Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hot Cold Topic "Standards" : Building the Stand -- Part 1

"Yet another post into the list of posts on discussing Stop ISO 29119". If this is what you said to yourself now, no it is not. "It is the post to support the ISO 29119 and anti petition of Stop ISO 29119". If this is your second immediate feel on this post, yes you are not right.

These four series of posts is not to support or oppose ISO 29119. It is an attempt to understand the context of why am I seeing what I'm seeing around ISO 29119 in recent times.

Now, I have few disclaimers to say before I start to express my opinions that I have while writing these posts. And, my opinions will change as I continue to learn. Below are the list of disclaimers which I want explicitly mention.
  1. My opinions are no where related to my present employer or previous employers. It is my thought, my opinion and my stand for now with my little learning.
  2. I do not write this for sake of winning the STePIN Tester Arena's Contest 9. I write this for a reason after seeing the Contest 9's task. I'm surprised from contest's task statement, hence I write and I say why I'm surprised later in this post. 
  3. I have no intention to deform any individual's or group's social prestige or respect. I have respect for each individuals and groups. If felt, I'm deforming one's prestige, it is purely circumstantial bias of one or group.
  4. I'm a student of software testing. When I see testing as an universe, then philosophies exists and difference among them exists. With this, I make it clear, I'm not against or towards any testing schools. In fact, I love learning from different philosophies understanding its contexts and purpose.
  5. I will be using "I" almost in every speech. It is because, I don't want to say you or your or we nor generalize everywhere. I wish to keep this writing, as I'm asking this to myself. If you are reading these posts, you can see that for you, if you wish so. But, I don't force upon. 

Testers' Arena Contest 9's Task
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.

Are You Not Surprised With Statement of Contest 9 ?

  • It is definitely a contest which in which I have to participate and tell what perspectives we are missing in learning, be it in this contest's statement or happening around ISO 29119.
  • I'm surprised to read this -- ".. come up with your blogpost highlighting why ISO 29119 standard is bad for software testing."  
  • Is Software Testing is to tell that particular thing is Good or Bad ? Or, Is Software Testing is to provide information and analysis data, so stakeholders and right people or group make better informed decision? As a tester should I practice to say, "it is bad" or "it is good" or help to my stakeholders to learn what it is for them based on information I provide? 
  • If the panel had thought, "Let us (or me) give the task statement as this and see if anyone questions us (or me) and then let me reply, so we will help testers to build the questioning skills", then probably this was not the appropriate context, in my opinion. Or the task statement could have been rephrased. I'm not sure how many of us in this contest have said it is bad or it is good than saying, as a one community of Software Testing, what we should doing on ISO 29119.
  • If you ask me what makes you to think this way, I see 
    • we are still young and can be cultivating the habit of being mirror to someone's thought who is reputed and have a listening voice in industry.
    •  Hence, if one says, it is right and good, will most follow it blindly? And, if one says it is bad and no good, will most follow blindly? I'm leaving this to you for thinking and I don't want to generalize here.
    • We should notice, this can happen due to respect what that one or group has built over the period of time. And, I have respects as well.
    • But while I have respects, I have my opinion and analysis. I don't want to be mirror of anyone's thought unless I learn the context and have the details with which I can convince myself for first.
  • Testers' Arena, hope I shared, why I'm surprised.  Hope you see this one perspectives of me to see who are in the ecosystem and learning with the help of contests you are organizing. And, thanks for making me to speak on this via your contest task.

Building "stand" for word "Standard"

Is there any standard definition for saying, "hey this is what standard mean" and use this everywhere to discuss if topic under discussion is about standard? What is my stand now on this question?

