A Tool To Automate Mind Map Creation

The true value of testing is realized only when most of the tester’s time goes into thinking, analyzing and testing the product. There is a lot of meticulous preparation that goes into understanding the context of a testing project even before one starts the actual testing.

Even a simple to medium complexity product can generate quite a big mindmap of features and user elements – and this takes a lot of time for a tester to prepare manually.

As a tester, I felt, this was a good testing pain point that can use some automation and that is why I created a tool to automate the Mindmap creation.

So, around 6 months ago when I joined Moolya, I bounced this idea internally to my team and I was encouraged to pursue this as my personal innovation project. I was given a complex mobile app that involved local search, Yellow Pages kind of directory listings, and indexing to analyze and build my testing automation tool. The mobile app involved hundreds of elements and sub-elements within its testing scope and creating a mindmap manually involved a lot of hard work for a tester. This was a true test of my ability to innovate and out-think the problem space in testing!

The Grind –

product testing automation mindmap creation.So, a group of four testers took 3 days to create the mind map completely for the mobile app. We were already reeling under the enormity of the task and craved even harder for a tool that can take away this laborious pain from us.

To validate my automation tool’s output, we needed a real Mindmap created manually for the mobile app by trained professional testers at Moolya.


The solution –

On day 2, Anand Iyer – a senior Test Automation Architect at Moolya – decided to teach us Python after seeing what we were working on.

I barely knew Python until then but just two days later thanks to Anand’s training, I created a Python script that could generate a Mindmap by capturing JSON data from the mobile app’s API.

The impact –

 It saved 8 person days of effort!  

The story doesn’t end here…the tool matures with more innovative features.

I had just discovered the wonderful world of testing automation and I couldn’t just stop. I was keen on upgrading this script to a full-fledged automation tool. So,

  • I started refining my code to make it work with more API’s
  • To dynamically handle commonly occurring errors
  • Cover more elements and scenarios in the mobile apps

Handling frequent changes in the mobile app features/elements

My tool had to be more flexible to adapt to a wider range of scenarios found in more mobile apps. So, I created another script to make it more user friendly and ensure people who do not know Python scripting will be able to use it. This new script allowed a tester to create a Mind Map by simply selecting a CSV file that contained the necessary input data to assist the Mindmap creation.

This method allows for easy changes to Mind Maps which is needed frequently as developers keep changing their app and it’s elements frequently.

We need to keep up with the changes. Instead of dealing with a buggy and bulky Mind Map that might not cooperate with you as you try to edit it, by simply editing the CSV file in excel anyone can update changes and new additions to the Mind Map.

Non-testing related applications of the tool

The script has many more applications and is not restricted to the testing things. For example it could also be used to create a smart resume in a Mind Map format.

Future roadmap –

Thanks to the kind encouragement by everyone I work with, I pushed myself to take on new challenges and accepted many R&D opportunities.

  • I am working on an innovative E learning app for people of all ages.
  • A resume building software that uses smart algorithms to create beautiful visual resumes.
  • An app for gathering log data from any app which has a huge potential in testing automation.

It is now my passion to solve complex testing problems and learn new skills, because it’s all worth it for that sweet exhilarating feeling of success.

By Dharmalingam K.

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