Joy of finding a bug

Testing shows the presence of bugs and not the absence of them.” I read this somewhere and I understand it otherwise. When I am assigned on to the task of testing any module I make sure that I leave not even a single bug. I take pride in saying that “once I test it, you will not find even a single bug”. This is my perception of testing.

So the question is how do I motivate myself for this task. To many testing sounds boring and un-challenging (views from some of my colleagues and some online data), I don’t see it that way. Testing to me actually requires a high level of aptitude skills, ability to think through and above all make decisions. One need not be proficient in C# or Java or QTP to be good tester. In my point of view, Testers should have the ability to “comprehend”, the desire to go an extra step to uncover things but unfortunately I don’t find these things in any of the interview.

Testers should not only test the application but should guide the way an application is developed. Their job should not limit to the execution of test cases but rather they should take an step up to guide the development, enhance the usability of application and above all prioritization of features. Yes, testing is not a simple task. It requires you to think through and above all make some judgements.

So what keeps me going? The answer is “Bugs”. I don’t know how many testers feel happy to find a bug, but I do. Every time I find a bug, I feel that I have outsmart the developers. I could think of a path which developers couldn’t thought of !!! This makes me happy.  I test the application to uncover the bugs (flaws, errors etc…). So the challenge is if you have totally understood the application and the requirements, if yes then you will not leave any bug. Bugs are missed when we don’t understand the requirements properly.

So to conclude, testing might show the presence of bug but a tester ensures that you will find it no more !


  1. In my opinion "Testing shows the presence of bugs and not the absence of them." means, that you can only detect as many bugs as possible in software and not be absolutely sure that there are no more bugs in the software. Considering time constraint among many other constraints, what I strive to achieve is that there are no major/ critical defects that go unnoticed.

    On the other hand i find that understanding the underlying technology makes me a better tester, I am able to judiciously use my time, I would occasionally look through tests developers might have written and start my testing from gaps which i have noticed.

  2. Your last statement is cool, but mathematically it is impossible to ensure that there are no, we can ensure as few bugs as possible.

    The quote means that, say u find 0 defects in a module, does n't mean it has 0 bugs, only means it has 0 detected bugs.

    Ragesh G R

  3. @Leumascom
    Absolutely ! I agree with you and that is how the process goes. But with thorough testing we just attempt to clear the code from bugs and defects.
    Secondly, time is one of the factor which affects the quality of software deliverable to a significant extent. So a tester has to prioritize the features as well as the bugs to be fixed.

    Nishant Verma

  4. @Ragesh
    My last statement was to convey the view that you will not be able to find anymore bugs assuming I have found them before you !

  5. That was by Edsger W.Dijkstra "Testing may convincingly demonstrate the presence of bugs,but can never demonstrate their absence" means you can never prove that the software is bug free. Also if you don't find any bugs that doesn't mean there are no bugs.
    And I feel happy when i see bugs,you can see in Who Am I? page in my blog. A good post dude.
    -Dhanasekar S

  6. AnonymousMay 11, 2010

    Let us take a simple example, an irritated developer inputs into their code that on the 23rd of February 2044 at 8.30pm IST the application will remove itself from the server. I do not believe that you would think of this scenario.

    The quote is from Dijkstra he is simply pointing to the fact that you cannot test anything completely. Gerry Weinberg wrote and excellent book which came out last year entitled Perfect Software. I highly recommend it as it will prove invaluable.


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