Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Testing Lessons from - The Coconut Exercise

This post is created by spying on a Testing exercise that Pradeep was doing with Santhosh. I didn’t carry my moleskine diary at that time so I will to put down all I could remember. These are the benefits which one can get when you are with Pradeep, you will find unexpected ways of learning things. So I am sharing my experience for all others who were not there.

So the context was, we were near the chatting zone in Edista office. Pradeep asked Santhosh while pointing at a small coconut which was lying on the floor to come up with ideas of how that coconut might have got there. Santhosh began putting forward his ideas by looking at the coconut tree which was behind us, and said it might have fallen from the tree there. To this Pradeep asked, the place where the coconut is lying may suggest that the coconut may not have fallen directly to this place. To this Santhosh modified his idea by suggesting that it may have fallen here by hitting the parapet on its way. Then he came up with ideas like it may not actually be a coconut although it seems to be. Then it might have been blown here by the wind. Next idea was, may be some birds might have brought it here. Then Santhosh gave up.

Now Pradeep took up the challenge and showed how he would have approached this problem. He started by saying that it might would had fallen somewhere else and the guy who might have come for a walk may have actually kicked the coconut here. Then he said may be this coconut may not have fallen from the tree we are looking at and may be from other tree which was bit far and some squirrel or bird might have brought it here. Next idea was he went and picked up that coconut which was lying there and upon looking at it, he found some marks which indicated that it was eaten from one side. This gave more validity to the idea that it would have been brought there by squirrel or a bird. Then the idea that it may not be a coconut was also validated. Then other ideas were like, may be some coconut vendor might had come there and would have thrown it over there, then may be ideas like ones from Tamil movies of this coconut falling on the adjoining building and would had traversed different paths by hitting various parapets and may have landed to the place where we are seeing it etc.

This exercise gives us a learning that if we are conscious of our surroundings and environment then lots of things can be learnt. Such exercises would improve our observation skills, logical skills, interpretation of various facts and lots of other stuff which can help a Tester in his Testing activities. If you come across such exercises make sure to collect those and discuss and play it with your friends, it can be a lot of fun as well as learning.

Happy Learning,

- Manoj


Anonymous said...


We practice this approach from college days when our professor said about learning systems and programming systems from what we see.

Today too we friends talk when we look around. Few of us talk alone when we are individual when look ed around. And no one hears that except themselves.

Rukmani Seshasayee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Santhosh Tuppad said...

@Manoj, It's good to see that you just published the article within no time after we did that exercise. I suggest everyone should practice these kind of exercises.

Pradeep Soundararajan said...


Why do you also practice posting as anonymous?

Everyone practices, I agree, however the consistency and recording of new learning is what most of them don't do. If you had - I would have probably been benefited by your blog.

M.V.Manoj said...

Hi Santhosh,

I think since we are together here at Edista, we should atleast identify,collect and play more such exercises. It would be real entertainment and fun.


M.V.Manoj said...

Hi Pradeep,

Nice to see you here at my Blog.

I agree about your statement - "however the consistency and recording of new learning is what most of them don't do". I also have similar issues. So this suggestion applies to me too.


M.V.Manoj said...

@ Anonymous,

Thanks for reading the Post and your comments.

I would like to learn more about your experiences and definitely about you :-)