The Most Important Answers Are Not Asked

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?

Questions that

      • 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

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The Two Sides of Crowd-Sourced Testing

I was a huge fan of crowd-sourced testing.

I joined a smaller crowdsource testing company as a tester 9 years ago. I fell in love with the idea to have projects tested by a crowd with different backgrounds, experiences, and skills.

I immediately saw the advantages of crowd-sourced testing for companies:

  • valuable feedback to the development about the product within one or two days
  • a great diversity of devices and software versions
  • reveal bandwidth issues based on location and real network providers
  • localization testing by native speakers
  • low testing costs

and I saw the advantages of crowd-source testing for testers:

  • individual growth in different domains
  • learn about new testing tools
  • learn by example: reading others’ bug report is a great inspiration

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Biases And Fallacies In Short

I tend to find that the words bias and fallacy are often used as if they were interchangeable. But there is a difference.

Some fallacies are committed intentionally to manipulate, while others are committed unintentionally due to carelessness or ignorance.

With practice, we can learn to recognize and completely avoid mistakes of logic. This is not true of biases.

While faults of logic come from how we think, and thus we can simply change our thinking to be more logical, biases arise from the very cognitive machinery that allows us to think. Behind every cognitive bias is a mental process which is automatic.

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Comments Don’t Substitute Conversations

When there is so much in one’s head, and it comes to writing a comment, the writer might think that all the information is provided in that couple of sentences that are composed and added as a comment to an issue. Or it can happen that the comment writer is not good at writing, doesn’t know how to tell a story, how to put some sentences together so that the reader gets the right picture out of those lines.

Jira comment fields are text areas. When we add a new comment to a ticket, the size of the comment text area is not that big, which implies the length of the comment text. As if it whispered that ‘hey, just keep your say short’.

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Get yourself beyond your own limitations. Learn from your bug reports!

Every tester is familiar with the characteristics of a good bug report. Tons of blog entries and articles have been published about what makes a bug report good and what is advisable to avoid.

A bug report for me is like a sheet music. When someone reads it can replay its content without any misunderstanding. Musical symbols describe pitch, rhythm, tempo just like the “steps to reproduce” section in the bug report with just enough information.

Continue reading Get yourself beyond your own limitations. Learn from your bug reports!