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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hot Cold Topic "Standards" : Testability of ISO 29119 and Dr. Stuart Reid replies to petition. -- Part 4

Will the software testing business get affected by the ISO 29119? Before picking up this, the question to be picked is, are there any damage that comes to subject and integrity of practitioners and their groups? If subject exist then the business.

Business and ISO 29119

  1. Will the reputed software product companies make use of ISO 29119 standards?
    • I don't know. Do they disclose it if did so with case study? At least I wait for it curiously. Will there be any legal problems for this product company for not using ISO 29119 from customer who brought the product saying this could have avoided if standards were used? What will the software product companies say to world?
  2. Will the software service companies follow these standards?
    • I don't know what legal documents will be signed in between service provider and service seeker. If service seeker brings in ISO 29119 and says it has to be strictly adhered believing it helps her/his product, will the work be highly usable? I don't know what happens. This could be one of the major trouble legally, if the outcome is not acceptable by stakeholder.
    • If the service provider then claims, it is because of IS0 29119, then how this will be received by the WG26 and are we ready to accept it?

People asking for solution will come and business runs, but, the legal problem with testing standards will be solved? Hence I feel, there should be a common understanding, acceptance or denial of standards in Software Testing industry from the academic and industry practitioners groups being one family.

Dr. Stuart Reid responds for petition STOP ISO 29119

The reply from Dr. Stuart Reid can be found here. I have respects for WG26 team and for their accomplishments and skills. Likewise, I have respects for people or group who are opposing ISO 29119, for their accomplishments and skills. But this does not solve the problem. Forget about solving the problem, it will not help in learning the problem itself.

Dr. Stuart Reid, says
  1. WG26 team is well skilled and have rich experience.
  2. Six years have been waited to get the consensus.
    1. I feel,
      • But, why people did not start to oppose as this six years back? Or if started why it was not highlighted then, as now?
        • This gives the hint of, probably not all were aware and hence it did not get the opposing traction?
        • With this, I get the question, did practitioners not bothered to know then? And now it is known, because of Social Media, advancement in use of web,  than the conferences? 
          • If yes, ISO you can see where to make the consensus process public and invite for the review of it.
  3. He himself wish and want to give all standards for free, but he has no enough power.
    • I feel,
      • Dr. Stuart Reid, you can still influence ISO for this to make ISO 29119 free till the Software Testing industry, academic and practitioners groups, come to an common opinion what should be in standards and how it should be, it at all if standards is required.
  4. Any activities in ISO 29119 is not politicized to out rule other player in industry.
  5. Changes to standards will be done consistently based on the feedback received from the use of it.
  6. He says, any standard cannot be mandated as compulsory unless it is enforced by the organization
    • I hope, by the 'organization' mean, the organization which makes use of the ISO standards for the business.
  7. Testing standards is for testers who want see a definition of good practice and to see how close or far they are from it. They are free to tailor it to their context on seeing this.
  8. There is no certification scheme associated with Testing Standards ISO 29119. No where  the ISO/IEC/IEEE testing standards is linked with ISTQB certification scheme. If ISTQB adheres to ISO 29119, it is decision left to ISTQB.
  9. Exploratory Testing is explicitly included as a valid approach to testing in testing standards.
  10. Testers around the world were invited to take part in testing standards development and it is presented in the conferences.
    • I feel,
      • This should reach to people who work using standards than just saying it for people who manages knowing what is standards.
  11. There are number of options for people outside the WG26 to participate and provide feedback.
    • I feel,
      • This needs to be publicized by ISO very much and by WG26 team.
      • Should give the invitation respectfully to group or practitioner if one has different thoughts.
  12. Agrees with 7 principles of Context Driven Testing. But unhappy when testers not belonging to CDT practicing group are assigned to deprecated schools by creating one.
  13. Jon Hagar supporter of CDT and with other WG26 members ensured many of CDT perspectives to be considered.
  14. Has no problem in following risk based and context driven approach simultaneously.
What should I say now after reading these words of Dr. Stuart Reid? Where is the problem? This again confuses for tester as me who has not read the draft content in detail, not spoken to WG26 members, and reading the tweets, FB sharing, blog posts which 
  • opposes the standards (just) saying it affects the craft and subject, Software Testing. How it affects? Why it affects? To whom it affects?
  • supports the standards (just) saying it helps the craft, Software Testing. How it helps? Why it helps? To whom it helps? When it will help?

