Software Testing is All About Ideas (and How to Generate Them)

Which of the following design will be helpful to pack the pizza, considering all the relevant terms? I pointed towards the three shapes (circle, pentagon and square) drawn on the paper and asked the candidate.

Carrying 2.5 years of experience in software testing, the candidate was expecting questions about testing (testing definitions, difference between priority and severity and ultimately bug life cycle). He thought for some time and then answered that as per him all the three designs were suitable for the pizza packing. I asked him to consider all the terms like cost, safety and delivery and still his answer was same. The interview was over.

During my nearer to a decade career in software testing, I have taken around 100+ interviews and believe me, I have never changed my strategy. Since beginning, when I was novice for interview process, I had a clear picture about what kind of people I wanted in my team.

software testing ideas

As per me, software testing is not about learning a language and implementing it. It is something more than that and that makes it different. The good software tester must be able to create new ideas continuously. Because testing is not about just executing documented test cases and sending report with green and red marks.

Software testing is the most important part of project life cycle, where quality is being verified and improved. And when you are holding that big responsibility, constant evaluation of yourself is mandatory. And evaluation here means training and improving brain’s capability to generate new ideas.

Why do we need ideas for testing software?

Someone would ask. Follow me:

#1. To understand the product to be tested:

Rather than testing, the important part is to understand what is to be tested. Understanding features of product, details about what the product can do and cannot and finally relating the product to anything routine

For example: most of the time, I try to relate the application/product to be tested with real life objects e.g. knife, car, table, purse or coffee mug. Relating different modules of application to different parts of related things make it easier for me to think about how to test the same.

Let’s take a deeper dive. Suppose I want to test Google.com website. Let’s relate it to a table.

  • The way table has four legs which makes the table, a TABLE, searching is the main feature of Google.com.
  • Options like Web, News, Images, Video, and Map are the legs of the table – Google.com.
  • Now comes the usage – Table is mainly used to put on something or I would say to support something. Same way Google.com is mainly used to search for something.
  • How table can be tested for its main feature – support or hold up something? By putting light weight paper to 10kg package box on it, by putting hot plate or chilled glass of milk, by spilling something oily and by jumping on it. The way Google being searched for all possible terms from words to alpha numeric to special characters to full sentences to two letter words to endless possibilities.

The basic idea over here was to relate the application with real time objects and then it becomes really easy to generate ideas to test it with all possible perspectives. But to relate the product/application with real time product, you need to generate idea. :)


#2. Testing the product:

While testing the product, most of the time we prefer to follow the documented test cases and stop our brain to think about other ideas because we presume that we have generated all the ideas about testing while creating test cases. WRONG!!!

Ideas cannot be generated in single go. The more you think about the product, while being in real time events, more ideas you will get.

Let’s take it this way – you have to test Google.com and you related it to table and created test ideas and documented them as test cases or test scenarios. Now, try to relate the product continuously with whatever you are doing.

For example: While drinking a glass of water, when I compared Google.com with glass, I could co-relate that the way disposable glass can be used for many purposes –

  • filling liquid (again hot or cold),
  • playing (toddlers love to stake them up and make different designs),
  • creating art piece (I have seen many art pieces made from disposable glass),

Google.com can be used to access many options available from Google like Gmail, Google+, calendar and many more and in different supported languages too.

So here, the point is – idea, idea about how to use the product and how it can be. And so, to understand usage of product/application, you need to think as an end user in different situation trying to use the product as per his/her convenience, comfort and requirement.

#3. Bug reporting and tracking the same:

What happens when the developer/manager defer the reported bug or even do not consider the bug as a BUG? Generate ideas again. You need to advocate your bug and for that you need to provide real time example and to provide real time example, you need to generate ideas.

For example: While testing Google.com, you found that for particular language all the features were not working properly. Your bug was deferred saying the language was rarely used and so it was not risky to attend the bug in future release.

You need to argue and advocate – what happens if the rare usage happens multiple times within near future and the word spread by mouth about some features do not work? Won’t it be like having ladies’ bogie in the train and using it as pantry by assuming that no lady will get on from next few stations?

