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A Fable: Thinking Out of the Box, part 1 (Bernie Berger)

On January 11, 2016, in Syndicated, by Association for Software Testing
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Imagine that you have a big box that contains all of your professional wisdom.  Inside is all your knowledge and understandings, your habits and customs, behaviors and impulses about your QA work.  Inside you’ll find words: “requirements”, “validation”, “functionality”.  There are phrases: “best practices”, “compare actual results with expected results”.  And there are sayings you hold to be universal truths: “regression tests should be automated”, “bugs found earlier in the lifecycle are cheaper to fix”, “tests need to be traceable to requirements.”

 

Now, you transcend your box.  You are hovering in the air looking down at your box from above.  You look around.  Right next to your box you see other people’s boxes, and they look exactly like yours and have similar contents.  You feel happy and secure, like you’re in the right place at the right time, proud to be a member of this club.  But you keep looking around, a little further away, and you see a few other boxes that don’t quite look like yours.  You float over there to take a closer look.  You see these boxes, some of them much older and worn out, as if they have been filled and emptied many times over a long period of time.  Longer than your box even existed.  Curious, you peek inside.

 

You can’t believe what you see!  Shock! Blasphemy!

 

“There are no such thing as best practices”

 

Huh?

 

“QA is not about finding defects, but testing is about searching for information”

 

What!?

 

“Regression testing is usually a waste of time”

 

What on earth is this?!  Who’s box am I in?  And how can it be that this is an OLD box, one with more years of experience than my own???

 

You’re scared.  You rush back the safety of your own box, your own world.  You feel betting in your own surroundings, but can’t stop thinking about that other box.  After all, everything you’ve ever known exists right here.  Could it be, possibly, that there exists professional wisdom out there that is different than your own??

 

To be continued…..

 

 

 

 

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