Now should I say ISO 29119 as good or bad?  Until, there is a common stage where Software Testing's academic and practitioners groups come forward and discuss for betterment of subject, I hope this will not be solved. I have taken the print of Dr. Stuart Reid response and it is here.

ISO 29119, Good or Bad ?

After learning and expressing what I'm seeing in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 (this post), I see Software Testing ISO 29119 standards is not yet reached to place where it can be considered for evaluating it further, so the interested people can take decision of it is good or bad

It has much more scope to get stronger in terms of testability. Yes, testability of ISO 29119 has to be improved to study if it is required or not and if required what it should have in it.  How to get it here? Working together and supporting each others in expressing and by leaving as one family.

Does a picture speaks all 4 parts of blog posts?

Different interpretations of "What a standard is?"
Photo Credit: @standardsforum

Concluding Part 4
  1. If the skill is so much emphasized in Software Testing, I want to be skilled than repeating or tweeting or agreeing to others opinion.
    • Hence, in the time I had, I have tried to analyze by learning what is standard, governing bodies of standards, and with available content of ISO 29119
  2. As a tester, I have not said it is good or bad. I have said, it is not yet in testable state if you are expecting me to provide the information to help you in making the decision it is good or bad.
    • When it reaches to the testable state?
      • Refer the previous section of this blog post.
    • What factors are not strengthening the testability of ISO 29119?
      • Refer the blog post series Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4, 

-- End of Part 4 --
-- End --

Hot Cold Topic "Standards" : I'm not a Judge; I'm an advocating Tester -- Part 3

You expect me to be judge and say, "that is wrong!" or "that is bad!" ?  Or you expect me to be a tester and say "it looks to be unfair for these reasons" or "it looks to be fair for these reasons" or "with these information from investigation and tests I have carried out, this is what it looks like" ?

I remain to be an advocating tester and I cannot say upfront ISO 29119 is bad or wrong. Let me say, to do this, I need to have enough details, investigations, evidences, record and analyze the opinions of WG26 members of ISO. I don't have enough data on these or from these. How can I say it is bad? If said, will my opinion look rational to opposing groups, supporting groups, WG26 and ISO? 

Wait! But, I can try to analyze "why and what" in what I'm seeing, to an extent. I will say what I'm observing n this post using what I have got for testing and analysis. And I will leave it to reader in me, to learn what is missing than coming to point "good" or "bad"

Guidelines no more; Rules, it is? When?

Have I noticed the set of defined guidelines in any public place (bank, temples, church, mosque, Government office, hospitals etc.)? Have I come across contexts and situations when these guidelines becoming the mandate rules and as a convention to follow? If yes, then what is guidelines? Is it a reference of conduct and execution mentioned in Standards?  For example, every one should be punctual to office and has to be by 9 AM, is a guideline. Yes!

That means, anything said or accepted as "Standards" or "Guidelines", it will have the capabilities to become the convention rules or mandate rules based on the circumstances. So can I assume or also take that ISO Standards or any other Philosophies of Practice are no exemption from this and it has capabilities to become the mandate rules to use for execution and code of conduct? Yes!

Now, if a group of software testing practitioners opposing ISO 29119 by believing it is not up to mark or it has no base at all to be guidelines and it if is used, software testing practice will not be better, they have a point. Because, the guidelines can become a rule. The same with group of people who support ISO 29119 and if they are happy and convinced with their philosophy of practice. Isn't that fine? So what should I do? See the concluding part of this post after reading all the sections in this post.

I want to repeat this again, "I'm not saying, I'm opposing ISO 29119 or supporting it". I'm trying to learn the happenings around here and find what is missing here, and then come to a stand of my first opinion on this.

Software Testing industry, how young it is?

Before asking this question, do I know how young the words "Standards", "Guidelines", "Industry", "Software" are? I'm too young and inexperienced to talk about industries age. But,"Standards" is older than "Software Testing"?  I read this post on UTest and the same information I had read four years back. If I take this as a reference, a bug was found in 1947. And, let me also take the reference of when was the first book on Software Testing got published and has any techniques got added or updated other than Black Box, White Box and Grey Box? While I believe, we are staying at same place in few aspects, we practitioners are advancing and have advanced in other aspects of the subject.

