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Showing posts from April, 2024


The Association for Software Testing is crowd-sourcing a book,  Navigating the World as a Context-Driven Tester , which aims to provide  responses to common questions and statements about testing from a  context-driven perspective . It's being edited by  Lee Hawkins  who is  posing questions on  Twitter ,   LinkedIn , Mastodon , Slack , and the AST  mailing list  and then collating the replies, focusing on practice over theory. I've decided to  contribute  by answering briefly, and without a lot of editing or crafting, by imagining that I'm speaking to someone in software development who's acting in good faith, cares about their work and mine, but doesn't have much visibility of what testing can be. Perhaps you'd like to join me?   --00--  "Why don’t we replace the testers with AI?" We have a good relationship so I feel safe telling you that my instinctive reaction, as a member of the Tester's Union, is to ask why we don&

A Model Prank

Yesterday I was listening to an episode of Arts and Ideas hosted by Matthew Sweet. The topic was pranks and the first request he made of his guests was for a typology of the terms prank, hoax, stunt, and practical joke. No one was prepared to give one but, through the course of the programme, they clearly preferred one term over the others in specific instances or tried to bypass the distinctions by claiming that what mattered was whether there was a laugh. This is no great surprise. Categories invariably have fuzzy boundaries although, famously, we like to think that we can know where something belongs " when we see it ." My thoughts turned to work, and the problem of stakeholders using sets of overlapping terms when discussing what they want with no time for conversations about the meanings ("don't give me all that semantics!"). So I thought, on 1st April, I would take the fool's errand of trying to imagine working on a project where those concepts were