The epic fail of the software testing industry

I have been answering questions that testers ask on forums for 10 years now. That is a decade of answering thousands of questions asked on forums. I am not exaggerating the number of questions I have answered. They are in thousands. I began with Orkut, then to Test Republic, Software Testing Club, My blog, Software Testing Help, Testing Circus Magazine, Twitter and as of today forums like Quora.

What has troubled me over the last decade is – the questions have not changed. This industry seems stuck. The beginners, the intermediates and the experts of this industry still ask the same questions and get the same answers. I feel unchallenged by newbie testers and intermediates. On the other side, experts have become experts answering the same question over decades. I wondered long ago if Michael Bolton would ever get tired of answering to the questions on testing in agile-testing list. He never got tired. I never got tired. I think we just are getting sicker.

For those like Bolton, they need a very suitable challenge. I don’t see the challenge. People still keep asking about the future, about manual versus automation, about their career options and which tool to learn so that their career gets better.

Here is my dream. A dream of how the questions should be.

I began testing a mobile app as I found an app review pertaining to payment failure. This feature had been extensively tested by me. I got in touch with the user and found out the steps or flow the user took to get to the issue. I asked him how reproducible is this on his phone (Lenovo A6000) and got the all apps used by him through a tool I built to take a snapshot of the phone state. I ran those steps on the same exact phone with same snapshot. I thought I tried recreating everything the user said and I was unable to reproduce this bug. I spoke to the developers about this and they enabled the logging for me which is usually switched off to not let it impact the performance. From the logs, I do not see the problem. I then made a list of things that could be creating the problem such as

  • Payment Gateway
  • Network
  • Carrier
  • Location
  • Other apps
  • Battery
  • State at which the app starts
  • Timing issues

Attached is my mind map and excel for you to go through the depth of my work. Of course, I have removed all confidential aspects. I seek the help of experts to help me with more ideas that I need to include in my checklist.

And that is an apt challenge to a legend like Michael Bolton. Michael doesn’t get it. Instead he gets, how much time would it take to test software manually? and I am like, you don’t need a Michael Bolton for it.

Link: Take a look at all the 100+ questions I have answered on software testing in Quora.

At the Moolya internal conference coming up next month – we are working towards getting people to present their testing experience reports that are testing in nature. I am hoping every company does its own conference as seriously as we are doing it to promote skilled software testing and people asking some very testing questions. Presentation page A3

A note to Moolyans: Get ready to ask and be asked some testing questions that matter to change the way this industry testers ask questions. Lets begin with us. 100 of us at a time.

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