Is this an indication of how young is Software Testing in the industry and as an industry? And, the task we do while building software cannot be seen as a 'mass production' or 'mass manufacturing' because it is from design to implementation. Can I define this is the standards which one should follow here while building software or while testing it? I believe, it cannot be done if it is a mandating one. Design activity can have set of guidelines to know what should be considered but not a mandate or rules saying this is how it should be for every case. And I see same for implementation. 

Post implementation that is when the software in production or ready for production, can it be replicated or mass manufactured? May be, yes. For example, Windows OS CDs sold by Microsoft. I have a copy which can be deployed and I can install it on multiple locations doing contextual change (setup change of programs and tests for it). But still, I think, I cannot bring in the defined set of standards to tell this how it should be done in case of Software Industry. But having a reference is no harm which says this has to be followed to avoid such problems later. Mandating it as rules to build or execute, saying this is holy book or papers, can be fatal for craft, stakeholders, practitioner and academic group of Software industry, if it is accepted blindly.

Building and testing the software for banking, manufacturing, industrial automation and trading, should have standards? I believe and expect, people who are involved in building software for these areas has to know if there are any Standards defined and does the software adheres to those Standard.

Any field of study will have at least two group of people -- Academic group of a subject and Industrial practicing group of a subject. Can there multiple groups among these two groups? Yes, there can be multiple groups within these two groups. Should all these groups agree and have same opinion? Not necessarily. Should all these groups agree to "Standards" drafted for subject they practice? This is tough question isn't it? 

Any job and every job will have design, implementation, mass production or mass manufacturing is an art. To wind up this part of discussion, can there be mandate rules or enforcing standards for an art? 

Having a guidelines to say, these should be covered for avoiding the problems that might come up in business or trade or exchange is no harm. It is a heuristic. Should, Software Testing industry to have this no matter what is its age? This is yet another tough question, isn't it? Outcome is very clear with an example of ISO 29119 and opposition for it saying there is no base in it. 

What is in petition STOP ISO 29119 ?

Here is the petition.  The petition says to suspend and with draw all drafts of ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119 Software Testing standards, saying

It is our view that significant disagreement and sustained opposition exists amongst professional testers as to the validity of these standards, and that there is no consensus (per definition 1.7 of ISO/IEC Guide 2:2004) as to their content.
Let me consider, Software Testing subject having at least two groups i.e. Academic Students and Industry Practitioners. These two groups can come from any philosophies of practice. If these two groups forming significantly bigger number as per ISO Consensus Guide and also disagreeing to ISO 29119 standards, ISO has to pitch in and evaluate the standards formed.

What is in disagreement and what is not acceptable should have been elaborated in writing the petition. I read the comments in these petition and it makes sense when I look from the perspective of petition supporting group.  

For tester as me who does not understand the standards because it is not public and not getting enough data to understand what is clear, unclear and missing, I cannot make any decision on, whether ISO 29119 is good or bad. There are missing stuffs for learning this (good or bad) in case of ISO 29119 before making a decision, it is good or bad. Isn't it? 

With this, I look, there is problem else where as well which is keeping the software testing practitioners apart. For first, this has to be addressed before getting into solving ISO 29119 problems. Yes? May be fixing that problem for first, might help to see if there is a need for standard or not. If it says it is required, then I know what it should have and why so, and what not to have and why so. 

Invitation and price for Standards, becomes a ? mark.

Did not ISO team invite these opposing practicing group for this task? I don't know. Inviting the members to review and working group publicly and making it as an announcement will be helpful to ISO to avoid such happenings. If said it is done publicly, did the opposing group knew that? Did we write or copy for them as a reference? If not, they have point in opposing and saying we re not included. If they had given the invitation and none bothered to join, then anyone opposing or questioning, if hasn't participated upon invitation, whose problem it is? 

Which are the places where the invitation should be displayed publicly, is important because the standards are being formed to an industry and every one should know that. Where are the places I should disclose the notification, invitation and message? ISO has to consider this seriously, if there are opposing groups. Otherwise, it is waste of ISO's money and time in forming standards which does not get accepted or at least to get reviewed by academic and industry practitioners groups.

