Saturday, 11 December 2010

A tester who doesn't think is not a tester

I attended a seminar by Janet Gregory recently, titled "In The Brain of Janet Gregory: About Learning - for Agile Testers", provided by Skills Matter  One topic (the main topic) was titled 'What skills do we need?' and covered six main areas: Thinking Skills, Soft Skills, Agile Principles, Technical Skills, Specific Testing Skills, Domain Knowledge.

I was able to see the entire presentation and really enjoyed it (considering that I raced across half of London, arrived slightly puffed out, dying of thirst, but was actually only 2 minutes later than the scheduled start time).

Janet has a wonderful way of presenting: clear, at a steady pace, with slides that don't bombard you with information all at once, and narrative that complements and explains the contents of slides to help you understand.  I've seen so many presentations that just overload or don't really get the main points across very well.  This is an example of a really good presentation.

Now to the point: "A tester who doesn't think is not a tester."  This was a point James Bach made in his blog  Now I think this is a bit of an obvious statement but in my early days of testing I frequently desired putting thinking aside to follow everything stated in a test script.  Testers can get hung up on the detail of a manual test script and forget the main purpose of trying to discover defects.  It's not, in my opinion, necessary to produce a master piece of a document which leads to a tester mindlessly trying to ensure that an application does what it's expected.  "Executing a test script is simply not enough!" A tester has to think.

All testers need Thinking skills!

Thinking skills include: Problem Solving, Systems Thinking, Innovation and Observation.  Janet Gregory explains this very well in the Skills Matter podcast: "In The Brain of Janet Gregory: About Learning – for Agile Testers".

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