…are not always the full truth.  Is that hurting our craft? 

Last week, I attended the first Software Testing Club Atlanta Meetup.  It was organized by Claire Moss and graciously hosted by VersionOne.  The format was Lean Coffee, which was perfect for this meeting.

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Photo by Claire Moss

I’m not going to blog about the discussion topics themselves.  Instead, I would like to blog about a familiar Testing Story pattern I noticed:

During the first 2 hours, it seemed to me, we were telling each other the testing stories we wanted to believe, the stories we wanted each other to believe.  We had to make first impressions and establish our personal expertise, I guess.  But during the 3rd hour, we started to tell more candid stories, about our testing struggles and dysfunctions.  I started hearing things like, “we know what we should be doing, we just can’t pull it off”.  People who, at first impression, seemed to have it all together, seemed a little less intimidating now.

When we attend conference talks, read blog posts, and socialize professionally, I think we are in a bubble of exaggerated success.  The same thing happens on Facebook, right?  And people fall into a trap: The more one uses Facebook, the more miserable one feels.  I’m probably guilty of spreading exaggerated success on this blog.  I’m sure it’s easier, certainly safer, to leave out the embarrassing bits.

That being said, I am going to post some of my recent testing failure stories on this blog in the near future.  See you soon.

8 comments:

  1. Rajaraman Raghuraman said...

    Thanks for posting. We tend to do these even in our new projects where we try to project as if we are the best in the world and try to draw bad experiences from previous projects. That goes with the fact that people tend to listen more to people who have authority.

    - Rajaraman
    Http://programmersmotivation.com

  2. srinivas kadiyala said...

    Looking forward to read the posts..Back to managing time for reading the daily posts.

  3. Rinimand said...

    "Bubble of exaggerated success" - so true. I have had developers and project managers offer advice or criticize my work, and later apologize. I hate that. I reply, "Thanks, it's OK. I am fallible. And we're not a team unkess you are free to tell me when I am."

  4. Adam said...

    I think that you are absolutely right, we do inflate some (or most?) of our stories...we don't want people to have low opinions of us, don't we? :)

    By the way...I once had to perform a series of tests on a certain platform, only that I first needed to install some prerequisites, nothing too complicated at first...but after a certain amount of time, I still wasn't able to solve the problems that hindered the installation, only to find out that those prerequisites were already installed! It was a disappointing day for me…

  5. Dan said...

    Hi Eric,

    Good idea to post your failure testing stories.
    For some testers these stories can be a new experience and learn some new things.

    Maybe by reading one of your story, in the future I will know what to do and how handle a certain situation.

  6. Neil Capper said...

    You may find this video interesting. It discusses the interaction of people in social networks and the effect it has on those interacting:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6Bkr_udado

  7. shilpa p2c said...

    Hi..
    Good Idea. Posting the failure stories may also be helpful, Experience makes the person perfect.
    "Software Testing"

  8. Ron Wilson said...

    Great point Eric. The more real we are with each other, the more we can prevent others from having the same failures we have had.

    Thanks.
    Ron Wilson

    <a href="http://www.software-testing-blog.com:>Software Testing Blog</a>



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