For now I understand standard is highly effective when it is learnt and used with the context elements. This helps to describe better and helps to decide the subsequent actions. Okay, let me answer these questions.
  1. Why did I write, standard on the label of my book or first page of my book, while I was a school or college kid? What is the 'standard' there? For example, 5th Standard.  Few could have used, Class 5.
    • If I wrote this in my book, 
      • did my teacher said me to write this?
      • the education department of my state and country said this?
      • have I thought to ask why there exist a standard here and why not you teach me in a short in school about this? 
    • Looks like some educational system expert said, it is good to communicate with kids and students if we have a notations, syllabus and let us frame for specific time period, and call that as a standard or class. 
    • May be my kid is studying in a class or standard, I'm not bothered about knowing what is this 'standard'. But, I'm bothered to support or oppose these standards in Software Testing?
    • Now if you are asking me, "man, from where you are linking to where?", wait, there is a standard in which our educational system works. I have to understand it and am I happy with these educational standards? If no, still no choice, I have to send my kid to same educational system's institutions?
    • While I do this, do I help my child to be bright by giving supplement classes at home by talking to them so they become aware of stuffs outside the standards syllabus, tests and exams?
    • Yes? Yes or no, let us move on to next question. I don't ask what donation or money I pay to get the classes in the 'standards' (class) of educational system. Okay?
  2. In India, if I happen to be responsible citizen, do I stop seeing a Red traffic signal light? Why should every one who thinks responsible for ourselves, fellow citizens and fellow life, should stop seeing a Red light in road?
    • It is a message to communicate to me saying "be disciplined and wait till people on other side of road move and after they move I will allow you to move safely and in ease." ?
    • While I wait, if there is an ambulance behind with horn and siren on, do I bother to break these standard of Red signal and move ahead. Yes, I do. A standard also says, give way to emergency care.
    • Standard exist to communicate and ease the work? But it is context, which makes how to use the standard if it is applicable or not. The standard should not be misguiding and it has to be accepted by all with a common understanding. I stress the words, 'accepted' and 'common understanding' here.
  3. Do I run a business legally and pay tax to Government and disclose the profit, loss and balance sheet to public? If yes, do I bother to have audit done on every financial quarter or one financial year? If yes, what standards and corrective actions are suggested by the Auditors? From where did they find these standards? Does this apply only to my business or to all business in my country?
    • I don't want to say much here about the ISO standards that a company has to follow. 
    • If in doubt, let me go and ask CFO or any CxO of my work place, does it matter for her or his business and what they do with these standards for making the business go smoothly.
  4. May be one of the common transportation system in my country is Indian Railways. Do I see classes of travelling as per the price I pay for ticket? Why the classes (standards) exists here, while we claim all humans are one and all should get all benefits of same intense?
    • May be the class (or standards of traveling coach) helps people to cater service. Will that help in communicate in ease?
    • I do not bother why I don't get the AC Class to the price of General Class traveling. Money? Standards? Money and Standards? Or, I don't know?
    • But, should I bother now to understand and learn in my opinion, if one supports or oppose the standards for a craft? If yes, why?
    • Are there any case, where these standards are broken, while I don't have ticket to travel in AC class but I'm given the AC compartment by TC in train for fair of Second Class? Yes, it can be and I have seen this. Standards works better contextually and it is to ease and not for misguiding and bring in more problems while I think already I have heap of problems to solve.
  5. Do I have electric appliance and LPG cylinder in my home or work place? Do I care to see or ask or did so, to see the ISI mark on that product?
    • Without ISI mark I do not want to use that LPG cylinder and I do not want to take risks. What is ISI? Is it a standard?
    • I do not want to take a two wheeler helmet which has no ISI mark. Why do I see for standards here and support and demand that every manufacturer should adhere to the standards and have legal trade standard process license to their product?
    • I'm health conscious and I pay to get the hygienically packed food. Does the food industries have any standards and does ISI say anything here? I want to buy refined oil but I want it from an authentic and reputed trader and manufacturer. Do these manufacturer and trader follow any standards? 
    • If cheated with duplicate ISI license or using it illegally and selling the product to me, do I say, "I don't support the process and standard. I'm okay to use this product." ?
    • Will I be happy if the city water supply supplies polluted water to home? What standards do they follow to make sure I get usable water?
    • Do I keep smiling, city electric supply board provides high voltage or low voltage to my house? What standards do they follow to make sure I get usable electric power?
    • I brought my costly phone and electronic equipment from foreign. Does the electric power supply in my place, is good enough and keep my product from not burning?
Standards are everywhere and few are explicit and while some remain implicit. Okay, enough! With this I have set a platform to stand(ard) for further discussion and questions. Now straight into the cold hot topic which is a trouble anyway for being cold and as well as hot.

Concluding Part 1

  • Software Testing is not to say a particular aspect of interest is "good" or "bad". If I understand, testing is effective when it is contextual, as a tester I learn, it is "good" in a context and it is "bad" in a context. As a tester I provide information to stakeholders on the subject under evaluation and investigation. And, I can influence stakeholders to build an opinion and in making the decision.
  • Standards are every where and it can be explicit and implicit. Few standards are written and made as public (with price or as free) to use it. While few are expected to be followed in the activities and it remains implicit.
  • STePIN Testers' Arena contests also have standard. For example, how the work should be submitted for judging panel and criteria to declare the entry as winning entry. Aren't these contests are related to Software Testing and are we aware of the standards and process being used here?
  • Standards and process exists to make task easier for communication and accomplishment of the common interest. 
  • Is this acceptable, "the standards and process which we build and use, creates the problems while it was supposed to help in solving it" ?
  • Last question, it is making me ask it for myself. "Did I read and understood the joining letters, NDA and every other clause while I joined my present employer? Are these documents the sign of the standards?"

-- End of Part 1 --

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