May 30, 2014 5:46 am

Whats wrong with my inputs for dates here?

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing,UX - User Experience — ramsblog @ 5:46 am


start date: 3/1/1999

End date: 8/25/2000

the validation error: Date must be equal to or after Start Date (mm/dd/yyyy).





May 9, 2014 11:50 pm

Role of Dev and Test


I agree on thoughts in this post. The testers should be really looking for the dataflow and analyze the root cause of data loss, the security glitches, the performance issues and so on. Last couple years, I switched over to end to test testing space in enterprise commerce testing over 20 to 30 applications in a data flow sequence. When I used to be on vertical applications, the integration played very limited role. But then I wanted to expand my horizon to see how the data flow worked between the integrated systems.

I transitioned over to being a QA data analyst from being a vertical tester. Sure, my automation contribution has reduced off late, but still thinking about ways to automate the end to end context, However, the point is I learned a whole lot about making integration between various applications seamless, which is a daunting task.

It becomes more so important to have the thorough E2E testing in supply chain management and interacting with umpteen number of systems from Quote to Contracts to Orders to Invoicing to Fulfillments eligibility and user access. Connect the dots and that would certainly end at what users could do and the kind of data they process day in and day out . Lets take an example that you booked 4 tickets on XYZ Airlines to travel international. What if the instructions to baggage systems were wrong? what if your transition in 2nd leg had only 3 tickets and missing one for your family member? What if their meal preferences were messed up on the 2nd or 3rd leg where you would be so hungry traveling long distance? and several other what if’s. The Data flow analysis and testing plays crucial role that may or may not be efficiently automated. The goals is to see the same data flowing across the systems. Most vertical application level testing intends to mock up the data as input source, and that may or may not comprise the same set of data flowing from upstream and that wouldn’t provide the good coverage there.

Testers should be adding value testing the right things that matters to the end users. And Developers writing the tests for the functional checking.

June 9, 2011 11:22 pm

Rollback Strategy…

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Security,Software Testing — ramsblog @ 11:22 pm

Rollback testing is one of the hot topics in the software application deployment where you push the updates into production frequently or even if once in a while bug talking about number of applications and number of patches into production.

What is your Rollback Strategy?

How would you plan for one?

what is your understanding of application Rollback at deployment?

June 8, 2011 1:52 am

Nice story about Software quality – a Fable

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing — ramsblog @ 1:52 am


Fable about knowingly taking shortcuts and not adhering to the quality of the outcome…

read the rest and enjoy the rhubarb cake…

July 25, 2010 12:31 am

WTANZ 07 – Web page automation with Ruby / Watir

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing,Weekend Testing — ramsblog @ 12:31 am

As usual, I was not sure if I was going to login tonight. However, just made it somehow. The first question I was asked was if i have done the homework. For not looking at the mission completely and not being sure of joining, obviously I had not done my homework.

Oliver got me started with links and pointers right away. I had to do the following:

1. Download Ruby and Install http://watir.com/installation/#win
2. go over the wiki for some details to update and install further components
3. install Watir.

Mission for this session can be found here: http://weekendtesting.com/discussions?vasthtmlaction=viewtopic&t=126.0 

it took a while with several glitches to get through, but got back to track with the session. Oliver walked us through basic commands to navigate the page, locate the page controls, etc. and put the exercise for the team to put the learning into practice. hmmm.. great approach, the lessons have to be applied immediately to get better at it and theoretical knowledge is not good enough.

as we went along, we tried several commands and controls to get hand of it.

What I learned:
> certainly a great start learning another tool/language
> teamwork in helping each other getting upto speed
> got some hang of ruby/watir which i had never used before
> while following the chat, i tried copying the commands so i could get upto speed and worked well at the same time.
> I still couldn’t get the regular expression search working, i need to try it over again.
> attend  another similar session 🙂

my sample code:

