & I will pick it up for discussion next time!

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