See Part 1 for intro.

  • People don’t make decisions based on numbers, they do so based on feelings (about numbers).
  • Asking for ROI numbers for test automation or social media infrastructure does not make sense because those are not investments, those are expenses.  Value from an automation tool is not quantifiable.  It does not replace a test a human can perform.  It is not even a test.  It is a “check”.
  • Many people say they want a “metric” when what they really want is a “measurement”.  A “metric” allows you to stick a number on an observation.  A “measurement”, per Jerry Weinberg, is anything that allows us to make observations we can rely on.  A measurement is about evaluating the difference between what we have and what we think we have.
  • If someone asks for a metric, you may want to ask them what type of information they want to know (instead of providing them with a metric).
  • When something is presented as a “problem for testing”, try reframing it to “a problem testing can solve”.
  • Requirements are not a thing.  Requirements are not the same as a requirements document.  Requirements are an abstract construct.  It is okay to say the requirements document is in conflict with the requirements.  Don’t ever say “the requirements are incomplete”.  Requirements are not something that can be incomplete.  Requirements are complete before you even know they exist, before anyone attempts to write a requirements document.
  • Skilled testers can accelerate development by revealing requirements.  Who cares what the requirement document says.
  • When testing, don’t get hung up on “completeness”.  Settle for adequate.  Same for requirement documents.  Example: Does your employee manual say “wear pants to work”?  Do you know how to get to your kid’s school without knowing the address?
  • Session-Based Test Management (SBTM) emphasizes conversation over documentation.  It’s better to know where your kid’s school is than to know the address.
  • SBTM requires 4 things:
    • Charter
    • Time-boxed test session
    • Reviewable results
    • Debrief
  • The purpose of a program is to provide value to people.  Maybe testing is more than checking.
  • Quality is more than the absence of bugs.
  • Don’t tell testers to “make sure it works”.  Tell them to “find out where it won’t work.”  (yikes, that does rub against the grain with my We Test To Find Out If Software *Can* Work post, but I still believe each)
  • Maybe when something goes wrong in production, it’s not the beginning of a crisis, it’s the end of an illusion.


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