Monday, November 10, 2008

"Schools of testing" are evolving

The first time I read about "schools of testing" I posted already an comment about it
Wednesday, February 20th 2008: Schools of testing, can you decide?
Sunday, February 24th 2008: Testing Schools and Organizational Schools

To understand this topic you might view the presentation of Bret Pettichord: Schools of Software Testing

Currently the discussion is still going on about this topic on several weblogs:
Cem Kaner:
Friday, December 22nd, 2006: Schools of software testing

Paul Gerrard:
Thursday, February 21st 2008: School's Out!
Monday, February 25th 2008: Clients, Contexts and Schools
Tuesday, November 4th 2008, Schools of Testing - Go Away
Thursday November 6th 2008: Labels, Stereotypes and Schools
Friday, November 7 th2008: I'm Not Ready for School... Yet

James Bach:
Wednesday, February 20th 2008: The Gerrard School of Testing
Wednesday, November 5th 2008 : Schools of Testing… Here to Stay.

Michael Bolton:
Thursday, November 06th, 2008: Schools can go away... when we all think alike
Monday, November 10th 2008

In very general terms these articles are about the need for schools for testing. Do they exist? Do we need them? Or can we solve it using the correct heuristics and axioms?

In my posting related to organizational schools I already mentioned a history about these schools. These schools also evolved over time. We kept learning and adapting the current situation and found new approaches. This didn't meant that the other approach was wrong or useless. I think there was another situation which needed another solution.

In history we see more of these examples. You can take examples from psychology (History of psychology), sociology (History of sociology) and also political List: forms of governments.

So my thought is that we cannot avoid "schools of testing". It is in human nature to create groups.
From Wikipedia:
In sociology, a group can be defined as two or more humans that interact with one another, accept expectations and obligations as members of the group, and share a common identity

The main reason of creation of groups is the need for interaction and share a common identity.
I think we as testers didn't do anything else over the last decades. We also want to interact with other people. Not only people part from our own group. Also communicate with people from other groups like developers, managers, users etc.

As those other groups have also their own behavior; testers adapted their approach towards those groups based on their needs.

In some organizations an Quality approach is more appropriate then an Agile approach.
To support these approaches we have methods to support them like: TMap, TestFrame, ISTQB and SCRUM.

This raises the following question to me: Are we capable to support an organization properly when we are experts in one of these methods and the need is for another "school approach"?

This made me think about were to position the Context Driven approach. As far as I understand they look at the context which is best suitable for the customer within defined boundaries.

As it might be impossible to be an expert in all methods; thinking within the good context might be an answer. The organization might have chosen for a method. Because this method is carried by several people, read group, they all want to make it a success. Using this as context you would be able to be successful although you are not an expert in Agile or TMap or that method. You are able to adapt yourselves to the need of the organization. Perhaps I'm wrong here.

To get this picture more clear for me I hope I will meet next Wednesday on EuroStar Michael Bolton who might explain it to me.

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