We don’t know what we don’t know, and to discover this blind spot, the best we can do is to ask questions. Asking a question is the key to unlock the world full of knowledge. And actually asking questions is one of the best ways that software testers can add value. It is important to note that we – testers – ask about ‘how?‘, ‘why?’ or/and ‘under what circumstances?‘.
So what are the right questions?
- are brought up at the right time
- open minds
- challenge the listener’s knowledge base
- challenge the way of thinking
- make people to shift paradigms
- create thinkers
- bring knowledge to the table
- expose unseen problems or root causes
Asking the right questions is an art.
The excellent, thought-provoking questions are out there, and they take a little work. But you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll be in conversations on topics that matter, often with people who can help make a difference.
Come up with questions that other people are not asking. If you don’t know what question people are not asking, try to think about it. Typically this is the ‘what are we not considering?‘
Ask ‘why?‘ like a child would and don’t assume the answer. We all know that children are asking more questions than an adult. They tend to pursue more information incrementally, they don’t assume the answer beforehand, instead they wait for the answer that brings them to the next question. Just replicate child behavior.
Analogies help us to be creative, so look for them. We can make abstract connections using analogies.
Dig around the questions, because the answers might not always be straightforward. Ask for relevant information too.
Be the one who can find the most important answers by questioning.