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Showing posts from January, 2015

The Wrought Idea

So the other day I bleeted  about how I like to write to help me collect my thoughts  and how that feels like a dialogue through the page. Somewhat ironically, you might think, I hadn't intended that action to be more than jotting down the realisation I'd just had.  But, of course, as soon as it was out there I began to challenge it, and by proxy myself. Here's a sample: "When I need to think through an issue, I write."  Really? Always? Does getting the ideas down free mental resource for inspection of the ideas?  Does making it concrete mean that it's easier to spot inconsistency? I know people who are adept at maintaining multiple views of a thing. When a different angle of attack is used a different kind of defence is made. The defences are not compatible, but because they are never seen together, this can be overlooked. Why didn't I talk about pictures? I draw a lot too. I recalled that James Lyndsay mentioned the other day that he makes

State of the Art

A trend is better than a snapshot, right? That's Joel Montvelisky, introducing the State of Testing Survey 2015 . I'm certainly in  favour of data  and I'd agree that a trend can be better than a snapshot. But if you want to know the state of some system right now for the investigation you're performing right now and you've no reason to think that right now is related to back then, then perhaps right now you'll take the snapshot, right? Openness and openness to challenge was one of the things I liked most about the previous, inaugural, survey. In the discussion between Jerry Weinberg and Fiona Charles about the results ( transcript here ) Weinberg's opening remarks include: We need to be careful on how we interpret this data [...] One way to look at the survey is that it’s giving information about what information we should be getting.  I'm looking forward to seeing what was learned. Image:

Why I'm Always Write

When I need to think through an issue, I write. And when I do that I feel I'm having a dialogue with myself. I write. I challenge. I rewrite. I re-challenge. Within or across drafts. Dynamically or with reflection. At length or fleetingly. As a means to an end, or as an end in itself. It both clarifies and exposes the need for clarification. For me. When I asked on Twitter  I got a couple of useful references to similar things: The Feynman Technique Expressive Writing I'd be very interested in any others. Edit: I followed up on this post  later. Image:

Special Offers

Linguamatics hosted James Lyndsay at the Cambridge Tester Meetup  last night. His workshop started with some improv games based on the work of Keith Johnstone  which, by exposing our awkwardness, showed us that we were conditioned to behave in certain ways, that we have patterns of operation. As testers we want to be free to think, investigate, explore, perform. A second round of exercises had us giving and receiving imaginary presents to illustrate the notions of offers and blocking . Here, one person creates a context for the other (the offer) which can be accepted or rejected, but both parties must be aware of the ways in which they might constrain that context (the block). For example, I might mime the shape of something to pass to my partner and then, as their hands reach for it, change the shape. This constitutes a block - I am not collaborating as fully as I might. Blocks come in many varieties; the receiver may block by not accepting the gift or refuting some aspec

Meet Meat Lewis's

When I was a boy there was a huge department store in Birmingham called  Lewis's  and one year I got a badge from its Christmas Grotto. Meet Me At Lewis's it said. Meet Meat Lewis's I read. I like to think  this was an early indication that I was alert to alternative interpretations ... because the alternative interpretation isn't very appealing. And I like to keep that in mind when I'm reporting an issue ... because there is invariably an alternative to my interpretation and it might be more appealing. Image: Badge Collectors Circle