Do what is right, not what is easy.

In my current role, more than twenty testers report to me. All of them were fresh college grads when I joined as project manager two years back.

They are constantly encouraged to blog, use mindmaps, share their learning and apply heuristics while testing. All important testing conferences, testing articles and testing contests are shared with the team regularly. And, I regularly discourage them doing QB certifications, even though company encourages certification.

Recently, One of the testers from my team attended an interview. The interview was for an American IT services giant. During the interview, he was asked why haven’t he done any QB certification, according to the interviewer that is just 40 simple questions to be answered and it’s easy to get certified. This guy replied if that is the case, can he become a doctor by answering 40 simple medical questions. I felt very proud of what he did and what I am doing to the young testers.

Amma.jpg.001

Oh! Curious to know the interview results?

He got selected. The trend has changed. Now, having a QB certification is too mainstream. Testers who don’t have any certification are very less and they are standing out among the crowd.

Happy Doctors’ day [ India celebrate National Doctors day on July 1st ]

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Unveiling! *The Uncertifiable*

Here goes the Uncertifiable badge Inspired by James Bach’s post Conscientious Uncertification

Hiiiyyyeeaaa !! [Kung fu panda’s war cry :)]

Here is my one cent, below is another cent “why am I Uncertifiable?”

Thank You James Bach for permitting to use Buccaneer Scholar image.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading James Bach’s Secrets of A Buccaneer-Scholar book and strongly recommend reading it. The book gives a great confidence on how Self- Education and Pursuit of Passion can lead to a Lifetime of Success. Most of software testers from India are either B.E or MCA degree holders. I can’t understand why we need yet another certification?

I love to hear from those certified people how that helped in day-to-day testing activity? Did that help to improve testing skills? Does that help the clients? Does that make an expert? I can accept those certifications one and only if it helps to solve practical problems and if that improves questioning and thinking skills. Yes, you can learn some theoretical definitions of testing terms, but wait “You Can never be sure if you have a correct definition, but don’t ever stop trying to get one” from Are your lights on? Sadly these certifications never allow you to try or question it.

Please use your sapience to make decisions. I know many do certification because Mr. X or company forces\recommends. In this commercialized world both Mr. X and companies are either fooled by marketing or they are lazy to find better way of judging testers skills. Most Mr. X doesn’t even know the syllabus of such certificate programs pathetic.

Also remember you can’t just go to Mr. X and say I can’t do certification. If you need a change find replacements first. Start writing blogs, share your ideas, be proactive, and speak with customer support team to understand the customers’ better, try to bring in new ideas and innovation into testing. Remember any idea should help to progress and never be an overhead. If you are interested in installation, configurations of Servers learn, set up and control the QA environment. Learn some Open Source tool and scripting language like Ruby or Perl, and then apply them in to improve the testing process.

After three to four years of experience in the industry I realized most are running behind such impractical certification and fantasy automation. Even though my sapience says those are not impractical, I was not able to judge myself as I lack experience, until I came across Dr Cem Kaner and James Bach web sites. So explore, think, analyze, discuss, debate, fail, learn, unlearn until you are learn the truth. There is a saying in Tamil “Mere seeing or hearing an information does not reveal the truth, investigate hard to learn the truth”. So learn the truth, stand up and fight bravely or be a Slave.

Yes, it is a challenging path unfortunately you have only two paths a challenging one or a boring one. Remember The Matrix movie? Morpheus gives Neo a choice between two pills: red to learn the truth, blue to return to the world as he knows it. Choose Your pill and I know I can’t wake people who pretend to sleep.

Happy Learning the Truth!

Dhanasekar – The Uncertifiable

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I Can’t Nike, because I Reebok

I know this is one of the weird post titles you would ever come across. But let me try to give a meaning to it at the end.

This should have been first post of this blog. Somehow, I took such a long time to draft this and publish it.

Let me briefly narrate the history of this blog. Some time back I was advised\forced  by many\few that we testers need to do certifications like CSTA,CSTB,CSTC,CSTD,CSTE,ISTQA,ISTQB and many such certificates. I was also initially very happy that it would be interesting to test and get certified. I was under the impression that I would be put in the hot seat of testing some interesting applications. So I did a deep dive Google search and found many forums and CBOK for it .I was in a state of shock when I went through those syllabus full of (useless) theory, definitions and outdated contents. There is nothing to evaluate the tester’s ability to test, bug reporting or analytical skills.

Am I back to school? Reading the syllabus text book and answer the multi choice questions? I hate them because I don’t think one problem always has only one solution. There will be many solutions to any problem. All through the schools we were with multi choice questions which always have only one solution, and so we assume that all questions and problems are like that. Sorry friends that is not the reality.

When you were forced into such one solution mode, many times unconsciously you assume that problems have restrictions and boundaries, and create your own boundaries that aren’t there. Once you create boundaries your thinking and imagination would be restricted and will stop soon. I don’t want a tester who can’t think.

The other issue is I can’t raise any concerns, questions or doubts I have. This means  I can’t think and I can’t question. If you stop questioning and thinking there is no progress. Questioning and thinking are very important skills to make progress in any field.

So I decide never to take any such multi choice, impractical certifications. But I have to prove myself against such certified people, so I decided that I will write my learning, experience, views, options and criticism in a blog.

I know many companies force\encourage the testers to do such certifications and even reimburse on clearing it. For all those who say “why don’t we just do it since company is paying and also it will be adding to our appraisals?”

Here is my reply

“I Can’t Nike, because I Reebok…”  Oops! Still does it look weird? OK let me replace the brand names with their famous tag lines

“I Can’t Just Do It, because I am what I am. I practice, follow, try new ideas that inspire me, I don’t religiously follow useless practices just to impress others. I question them, always”

Do things that inspires you, not to impress others.

Addendum Added on April 21,2010

Further Reading  Unveiling! *The Uncertifiable*

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