Sunday, March 2, 2008

What makes you a better tester?

Just some thoughts slipped through my mind. My initial thought was: "What happens if we don't test?" This made me think about the question: "Why am I a software tester?" Which lead me to the next question: "Why am I good in testing software?" And in general: "What makes you a better tester?"

The last question is one of a kind we keep asking to ourselves. At least I do. And that question could be similar to questions future parents and parents start asking themselves. What makes you a better parent?

As parent I try to do and to be good. But when is it enough? And how can I improve my parenthood. Off course there are a lot of books written to this topic. So are there for software testing. Reading those books might lead me in the direction of becoming a better parent. Still there are no guarantees for it.

This reminds me of 2 words: Nature and Nurture. According Wikipedia: Nature versus nurture. Nature is "individual's innate qualities" and Nurture is "personal experiences". Some behavior of parenthood is nature, you do this without thinking and there results appear within acceptable norms of the community. Other things you do or just leave because of your experience.

I think it is hard to answer the question how to become a better parent. Some part, you have it in you, other parts are based on experience and the ability of adapting towards the situation by observing and listening based on the effect of the boundaries and values you defined.

If this is true then answering the question "Why am I good in parenthood?" is a bit easier. Though the answer will not be given as future will tell based on experience. The way how to deal with these experiences is perhaps more important. I think I am able to adapt my defined boundaries and values based on the situation, judged by behavior I notice during observing and listening to my children and my wife. And next to that how the environment reacts on the behavior of my children and my selves. I adapt since I care.

Answering the question "Why am I a parent?" could be answered by simply saying: I choose for it. I think it is also some part of nature.

Leaves us the question "What if we don't care?". I think if we don't care the quality of live becomes lesser. As an individual. Also as community. Assuming that careless children will spread their behavior as the butterfly effect over the communities. This might lead in unacceptable situations.

You see that this question started simple with "What if we don't test?" only now it contains a different context. If we don't test, quality might lead to unacceptable situations. this implies that some situations are also acceptable.

Perhaps answering the question "What makes you a better tester?" can be answered by: "It depends based on your nature and nurture. How you observe and listen, your ability to adapt and how much you care."

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