If said about these standards in the conferences alone, it is not that much useful. In my country, conference price are no small amount which can be paid by a practitioner who takes 10000 to 30000 INR as salary every month. May be leads, managers, VP's, and CxO's will be in these conferences. What is the use? Standards should be reaching to last node who implements the design and thoughts. ISO, isn't it? Speaking about standards and giving the publicity for drafts in conferences alone is not enough helpful as per me.

And as said in last section, Software Testing industry is still young when compared to other industries which has ISO standards. Having the minimum price to obtain the Standards drafted for Software Testing industry, looks like not acceptable in a perspective. If you ask why, what amount of software building and testing tasks comes to small companies than to the Tier 1 companies? Can these small companies invest their money right away on all these purchase? Let us say, they should invest, but will they? Probably not. But if still insisted, it might happen that standards drafted will be only for who can afford it. Do you see any impact here?

Yes, ISO is non-profit organization and it has to bear the cost for every activity in forming the standards. But, it should also know the context of industry to which standards are being formed. Giving the ISO 29119 draft for free until, there comes a common opinion to have standards or not, may be helpful to ISO, academics and industry practitioners groups. Otherwise, draft will have such opposing petitions leaving the few practitioners with no clue in knowing what actually is in standards and being out of such discussion.

I could not afford to pay and obtain the ISO 29119 standards draft and I requested for it. ISO replied with a mail to contact WG26 members in my country and know the choice of purchase. I cannot afford to purchase it for now and hence I did not wish to proceed further with this. I respect ISO for writing a mail and listening to that voice of me.  I don't know what is in the draft other than knowing its topic of it from here. With this, I cannot say it is bad or good. Doing that is fair enough testing from me being a tester?

Reply from ISO for above tweet of me

Concluding Part 3
  1. I being a tester, do not take job of judging an aspect as "good" or "bad". Instead, I'm trying  to analyze and investigate by presenting my advocacy here. Let the reader in me decide, is there something actually gone bad or I'm seeing this happening for having no oneness among the practitioners for improving the subject Software Testing.
  2. Any guidelines or standards can become a rule. The guidelines or standards will have this capability if the context goes uncontrolled and unexpected. This can become a nightmare to practitioners and industry. May be for this few oppose.
  3. Software industry before it starts the task of mass production or mass manufacturing, it is an industry where most of its time are spent in design, analysis, implementation and continuous evaluation of output. Contexts and technology which comes or changes unexpectedly will make the scenarios much more challenging here.
    • With this, standards might not fit in so soon if it used as a rule.
    • If used as a guideline, it will be a corner document in physical drive of disk.
    • Software industry is still young as per me, for all this.
    • But the registered organization in a country will have standards to adhere with Quality Management Systems.
  4. Support of academic and industry practitioner groups of a subject is very essential for forming standards in the subject. Do we have that? 
  5. I did not invitation for working ISO 29119 is not evident to be public at this time of my writing. ISO has to think about giving the publicity of its work.
  6. Pricing of ISO 29119 draft, is not convincing in this context and I expected the first few drafts of it to be be free until, academic and industrial practitioner groups accepts and support the standards formed. I could not read as I could not afford it.
  7. With all these points, I cannot convince myself to support the STOP ISO 29119 or support WG26 team for their work.
  8. Before saying it is bad or good, there are stuffs which has to be done and it is not yet started. These are mentioned in above sections.

-- End of Part 3 --

Hot Cold Topic "Standards" : The word 'Testing' between - International, Society, Organization, Standards and I -- Part 2

You missed a brainstorm session today? Come back to this churning session from the brain after having this brainstorming session. Storm and churn will be very good experience in the adventure!

Does my organization or forum in which I'm talking has got specific template, style and format? And did I use it to present? Was this to help me to communicate in ease within the common ecosystem or for publicity or to have uniformity in all work by showing how it try to appear for receiver/consumer (or public)?

Crompton, was wrong?

Who is Crompton?  Before knowing this, let me try to answer the below questions.
  1. Do my nation export the electrical equipment and component?
  2. Do my nation import the electrical equipment and component?
  3. Are there people efforts and money involved here in this manufacturing, import and export with different culture, geographical and life style?
  4. The people who work with electrical systems across the world, what do they understand by looking at these below two pictures? Do I understand anything and does it communicate anything to me?

