Sunday, August 24, 2008

What planet are you from?

Did you ever come into a situation when someone starts talking about testing you asked yourselves: "What planet are you from?" Or did someone else had this question about you?

Perhaps you have the same feeling when you are reading my postings on this blog.

Still this is quite an interesting question. As starting wondering about planets you accept the idea about universe. As in a universe you have more planets. And perhaps I'm just sitting on another planet you are living on. Still this doesn't mean that we don't have any interaction or need for each other. For example the moon has some role making the earth rotate in a steady way.

Wikipedia says the following about Universe: "The Universe is most commonly defined as everything that physically exists: the entirety of space and time, all forms of matter, energy and momentum, and the physical laws and constants that govern them. However, the term "universe" may be used in slightly different contextual senses, denoting such concepts as the cosmos, the world or Nature"

In projects there is sometimes need for testers, test coordinators, test management. And often they apply for those people with general terms like: The person should be skilled in a test method like TMap. The person should be ISTQB certified. The person should be a team player. And so on.

As test professionals we pretend to be experts based on our knowledge and experience in a certain area. Sometimes, perhaps sometimes too often, other project members don't understand what we are talking about. Though they know we exist and we have to make also our contribution towards the project. It is our task and duty to make them understand how we can influence the project success.

This can be a hard task as our position in projects might differ. Sometimes we are on another location, far away from project management and developers. Sometimes we are working next to each other. In all situations we influence each others activities. There for it is important we know what relation we have towards each other. We have to describe the project universe and explain our roles and positions. Perhaps more important, we don't need to understand each other in full detail, we have to accept the existence of each other and the need for success.

Let us be the moon and the project be the earth. Without us the earth would not rotate in a stable position. It is not necessary for the earth how we do it, as long as we can convince them we are in control.

Perhaps the answer to the question: "What planet are you from?" is no longer important. We don't need to understand each other in full detail as long as our position is clear. If they consist that you answer this question you can always say: I'm not from another planet. I'm just part of your universe. I'm the moon who shines bright white light and makes sure you planet is able to rotate steady.

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