Testers need critical thinking

[ Atlassian blog series | Lanette Creamer | Feb 6, 2012]

First, to be effective as a software testers, you develop a different kind of critical thinking in order to find the exceptions to a given rule. It can be said that if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. Testers know you’ve considered horses, but can you handle a herd of zebras? This is one reason why our arguments may sound strange to you, but when your code is on Safari, will you be less sorry?

Another reason why testers often do not agree, even on things that seem simple to other people, is that testers need to convince other people in order to see changes happen. 

For many of us, the number of bugs we FIND isn’t important. It is only the number of bugs important enough to be fixed or that we prevented that adds value to the end user. 

We don’t intend to argue for bugs being fixed or prevented unless they ARE important, but when that bug is important, a good tester will be as convincing as a pitbull lawyer.

There will be research, evidence, and convincing testimony from bystanders. By the time you’ve reached many years experience as a professional software tester, you are as adept at explaining risk and sharing information with others as a good insurance agent, and that is a good thing, unless you happen to be debating against one.

See also A little track history goes a long way


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