Monday, November 16, 2009

The Beginning...

It was almost a year ago when I attended EuroSTAR 2008 and had a intresting conversation with Michael Bolton there, afterwhat he recommended me to start blogging. So it took only around a year to finally start with it. Loads of work that calmed down only recently couldn't allow me to start any sooner. Hopefully at least one person finds anything useful here. Then this blog has fulfilled it's purpose.

Today I was thinking about a testing and how to start this blog. I found a phrase that describes testing for me a little: Testing is like cooking. If you are new at it, you need cookbook texts helping you to cook. You need the recipes to know what raw materials to use, how to prepare them for cooking, how to cook them at what temperatures and for how long to make the food good. As you improve in the art of cooking you need the cookbook less and less. You rely more on yourself, on your experience, on your intuition, on your senses of smell and taste. Then one moment you start experimenting with the recipes. You start changing ingredients, substituting one thing for another seeing what happens.

So to draw a parallel then at the beginning of Your career as Tester you have to rely more on textbooks, prescribed descriptions of what to do and how. As time goes by You learn and gain more experience. Soon you can rely less and less on textbooks and more on your experience and intuition thus making yourself more flexible to the change of contexts of products, tests and enviroments.

I also started noticing one strange coincidence. As I improved in cooking I improved in testing and vice versa. The notice of details, possessing overview of large picture to understand context better, experimenting, exploring, use of other senses beside visual, how make it effectively, how to serve the results etc. The experience gained in one, showed up in another. For example I made fish in oven in mayonnaise sauce and after supper it I made a note to myself to try using different type of mayonnaise for the sauce. Reminder to use mayonnaise with higher quality to improve the overall quality of food and how it would affect the quality more specifically. Next time I was at work testing I suddenly understood that I was subconsciously using different type of test data for testing than before. Test data with higher quality for results. I got much more information out of the results with less time and effort. I realized only later that only thought that could have possible lead me to that decision was the one for the mayonnaise sauce and how the change would affect my cooking.

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