Sandeep is standing for election to the AST board 2023.
Sandeep has been a student of software testing for his lifetime. He is currently leading Bridgetree’s QA/Testing function, where he is accountable for overall test governance, hands-on Testing for web/mobile apps, and data/ETL testing.
In the past, he has successfully led CMMi and agile (Agile) transformations for product companies like Fiserv Global Services and FIS Global. Sandeep carries over 17 years of Software / IT experience and primarily focuses on functional, ELT / DWH, performance, API, security, and a11y Testing.
The context-driven testing principles greatly influenced how he sees himself learning and performing software testing but he is not bound to any specific school of thought.
He loves thinking, reading, writing, and discussing problem-solving, software, architecture, design, people behavior, communication, and Testing.
His other passions include penning down his thoughts, experiences, and questions. He believes that valuable writing for software testers demands a sense of belonging, knowledge, patience, research, and practice.
In addition, he speaks at testing meetups, conducts workshops, and mentors and coaches’ software testing professionals.
He is a hands-on test leader, coaching people on his team and the testing community to perform quality testing and helping them set up and own reasonable, inexpensive, and responsible testing practices in agile contexts.
He is a lifelong learner with some degree of procrastination, a student of serious software testing who failed often, and a daily renewing quality testing practitioner.
He can be reached at:
Occasionally writes at: https://testingjourney.wordpress.com/
1. Please share your vision for the future of the AST, and how would you help to accomplish this vision in case you were part of the AST Board of Directors?
There are at least two ways of answering this question.
- Answer 1 is opinion driven, readily available, and less valuable.
- The second one that I would prefer will first ask counter questions and would need data to build an answer upon
Please allow me to copy and paste the AST mission here, which states…”…advancing the understanding of the science and practice of software testing according to Context-Driven principles.”
The most influencing principles for me are #3, #5, and #7. Personally, and professionally, internalizing CDT principles helped me immensely.
Answer 1: With
An opinion-driven mindset,
Little browsing around past AST conferences themes
Re-visiting BBST courses offered,
Navigating AST blogs,
My sincere preference towards self-education and my fellow testers,
I found myself making a vison statement for the future encompassing the following…
“…advancing the understanding of the science and practice of skilled, efficient, and customers serving organic* software testing according to Context-Driven principles.”
Adding “skilled, efficient and customers serving organic” might seem redundant in a similar way as sometimes adding ‘Context Driven’ before Testing might appear redundant or adding ‘Risk Based’ before
The motivation behind adding those six words is that…
- Technology is evolving multifold to deliver faster and cheaper.
- Businesses’ risk appetite toward accepting bugs is increasing.
- Context and constraints are both expanding.
- Customers and end-user now have more choices of applications to select from
- Executives are demanding cheaper, faster, and deeper/wider Testing.
- AST doesn’t want to create or promote certification enthusiasts or best practices preachers or just superficial tool smiths
How can I help in accomplishing this?
I have a few starting ideas.
- Progressive (Business) as Usual – We continue with the legacy of delivering CAST and continuing BBST courses and Webinars. We do it with new testing scientists, hands-on practitioners, and new test scholars’ mindset testers.
- Initiatives – We start consulting current and past executives like Rob Sab, Kate, Maria, Simon, Ilari, Dwayne, and Michael Larsen, to name a few, and not limited to AND building and delivering new courses beyond BBST and webinars/blog posts demonstrating walking the CDT principles talk
- Experiments – Introducing half-day or one-day virtual conferences every quarter on the theme of CFW
- Approachability: Make AST approachable to people who still need to be scientists, scholars, or hands-on CDT practitioners. Create a mass appeal!
The 2nd answer shall be based on an observation plus opinions and data. The vision statement shall remain the same (unless otherwise data that I would be asking for, when provided, reveal something else)
Observation: New software testers are heavily learning from those who don’t know what they are talking about!
Target platforms: Youtube (YT), Instagram (IG), and Linkedin (LNKDN). My focus areas were Youtube Videos, Shorts, Instagram Live, Blog posts, Testing institute courses, and whatnot.
Observation: There is a set of self-taught yet not CDP driven testers who claim to be YT influencers, Bloggers, and Course designers whose content and FOMO-based delivery methods can build a negative, ill-informed, and zero value literacy in the consciousness of upcoming software testers. I’m curious why I see debates over Manual v/s Automation, Testing Future vs. AI, GUI vs. API, etc. More concerning is this debate or war of words on LinkedIn and Twitter platforms, where these testers only sometimes operate and sometimes completely ignore what is being said by scientists, scholars, and practitioners. Hence these testers influence the masses in a wrong way.
Now the above observation raises questions.
- Is AST aware of it? Is AST concerned about it?
- What should AST do / already do about it if it claims to be the Association for Software Testing (at the planet Earth level)?
Note: I understand that AST is NOT an Association for Software Testers or some union or school, but I think the Testers are its first beneficiary from its Vision, Mission statement, and objectives standpoint.
From a data-driven test and rationality mindset, first, I would further ask.
- Over the last five years, especially during the pandemic, has AST critically self-reviewed its ideas, initiatives, and outcomes that help meet its mission and objectives?
- Is AST doing a retrospection each year/quarter/month?
- What objectives are we already meeting, and to what degree of satisfaction?
- What impact is AST making, and on what population? How do we know that?
- What AST envisioned, planned, and acted upon and is yet to achieve?
- What is AST learning from software testing communities flourishing and doing a commendable job educating testers?
- Does AST think those communities are more agile, more approachable, creating appeal to the masses while still needing to be closer to AST regarding value and vision?
Hence, my answer to make my vision statement more precise and how I can help accomplish the mission will depend upon my awareness and data about the present and recent past.
2. Is there an area where you feel AST is lacking in its role as a professional organization? If so, what would you suggest doing to begin to change that and increase the value to AST members and the testing community at large?
I may be wrong, and please correct me If I am.
I have seen a handful of value-driven communities flourishing, in the last ten years, especially in Europe and South East Asia, and most of these communities include scholars, students, and practitioners. It is safe to assume that most of these communities have testers influenced by CDT principles.
I am excluding very few come communities from across the world, which is in a different business of just selling courses and their ideas that lead neither to CDT nor something similar.
I feel (and please note that I don’t have data to be factful) that AST seems lacking in assuring (reassuring) testers across the world that AST is
- Renovating itself
- Approaching to all
- Opening its door
- Marketing about the simpler, practical to learn science and practice of CDT
I request that e-reading my 2nd answer on asking data questions w.r.t. Vision Statement might help!
3. In what ways have you supported the mission of AST?
I must acknowledge that I have only been a little associated and engaged with AST recently, except on a few occasions listed below…
- My BBST exams on Foundations and Bug Advocacy
- Watching CAST videos on YT and, in 1-2 instances, tweeting about those
Regarding software testing community work, my time has largely been with the TTT (The Test Tribe) from 2018 till now. It must be already known to most of you, and from here I am also enquiring about helping me understanding the conflict of interest. I am all in for education and helping build beautiful, caring, and trustworthy communities.
If you evaluate me based on my data on the AST Member portal, I made zero visible contributions to AST. However, in the last five-seven years, as far as I could quickly collect data, I tried to coach every member of my team and testers from communities on CDT principles – some data points attached.