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Showing posts from July, 2022

Enjoy Testing

  The testers at work had a lean coffee session this week. One of the questions was  "I like testing best because ..." I said that I find the combination of technical, intellectual, and social challenges endlessly enjoyable, fascinating, and stimulating. That's easy to say, and it sounds good too, but today I wondered whether my work actually reflects it. So I made a list of some of the things I did in the last working week: investigating a production problem and pairing to file an incident report finding problems in the incident reporting process feeding back in various ways to various people about the reporting process facilitating a cross-team retrospective on the Kubernetes issue that affected my team's service participating in several lengthy calibration workshops as my team merges with another trying to walk a line between presenting my perspective on things I find important and over-contributing providing feedback and advice on the process identifying a

Where No-one Else Looks

In yesterday's post, Optimising start of your exploratory testing , Maaret Pyhäjärvi lists anti-patterns she's observed in testers that can lead to shallow outcomes of testing. She ends with this call: Go find (some of) what the others have missed! That strikes a chord. In Toujours Testing I recalled how my young daughter, in her self-appointed role as a Thing Searcher, had asked me how she could find things that no-one else finds. I replied Look where no-one else looks. Which made her happy, but also made me happy because that instinctive response externalised something that had previously been internal.  The phrase has stuck, too, and I recall it when I'm working. It doesn't mean targeting the obscure, although it can mean that.  It also doesn't mean not looking at areas that have previously been covered, although again it can mean that. More, for me, it is about seeking levels of granularity, or perspectives, or methods of engagement, or personas, or data, or im

Project Fortunes

  We asked one hundred customers how they'd like teams to approach work on their projects. It's long been my intuition that the families on Family Fortunes will almost always choose to play, overtaken by the adrenalin buzz of starting something, unhindered by any consideration of the context or subject matter.  The view is supported (thank you, Internet!) by Nicholas Boy's informal analysis Pass or Play: A Data Driven Approach to Family Feud . Out of the one hundred face offs I watched, can you guess how many times the teams passed? Nope, less. No, seriously, less. Twice. The analogy is weak I know, and I doubt it's as high as 98% at work, but I've seen so much started with so little consideration of anything other than some potential positive wished-for outcome.  Every time, I imagine the line of Sunday Best grandparents, trying-to-be trendy nephews, and that weird extrovert brother-in-law, all waving their hands in the air and shouting ... "PLAY!" Imag

External Brains

A month or two ago, after seeing how I was taking notes and sharing information, a colleague pointed me at Tiego Forte's blog on Building a Second Brain : [BASB is] a methodology for saving and systematically reminding us of the ideas, inspirations, insights, and connections we’ve gained through our experience. It expands our memory and our intellect... That definitely sounded like my kind of thing so I ordered the upcoming book, waited for it to arrive, and then read it in a couple of sittings. Very crudely, I'd summarise it something like this: notes are atomic items, each one a single idea, and are not just textual notes should capture what your gut tells you could be valuable notes should capture what you think you need right now notes should preserve important context for restarting work notes on a topic are bundled in a folder for a Project, Area, or Resource and moved into Archive when they're done. ( PARA )

Nerves of Steel

Last week I hosted a webinar, Steel Yourselves , at the Association for Software Testing .  I'd been thinking about the format for a while and waiting for an opportunity to try it out with speakers that I knew would be able to do it justice. There's an interesting debating tactic in which the idea is ...  ... to help one's opponent to construct the strongest form of their argument. This may involve removing flawed assumptions that could be easily refuted, for example, so that one produces the best argument for the 'core' of one's opponent's position. I thought it would be interesting to have speakers take a testing concept they are opposed to and construct a case for it, present it, defend it during a Q&A, then talk about what they learned and how they felt. I thought it would be challenging for the speaker — a chance to find something out about their views — and inspiring for the audience — a chance to see someone p