>> b = Watir::Browser.new
>> b.goto("http://weekendtesting.com")
>> b.text.include?"Forum"
>> b.link(:text,"Forum").click
>> b.text.include?"Next weekend Testing Session"
>> b.text.include?"Forum"
>> b.text.include?"Next Weekend"
>> b.text_field(:id,"log").set "<username>"
>> b.text_field(:id,"pwd").set "<password>"
>> b.checkbox(:id,"rememberme").click
>> b.button(:value,"Login").click
>> b.text_field(:id,"s4").set "comments via Watir on july 24 WTANZ 07"
>> b.button(:value, "Submit Comment").click
>> b.link(:text, "Next Weekend Testing Session").click
>> b.link(:text, "WTANZ session #07 – Test Automation with Watir").click
>> b.text.include?"Reply"
>> b.link(:text, "Reply").click
>> b.text_field(:name,"message").set "Reply WTANZ 07 message via Watir on july>
>> b.button(:value, "Submit").click

What would have helped me in this session:
> a little homework would have helped, but with the team’s sharing all through the session, helped get back on track
> when working on Web page automation, getting to know the control properties
> using home computer, i didn’t have the IE web developer add-in or fiddler tool  installed, and having those would help get the control properties sooner.
> the posts, and search worked well on this session, I need to venture into validating if the actions really took place in addition to visual verification.

There was a great debriefing / retrospection session after the learning and applying tasks. There were conversations around Watir, Cucumber, Selenium, and other tools. No, i haven’t used any of these. It would be interesting to know how these several tools scale up to the robust web automation.

There is always a challenge of changing the Control IDs and Names in regular coding cycle. How would a tool cope up with such changes. We had once taken an approach of keeping these in configuration / resource file, so we wouldn’t have to change the code with any of those controls changes.

Overall, it was a great session. Thank you Marlena (@marlenac), Oliver (@Oliver_NZ) and the team.

May 11, 2010 12:42 am

How is file transfer rate computed?

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing — ramsblog @ 12:42 am

Is there a problem here? or am I reading wrong?


i am uploading some files over to the server and the file transfer progress bar indicates the speed as 24.2KB/second and about 29kb of file size remaining to be uploaded. With a simple observation, it should take a little over a second to upload the remaining data. Then, is there a reason for it to compute as over 4minutes as estimated time of file transfer?

May 1, 2010 9:43 am

EWT#16 – Find Barcode value of an individual

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing,Weekend Testing — ramsblog @ 9:43 am

I thought i was late for this mission today when i woke up 15 minutes into the session. logged into Skype and didn’t see anyone around. waited for sometime and then realized my clock wasn’t adjusted well to the UTC time.

EWT16 sent me a message and we started off.

Mission: This Flash app generates barcodes – but how? Can you find how it’s calculating them? Find the highest value that you can, and report invalid values. 
Product: http://www.barcodeart.com/artwork/netart/yourself/yourself.swf

Participants when we started off:
     Anna Baik [blog] [twitter: @testerAB]
     Stephen Hill
     Jeroen Rosink [blog] [twitter: @jeroenro]
     Ram [blog][twitter: @esaarem]
     Thomas Ponnet [blog]

idea was to find a biggest value with variable parameters

there were few clarification questions: it is good to see participants asking questions to understand the mission. Although there was  a caveat that moderator would sometimes be vague giving the details. I think it makes sense – and helps make the necessary assumptions and justify those assumptions. That’s what we apparently land up in our daily tasks, make assumptions, and ensure why we make such assumptions and clarify those assumptions.

> find the algorithm or thought behind?
> usability?
> how do we find the value from the bar code?
> should the mission end at the finding the value alone or anything else?
> and so on. ….

Anna, answered most of those questions and participants pitched in with their understanding and shared their thoughts. It is helpful to understand from like minds across the regions.

My approach:
I tried to plan around a bit this time:
> Varied input parameters and understand the pattern
> look for source code
> read a bit more on home page
> boundary value analysis
> and a few more that i jotted down on a piece of paper

At first my understanding from highest value was based on the number below bar code – well thats a dumb assumption i guess. I didn’t think of a dollar value until someone mentioned about SCAN button.

The most i got was $9.62

this how the diagram look like and shows the input variables that affects the value on the barcode


I started off with a table like one below and expanded as proceeded. Boundary Value Analysis concept helped here to understand the trend.
STarted off with a median age/weight and
the indications i had was
> if the leading countries or
> most known country would influence the decision.
> If a taller and average acceptable weight influences the value of the person
> of course zeroes, negatives and max outs…
> and several other assumptions in my approach…

i have also read the introductory text on the website

iteration Gender Age Country Weight Height Barcode value dollar value
1 M 51 US 111 6-3    
2 F 99 zambia . .    
3 M . . . .    
4 F 21 US 98 5-8    
. . . . . .    
. . . . . .    

