Testing Smarter with Santhosh Tuppad (Full Interview)

This interview with Santhosh Tuppad is part of our series of “Testing Smarter with…” interviews. Our goal with these interviews is to highlight insights and experiences as told by many of the software testing field’s leading thinkers.

Santhosh Tuppad fell in love with computers when he was 12 and since then his love for computers has increased exponentially. He founded his first startup in 2010 and was part of growing the company to nearly 80 people.

In short, he is a passionate software tester, security researcher, entrepreneur and badass in following his heart come what may!

Santhosh Tuppad speaking in front of screen of text
Santhosh Tuppad

Personal Background

Hexawise: What drew you into a career in software testing?

Santhosh: I have loved computers since I was 12. My father enrolled me into a computer course and I got to experience Disk Operating System for the first time where I used computer using command-line terminal and also played Prince Of Persia game. And I was addicted to gaming during this phase.

After my gaming stint, I was introduced to the internet and picked up an addiction for IRC (Internet Relay Chat). Here, I met various hackers and used to communicate with them on various channels which were heavily moderated and were invite only. I had to demonstrate my interest in hacking to these folks to invite me to their channel. My first hack was to hack the dial-up network credentials and use them at my home when the internet shop used to close at night. We used to have Internet Packs at those times in India and I had to pay money to buy those: and I did not have money during my teenage years.

Without much ado, let’s skip to software testing part. After my graduation, I did not know what should I be doing (one thing I knew for sure was, anything that I do has to be with computers as I was passionate). I switched 5 jobs in 1 month and worked as IBM technical support guy, Creative Designer, XML Language Translator, PHP Developer and some other profession that I cannot remember as of now. I understood that, I cannot settle for anything which doesn’t synchronize with my heart. I was on the journey of finding which becomes part of me. And finally, I enrolled for the software testing course. And during the course days, I could connect my hacking skills (security testing) to software testing. This part of my life is what I call finding bliss.

And the story continued and I started growing in the industry as a tester, international speaker, participant in conferences across the globe, entrepreneur in software testing, keynote speaker, blogger, author and what not.

Hexawise: If you could write a letter and send it back in time to yourself when you were first getting into software testing, what advice would you include in it?

Santhosh:

Oh my dear soul,

I see that you have found yourself in a country where everyone is pressurized to become something else than they want to be. You identified something crucial and beautiful about yourself, that is you follow your heart with patience and kindness and don’t settle for something that doesn’t make you come alive. Like I know, passion is a variable and it may get boring at times; but being bored is just a temporary phase and an emotion which doesn’t mean your passion is dead. So, be rational and decide for yourself while you are kind to others. Accept yourself and forgive everyone.

You are stepping into what you love and I know you are confident about your journey and you believe in it. That’s beautiful.

It may be easy to fall into routine and get into monotony of things in your career. Nevertheless, you know how to sail through things and get out of them to start fresh or continue in a different path. You can swiftly shift based on your visceral.

Grow by following your visceral feelings and have no regrets. Be good at connecting the dots and growing out of them. The beauty of software testing has not been known by the world so well as of today, so work on your skills and demonstrate them to the world and educate professionals and students about the greatness of software testing. It’s not about you or me or anyone, it’s about next generation testers who could help their next generation and their generation to enjoy the fruit of invention which includes software. Let software make the life beautiful and not buggy.

I know that you know about your journey, but I am just saying.

With love,
Your other self

Hexawise: Describe a testing experience you are especially proud of. What discovery did you make while testing and how did you share this information so improvements could be made to the software?

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Examples of the Benefits of Using Hexawise at a Large Bank QA Department

Carrie Puterbaugh’s presentation at the Twin Cities Quality Assurance Association on using Hexawise to improve software testing at her organization (a large bank).

In one example she discusses in the video Carrie’s team used Hexawise to create an optimized test suite and provided that to the software vendor to have them run it prior to delivering the software to her bank. In this example historically they vendor was finding 67% of the defects and Carrie’s bank was finding 33%. Now that the vendor is using the Hexawise test suite the vendor is finding 98.5% of the defects and fixing them prior to delivering the software.

Based on these results her team was able to move staff off of testing this application and onto other testing needs of the organization. They are saving 90% of what they used to spend on QA on this project.

Another project she talked about was a high priority and high risk release that they used Hexawise on and achieved the highest quality software release they have ever had.

It was great…
We were able to go to management and say “we reduced the amount of test cases we ran and we got a better quality application.

Related: Combinatorial Software Testing at Fidelity Using HexawiseHow to Think about Test Inputs in Software Testing

How Do You Know You are Executing the Right software Tests?

How Do You Know You are Executing the Right Tests? This video shows a few tools in Hexawise that help answer this question and share the reasoning behind prioritization decisions in software testing (coverage chart, coverage matrix).

Related: How do I understand the testing coverage achieved by my Hexawise-generated tests?More Coverage, Fewer Tests™

Why are We Paying to Run These Software Tests?

The Hexawise coverage matrix displays pairwise coverage as each test is run in the test plan. The Hexawise created test plans also put the tests in order that provides the most coverage as quickly as possible (so if you have to release before you finish the test plan you have achieved as much coverage as possible with the tests you managed to execute).

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Related: Introducing the Hexawise Coverage Matrix!How do I understand the testing coverage achieved by my Hexawise-generated tests?

2 Minute Introduction to Hexawise Software Testing Solution

This short video gives a quick overview of the Hexawise software as a service solution and a very high level overview of software testing with a focus on interactions between parameters/factors.

Learn more about pairwise and combinatorial software testing practices: Introducing the Hexawise Coverage Matrix!How to Pack More Coverage Into Fewer Software TestsCreate a Risk-based Testing Plan With Extra Coverage on Higher Priority Areas

Too Much to Test and Not Enough Time to Test It All

beginner videoJustin Hunter’s presentation at the 12th annual international software testing conference in Bangalore, India, December 2012.

The techniques discussed focus on how to reduce the amount of time spent selecting and documenting test scripts, reduce the amount of tests needed for execution by creating unusually powerful tests and thus increase the thoroughness of software test suites.

The talk explored the significant risks, for users, companies and employees of failing to catch software application failures before release (for example, looking at releasing Apple Maps with significant failures). And discussed how combinatorial (also orthogonal array or pairwise) software testing can be used to create test plans that test a large number of parameters/factors quickly.

The slides from the presentation:

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