Ajoy Kumar Singha
I have been planning this post for a long time. Moolya Testing has given me the boost to write this now.

Do I want to win the T-shirt offered by Pradeep, Santhosh and the team? Yes, anything from a great startup with great people and great ethical values would an award worth winning.

So I must share something for which I did not get recognized from my organization. I have many. Randomly chosen 3 stories.

Story 1 – November 2006.

I had just joined my new company then. We were testing an enterprise content management product. That product is a platform independent product of a top listed IT company in the world. Whole lots of patch releases and lots of regression cycle were going on in various application server and operating system combinations. I was just learning the product and how to run the product in UNIX systems and J2EE based application servers. I must say we had around 105 platform (OS vs App server) combinations to test. The product was also using a legacy system as storage engine for enterprise contents.

If you remember starting summer of 2007 US government changed the daylight saving time (DST). From 1987 to 2006, daylight saving time in the United States began on the first Sunday of April and ended on the last Sunday of October. The time is adjusted at 2:00 AM (0200) local time.

Since 2007, daylight saving time starts on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November, with all time changes taking place at 2:00 AM (0200) local time. DST implementation varies from region to region. This means all the computers running with US region configuration had to adjust 3 weeks. Operating systems were pre-programmed to adjust old US DST system. Also application servers, Java Virtual Machines, Legacy systems all had to release their patch/service pack to implement the new DST system.

In our product we had a feature with which we could add annotations to the documents. This is a time sensitive feature. Whenever someone annotates a document it captures the timestamp. So in a workflow application where there are SLAs defined at minutes, these timestamps are very important. So introduction of new DST system with 3 weeks of adjustment would potentially cause problem to our timestamp feature. At the end of 2006, just before 2 months from the implementation of new system, my product development team was very sure that since it was the responsibility of OS, App server, JVM and legacy system vendors to update the systems to fix this problem we had nothing to do and no code changes and hence no testing would be required.

We were carrying a risk of not testing anything for DST. I did some R&D by downloading the available patches and setting the clock forward to 2nd Sunday of March 2007 and looking at the changes. I bumped into some problem during the experiment. I reported this to our product manager. He discussed the things again with development guys but I failed to convince them again. Needless to say I was the only tester in the whole product team with 8 developers. I was new to the team and they are sounding more technically advanced than me at that point of time.

In next one week, I sat late in office trying to set up a small test lab – where all the machines had software with DST patch updates. I deployed our product and set up a small work flow with in the application. I advanced the system dates to 2nd Sunday of March 2007 and reproduced the problem. I captured this information in details. Then I took help of a developer friend from our ODC, not from my dev team to look into the code of the product (I am a no-coding guy). He took 3 nights to come up with the solution. He made a one line code change and we rebuild the product. I deployed the new build in the test lab and tried to reproduce the problem. No I could not find the problem. That means the problem was in the code itself not with patches.

Next morning, I sent out a detailed email mentioning what I found and what code changes we made. I was scolded for sharing the code information with other team’s member. They never recognized the problem I was trying to capture. Later the development manager took 2 months billing for 3 resources from the client sent the patch with my code change. Officially I never got recognition for this story. But I am happy that I saved the organization from some embarrassments that may have happened if I had not rebuilt the product.

Story 2 – August 2010.

I wanted to initiate and take care of a very popular event in software testing. Actually I wanted to head the NCR chapter of that community. I had no direct contact with the founders. I was talking to somebody who was in NCR that time. I asked him with my proposal and he seemed to agree. I was expecting a reply from the founders but I never got to hear from anyone. I was very frustrated because my repeat emails were not answered. One night I decided that I will do something that would one day surpass the popularity of that event. That was how Testing Circus was born in the mid night of 14th/15th August – the independence day of India.

I have been publishing this magazine from last September onwards. I have received many positive and negative feedbacks for my work and effort. I started a truly Indian magazine dedicated on Software Testing. The magazine is aimed at educating professionals at basic levels. That’s why you would not see many pedantic subjects and you would find features like test case writing, QTP code corner etc. Interview with tester is aimed at encouraging new testers to get advice and future trends in testing. I also wanted to let learning testers know who all are there in twitter who are well known in testing domain. This I assume would help networking with other testers and mentors. I have always tried to balance articles from expert people plus encouraged a newbie to write something for my magazine. This is how I wanted to cultivate and encourage new people to write even though it means rewriting the whole article by me and asking him to learn from that and do the same thing again.

How do I collect articles from experts? Few people have always supported me by giving articles and giving permission to print their interviews. I try to write to experts to give articles for the magazine and I have been doing it constantly. I just do not want to copy something from their blogs and re-print the same in Testing Circus. Sometimes people respond, sometimes not.

How do I manage time between my full time job as a project lead and weekend training sessions at my testing coaching class as you might know I teach testing on weekends at my drawing room? Mostly I work at nights for Testing Circus; not hampering my job at office. That means I sleep few hours less than average IT professionals of my age.

What am I getting? No monetary benefit. No Google ads. No paid ads. I am getting few positive and lots of feedbacks that say I should improve. Also my organization never seems to care about my initiative and it has never given me any impact on my appraisals. But I am happy.

Story 3 – November 2010.

We knew one another and have been talking over phone and twitter but we never met or all planned meeting actually never happened because of some reasons or others. But SoftTech Software Testing conference on 13th November in New Delhi actually helped us meet physically for the first time. There we hatched a plan – to have regular testers meet in NCR Region on a monthly basis and of course a free event for test enthusiasts. Today we proudly call NCR Testers Meet (NCRTMM) as our brain child. Two Vipuls (Vipul Kocher and Vipul Gupta) and I cultivated the ground for free testers meet in NCR and we started the journey on 18th December in Noida. Today we are four meets old and we have 410 registered members. We are planning for a full day conference in April in Noida to be attended by speakers from all over India. Thanks to our venue and food sponsors. We are actively supported by Indian Testing Board. We have plans to open a Software Testing Book Library in every city monitored by us. The concept of NCR Testers Monthly Meet is replicated in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore. Wao! – I am loving it.

My organization hardly knows about this initiative. Even we officially tried to convince the point-of-contacts to sponsor the venue for our meet; we never got any positive reply. But I am happy again.

Sometimes you do not do things to get recognition from your organizations. I believe many such stories exist in Indian Testing Story Book. It is our passions that drive us to do new things, experiment with newer ideas. If I am doing some good work in Indian Testing Domain then it is because of advice, criticism, encouragement and support that I received from few people. I will name those people in a different post.

If I win a T-shirt from Moolya Testing, then I plan to give away that to another passionate tester in the April NCRTMM Conference happening in Noida.

If you have similar stories, share that in http://moolya.com/blog/2011/03/14/10-t-shirt-giveaways-from-moolya/ You might win a T-shirt too.


NOTE - I won the competition and they gave me Two T-shirts actually, instead of one. :)