Tuesday, January 30, 2018

CEWT Lean Coffee

At CEWT #5 we used Lean Coffee as a way to reflect on some of the threads we'd discussed during the day. Here's a few brief, aggregated comments and questions that came up.

Can we identify testing short cuts?

  • In particular, can we find short cuts without adverse side-effects?
  • Short cuts sometimes have assumptions built into them (e.g. that the side gate you're going to use to get into work at the weekend is open then.)
  • Some of the things you used to hold as axiomatic are no longer relevant so you can short cut your old thinking.
  • Can the shortness be in depth rather than length?
  • ... and you can gain breadth first, as a kind of short cut in testing.
  • You can plan training to isolate particular skills and short cut potential confusion.
  • You can tell someone they'll waste their time trying something, based on your experience.
  • But you might deny them some learning.
  • And you deny them the opportunity to learn to recognise a waste of time.
  • All your learning can't be short cuts.
  • Heuristics are just short cuts.
  • They're potential short cuts.
  • Is reflection a short cut?
  • Is pairing a short cut?
  • Are you after short cuts for learning how to test, or short cuts to the results of testing?
  • Can you get short cuts by distributing skills across a team?
  • Perhaps a framework in which to test is a short cut, so wheels are not reinvented every time.

Thinking is practice?

  • Yes.
  • Yes.
  • Yes.
  • Thinking about why you're doing things is practice.
  • If it's not important, that's practice. 
  • It just is practice.
  • Watching videos as prep for playing a sport is practice.
  • Do you notice your muscles moving when doing that?
  • Visualisation of future actions is common in sport.
  • Neurologically, doing and thinking are similar.
  • Make your testing thinking visible (or audible) and others can learn from it.
  • The Kolb Cycle says thinking is practice.
  • Exercising mentally is directly analagous to exercising physically.
  • Testing requirements (by thinking) is testing (which is practice).

Does it make sense to talk about "best theories"?

  • If it is a theory, in the scientific sense, then it's held up to the most cross-examination.
  • And in the non-scientific sense?
  • "Best" compared to what?
  • Are there any good default theories?
  • People hold up the Spotify model as a best theory but even they say to make your own.
  • What makes a good theory?
  • It's justifiable, relevant, testable, valuable, explainable.
  • At which point does data and become theory?
  • When something tacit becomes explicit.
  • When you need it.
  • When it give you an answer.

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