I made a lot of notes on the trend varying the input factors to work backwards on the algorithm being used. it was interesting to see the factors it considers to put out the results it does. the trend analysis helped me in a way within very few iterations to understand what brings the value up, and so I thought. and realized there were few other factors that i overlooked.

Noticed Thomas and Jeroen talking about the BMI calculations in their approach to find the highest value. hmm… that makes sense. I did not think about BMI in my execution.

there was a mention about Insurance companies and how they may arrive the human values… well thats a good correlation i think. How would insurance companies set the value for premiums for individuals? based on Age, height, weight, overall health and his/her hygiene habits? so perhaps…

there were several bugs logged in repository as well – see here http://www.bugrepository.com under project EWT16

i have some other thoughts about the algorithm that i will have to detail it out here later time… it is a bit of writing..

Michael Bolton (twitter: @michaelbolton) joined in during the debrief.

i have a problem with my system clock that resets to older time by itself. It is tricky when the skype messages are coming in and my clock was reset to previous hour so the messages were mixed up and not realizing there were new messages coming in but getting into another sequence. 😦

there came up the discussion about Modeling the approach. How different states were defined individually while doing so. @MichaelBolton mentioned about the focusing/defocusing heuristics – i learned the new terms:
OFAT – varying One factor at a time –> to focus one the effect of a particular factor
MOFAT – varying Many factors at a time –> seeking to confirm or disconfirm ideas about factors
HOFAT – holding one factor at a time

@Thomas clarified on Model approach –if considering if gender state made a difference, or / and if weight or height states influences or impacts the results.

@Joroen mentiond about TMap. although I thought i had heard this somewhere in some context, but i was not sure. He pointed me to this website: http://eng.tmap.net/Home/ i will take a look at this website to know more about TMap – Testing Management Approach.

Overall, it was a great session chatting with all the participants.

It reminds me of the blue angels or airshow where each practice is a new and unique mission for those pilots. and they go over the PLAN – BRIEF – EXECUTE – DEBRIEF – PLAN cycle. the challenge is unique each time and learn from those iinstances each time. but the structure and the plan they would adopt is / might be same or similar for each mission. and what they come out with after debrief is new learning and emphasizing on old learning, i suppose

Thank you EWT16. see you next week possibly…

(p.s: i haven’t reviewed this post before publishing, any miss-outs or overstatements regretted – please let me know i will correct them)

April 18, 2010 12:17 am

WTANZ – Weekend Testing Australia NewZealand

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing — ramsblog @ 12:17 am

i have been tied up with sorting out months of papers this evening and took so long and almost missed this meeting tonight. I was just about close my computer and go to sleep and realized it was saturday night and I had told Marlena [blog] [twitter @MarlenaC] that i was going to join the WTANZ this time.

Logged into Skype and noticed Marlena’s message. I was already 20 minutes late into the session. after exchanging few messages with the group, i got the objective http://groups.google.co.nz/group/software-testers-new-zealand/browse_thread/thread/6cbee3a6fb040310

looking over that and the objective was to : (from Oliver’s link above)

Website Tested:

1) Have a look at the mortgage calculator and roughly script/try some
tests to verify functional correctness. Try and be creative about
breaking the solution. (rough time estimate 40min)

2) Have a look and think at usability and if this calculator matches
your expectations or not. (rough time estimate 10min)

3) Have a look at browser compatibility and make a quick assessment.
(rough time estimate 10min)

Please do not…
* …automate your testing
* …performance test
* …security test
* …test the Login functionality. Just the mortgage calculator.

Aim of this exercise is to show & share different methodologies on how
to test something. There is no right or wrong here. Do what you
usually do and share your process in the discussion bit at the end.
Don’t be shy to share. Ask for help if you don’t understand something
or want more details!

well, this time for joining late and having only few minutes left, i jumped straight into exploring than planning my approach and asking any questions although i found some ambiguities there. here is the screenshot of the calculator screen



Marlena and others mentioned about logging the defects and observation on http://www.bugrepository.com – a defect repository where we can log the issues for tracking. Being a first time user for these tools, it took a little lag in coping up between the task, IM chat, bug repository logging defects, etc.

