Mapping testing Competencies

[ Recognise and Acknowledge Your Skills  | Ministry Of Testing – The Testing Planet | June 2013]

The below model is directly inspired by the Vancouver Agile Quadrant introduced in “Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams” by Crispin and Gregory 2009 based on the original matrix from Brian Marick in 2003. It consists of four primary branches – as seen on the illustration. It is not a matrix or a table, but four directions with each their cloud of buzzwords. For specific contexts a mind-map will be a better choice of illustration – try drawing your own competencies.

Tester Skills Matrix
Tester Skills Matrix

The yardstick of mythical normality

Those that accepted me, worked with my neurology not against it. Their yardstick was not a mythical normality but the potential that they felt that I could achieve. They recognized that my way of doing and learning certain things was different. Instead of proceeding from the assumption that was somehow wrong, they worked with it and helped me to find the place where my neurology and the world could safely mix. 

What Acceptance Means to Me | Published on April 20, 2013 by Lynne Soraya in Asperger’s Diary on http://www.psychologytoday.com ]

streetview

People are people – despite their labels

I generally despise the “despite” in the following sentences

I’d rather we use a child with autism, a child with ADHD, a person with asperger… A mother, a woman, a Dane, a black person – a person. Children with a diagnosis is so much more than the diagnosis – they are children. People are so much more that their labels, they are people first – labels second.

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See also:
https://jlottosen.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/they-are-just-people/
https://jlottosen.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/har-du-set-en-med/
https://jlottosen.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/the-geeks-and-nerds-syndrome/

Testing is your sensory nerves

Remember how the brain reorganized it’s neurons when information stopped coming in? Just because the ‘wiring’ is fixed and the information flow is restarted doesn’t mean that the brain will start listening! Second, the brains’ map of sensory information coming from the hand has been distorted, and the brain will have to relearn the hand-map again.

It’s very much like a management board having to learn how to include information they haven’t had for a while, in their decision making.

Testing is your sensory nerves

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Yes, non-tech people can be testers

Why You Should Consider Non-IT Professionals for QA Roles | Posted on 10/08/2012 | http://blog.utest.com by Jamie Saine ]

Combining traditional QA practices with non-traditional players helps companies test products from all angles. 
 Two attributes are critical for good testers regardless of academic background, which non-IT persons can develop and receive training, he pointed out. … The first is domain knowledge, …  the tester must also understand the SDLC processes or models for the app as used by their employer, such as agile, iterative or waterfall, he said.

Software testing is a skill of many skillsJesper Ottosen on the EuroStar blog ]

Business skills or domain know-how … Application skills or technical know-how … software testing itself and the skill of software testing tools … Project management or task coordination know-how … Notice that the above skill areas are very “hard” skills as compared to “soft” or personal skills. All kinds soft skills come into play in software testing for me to single out anyone. Some situations you have to be flexible, others stern. Some situations require results orientation and some situations require attention to all details. I can see the skills of all personality in play in software testing – as software testing is a skill of many skills.

Testing AND Checking]:

You apply both your left and right side of the brain – you check and test – you do tasks and seek value – you apply routinized and bespoke activities. You can use the distinction to guide you to a context-driven testing approach. 

2013-01-04 11.01.50

Testing AND Checking

A lot of bits have traveled under the Internet bridge since Michael Bolton’s Testing vs Checking in 2009:

  • Checking is something that we do with the motivation of confirming existing beliefs. Checking is a process of confirmation, verification, and validation.
  • Testing is something that we do with the motivation of finding new information. Testing is a process of exploration, discovery, investigation, and learning. 

Revisiting it again and again it dawns on me(1)… It’s not “versus“- It’s not “either or” – It’s “not one over the other” – It’s not “merely” either – it’s about testing and checking.  Both on the same time – but yet using different words, helps us find a better understanding of what we do. The Rapid Software Testing course material pages 59-67 illustrates this in details (3):

Rapid Software Testing - Task Performing

We can look into scripts/checking as being task performing “arrows”: an hypothesis is established and sought to be confirmed. Value seeking happens all through the checking process – you think and react based on the evidence found. (2)

Rapid Software Testing - Value seeking - used by permission

We can look into exploration/testing as being value seeking “cycles”: an exploration acts on it’s own – but still consists of smaller sequential tasks being performed. (2)

You apply both your left and right side of the brain – you check and test – you do tasks and seek value – you apply routinized and bespoke activities. You can use the distinction to guide you to a context-driven testing approach.  Read also Exploring Uncertainty for a good discussion on how  Checking is Not Evil and how to illustrate what is Not Checking.

In 2013 Michael Bolton and James Bach refined the definition of checking:

TESTING AND CHECKING REFINED | March 26th, 2013 ]

Checking is the process of making evaluations by applying algorithmic decision rules to specific observations of a product.

              From that, we have identified three kinds of checking:

Human checking is an attempted checking process wherein humans collect the observations and apply the rules without the mediation of tools.

Machine checking is a checking process wherein tools collect the observations and apply the rules without the mediation of humans.

Human/machine checking is an attempted checking process wherein both humans and tools interact to collect the observations and apply the rules.

_ _ _

1 with guiding from both James B & Michael B. Thanks!
2 with specific permission from James Bach.
3 also referenced in So Everything Must Be Tested?

Routinized and bespoke activities

It’s not just for knowledge workers anymore | December 9, 2011 }

Every business runs on a combination of routinized and bespoke activities. Running the trains in and out of London may routinized, but when a train breaks down the work becomes very bespoke. Tier 1 customer support is routinized; Tier 2-3 customer support is bespoke.

Routinized and bespoke activities require different types of supporting tools. Routinized activities require process tools to run the activity at scale as efficiently as possible, with as little variation as possible. Bespoke activities require a toolkit, a basket of techniques, tools, tips, tricks, and experts upon which a practitioner can draw to meet the needs of the moment.

Which type of activity should your business try to optimize? My answer: Both.

It’s not just for knowledge workers anymore – neither is it only for Social Media Software. It’s key for your job and your competencies – that you uses both parts. … of the brain