How testing changed my mindset

Recently I came to the conclusion that my approach when testing is spread across most of my activities. It’s common for our work life to influence our mindset. The job-specific skills one develops remain in use when changing our environment. I find it hard switching them on only from 9AM to 6PM. Nothing new so far. So why bother reading this blog post? Due to its nature I believe that software testing is a very special activity. It involves a lot of unknowns which require mechanisms to deal with them. Then further mechanisms are needed to understand if the existing mechanisms are suitable in the current context. Below are some ideas picked up when testing. Let’s see how they changed my view of …

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Activities in testing – a parallel from qualitative research

I mentioned in the previous article that I would discuss more on the similarity of the phases in a qualitative research process and the phases of the testing activity.
So I continue here the parallel with the book – ‘Reliability and validity in qualitative research’, by Jerome Kirk and Marc L. Miller – and a more extended discussion on invention, discovery, interpretation and explanation.

“[…] the full qualitative effort depends upon the ordered sequence of invention, discovery, interpretation, and explanation.” (page 60)

When I test a product, I go through a sequence of different activities that focus on different aspects of the testing process.
Invention denotes a phase of preparation, or research design; this phase produces a plan of action.”

In my case, I could see this as the stage at which I decide how to test a software service/product, by identifying and building a test strategy.

In the book three sub-phases associated with invention are presented, in the case of anthropological research: the first directions to the field to be studied, first look over the field and the first taste of it (meaning the first interaction with the culture to be studied). These further dictate the approach of the research.
I associate this with the experience of learning how to approach the testing task at hand. It’s what happens…

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