Sunday, September 28, 2014

Testers' Arena, will testing challenge help to voice the opinion than just a blog post?

I'm writing this post as a request to STeP-IN Forum and Testers' Arena contest's judging panel. What I'm writing is my opinion and does not indicate any other person's opinion. I want to share this so I can share the perspectives of how the Testers' Arena Contest 9 task can also be seen and possible effects of it.

Respected Judging Panel of Testers' Arena Contest and STeP-IN Forum,

I have respects for what you are giving to us (Software Testing community) via Testers' Arena contests. You are helping us to see lot other testers and their thoughts, which is very much required for a practicing tester.

With the Testers' Arena contest 9's task, I do not know why you decided to give the task statement as below and it surprised me. And the same I have mentioned in this post.
Read the links at and come up with your blogpost highlighting why ISO 29119 standard is bad for software testing.
The blog can be on your website, blogger or Wordpress. Share the link for evaluation.
In a view, to me it looked as, the judging panel had already decided that "it is bad" and was looking to hear the voice of testers to support that opinion.  If so, why? You are asking us to prove than asking us to come out with analysis, reasoning, investigation and produce information to you with context and say, in this contexts the ISO 29119 appears to be needed or useful or not needed or not useful or uncertain or good for system or not good for system.

I did not sign the petition ISO 29119 because, I'm not yet sure what is inside ISO 29119 nor I spoke to WG26 team. Also, I do not support ISO 29119, as I believe its testability has be to strengthened for the present context around it and this is mentioned in below blog posts.

  1. Hot Cold Topic "Standards" : Building the Stand -- Part 1
  2. Hot Cold Topic "Standards" : The word 'Testing' between - International, Society, Organization, Standards and I -- Part 2
  3. Hot Cold Topic "Standards" : I'm not a Judge; I'm an advocating Tester -- Part 3
  4. Hot Cold Topic "Standards" : Testability of ISO 29119 and Dr. Stuart Reid replies to petition. -- Part 4

For the Judging Panel

I wish to say a small story that makes me to think. Hope it also makes you to think.
A mother feeding the food to her kid showed the place to which kid had not been so far in dark. And she said, "That is dangerous place. If you don't have food now, someone will come from dark place and will eat away this food. Sweet heart, eat the food."
The kid replied, "dark place? It is dangerous? It is bad, huh? I will eat my food before danger come." The kid believed the words 'that is dangerous'  Later, the father was playing with kid and he took him to show the stars in the sky. 
Father said, "See the shining stars and I will catch one for you." The kid replied, "It is dark sky and danger. Anything that is dark is danger. I don't want star. The star you catch is danger to me." 
Father did not have any words listening to the kid.
If mother or father or guardian could have said why dark appears to be dangerous but still one has to get into dark to learn if it is true or lie. If not the kid may start to assume and believe it is dangerous. I see the same here. We will be having testers who are starting their career and testers who are working to build their career in testing. But not necessarily, they will challenge or question Contest 9's task to learn why did you as that.

But if said, don't go there at all, few kids might not even go and explore trusting the words said to them. Now, do you want to see any testers as this in practicing?

This is not a mistake at all for having that contest 9's task statement. It's okay, this is how practicing tester learns and I believe judging panel also has the practicing tester. But please consider to get the thoughts, if the motive of the task given is with words "highlight" "good", "bad" and on such serious context happening around it, because it can also be taken as "prove it so". Hope I clarified my thought on this.

For STeP-IN Forum

STeP-IN forum, you are gaining the much more visibility via this contest and you might also agree to this. Now, when you are gaining the visibility, you are also building the credibility for your intention and contribution to Software Testing community. Below are the questions which I have for you with respects.

  1. Do you support only one philosophy or one group of testing practice? Or you support the forum of test practitioners from different philosophies of testing practice?
  2. If you support forum of software testing practitioners from different philosophies, then people who have come up with draft of ISO 29119 are also from one group? So, you are saying their work or idea or efforts is useless by just giving contest 9's statement as ".... come up with your blogpost highlighting why ISO 29119 standard is bad for software testing."
    • Now, you give us a view point how this should be considered if you are the forum for software testing and practitioners.
  3. Yes, I believe the judging panel has the rich set of skills and experience in the craft. But do they know the intention of your platform from where the Testers' Arena contest is held?
    • Because, the work of both can get questioned or challenged if stuffs such as ' bad for software testing' come out without asking the analysis work and testing challenges to show that.
    • Hope you stand impartial to any group or any group of practitioners, if said as Software Testing forum and not in favor of any one group or philosophy of testing.  Software Testing  forum is to all, yes?
  4. When you claim as a Forum for Software Testing, can we eliminate anyone who do not fit into one's thought or ideas of testing?
    • By doing this, we are keeping away testers who participates in the contests if one believes I should not participate where my thoughts are not respected than discussing. Yes?
    • Does this affect the credibility of yours?
Testers' Arena Contest 9 contestants blog post are available here. Giving here is okay but it also raises one more question now. 
  1. Is the judging panel a member of ISST?
  2. If yes, Testers' Arena contest challenge is being made use for STOP ISO 29119?
  3. STeP-IN forum agree for this?
These are few questions which comes straight out into my mind. If you support or don't support it is your choice. But, please let us not misguide the testers by your opinion of good or bad and asking to highlight the points for that. Hope you understand my humble request. 

I care for Software Testers skills which are needed for testing as you care, before any standards or philosophies of testing. I wish, the skill has to be sculptured each time than being mirror to someone else opinion.

If you ask me how is this trouble, please do read the contest's task statement which ends up saying "... highlighting why ISO 29119 standard is bad for software testing.Did STeP-IN forum panel or all board members go through these standards on purchasing it? If not, how can STeP-IN forum's contest come up with such task statement and give the contestants blog post(s) to ISST? I have taken the print of this page on 24th September 2014 1:25 AM IST and it can be found here and the page on ISST can be found here.  

This indicates, probably the judging panel could have the member of ISST and taking the benefits of 9th contest. If you ask me why you think it as benefit, "... highlighting why ISO 29119 standard is bad for software testing." hints me this on seeing the petition STOP ISO 29119.  If the task's challenge was to analyze and come up with reasoning why you think it is good or bad, could have been fairly better.

What if there is another contest or next contest's task is to come up with a blog post highlight why ISO 29119 is useful for testing? What do we see? Any ideas? What should I say, if I have said it is bad for testing, in my previous blog post for Testers' Arena?

One of the ways in which we could have approached

STeP-IN Forum and Testers' Arena judging panel, you could have built beautiful stage (which is not built so far) for discussion of the software testing practitioners groups who support and don't support the standards. The Testers' Arena contests statement having the elements which asks to
  • demonstrate and requires the skills which are not mentioned (or probably cannot be mentioned) in standard documents, and 
  • demonstrate and requires the information which are mentioned in standards, let us say,
With this, I believe, the supporting group and opposing group has not met on a stage for discussion on ISO 29119. You could have created one by giving the contestants testing work to these two groups --  who supports and don't support ISO 29119. With this you could have initiated for the open discussion on a stage. This would have brought more credibility to you, to the judging panel and to our work that we submitted for Testers' Arena. As well it could have got more testers to participate and know what's happening in Software Testing.

Closing Thought

With this, I have tried to convey what I see. If you feel it is meaningful to your context, kindly pick it up and see what is going on. If you feel, it is not meaningful to your context, ignore and one day we will all will realize it and wish it will not be too late.

Either ways, challenge us with the contest than asking us to highlight or prove. Awaiting for the Testers' Arena Contest 10.

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