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Saturday, July 19, 2008

We need better understanding of where we came from

Hmmmmm. Several months with no posts and now here I am going mental, with three in two days!

James Bach has an interesting article at:

He says we need better bloggers about testing - and I think he's right, and I think its only the start of things. We need a better understanding about where we came from.

The poor cousins, that's what some people think of us as. Testers are still seen as some of the lowest forms of life in the software world. And why? Because we havent changed their minds, thats why.

Take a look at some of the debating on certification:,, and some thoughts about how to get into testing at:

For all the efforts of so many people, there is still very little taught about, researched about or published about testing that is coherent, mature and built on a basis of proper rigor and analysis.

Few PhDs, few Degree programmes, research grants or so inclined academics to move us forward. Few historians or references sources. Few knowledge communities that move us forward. How can we learn? How can we avoid going through the same infinite, futile loops of reinventing the wheel and going through the same old mistakes as people 20 years our senior have already learned to solve?

As a community we cant answer simple questions like this:
When to automate and why?

We teach people endless process styles and then we miss off practical testing skills from our accreditation programmes.

We deal in the currency of defects, but then when we teach our junior people about testing we dont start with the defect report, and we overcomplicate and teach them that the defect ID is as important as the steps to recreate the problem. We certainly don't tell them that it isnt.

No wonder there are still people out there that think we arent good enough to play in their game.

I dont have the answer yet - but JB has started me thinking. Perhaps we should be searching a little harder for the answers....

Post Script: here's the video mentioned in the comment from Phil K


Philk said...

Have you seen Lee Copelands "The Nine Forgettings" ? I saw him do the talk at a SIGIST last year, its on Google Video at

and he discusses a lot of the material you mention

I dont have any answers either and will be blogging soon about the same thing

Stewart Noakes, TCL said...

What a great video :) thank you for the referral.

I find this stuff very interesting.

If you are interested in this sort of stuff, Phil, would you like to come along to our next peer sharing event and get into some discussions?
check out the schedule:


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