Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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 --

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