Alright, enough of my excuses and story but what did I learn from the discussion for the time I engaged with:

> learned about following tools to leverage:
         http://validator.w3.org for HTML checker
         http://www.browsershots.org –> a fantastic tool that provides several browser types and runs the given URL in all those selected browsers and provides the screenshot – absolutely Fantastic tool to see how the screen looks on various browsers. There were browser names I had never heard of.

> various different ideas the group shared in how they approached and things they did to get through the objective.

> great communication – kind of questions participants asked during the session; help sought and offered; tools shared, ideas shared, etc…

>Questioning skills – @oliver asked great questions and so also others. It is critical to ask the right questions in solving any mission, which I am still working on, it was great to observe the pattern and learn from the group

Oliver Erlewein [site] moderated the session through out. I liked the way he asked the questions every time a participant reported an observation. some of those were like
      “do you think that’s a defect?
      “how would you report that bug
      “why do you think that’s a defect?” 
      “If you had a luxury of time how would you have approached?” and so on…

How about Planning for problem solving? Looks like some of us being new to skype spent some time figuring out using the chat sessions. however, @Oliver asked if anyone went through the planning process for problem solving. I am not sure if I’ve missed, but noticed most saying jumped straight into the task. I did so too. I would probably have taken another approach if we all had joined the problem solving at the same time. personally, I have no excuse, could still have done some outlining even in the time I had. I missed. Here is what I would have done perhaps:

a. understand the objective to more extent

b. Ask questions for ambiguities – in this case i noticed multiple mortgage calculators, i wasn’t sure which one the group was looking at.

c. plan on the approach for different types  of testing – including boundary, security (well, security was out of scope from mission), and edge scenarios

d. Scenarios – understand how mortgage concept works and come up with the approach / scenarios around the user context – customers first – Customers use the product in ways we don’t imagine – explore being in customers’ shoes.

e. plan on the tools and resources required to complete the mission  (see above for some tools shared by team)

f. ESTIMATE what it takes for the planned approach – so that helps building the estimation skills which we often need to develop for the task completion; and can be tracked during the task progress and after completion

g. attack the mission – well, there could still be situations where we might have to keep the plan aside and do what’s needful – that’s where the Risk Identification and Mitigation would have helped;

It was great to know James Bach [website] [blog] was on the WTANZ too. It was great to join in my 2nd of the series WT in past few weeks, and the 1st WTANZ (Australia and NZ). I hope i will be able to join in these in upcoming weeks too. Problem solving is great at these sessions but the retrospection or debriefing discussion after the exercise that I liked the best that we interact so much and learn their approach and what would have gone right and the improvements could be made in future for similar instances. Thats invaluable.. talk about the participation? I think there were people from across the globe participating in this session. 

It was great to catch up with Marlena since she moved from the states few weeks ago. Thank you @Marlena for mentioning about this session and timing (zone) seems to worked out for me this time 🙂

if you are interested to participate in Weekend Test – see http://www.weekendtesting.com

<ps: i will update the links and any further findings a little later as appropriate>
<Apr 18 update: updated few links and questioning sections>

March 15, 2010 11:52 pm

Software Testing Ideas…

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing — ramsblog @ 11:52 pm

Santhosh Tuppad has put together a nice compile of software testing ideas for different scenarios. The list appear to have started recently, and I see a trend of great compiles on the way. watch out for this blog http://tuppad.com/blog. He also contributes at weekend testing, test republic forums that i have come across…


March 13, 2010 3:37 am

WT-28 – Mar 13th – a great forum

Filed under: Software Quality,Software Testing — ramsblog @ 3:37 am

I have been thinking about joining this forum’s discussion for a while now, given that the time zone, it wasn’t that appropriate for me to join. however, tonight, I was rebuilding my laptop with windows OS, setting up user accounts, permissions etc took a bit longer than anticipated.

by the time i looked up the watch, it was already time for WT session and it would have already started, ‘coz i was about 10 or so minutes into it. So, here I was almost energized again though i was going to sleep a few hours prior 🙂

Now, i just rebuilt the machine i didn’t have Skype installed – oh no, well, install skype. sent an email for invite; i received an email back from the moderator – Ajay B @ajay184f – a.k.a “weekend”

so this shows i was not completely prepared for today’s session. however, so what – whatever the way i can contribute to the community. There were about 12 people when i logged in and noticed the objective clearly displayed on the screen.

