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A Tester’s Nightmare…

  • 07/12/2010
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

It is a Friday evening. Last few hours before I start my weekend. I just installed the latest build released to QA [Yes, they still call us QA]. Just when I am preparing my test notes for the attack, I receive an email from my team lead to ‘install the build, verify the defects and update the BATresults’

“Yes, I know that” I say to myself. If you are wondering what BAT stands for, it means BuildAcceptance Tests.

I start with the first few tests and my colleague logs the first bug on this new build. Out of curiosity and to know more about the build, I read the entire bug report. My colleague feels that she deserves a coffee break and I am back testing the application for my share of bugs. Just when I complete the initial tests and am ready to unleash the next set of tests, the programmer is in my cubicle to enquire about my colleague who just went for a break. I try my level best to be calm and composed. The programmer is curious to know why I have a timer running on my desktop even though I can easily check the time using the clock on the system tray. I could just smile and continue to test.

There it is – my bug. I click on the ‘Add new bug’ button and the message appears: ‘Session timed out’. I say to myself – ‘When things go wrong, don’t go with them’. I re-login to the bug tracking system and add the bug. I clicked on the Save button and was happy on finding the bug. An email popped up – Same bug, logged by another colleague just a minute ago. I wish there was a duplicate bug tracker when the save button was clicked. All the effort of adding notes, attachments and logs goes down the drain as my colleague logged the bug just in time. My bug was merged with the one logged few minutes back.

It is not my evening. Let me break for tea. I reach cafeteria and find the counter closed. I settle for a guava and my mobile phone starts vibrating. What now? Can’t I enjoy a guava without any disturbance? It is my team lead calling for an urgent ‘Status update meeting’. I rush to the ground floor ignoring the elevator to find the entire team waiting for one more colleague. After five minutes of waiting, we receive a message that he has already left for the day.

********************************** STATUS UPDATE *********************************

I finish the meeting, lock my computer and rush to the cab to find my favorite seat occupied. And whom should I blame for the mobile charger I left on my desk.

There are days when you don’t think clearly. There are a lot of distractions. Nothing goes according to the plan. What do you do?

You want to test a build and the build is not ready.

You want to test and you are called for meetings one after the other.

You want to concentrate on your tests and you are called for a celebration lunch.

You want to investigate an issue and it’s time to run the automatic updates for your machine.

The entire network is down, there is a deadly virus attack and deadline is tomorrow, what do you do?

While you think of the answers, let me tell you that the above blog post is a work of fiction and any resemblance to actual testing environment is purely coincidental. Do not worry, as testers we are well prepared for such situations. And if you have faced distractions similar to the ones listed in the blog post, feel free to share your experiences and the approaches you took to overcome them.

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