Sunday, November 27, 2005

Testing is not a mechanical Activity ....

I was reading this article posted on Cem Kaner’s site on - I wish to stress the following statement made in the article -

"Testing is a cognitive Activity - not a mechanical one"

Here is meaning of the term Cognition from Web

Cognition: 1. The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment. 2. That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or intuition; knowledge.

Note the keywords: Perception, Intuition, Reasoning, Knowledge, Awareness, judgment – all these represent “testing”. A true testing reflect this basic qualities related to HUMAN INTELLIGENCE.

In todays world of software with focus on "processes", "standards" - we all try to reduce the practice to the testing to a mechanical activity- be it test planning, test case design and especially execution - automation. Given a chance, the whole Non testing world (some even in testing group) would replace all smart and thinking testers with "nicely programmed Robots" - Righting test plans, test cases, executing them, logging bugs, making reports, attending meetings too ?? They follow processes, Do things 100% predictably all the time and don’t crib about "burn out" - All at the push of a button.

Such is the craze and lack of understanding about testing in the current Industry.

Remember "Real Testing" is about cognitive thinking and it is very "HUMAN" - don’t try to mechanize it. Today’s software systems have become so complex that It looses its effectiveness. Next time when some one says "standardization" or creating some types of robots - point them to this article.

Be tester, a thinker and be a human (No pun intended for Non testers - they are human too)


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