Sunday, January 23, 2011

Skype - Paired Investigation for list of commands issue.

Last night was amazing. We had a testers chat on skype.
I sent out this tweet    and Phil Kirkham was the first one to ping me on Skype. Later we had Mohinder Khosla, Tony Bruce, Shrini Kulkarni, Albert Gareev, Michel Kraaij and Bala Sista joining us.
We (me, Phil, Mohinder, Tony) started off with an initial deadline of 45 minutes till 11pm IST. Later, as more testers joined, we extended till 12 midnight IST.

The session was very good. I am assuming that each one of them had their share of learning. During the discussion, after I typed a phrase, I got this:

Immediately I typed what I thought I had typed, in a notepad and tried that on Skype. The same list was displayed again. The text was:
/Knowing what skills is/ might help us define 'skills' better
Calling this as the 'Master Text' for the rest of this blog post 
I decided that I will investigate this behavior later. As soon I got up this morning, I pinged Allmas Mullah on Skype with the text '/xyz/ might help' expecting list of commands.
She replied with a standard '?' . Not surprised with the reply, I explained the purpose of my ping and asked her if we can spend ten minutes to investigate this issue? (It was an issue at that time to me)
By this time, even Allmas had reproduced the issue on her side.

Allmas started off with brilliant questions -
What's the plan of action? What's the strategy of investigation?

I opened my  favorite tool for such sessions - (Thanks to Jon Bach for introducing this tool in WT32).
Chat from
 Ajay: Lets copy paste the commands here & google for that. take the solution & search for the problem in skype support page or google. I am suspecting some answer would contain the words - type 'these words' and you will get the list of commands. Then we can compare our test words & the actual words.
Allmas: Even if you just type '/' it gives you a list of commands. So, its the '/' .
Aj: Good, when I type / I don't see anything in Skype chat. not even the / character.
AM: What version of Skype?
Meanwhile I click on the link which is displayed at the end of the complete list of commands and found this:
To see a list of the available commands simply type /help into the chat.
I pasted this on our chat and tried /help on Skype. A short list of commands was displayed.
With few more tests like
  • Removing few words from the Master Text
  • A / followed by a word. Ex: /word 
  • /(space)word 
  • word/ word

I was thinking that the second / in the sentence was causing this issue & trying more tests like word/ word
and Allmas was progressing on the right track by pointing to me that even a character followed by / gives the full list of commands.
So we arrived at two points:
  • Just '/' does nothing
  • '/' brings up a list of all commands supported by Skype.

Then I realized where I was going wrong and started trying further tests like / in between two lines of text.

Allmas was highlighting that /command looks like a UNIX command and looking at the language in which Skype was written. I was searching for a user guide which would explain the usage of /commands and I was failing miserably in my attempt. Allmas gave the link. It was at Support link > Step by Step guide.

Amazed by the number of user guides provided, I quickly searched for what I wanted in few of them.
Allmas pasted this:

Does Skype for Windows have command line options?
Yes, you can use these options:
I did not ask for the link or the complete information. I replied with 'I am wondering if Skype connect is different from Skype windows as I am not getting much help from the user guides.'
This did not go well with Allmas as we were on two different tracks :)
What followed was interesting:
To read the unedited chat, please click here.
If you do not want to read the chat, just ignore the link and read further.
We clarified our assumptions, we exchanged our learning.

Learning for me:

  • My belief in my quote: "When we listen and respect each other, Paired testing ROCKS" increased.
  • There is so much information. If you are ready to learn, there is no limit.
  • Be aware of what actions you perform. I remembered what I typed - the Master Text. If I had not remembered it, I might have taken more time to come to the conclusion.
  • Recognizing that there is a trap and coming out of it before its too late.
  • I need more & correct practice.
Special thanks to Allmas who agreed for ten minutes and ended up discussing for ninety minutes.

Useful Links:
Chat Commands:
User Guides:

If you are interested in further investigation, try this:
Why does /getba, /get ba and /getbanlist give three different results.
/getba - list of commands
/get ba - blank
/get banlist - executes the command

I would love to be part of such sessions. 
Feel free to ping me on Skype/Twitter at 'ajay184f' and not /ajay184f :)

Leia Mais…

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Developer & Tester on a Bug.

D - Developer
T- Tester

I have removed few confidential words about product/process. Other than that, this is a real conversation between a tester and a developer. Comments are welcome.

Leia Mais…

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Maths Trick - Where Am I Going Wrong

Book: Figuring: The Joy of Numbers - Shakuntala Devi
Pg 75 - Squares and Square Roots

If the number from which the square root is to be extracted is higher than 40000 you use a slightly different method.
For example, to extract the square root of 537289.
First break it up into groups of two figures, starting from the right:
                                       53 72 89
To find the hundreds figure of the square root go to the first memorised table.
53 stands between the squares of 7 and 8. the lower of these numbers is our first figure, 7.
To find the tens figure we must find the difference between 53 and the square of 7, that is between 53 and 49.
                                   53 - 49 = 4

We now put 4 before the left-hand digit of the second group of figures in the number from which we are extracting the square. this gives 47.
We divide this number by twice the figure already arrived as the first in the square root - 7 - plus 1.
This gives us 15
                      47 / 15 = 3, with remainder 2
The quotient thus obtained is the tens digit of the square root we are extracting, so the first two digits of the root are 73.

We know that the units digit must be 7 or 3, for the number ends in a 9. As the quotient obtained, 3, was greater than the remainder, 2, we take the smaller of the two possible figures and arrive at the complete square root of 733.

