Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cows growled 'Are you seeing us?'

Practicing testing today looked into Weekend Testing website to update myself with learning I get from there. Words 'Chasing' and 'Spotting' caught my attention there, among other words. These two words were in Weekend Testing Americas session practiced on 3rd September 2011; more details about this, is here.

I had played a dice game once with Pradeep Soundararajan and was not able to crack it. Reading the experience report of this session, I was tempted to play this puzzle now. Read the mission what the facilitator had mentioned and it was 'about pattern analysis and note taking using a bulls and cows game.' Continuing to read further, read the mission provided as below:

  • Try, practice and learn about the "Bulls and Cows" game.
  • Compare the differences in a gameplay with and without notes taken.
  • Report (in a form of discussion during debriefing) your findings and ideas on using note-taken in exploratory testing.

Reading the experience report, tried to understand what is this game with an example given by session facilitator. I did not have a partner to play the game, so opened the online version of it. Looking at description of game got more idea of it and selected 7 digits game.

Number -- 1208175 was populated and I did not know from where and how to start game. Looked back to mission provided then looking at the game I got questions which I took it out on a notepad. Those questions are written below:

  • I have played games such as Hangman and Dots with friends. What I did there?
  • I have to make 7 digits in a sequence formulated by an algorithm. How shall I start?
  • What details about those 7 digits I have with me now?
  • If I do not have them or have partial or/and ambiguous details, how will I know it?
  • What should I do now with the data I have?

These helped me to plan and strategize the moves in finding that digit by putting numbers in appropriate places. Plan was to find those numbers in steps that I'm comfort with and note down why I'm choosing it. In parallel, document what I'm doing and use it further to find better step in finding the digit chosen by algorithm.

Moving ahead my mind went blank and it was yet to get started. So what I wanted was those 7 digits and how will I know the 7 digits, was the question running before starting to play. With hard push on self, started saying, "my first move will be to identify those 7 digits among 0 to 9." In between a spam SMS dropped in to my cell phone inbox. Sender had repeating number in the sender number. This triggered a question, I have never thought of number repeating more than once. This helped though I took of my mind from the mission to identify the possibility of repeating numbers in 7 digits.

Kick started to design the tests for identifying those 7 numbers. Entered numbers 0 to 9 that repeated for 7 times, for ex: 1111111. This showed the numbers that were present in the 7 digits. Found a number repeating twice in 7 digits number with help of 'Bulls' count. Finally got those 7 numbers and made note of it.

Next task was to place them in an order; started to play with those seven digits. Felt like it was not so easy. Waiting for a moment, got an idea of using the number that was not available in the 7 numbers identified to find the appropriate position of them in the digit picked by an algorithm. Meanwhile, continued to take the notes in parallel playing the game. This idea of using number not available in the 7 digits number, helped to place the numbers appropriately together with assistance of notes made in course of playing the game.

Strategies kept evolving as playing of game progressed. Have a feel that strategies used to assist and match up with the plan plotted to finish the game, was reasonable at this point of time. If I had used my observations better to look at 'Cows,' probably would have got the all seven 'Bulls' in 3 or 5 steps lesser. Tempted to see how I played? You can see it here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please, do write your comment on the read information. Thank you.