Conclusion:

Enough to understand importance of the bug, I think. So ideas will help you to explain the bugs and would make it easy to get them resolved.

Ultimately, ideas are the basics of software testing. There are very few fields which really need continuous and extreme flow of ideas and software testing is one of them. So, rather than doing monotonous testing, get your brain work and generate ideas.

After all, one idea can change the world!  :)

About the author: This awesome post is written by our team member Bhumika Mehta. She is a project lead, carrying 7+ years of software testing experience.




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27 comments ↓

#1 Vijay

Good article. Testing is an art and an attitude. The concepts can be taught, but the attitude has to be nurtured from within. May our tribe grow.

Regards
Vijay

#2 Priyanka

Very nice post!!

#3 Priyanka

Could u plz post some tutorials regarding working of Jmeter (For load and Stress testing), It will be very helpful for me!!!…….:)

#4 Shailendra Vishwakarma

Awesome

#5 Manju

Good one…liked it…
keep posting such articles….

#6 Bhumika Mehta

@Vijay, @Priyanka, @Shailendra, @Manju,

Glad to know you liked article and surely stay tuned in for more of such.

Happy Testing !!!

#7 selvan

These article makes me fresh and Point out what i have to try …

#8 Prasanna

Article is excellent for pple like me, who are willing to take testing as their profession. Thanks

#9 rajani

good guidance for basic level testers

#10 Rajat Sharma

Really again it’s great article i agree that software testing is a art with attitude.You can get some online leave management softwares for testing.

#11 Vivek

@Bhumika Mam–Which of the following design will be helpful to pack the pizza, considering all the relevant terms?
Mam Please share your approach to ans this question .Thanks !!

#12 Bhumika Mehta

@Selvan, @Rajani, @Rajat, @Prasanna,

Thanks a lot for your readership and glad to know that you liked the article and it was helpful.

Happy Testing :-)

#13 Bhumika Mehta

@Vivek,

Considering pizza of round shape, I would prefer the box with pentagon or square. Because it would be difficult to pick up the pizza piece from round box and round box will be costly too.
Considering storage of boxes and ultimate cost, I would prefer square design of the box.

I hope I described my mind :-)

#14 Ameet

Common when you are given a pizza and asked to pack it,why would you ? rather eat it. (Kidding)

Love the train example.

Nice article

#15 Ameet

Am following this site closely and have been reading almost all the articles . but of the topic i want ask…
which time does this site show ? whenever i comment
it shows different timings….where are you guyz operating from ? india ?

#16 gaurav khurana

One of the best article from this site till date..
Pizza example is really good.

As you have taken 100+ interview,, would like to have such more questions from your side.. in a separate post(request)

#17 Mukesh Saini

Thanks Bhumika,
It’s very nice for beginners to encourage.

#18 Bhumika Mehta

@Ameet, @Gaurav, @Mukesh,

Glad to know that the article was useful and thanks for all the kind words and your readership with us.

Happy Testing !!!


Bhumika

#19 vivek

Great Artilcle
Mam will you please share more mind exercising questions like Pizza Shape……
This type of question will help in generating ideas

#20 Nilesh

JAI JINENDRA, bhumika the article is very very nice. I am starting software testing firm in sangamner will you like to work in our company. If yes! contact me on my email ID or +91 9689989991. I would like to read more such posts. Think of my offer and please reply me weather positive or negative

#21 Malvika

Superb article Bhumika Mam! It inspires us to get our brain to churn out new ideas all the time :)

#22 sonali

I agree with @ vivek Please post more such aptitude testing questions. And wonderfull article by the way.

#23 kiran

Nice post, it’s really helpful to make good attitude while doing testing

#24 Zubair

Very interesting and useful article Bhumika! Looking forward to more such articles!

#25 soumya

Nice post..Ideas helps lot while testing.

#26 Pravin

Generating of testing ideas are up to individual and his knowledge. To generate ideas one needs to think out loud and all other thoughts to be removed from mind.

#27 Vinod

Folks,may I please know the best institute to learn testing in bangalore ?

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