Crompton was an engineer, inventor and industrialist. When I hear of standards, he flashes to my mind and what he did was needed at that point of time and now as well. What I should understand here is, it is the different industry and I'm in a different industry but my work can be with electrical software systems. How does it make difference is the question and I want to learn this in part 3 and not now. So, let me wait and continue churning of the brain thoughts. Refer the section 'Standardisation' in this hypertext.

Now there are standard symbols and representations which is used globally for communication among electricians. Is, Crompton wrong for bringing in Standardization and process in his field of work? I don't know what problems electricians are facing because of standards. I wish, I knew that while I write this if any exist.

Or what Crompton brought is wrong? I don't want to deviate from here to analyze and see perspectives of that. For me, what he did was needed at that time and today as well. So, the IEC, IEEE and ISO. While they stand useful to some (or most), likewise they may stand as trouble to some (or most).

I want to ask this to myself, "Ravi, no doubt that any job is an art and craft. But is that job is one time job or it is a continuous production/manufacturing or mass production? Does this make difference? Is software industry a mass manufacturing or mass production?" What should I say for this? Let me come to this in part 3.

The chemical and Physics Units, Symbols, formula and notations as well are implicit standards but not very explicit. Did I forget SI units and measurement system which we use in everyday? What about kilometer, liter? Stock exchange, rupee and dollar value, any standards there? Finance, banking and trade system is not a new industry or market. It exists from centuries and to make it clear among trading nations and governing bodies, standards are required. Testers testing BFSI domain can tell what are ISO standards which banking systems expects and why and what happens if it does not exist.  Can, the bank deny the ISO standards just because as a software tester I don't support ISO 29119?

International, Society, Standards, Organization - Transparent Words

Should the groups calling itself as "Society" and "Organization" focus on only one group of society? If yes, then it is giving space to bring multiple groups in the one society of people? If so, it is clear and implicit that, anything can be applied or not applicable to a group contextually, if I happen to call myself as this is my society. I don't want to analyze further on this.

Anyone, who uses the words "international", 'society", "organization" and "standards", I believe there stuffs should be transparent to the 'one' society of all of us. If there is a open question about the operation and functioning of bodies, it should be respected and data has to be produced. Else, in my opinion, using these words has no meaning. Being transparent and welcoming the critics from opposition or one's own working group, is mark of professionalism and probably an indication of mutual respect and progress.

I don't want to write on the fight that happens over words on web that I see among the two (or/and many) groups of one place or professing having the words 'society', 'international', 'organization' and 'standards' in there name. Because, I feel there is no point in that unless there is an acknowledgment of lessons learned mutually than mutually saying we are movement or war for difference in views that put away each others.

To give another perspective from software testing, I believe there is a subject called Localization (L10N) testing which emphasize on Internationalization (I18N). When I expects this in the software, that my software should be transparent and functional enough in understanding the standards which are contextual to the local areas, can't I expect the same from group which uses words 'international', 'society', 'organization', and 'standards' ? Expecting this from any one who uses the words mentioned in previous sentence, is a sin? Standards are best suited to contextual situations if they are transparent in knowing if this is applicable or not to solve the problems which I have. Implicitly, I'm given the freedom to ask when I see those words (i.e. international, standards, society) if I'm also in same ecosystem of interest.

I see the petitions signing for making the information public but when the questions come to the transparency of one group in a petition be it 'society' or 'organization', then I have seen unclear happenings. Why is that? I don't know! This was not topic of interest and hence did not feel like collecting information to show it now.

Standards and Consensus - What it is?

Let me learn what ISO says about word 'Standards' and 'Consensus of Standards'. I have copy pasted the below contents and its source is mentioned.

