Adventurer’s Tools Background

This blog was conceived in reaction to seeing Michael Bolton speak at STPCon 2010.  His presentation was called “Testers! Get Out of the Quality Assurance Business”.  In his presentation, he likens testing to anthropology because of the need to look at the system as a whole, including the surrounding external context.  He then goes further and pulls in the many varied subjects which could be needed to do good testing, many(most) of which have absolutely nothing to do with programming or computer science.  In this, I would have to agree.  Many of the best testers (and I am judging “best” by those who articulate well, are respected by their teams/peers and have successful products/projects) that I know do not have any formal schooling in computer topics.  Instead, they got into testing through some kind of freak intersection of their hobbies, former job skills and/or planetary alignment.  This isn’t to say that testers who do have formal computer related training or skills do not become testers, or even good testers.  Rather, my experience simply indicates that testers are from many various fields and backgrounds, most of which had nothing to do with programming, development or IT work initially.

My gut reaction to Micheal’s presentation was “RIGHT ON!”.  I got excited.  I had visions of being a cross between Indiana Jones, Sherlock Holmes, and James Bond.  But then I thought, a more general term for those people could be adventurers (OK, maybe I’m reaching…but it made sense to me…and no, I hadn’t been drinking…YET), having adventures while testing.  Each project is an unexplored entity, where we find clues/artifacts (through testing techniques), explore, and document our findings in the context of our experience.  Thus, the name of the blog, Adventures in Testing.

In holding with that, I will be doing a series of articles which document the successful adventurer’s tools in the context of testing in a tongue in cheek fashion.

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