Every so often I read a book that really changes the way I think or see things. A while back I read The Medici Effect (Frans Johansson), a book about stepping into the Intersections in life. Johansson describes intersections as places where ideas from different cultures and fields meet and collide, ultimately igniting an explosion of extraordinary new discoveries. It is a book about exploration and the art of maintaining an open mind. It entices the reader to keep curious in a world with infinite possibilities.
It is uncanny how well that translates to testing software. Testers should keep curious, should explore obscure paths that may lead to nothing, but that ‘gut-feel’ says otherwise.
One of the intersections that interests me the most is the intersection between psychology and software testing. In the classic testing book Lessons Learned in Software Testing (James Bach, Bret Pettichord, Cem Kaner), there are many mentions about the psychology of testers. For example, testers (and anyone else really) are biased, and are more likely to pay attention to test results that confirm a tester’s own opinion of the product, developers, organisation, etc – this is called Confirmation Bias. There are numerous other bias mentioned in the book. It goes to show that if you know a little about psychology, you are more likely to be a better tester.
It pays to stay curious, to explore things that may seem unrelated. In the worst case it will make life more interesting, in the best case you may step into an intersection moment that might just change everything!
Stay tuned, I have a feeling I’ll be blogging a few more times about intersections in testing!