Some weeks ago when I was traveling to CAST in Seattle, I had to go through the well-known border control of the US. All in all, I have to say that I was a little disappointed since I did not at all experience it as very complex or special as I had imagined. But of course there was more control than when traveling between European countries, and I was surprised about the well-informed officer talking to every single arrival in the line for passport control. While waiting, I observed how he asked very thoughtful and deep, yet quite regular and open questions about arrivals and their stay in the US. Getting closer to him made it possible to over hear some of the conversations. A family in front of me almost got into trouble when the father said the children were american citizens but they had some foreign passports. Read more…
This spring has been a hectic one. I have been and am involved in a quite big and exciting project with many people involved at all levels. It will reach a milestone in October, and Ill step down for some other assignments.
Tonight I was reminded on my hectic spring in some tweets with Michael Bolton. Ended up being pointed to his series about the whole team approach written in January. I stumbled upon a comment from myself in Zegers post so I am sure I have read these things, but have no memory from it. Michaels posts are marked as read in my feed reader as well.
Now it is really time for some well-needed vacation, which I will spend at the World Scout Jamboree, that actually is in Sweden for the first time. Actually it will be located only one hour drive from my home, and there will be about 40000 scouts there. It is a pity, I will leave the jamboree a day earlier, just to make it for CAST. I hope to have switched to vacation mode by then, but will have to sharpen up for the conference again.
And CAST, soo much looking forward to it that I actually have almost neglected the scout camp in terms of looking forward to an event. The people I will meet are the ones I read blog posts and tweets from. I decided not to go for an emerging topic of my own, just to be able to concentrate on conferring and learning. And I really hope to meet and talk to everyone there. I am quite bad at remembering faces, so please tell me your twitter id. =)
If you are going to be there, I am going to stay some days afterwards, up for a hangout and some test talk. Or as sightseeing company.
I also hear that there are seats left
When I decided I would start blogging, I had to find a suitable name for it. Something personal, yet professional. It took a while, until I remembered my first chat with a respected tester I look up to. I was challenged on the most personal side I have; my happy and optimistic personality.
“You can never become a great tester if you are always optimistic!”
The sentence still rings in my ears, but I still think I am able to become just that some day, a great tester. Being a happy person has always been an advantage for me, especially at work I might say. I always meet people with a smile and happy attitude, and this usual reflects back on the way they treat me. This is why I really value getting a good start especially with the developers, whose code I will be testing.
Test results, especially those that are given as feedback to developers are rarely happy news. This is one reason I usually try to find positive things for feedback as well, but they should never hinder my bug advocacy.
As a side-note, I actually also used the /concept/ of /happy testing/ in my first big software project in university. This project class was all about experiencing the waterfall process model from a real perspective. I was test manager of a team of 4 testers in a project setting with 18 people. The most funny thing was that when all the specified tests had run, we did some exploratory testing, where we found a last bug. But since this kind of testing had not been specified in any predefined plan, we had to introduce the concept happy testing. =)
So, as long as I deliver my value as a tester professionally, I think it is really valuable having a positive attitude to my surroundings. It will make the surroundings more recipient to the information I have to give, may it be positive or negative.
Update: Having a discussion about the post with James Bach, I need to clarify this. I think I am able to control the scope of my optimism, which means that the context of testing a product is not subject to the optimism. As James stated, optimism and critical thinking will take each other out because of their nature.
My reflection on this is that as long as I somewhat can control scope of optimism, the critical thinking I perform on the product is sufficient for good testing. I might mis out on some aspects, but I think that they are small enough to be marginalized as other things that I would miss for other reasons.
The title of this post is one of the most common defense I get when I argue that testing should be involved as early as possible when developing software. And I have to admit that there is some truth in this. But how much is “something”? What is actually required to be able to carry out testing in the sense of verifying some level of quality in a product?
Of course, this depends on the kind of testing you are implying. If you are thinking about some certain kind of testing, like unit testing, user acceptance testing etc, there are certain things that these contexts require. But think about once more what I am actually saying. “Testing needs to be involved as soon as possible to get the most value in a product.”
For this statement I prefer to use the definition of testing that James Bach uses in his rapid testing: “Testing is questioning a product in order to evaluate it”. Having that in mind, the testing carried out throughout a project is questioning the current product as it looks at the moment. In the beginning of a project I can very well see the product as the sketches on the whiteboard on the first day, until there is something more concrete. Questioning a whiteboard sketch will reveal requirements misunderstandings early on while testing the ready to launch product means different kinds of questioning.
Anyone who wants to argue more about the early involvement of testing?