Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Industrialisation of Testing, Heuristics and Mindfulness

Over last two week end - The Test Tribe (popular testing community) hosted two sessions on facebook - one from T Ashok on Smart QA and other from James Bach on "Testing Heuristics". Both sessions were well received and interestingly I could see some connection between ideas that were part of these two sessions.

Industrialisation of Testing - Up until now - I thought industrialization in testing as bring "factory" metaphor into what we do as testers - intellectual search for problems in products we test. Ashok T in his session took a different position. He says industrialization in testing is about doing less through exploiting work done by fellow testers in the form of tools, test ideas, methods etc. He drew parallel with how software development community though its open source revolution - makes it possible to build application with writing less and less code. He stressed on creating open source revolution in testing so that testers can share their ideas so that we can use, reuse and grow testing repository. That would be true industrialization. There has been such work happening in our community - what we need a platform and such active participation/contribution.

Mindfulness Ashok in his session urged testers on mindfulness - acting with awareness of how we work, why we do what we do. Very nature of the mind is such that it wants wander and then programs in subconscious mind take over - run the what we do without our conscious engagement. Testers through their habits go about their day's business without being consciously aware of decisions, choices they make. Through mindfulness, testers would need to break the autopilot mode and carefully watch every step - this will enhance their skill, productivity and reduce errors they make in their work. Rarely I have seen such an advise to testers  - indeed a point to note.

Heuristics  James Bach in his session on Heuristics - went on in detail to explain how all testing, software development and Engineering is rooted in heuristics - fallible methods to solve problems. Those who follow context driven testing community are well aware of this term. James explained how heuristics need human judgement not mere following the rule -as heuristics can fail. James said in our daily life we use many heuristics without being aware. He urges, from his own training and experience, to be aware and name a heuristic when you use one.

Here is where I am reminded of mindfulness that Ashok suggested to use. By being mindful -we can recognize heuristics we use, when we recognize , we can name them, when we name them - we can share with fellow testers. That leads a community movement which manifests as Testing industrialization. Its exciting to see these two testing guru's ideas are connected in unimaginable ways.