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  • Writer's pictureIan Wells

Testers as superforcasters!

Updated: Dec 3, 2018

It is impossible to

comprehensively test a complex commercial software system and still launch on time.  

Wouldn't be nice to be able to predict the future and see how this product under test will work in production?

Recent studies have found that some people are able  to predict the future, better than so-called experts.

I first heard about these Superforecasters from this Freakonomics podcast.  This podcast is based on this  book Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Tetlock and Gardnerand this goodjudgement website.

Top software testers can learn from these "superforecasters".

It turns out Superforecasters  are often  ordinary people, from former ballroom dancers to retired computer programmers, who have an extraordinary ability to predict the future with a degree of accuracy 60 per cent greater than average.  In Superforecasting, Tetlock in his book, with  co-author Dan Gardner offers a fascinating insight into what we can learn from this elite group. They show the methods used by these superforecasters which enable them to outperform even professional intelligence analysts with access to classified data.

Testers are analysts. We analyze risk, trying to anticipate how users will use the software and what engineers may do to it. The better we are at predicting, the better testers we become.

If you already think you are a good forecaster, you can compete against others on the goodjudgement web site and see how you stack up! And, of course, learn how to get better.

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