I've ended up in software testing and (on the good days) I like to think that I've got skills appropriate to the role. With the benefit of
Weinberg, amongst other things, challenges himself and us to find at least three alternative interpretations of whatever we are presented with. When I was younger I found that I'd often prefer less-common readings of the stuff I heard. A couple of trivial ones have stuck in my head.
- "a friend in need is a friend indeed": OK, but why would someone who needs something from you be a good friend to have?
- "I don't like cricket, oh no, I love it": as 10cc sing it without stress on "like" or "love" the young me couldn't parse this sensibly.
I am James Thomas and I am a punaholic. The Dev manager claims that the puns I like best are the ones that are especially contorted, maintaining a tenuous or perhaps multi-step - but real - link to the source. And I think he's right. Since I can remember I have been intrigued by this kind of wordplay and now I can almost feel my mind running through associations when I see a picture or hear a word.
Elements of these things can and do help with my work - and sometimes hinder it. I don't know if they are skills or traits, whether they are accidents of genetics that I've been blessed or cursed with or that I've nurtured by use, whether they're behaviours copied from my parents, forced on me by my environment, whether any kind of classification is possible, or valuable, whether that would depend on the context anyway or if it even matters at all.
I often hear people say things like "testers need to be pedantic" but my own view is that testers need to have a capability toolbox - regardless of how those abilities have been acquired - and they need to know the tools in it and they need to be able to take out the appropriate tool and use it appropriately. The experienced (or, probably more correctly, the wise) tester will agree with this but they'll also have learned, or perhaps they just intuitively know, that sometimes something else is needed. Traitors!