Task 1: Complete the game: http://www.gamesforthebrain.com/game/dragger/

task 2: Score 90 points in the game:

task 3: Score 50 points in the game.  http://www.gamesforthebrain.com/game/numberhunt/

well, objective are clearly mentioned for each task and the time box for all three was about an hour to accomplish and 30mins after for discussion. However, how would you approach this objective is discrete – each individual would have his/her own way. However, in my opinion, every task has to come with what you understand from the objective even before you get to it.

so at a higher level: Understand –> Estimate –> Execute –> QA –> Report  –> Retrospection 

Retrospection – which was a discussion of the past hour – was really insightful – that helps you understand your own mistakes and achievements (celebrate these) and get better and gain knowledge on what would have gone better portion of it.

I did not have my observations jotted down while during the tasks, and had to type in later on for discussion. here it is (not reviewed, just a copy paste from my scribble). I know my notes isn’t that intuitive, anyways, here it is….


game 1: dragger:
Puzzle has been a tricky one – perhaps i need to practice such puzzles with my daughter to get used to it 🙂
it took about 2 minutes but still i thought i could have done it  much faster if
> i had observed the pieces before hand and asked myself, what the end picture would look like


game 2: color:  [forgot to track the time]
it was a tricky one too and i rcvd couple of -ve points; i then realized it was also time boxed looking at the progress bar in reverse direction i think it was a pattern over initial few patterns
> the first screen was ambiguous since there wasn’t much information / instructions
> initially they were easy and only few clicks
> over 4 or 5, the number of color clicks started increasing and thats when it becomes challenging to memorize the the sequence  now after it completes, i tried to rehearse the sequence before taking the action   well, that means i am losing time, so devise something else; ‘coz i wasn’t successful rehearsing and acting – lost points
> now, took a piece of paper near by and started drawing lines connecting points  but when i looked at later on, realized i had over written the lines and making  it hard to track again – hmm.. didn’t work
>  now, searched for another paper, and started numbering instead of lines; did that help  no, ‘coz there were numbers and realized i had overwritten the numbers – hmmmm
> now drew a plus – 4 quadrants, and started writing numbers as far / close as i could while  tracking the color clicks, and copied the sequence on my turn = hmmm.. turned out simple

game 3: number  (1 min approx)
well this was simple – it took me about 2 minutes as well, and with the moving numbers, i think i got one negative score later, the trick was to observe and do the math as the numbers moved around. try grouping the same  numbers and do the multiplication and then add made the trick

over the discussions, several people had there interpretations of the mission statement for this exercise. there were thoughts about

using the right tools to the right tasks.
the time box for all 3 tasks was more than enough
timing was not enough
spent too long on puzzle
spent too long on memory game
i should have planned better
was objective to finish the task or understand the learning pattern
would it help to provide the mission / objective in a better way – was ambiguous
use all the resources available
make assumptions clear
meeting the mission and playing the game – how to relate them
i should have read the objectives initially
should objective state the kinds of tools to use or not?
oh no! power cut – yes, someone came across this issue as well – but this individual seemed to have the right tool so had the task session saved – risk and mitigation plan
be aware of the surroundings, you may find the great information that you need for your task

and there were many more thoughts from the participants…

overall, what I see on this whole exercise are:

a. Understand the goal – “Begin with End in mind”

b. Pattern with most individuals – they were about similar in the approach with obstacles encountered and moving on to the other task – have you come across getting the “Low Hanging Fruits”  – thats pretty common; we tend to finish easy ones and leave the hard ones for later – although I have come across other thoughts around this

c. focus on the Requirement – tie your approach to the end result – set the Requirement Traceability – ask yourself at every stage for the destination – there is a saying about Destination versus Direction – know the end point

d. Estimate what it takes – look for the tools and resources that can be leveraged – when there are bunch of tools available, the challenge is to choose the “Right tool for the Right task” – a  hammer may not be a right tool to fix the book shelf.

e. anticipate risks and have the mitigation plan – it may or may not be required. 

f. be alert for information around the surroundings – helps in Execution towards the objective and to tell the stories back to the customers or your audience

Overall, it was a great experience chatting with great minds around.


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