Views of a Passionate Tester...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I know I was right.....

4:17 PM Posted by Mohit , 5 comments
2 days ago:
The phone was ringing continuously. Nobody was ready to pick up the phone. Everybody was enjoying the party thrown on the occasion of successful delivery of the product. It had been more than one week since the product was delivered. We were just waiting for the client's confirmation about the product, yesterday he gave the confirmation that he was satisfied with the product. After confirmation the management thought to celebrate the success and thrown a party on the workplace. The beer is flowing like water in the river. Everybody was dancing on remix version of song being played on one of the system:
I am a champion, a blue ribbon, gold medal kid.
I am a champion, a blue ribbon, gold medal kid.
I am a champion, I know in my heart.
I am a champion, I've known it from the start.
You are a champion, a blue ribbon, gold medal kid.
You are a champion, a blue ribbon, gold medal kid.
You are a champion, you know in your heart.
You are a champion, you've known it from the start.
We are all champions, we're a blue ribbon, gold medal team.
We are all champions, we're a blue ribbon, gold medal team.
We are all champions, we know in our hearts.
We are all champions, we've known it from the start.
Champion, champion.... I'm a champion.
Champion, champion.... you're a champion.
Champion, champion.... we're all champions!!

In such a toxic ambiance nobody bothered to pickup the phone. When the ringing was not stopped,The ProjectManager picked up the phone. During conversation, his colors of face has started to change. Something was very serious.

437 days ago:
Today I had interview with "XYZSquare Solutions Pvt. Ltd." for the position of Test Engineer. It was a great opportunity for me as I was looking for a change since last 3 months and this company also has big name than previous one. Anyway, the interview was great and they offered me 70% hike from my current package. I immediately accepted the offer.

385 days ago:
Today a new project was assigned to me. There were 15 members in the team - 1 Project Manager, 1 Delivery Manager, 1 Technical Consultant, 1 Team Leader, 10 Developers and 1 Tester (i.e. me). This was one of the critical product with very tight scheduling. The work has started with pace and lot of enthusiasm. Everybody was trying to put all his efforts.

129 days ago:
I was sitting in the cabin of Project Manager watching the kites in the sky outside from the window. My Manager was busy in reading the report submitted by me. After going through the report he asked me the motive of coming ( Indirectly, he was asking about the urgency for which I had awaken him from his nap). I described him the situation, 312 issues were already open and I was still counting but nobody was bothered to fix them as everybody was busy with some development activity. There were some critical issues. He assured me that once the development is completed, all the issues would be fixed. I was not able to understand his strategy because bug fixing at later stage would definitely cost more but I needed to agree with him.

20 days ago:
The delivery manager called me and asked about the status. Just 10 days were remaining in the delivery and it was first time when Delivery Manager asked about the product. I was wondering "Had he been sleeping for one year?". Anyway, i told him that there were few issues which must be fixed before delivery.

10 days ago:
The delivery manager came to me and asked about the status. He was looking worried. I told him that still 2 high severity bugs were there and must be fixed before delivering the product. He gazed at me for few moments and asked me about the issues. I gave him a brief summary and told him the impact of those two bugs. After lot of consideration and calculation (?) he declared that these issues could be deal in next release as the scenario was very rare in real world and the probability of client meeting with this issue was 1/10000.

According to him the product was ready to deliver. He also deleted the bugs from the "Known Issues" list to show the delivery of bug free product.

9 days ago:
Today the team were very happy. Its a big day after all. All their efforts which they put in the product were going to live today. Everybody was planning about their holidays. Everybody was expecting some reward from the management. I was also happy but a doubt was there in my mind - What if the client finds the issue in 1st attempt instead of 10000th attempt? At 9 P.M. all the files has been uploaded on the client site. It has taken complete 3 hours to upload.

Now the ball was in the client court. The delivery manager told us that for a week the client is going to perform acceptance testing on the product and then if he gives us clean chit then there would be a party from the management.

I was sitting in front of COO of the company. The delivery manager and my project manager were also there. The COO was angry with us (specially me) because the client has called him in the midnight and shouted on him madly. The client was really angry because one of his client has refused to accept the product due to some error and client has declared not to pay the remaining balance. It was one of the issues which I want to be fixed before delivering the product.

The COO wanted to know why the issue was not found during the testing. I tried to tell him that Issue was found and I also put the issue in front of delivery manager but he allowed the delivery of the product without fixing of the issue.

He asked me if issue was found then why it was not there in the list of 'known issues'. I told him the truth again. But, according to him it was a lame excuse. If the issue was very serious then I should make it fixed before delivery, as it was totally my responsibility. I opposed him as the quality is the responsibility of everybody in the project. He was blaming me for the mistake made by the delivery manager. It was he who deferred the bug. While having these words with COO, my Project Manager was signaling me to shut my mouth but I was on high drive. Perhaps the effect of beer was still there or it was the pride of a tester, whatever, hearing this the COO was pissed of me. He found me very arrogant and decided that no reward bonus or salary hike will be granted to me.

I have resigned from the company today and now I am jobless. There is no repentance on the decision which I have made because I know I was right.


After 3 years:
Now a days I am working as Testing Consultant and testing a project for the "XYZSquare Solutions Pvt. Ltd." and charging them double the amount of what I charge from others :)

The Song "Champions" is written by Debbie Clement. Debbie Clement is an Arts Enrichment Specialist serving young children and their families, often children with special needs. Her twenty years of experience demonstrate her passion for teaching and her love of children. An educator as well as a singer-songwriter, in 1998 Debbie was awarded the Ella Lyman Cabot Trust award for preschool music serving children with special needs.
The story written above is purely a work of fiction and imagination. It doesn't belong to anybody living or dead.
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Anonymous said...

Good one. I liked the 10 days part of the experience. We ( test engineers) went through this many time is the project cycles. I hope some day the delivery teams stand up and say let us do the right thing for the product rather to the dates / money

Michael Bolton said...

A lovely story. It may be fictional, but there are many like it.

I'd like to emphasize what I take to be the point of the story: NOT that delivery team (or the product manager) should do what the tester says, but rather than the decision to ship the project (or not) lies entirely with the project manager. No bug is ever the responsibility of a person who does not have responsibility or authority to fix it. If you get fired from a company that holds you, the tester, responsible for creating or solving problems that are outside of your control, then being fired from that company is a good thing.

I'd be careful of Anonymous's hope—not because I disagree with the right thing, but because the right things are not incompatible with the dates and the money. That is, this isn't a case for "rather than". Project development needs an evolving understanding of what's possible, given that a project has to fulfill both technical and business requirements. These aren't mutually exclusive, but they do need to be balanced with each other.

---Michael B.

Mohit said...

@Anonymous: Thanks for commenting here. What you are concerned about has been taken care in comment by Michael Sir.

@Micheal Sir: It was really a surprise for me to see you here, The ice on the cake is that you like the story. I am agree with you what you said. The point is noted.

Mohit Verma

Santhosh Shivanand Tuppad said...

Just "Awesome". That's all I can say for now :)

All the best.

Santhosh Shivanand Tuppad

Mohit said...


Thanks Dear :)