Be Prepared…

My previous post Focus on Defocusing ended saying “Problems unfold over time in ways that are often not predictable”. That is the fourth principle of  Context Driven Testing. You can never avoid problems, all you can do is be prepared to face unpredictable problems. Similarly you must be prepared to grab the opportunities that knock the door that are often not predictable.

How to prepare oneself for such situations?

Let us look back at the Journey of A R Rahman and learn from the legend how to prepare oneself for such situations. He lost his father at very young age,Since the pressure of supporting his family fell on him, he joined Ilayaraja‘s troupe as a keyboard player at the age of 11 and dropped out of school. Then he composed jingles for advertisements , later he moved into film music by Mani Ratnam. The salary he got for composing music for his first film Roja was 25,000INR. He would have earned this in a day or two by composing few jingles. He never thought about film music by then, it was his passion towards music and the opportunity, to perform and experiment at different level, were the reasons for accepting the offer. Well, the rest is History and  all knew his journey from then on and winning the Oscars in Feb 2009. Wait, did I say we all knew his journey? No, most of us do not know about the journey.

A R Rahman never agrees to all the offers. He always has a time slot left free to grab any great opportunity that comes up unpredictably.  The clear balance between the business motto and purpose motto helped to grab the Oscar opportunity. When Danny Boyle contacted him to compose music for Slum Dog Millionaire movie, he was able to grab that because he was prepared for such situations and he was ready to sacrifice a few business motto. If he was just having business motto he would have agreed for few other usual films and wouldn’t have time to accept this golden chance. If you notice his purpose motto of achieving something better and preparation were the keys for winning the Oscars. And now Mozart of Madras journey to conquer the world music starts with Journey Home World Tour 2010 today and this post is to celebrate that :), wait the journey didn’t start today, it stared at his very young age.

The purpose motto gave him better returns than what his business motto would have paid. So I strongly believe for both individuals and for companies, the key to success is

Striking a correct balance between business motto and purpose motto.

As an individual you should have a clear vision about your purpose motto. Don’t just run behind salary and the job that doesn’t satisfy you. In James Bach’s words

Reputation = Money. Build and protect your reputation.

Similarly companies achieve nothing great by just pressurizing employees with too narrow measurements of productivity and maximum utilization. If companies allow correct autonomy to employees, I am sure they will come with some creative ideas and that will help to achieve better returns than what could be achieved by focusing only on business motto. The number of Oscars received by ARR can be counted, but can never count how many were missed by others, who were not ready for such situations. Similarly the ideas implemented can be counted but never knew how many were missed because of running behind business motto.

Here are few pointers that will help you to get prepared yourself as a better tester Skilled Investigator to handle unpredictable problems and grab wonderful opportunities:

1.    Practice, practice, practice at Weekendtesting.

2.    Debate with people who have contrasting ideas. Note: Debate against ideas not against individuals.

3.    Always question useless practices, I strongly believe questioning leads to progress and questioning is not an easy to achieve skill, this again needs practice.

4.    Wait why am I typing all these? Am I going to offer better ideas than Michael Bolton’s? No. So why don’t you read Michael’s wonderful post and start Preparing.

Happy Preparation!

— A R Rahman Fan Devotee.

Note: All the incidents of ARR narrated here were from my memories, those were read over a period from various authentic magazines, articles and interview by ARR and\or his close associates.  So these may not be cent percent correct.


Dear Rahman,

Yes,   your music wakes me up, makes me to think and heals me .You and Your music keeps inspiring me. I enjoy  listening to different types of music depending upon my mood. But only you and your music has the power to change my mood. Thank You Once again for all your wonderful music.



9 thoughts on “Be Prepared…

  1. Wonderful Post. A nice motivating example of AR Rahman is well blended with the context 🙂
    Enjoyed the post very much.

    There is one question:
    Can’t we merge the business motto and purpose motto? For eg: I want to earn more money to live a smooth life (This is business motto, I need money) but I want to become a good tester (This is purpose motto). Don’t you think when my purpose motto is fulfilled, i can earn more money which itself fulfill my business motto also.

    I want to know your views on the question.

    With Regards

    1. Mohit,
      How many of us are having the luxury to achieve our purpose motto while working? I know there are people who do nothing more nothing less than executing the test case written by some one else. They are not allowed to explore beyond the test cases, during release they stay late and work in weekends to execute the same test cases again and again. How would they achieve their purpose motto of become a good tester?
      Ask yourself are you able to spend time on daily basis to work towards achieving your purpose motto? If yes, work towards and also start asking what next? If no then it is time to bring a balance between your business motto and purpose motto. How many of us Say ‘No’ when we are forced to stretch during weekdays and weekend to achieve company’s business motto? We should also learn to say ‘NO’ at right time right place to achieve the correct balance between business motto and purpose motto. You should also learn to say ‘NO’ to have a proper work life balance as well.
      Also from my experience my purpose motto of becoming a Passionate testers, has helped me to work smarter and quicker in office, so that I am able to get sufficient time to work towards my purpose motto, all it needs is initial effort of putting time, hard work and saying No to right time, so that you will became a better testers, that is what James’s say “Build and protect your reputation, Reputation = money”
      -Dhanasekar S

  2. Excellent thought.

    Very well composed with the g8 ARR…:)

    S.ofcourse at sometime we need to be slow/very cautious to pick our door…

    To be honest, only some people will have the charm to ride both (Purpose/Business) and u need to work really hard to converge both….:)

    Tanxs Dhanasekar for a timely post…


  3. Nice post. This is what is missing and actually people don’t know what they want from life. Most of the people that I come across everyday are doing one thing or the other just to earn money. I see people moving from one company to another, thinking they are getting more money, but they forget to think the opportunities that they are already getting in the current company apart from money. It is sometimes sad to see all this happen.
    I remember a dialogue from movie 3 idiots that goes along with your post. “Work to attain excellence, Success will automatically come to you”.
    Keep writing 🙂

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