When the quotient is smaller than the remainder take the larger of the two possible figures as the units digit.
Now let us try for the square of 666 i.e., 443556
Step 1: Group 44 35 56
Step 2: 44 lies between 36(6 square) and 49(7 square). So we take 6.
Step 3: Subtract 6 square from 44
                  44 - 36 = 8
Step 4: Put 8 before 35 to get 83.
Step 5: Divide 83 by twice the figure already arrived (6) plus 1
So, 83 / 13 = 6, with remainder 5

As the last digit of 443556 is a 6, one's digit of square root must be either 4 or 6.
Step 6: As quotient is greater than remainder, we take the smaller of 4 & 6, i.e., 4 which gives us 664.
But square root of 443556 is 666 and not 664.

Please share your thoughts as comments or email me at ajay184f[AT]GMAIL.COM

Leia Mais…

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Peek Into The Future - A Bold Attempt

Date: 31 Dec 2011

I am feeling very good as I finish the year 2011.
Looking back, I am proud of my achievements, my new skills and new learnings.
This year has been the best year of my life. I planned at the start of the year, executed my plan throughout the year and today - I have achieved all the goals I had set my eyes on. I have to highlight that this is not been as easy as I thought it to be. When I started my year on Jan 1, I spent close to four hours developing an action plan for year 2011. I was inspired my Robin Sharma's Vlog - 'How to Make This New Year Your Best Year Yet'

There were 5 steps to be followed:

1. Celebration - Celebrate your past year's achievements, wins (small & big), special moments.
I had plenty to celebrate. This pdf sums it up.

2. Education - List out 5 business lessons, life lessons you learnt in the past 12 months. Also mention what was your thought process when you were at your best.
Business Lessons:

  • Always be prepared. An opportunity might knock anytime.
  • Work on your skills. Improve faster.
  • More projects means more contacts means more projects. Continue what you are doing.

Life Lessons:

  • This too shall pass - nothing is permanent - Joy, Sorrow, Nothing is permanent.
  • Grab every opportunity.
  • Be ready well before deadline. Do not keep it till the last moment unless the delay helps you deliver better results.

Thought Process:
I was in the zone. I focussed only on the goal. I did not pay attention to any of the distractions.

3. Clarification - List out your BIG 5 for next year. What five things should happen which will make 2011 the best year yet? What are your top 15 goals? What are your values?

My BIG 5 were:
1. Present at CAST 2011
2. Author of 2 books.
3. Learn Perl & save money.
4. Be the trainer (testing) for my organization.
5. Be a uTest bug battle winner.

Among the top 15 goals, my first goal was to read all the books listed here. The books are tagged under '2011 Book List' collection.

Values - Hard work, Fitness, Relationships & Enjoyment.

4. Graduation - Develop a plan for the next months. Tie your BIG 5, top 15 goals and values into a PLAN such that every month, you know your targets and what is to be achieved.
I developed my plan. I had time for all my goals, BIG 5 and spare time in December to wrap up any pending tasks.

5. Visualization - The most powerful step - Visualize your future. Visualize how you want to feel on Dec 31st, 2011. Visualize yourself fulfilling all your goals & achieving the BIG 5. The more colorful, vivid, in detail the visualization - the better.

So, with the above plan on my wall, I had made up my mind to make 2011 the BEST year.
Was it easy? I would be lying if I said Yes. There were quite a few challenges and I am happy I overcame them.

Challenge 1: Time
With so many books, articles on my 'To be Read' & 'Absorb if useful' list, I had to spend more time offline than online. But again, there is a catch. Most of the interesting blogs, challenges are announced on twitter, blogs. So, I had to be aware of most of the announcements from my colleagues and yet spend just the right amount of time required for these commitments. One of the changes in my routine was to get up at 4.30 am. This gave me three hours in the morning. I slept two hours early and got up three hours early.

Challenge 2: Distractions
Cricket World Cup - As a devoted fan of cricket, it was hard for me to miss watching every ball of the matches. I promised myself that I will watch only one match - the FINALS & only if India makes it to the finals. This also meant 'No Television'.
Online chat with friends - I was always online to chat with friends but this year I made up my mind that I would be online only for scheduled discussions.

Challenge 3: New Routine
This was new to me. No television, no tuition, no chats. It took me some time to get used to this routine. The big chart right next to my bed inspired me, helped me concentrate on my goals. Is there anyone who still believes that writing down goals has minimal effect?

Challenge 4 - Saying NO
This was a tough challenge to say NO to the various tasks that came my way. They looked quite interesting and challenging but I had already set my eyes on something BIG. There was nothing which would prevent me from achieving that except me. A tough decision, few unhappy experiences. But that's how life is. No Pain - No Gain.

So, finally. Here I am - happy, contented and looking forward to the new year 2012.
And you guessed it right, the chart for 2011 would be preserved and replaced by a new one for 2012.
Thanks for all your support. Hope you too had a great year 2011 and wish you happy new year 2012.

PS: This blog post was inspired by Jon Bach. And every word I have written in this blog post is TRUE. I hope to link to this post on Jan 1, 2012 for the post - '2011 - The Year That Was' and mark everything as Done/Achieved.

Leia Mais…

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 - The Year That Was

Wish you all a very happy new year 2011. May this new year bring you lots of opportunities and success.
As we say good bye to 2010 and welcome 2011, its time to look back at the year gone by.

It is time for me to consolidate all my experiences in the form of a pdf so that I know the answers to questions like

  • What did I learn
  • What did I achieve
  • What did I miss
  • Where can I improve
  • What are my goals
So, here it is - 2010 & My Experiences
Feel free to comment, question and share your thoughts.

Let us wish 2011 to be the best year for each one of us.

Leia Mais…