Software testing is a wicked problem* – we eat the test environment problems and puzzling defects first thing in the morning. Like this one I’m Puzzled and Bugged: An odd mouse click problem on Win7 We try to understand what problem the sponsor really want is to provide information on.
There is no definitive formulation of a wicked problem [ Wicked Problems | Mary Poppendieck ]. Wikipedia have another, the key message is: Wicked problems cannot be solved in a traditional linear fashion, because the problem definition evolves as new possible solutions are considered and/or implemented.
Testing at best have stopping heuristics, like running out of chocolate and other incentives. The results of testing is never passed/fail, it’s a finite sampling over an infinite space – complete coverage is a myth. And context is the most important factor in all testing activities. We learn as we test and explore the system.
So what better way to spend a morning than attending [ GOTO Aarhus 2012 | Problem-solving and Decision-making ]:
For those of us who struggle with complex problems for a living, unfortunately, don’t have time to keep up with the enormous amount of research in cognitive science that would help us be better thinkers.
*(Originally coined by Michael Osborne, SQNZ April 2002).
I’m an Official blogger for GOTO Aarhus 2012 – see also Testers are developers too – and the other way around