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The Tester’s Mental Attitude

Lecture 7 - Test Preps -> Quick Intro -> The Tester's Mental Attitude -> Intro To Special Skills In Bug Finding

People with different attitudes see things differently. Here is my favorite example: When 3 friends – a carpenter, a painter, and a biologist visited a forest and shared their observations, they found out that:

– The carpenter saw logs.

– The painter saw landscapes.

– The biologist saw material for an article.

Let’s apply this principle to software:

            – For the user, it’s an instrument to solve specific tasks or to satisfy a need (e.g., to transfer money or to read the news)

            – For the PM, it’s a way to bring to life the ideas imprinted in the specs.

            – For the programmer, it’s a beloved baby.

            For the tester, it’s a shelter for bugs.

Brain Positioning

The expression, “Software has bugs,” is not a joke or an exaggeration; it’s the Universal Cosmic Law. So, let’s open our hearts to that Law! Let’s have an unquestionable belief that:

It’s the very nature of software to be buggy and unreliable

– If software seems to work, it’s not normal it means that something is wrong

We’ve all heard these words of wisdom: “Ask and you shall receive.” As testers, we “ask” for bugs:

– By not trusting software

– By searching for bugs

The less we trust software, the more bugs we find. The more bugs we find, the less we trust software. Nice cycle!

The lack of trust towards software is connected with another tester’s virtue: destructive thinking! We are not silent observers of this buggy substance called “software”; we actively find ways to demonstrate that the software is breakable. And what is the best way to show that the software is breakable? By finding bugs!

You can say, “Wait a minute! During our previous lecture you told us about positive testing and how it must be executed first. How can positive testing coexist with destructive thinking?

Here is my answer: “Positive testing is a technical approach, while destructive thinking is a mental attitude. We create positive test cases to find bugs in software.

Brain Positioning

Remember that we damage the tester’s attitude (and, thus, our bug finding abilities!) when we start proving that the software works, instead of proving that the software has bugs. We should always have prosecutor’s stance: “Guilty!” towards software.

Build your tester’s mentality on a lack of trust and destructive thinking, and you’ll experience the magic: you’ll start feeling software! Out of nowhere you’ll be getting bug finding ideas targeting precisely those areas of software that contain bugs. I don’t know HOW it works, but I know that it DOES work. The right attitude invokes amazing forces that blow winds into the sails of whatever you do. Next ->

Lecture 7 - Test Preps -> Quick Intro -> The Tester's Mental Attitude -> Intro To Special Skills In Bug Finding