Saturday, August 5, 2017

Manifesto for Quality Assurance & Testing


Inspired by legendary Agile manifesto and my own experiences:

1) Having the talent to see through & anticipate failures over finding them later

2) Using machines/tools/humans as slaves to get things done over becoming their slaves

3) Common sense over conventional wisdom

4) Questioning every assumption & requirement with respect over sheep-walking

5) Doubting (with respect) over trusting or hoping for the best.

6) Being reasonable, firm  & constructive over being the opposite


Friday, June 23, 2017

Fighting with my tenant....

Fighting with my tenant to give him his full security deposit back but he insists on getting paid less
Sounds familiar? May be not. At least, doesn't happen often. He is staying in our apartment for last 2 years. No complains. Rent on time always without any reminders.

Well, what more can you ask ?

He has a daughter around the same age as ours (around 4 yrs). Kids know no boundary so she does like to color the walls :) We knew this when we were giving the flat to a family with little kids and mentally prepared that we will anyways have to get the painting done again. While we treat anyone else's property with utmost respect and our daughter is brought up with the same thinking. We had standard 2 month security deposit if there are any major damages.

Well, my tenant, Syed is vacating our apartment as he is moving to a different city. As expected, the walls were bit colorful by now and bathroom had some usual wear and tear

I am a reasonable person. I need to invest my own property as this was our first home.
I told him, i am going to return his security deposit in full and thanked him for staying with us.
He comes back and says, no and i should deduct the damages from the security deposit to which i am surprised but i politely decline.

He insists that i should keep half of the security deposit. We negotiate for sometime that i don't want to deduct more than minimum required for fixing. I reluctantly agree because there is indeed some damage and glad to see that he strongly feels that same way.

Finally, we agree. What's the lesson here ? Nothing that we don't know but we don't practice much.
Be kind and others will be kind to you when you least expect.
In life, when we think of negotiation, we always think that you negotiate for getting "more" out of the situation but i learnt today that you can negotiate to get "less" and still get "more"
Reminder to myself, be nice to people more often without expecting anything in return.

Dealing with frustation and coming out as a winner !!

I ride my bicycle to work everyday and I absolutely love that part of my life as not only i reach my office, which i have to anyways, but also get some good exercise. It was going great for last one and half year till a month back when I had a flat tire when i was on my morning weekend ride, 30 kms from my house. I was surprised as it doesn't happen often in Singapore as roads are so good. I was cool about it as it used to happen a lot more often during my school days while growing up in India. I thought i will dismount and push my bike to find a bicycle repair shop to get it fixed. Little did i know that Murphy's law is going to come into play and I wouldn't find a shop after pushing the bike for around 3-4 kms even though that stretch indeed has quite a few bike shops which i pass by every weekend without even barely noticing them.  Finally, i got a cab driver who was kind enough to try to put my full size bike into the boot space. I got home as it was early in the morning and lot of bicycle repair shops were still closed and i thought of dealing with it a later point.

Now the ordeal begins. In the evening, I looked for nearest bicycle shop and it was 2 km away. I pushed my bike to find out that it was closed. A bit disappointed, this time i tried to be a bit more smarter by finding the next closest shop and called them to check if they are open. Then i pushed my bike for another 2 km to get there and felt victorious that they would now fix my problem and this will be all behind me.

This is Singapore and not India. In India, we don't dispose thing off just like that. If you get a flat tire then you get the puncture done. You do in a for loop every time it happens till the bicycle mechanic gives you an expression that it's enough and it's time to for a new tube. I guess here time is more scarce and you don't fix things instead dispose and just replace it.  Anyways, the girl at the shop looked at my flat tire from behind the counter and said I need to get a new tube. I didn't question her judgement as I  didn't know how bicycle doctors work  and I am anxious to have this fixed so i agreed though not convinced. In less than 3 mins, i was on my way home riding my bike again and feeling like a kid who got his first bike.

I got home, happy that i am all set for a new week to ride my bike to work again. Not bad at all. It happens sometimes but I did pretty well. Had my dinner and after an hour, i went to check my bike again to say good night before going to bed. I went from happy to sad in less than 2 seconds to see that the tire is flat again and the shop is closed by now. How on earth ? Hey, that's okay. Not your day may be. You tried. I will deal with it tomorrow evening and take the bus to work.