What is Standard?
A standard is a document that provides requirements, specifications, guidelines or characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose.
Source  (as on 15th Sep 2014 7:27 PM IST)

ISO System Consensus
The ISO process for adopting new standards is called consensus-based decision-making,[53] In the ISO system consensus is defined as 
  • General agreement, characterized by the absence of sustained opposition to substantial issues by any important part of the concerned interests and by a process that involves seeking to take into account the views of all parties concerned and to reconcile any conflicting arguments.[54]
Where decision-making is subject to ballot by member bodies, a requirement for super-majority support generally applies.[55]
During the ISO Standardization Process, if a Draft Internation al Standard does not receive 75% of the vote, it is not approved, returning to lower stages.[56]
Source: (International Standardization section as on 15th Sep 2014 7:38 PM IST) 

Has ISO/IEC/IEE 29119 Software Testing Standard received 75% of vote from software testing community? Who are picked to be in this group to form a community of 100%? I don't know. I will analyze on this in part 3 and not now. Now you will see something interesting in next section.

Are These Tweets As Per Standards?

In this section, I'm sharing the tweets of @standardsforum on Standards, Regulations, Regulators, Culture, Organization, Quality, Ego, Stakeholders and Politics. I feel this may helap to understand 'Standards' from people who associate and work with Standards and guidelines.

The tweets in above slide looks to be from people who work with Standards and their implementation. It is not a topic of discussion just for Software Testing, it is for the areas where standards are being thought to be available. I don't say thinking of standards creation is wrong; for few, it may also be seen as a way of making one's work or craft being better.

But the question is,

  1. how better and what core philosophies of the craft gets affected
    • because the service seekers who may be unaware or not bothered to know the philosophy of craft, and just expects the outcome believing if used these defined standards, her of his expected work become better
  2. how it molds the service providing organization's employees education if just said 'follow these standards'.
I repeat again, I'm not saying, standards will tamper the education of one. It is people who involved may become stuck to just these standards unless there is a strong compelling from inside each person in the organization to be better in craft and the organization supports it with stakeholders support. How to know what is better? May be this is the question which is the source of controversy, fights, petitions, oppose, support, and what else?

Any craft or work or skill or study is beyond the standards defined by any organization. I can't even say 'standards' are abstraction of the craft. But standards helps in it's own ways and in the particular contexts.

Changing the core philosophies of the craft for sake of bringing the standards is good enough? What is the core philosophies of the craft? For first this has to be learned before bringing in the ideas of standards. Are there any practicing groups which follow there own philosophies for the subject? If yes, each group has to be included and it is responsibility of each groups to be there, if "Standards" are being formulated for the craft and if everyone (or group of stakeholders) agree or disagree for it.

The ego, political impressions, classifying others and their practicing style, and blaming has to go away. And we need to start thinking it is our subject and can be better if we work at it as a team or family Are there any standards defined for this? It is expected to be implicit in any work? 

Will a stakeholder who expects service, bother to ask for standards in the subject and craft or service provided as part of delivery, if there is a common understanding on the work we do? But, in practicality having common and only one opinion, is not possible. If that exist, probably the craft has not progressed any more, is my understanding. So, can we have standards for Software Testing industry in software industry? I will express my opinion what I have for now on this, in part 3.

Concluding Part 2

  • Standards have their own place and it is required. Where it is required and till what extent it is required and how it is and will be used has to be clearly educated and understood.
  • Mass production (food industry) or Mass Scale Manufacturing (electrical appliances), Finance, Trade (banking), Quality Regulations of Organization (appraisal and payroll system, etc), has to be reviewed and it needs a guideline which has to be followed as per the context. If context demands, there should be a change in it or should not be used further if context demands this way and it works out best. But do I enter into any business and legal problems? I have to know this.
  • If standard hasn't changed in past 30 years, then either that standard is not used at all or the craft is not seen any change or advancement or there is a conflict of interest be it in people there or knowing the subject of the work. Or the subject or area of work is still young to consider for standards formation.
  • Does software industry work have any mass production work? Yes, they have. If so, should all the work, education and process in software industry has to have standards? 
  • Software industry should have standards? I'm too immature and young to share on this. But I have my opinions. Should, Software Testing industry need to have standards? My practice and experience in this area are too little or insufficient to speak on this, but I have my learning and situational learning.
  • Ego, difference in practice culture, difference in seeing the skills, learning resource, work produced by each other groups, blaming, hidden politics if any and other factors that hinders the subject, has to shredded. Better place will have active involvement for a common accomplishment and I wish to see Software Testing to be here, whether it has (or gets) standards or not.
  • Is there any standards to have no standards?

-- End of Part 2 --

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 --