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  • Ian Wells

The art of being a tester: Am I asking the right question?



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Paul Theyers  and I, in  a free ranging, fun conversation today about the joys and challenges of testing, discussed  “what makes a good tester”. ( how did we such conversations before coffee shops? I have no idea)

Many quality problems can appear at first blush to be testing problems. But good testers are simply conveying the message. Good testing does not fix quality.

Paul made the case that it’s the ability to ask the right questions. and use those answers  to  create a test plan that addresses the cause.

We all know good, efficient testing is hard. Maybe the reason that good questions are so important is the large number of unknowns in any software product.

There are many reasons for so many unknowns. Software is invisible for example – you cannot never see the whole thing as you can a completed automobile.

But also the medium we are dealing with – information – is changing incredibly fast. Its not like being a wood carver. Information change is occurring exponentially.

As testers, we must deal with this exponentially changing medium. As Paul surmised, the way to do this is by learning to ask the right questions.

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