Friday, September 17, 2010

Fish baking story ...

This was a story that came to my mail box.

A little girl was watching her mother prepare a fish for dinner. Her mother cut the head and tail off the fish and then placed it into a baking pan. The little girl asked her mother why she cut the Shead and tail off the fish. Her mother thought for a while and then said, "I've always done it that way - that's how grandma did it." The girl was not satisfied with the answer, and went to visit her grandma to find out why she cut the head and tail off the fish before baking it. Grandma thought for a while and replied, "I don't know. My mother always did it that way." So the little girl and the grandma went to visit great grandma to find ask if she knew the answer. Great grandma thought for a while and said, “Because my Grandma told once that the baking pan was too small to fit in the whole fish”.

In most cases we fail to challenge belief systems and assumptions.

This is true about many ritual centric processes that we are asked to do in testing today. If you dig deeper, you would be surprised like this little girl. There are no real reasons to do certain things. Typical answers might be “my boss wants it that way”, “this is how our clients want” or “this is how I have done it always” or “this is in that book” or “this is how the consultant who we hired told us” or “this is how it always appear to work”.

One trademark quality of a skilled tester is skepticism and ability to think beyond rituals – ask “why I am doing what I am doing”.

Are you asking this question frequently in your job as tester?