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How would you test a toaster?

Interview puzzles and riddles is the long going tradition in the software development companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Personally I would not make hiring decision for software test engineer position based on the puzzle interview question like "How would you test a toaster, vending machine, electric kettle, pencil or other appliance?", but some hiring QA managers still think that they can separate the good SQA Engineer from the bad using interview riddles.

Let's say as part of the interview process for Test Engineer position after you successfully answered the interview question about creating test automation framework based on Selenium , explained the difference between white and black box testing, with genuine expression in your voice recited agile manifesto principles, even solved the interview puzzle about one hundred prisoners and when you feel that you almost hired as tester, the interviewer asked you how would you test a toaster.

How would you? Mine answer would be posted after the Labor Day weekend.

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13 comments:

Ashok said...

i well begin toaster testing by looking at the possible scenarios with the toaster

1) The user successfully toasts bread with a toaster
2) The user is able to set up proper toaster temperature

i think that just about starts off that way. u can work on the possible scenarios, cover all of them, make a decision which ones need to be tested, document it all ,get it approved by QA manager, review it, file a bug report.

Smith said...

A toaster is really just a piece for hardware, so google the web for ideas related to testing of hardware and you will pass SQA interview

Manish said...

kindly advice is this sqa interview question or the interview question for hardware tester?

Manish

Anonymous said...

We start with studying requirements and developing test procedures based on requirements.

Anonymous said...

Any updates on answer?

Junaid said...

first understand the requirement and analyze if there were any related products previously built.
Then proceed with the question that why this solution(toaster).
Having understood these two points, start planning for how the resources are assigned to this testing task (according to the Test Plan) and what would be your role and exit criteria for your test cases to pass.

Anonymous said...

LOL I was asked this question today.

The testing for a toaster is done before it's made i.e. while the microchip is being coded. Testing is done using switch coverage. If I recall correctly from ISEB, you would need to achieve 0-switch coverage to be comfortable with the level of risk (I need to double check this).

Once that is done the toaster can go into production for further testing.

Once it is created you could check that the time intervals for each level are according to spec.

You could also check that the temperature of the element remains the same at all levels.

And you could also do some stress testing to determine the average life span of a toaster before it starts giving problems. This would only be done if there is scope for this.

And I suppose you could do some weird tests like what happens when you jam a big piece of crust in it.

Anonymous said...

A toaster is a finished product. If its already in the working condition, you don't need a tester to test it.

Otherwise, get product specifications, analyze them, create test plan, scenarios, test cases and execute them.

yuba said...

I don't have any experience for hardware testing. I can test only software but if you give me the requirement I can try this also.

Anonymous said...

It's a digital toaster

Anonymous said...

1. ask requirements
2. positive testing
3. negative testing
4. security testing
5. stress testing
6. documentation testing
7. performance testing
8. compatibility testing
9. usability testing

Anonymous said...

Toster is developed project …..we can test only those function which is already mention in its functional book .Mean those are working or not

syed arifin said...

A toaster is ready product for this now we need to check the functionality is working properly or not that is why we can .......
1) Functional testing
2) System testing
3) End to end testing
4) User Acceptance testing(UAT)
5) Ad hoc testing
6) Stress testing
7) Compatibility testing.

Syed Shamsul Arifin
(Brute force)

Common QA engineer interview questions