I get home next day evening from office with new determination to change things today. Pushed my bike to the same shop which was closed the day before (as that's the nearest one). I tried to tell them my unfortunate series of events and expecting a bit of sympathy but the staff wasn't interested and concluded in less than a second that solution is to change the tube and tire as well. Take it or leave it. Well, I tried persuading them that the tube is brand new and couldn't it be that just the valve that's faulty. You may think that I managed to convince them to have a look at the problem. Well, no. I was given an option, do what they have already concluded or feel free to leave. I thought about it. The tire had worn out as i was using this bike pretty regularly and yes, it could be well the tire  that could be the culprit and i should invest in something that i love. Now what can go wrong if I am changing the tire and tube both. I went for it.  Again, I am on bike and feeling excited again. Deja vu. I am very positive this time. Not efficient but the problem is fixed. Sometime, you need to take the deal even if its not what you wanted.

1 week later, I am on the way to office and my tire goes flat again. Seriously? This is not happening. Are you kidding me ? Awesome !!! What a start of the day. Am i pissed off now ? Yes, a little. I  park my bike near an apartment where it broke down, walked to the nearest bus station and reached office on time to deal with this in the evening. In the evening, reached the spot again, find the nearest shop and this time, found another shop that is 2 kms away. Why it has to be always 2 kms which i feel encouraged to push it as it not far enough to take a cab? Hey, its a good exercise. Walking is as good as cycling, i convince myself. Also, i thought that the last 2 shops were not good since they must have given me bad quality otherwise no way it would have got flat again on the same road i was treading all this while. I reach this shop sweating as weather is not very kind in Singapore for outdoor activities. Again, this mechanic looks to be the cousin of the other mechanic and pays no attention to my story and tells me that tube needs to be changed. There is no other shop in the vicinity. Even if there is, how would  that be different if this is the standard operating procedure here ? Though i was quite frustrated by now, i reluctantly agreed as I have limited options.

I will save you the painful details and let you know that today while returning from work, it happened again. I was heartbroken but hey, i don't give up. This time i searched and found another shop close to my office (again 2 km, i am not making this up). I checked that his reviews were pretty good as compared to the previous shops. I decided that today I am not going to play the victim and going to be cheerful about it. Got to the shop. Surprisingly, i was pretty relaxed today. Hey, i have seen it all. What worse can happen now? Things can only get better from here. For the first time, the mechanic listened to my bicycle medical history and like a seasoned surgeon, thought about it for more than 2 seconds & then concluded that the rim of the tire was probably damaging the new tubes everytime as that's the only thing that didn't change all this while. He placed an additional rubber layer on top of the rim before putting on a new tube. This sounds quite logical. One by one we have eliminated possible point of failure. Again I am on way back home feeling excited again. Couple of mins back i did a check on bike again and its intact so far.

Will it not happen again ? Probably, it will. Am i making progress? Definitely, Yes.  Am i frustrated, Hell, NO. That won't change anything. I will remain positive and keep making progress. I won't give up.  Was i was very smart about this ?  No, but i did learn something new every time and in the future, I wouldn't repeat that again. Do i have a plan if it happens again? Yes, this time, i will take my bike to the manufacturer's showroom which is across the island if the local shops are all selling inferior quality material.

By the way, that's my bike. Yes, i am a little obsessed with it but then a man should have a passion.


I know that this may not mean a lot to you but if you still reading this then the point i want to drive back home is that, unfortunate things happen and sometime they can happen quite often where you would find it hard to believe that it's even happening. The important thing is how you react to it. Sundar Pichai has a beautiful cockroach theory on the same line. Life can throw things at you which can make you quite unhappy or annoyed but how you decide to respond to it is your choice.

If you are wondering, what this post had to do with Testing as i did maintain this as a testing specific blog till date. Then I realized that there are some learning in life which are worth sharing as a reminder to yourself as well as to others who you may read and get inspired. This attitude helps me deal with problems at work everything where things do go wrong which are beyond your control always and we need to just keep fighting till we fix the problem.