It’s the thought that counts…

“It’s the thought that counts.” How many times do we hear this statement? How many times do we say or think this statement as we are given something that doesn’t quite hit the mark.  It sometimes comes off as “Ah it is okay that you royally screwed up and this gift is truly lame”.  As I come back from the StarWest conference in San Diego, this term really hits home to me in regards to the software testing profession and my renewed passion towards my field. I feel like I am truly thinking about software testing and its role and responsibility for the first time.

Speaking of thought, my first one is that I am the only person that may read this.  But, finding so many excellent ideas from fellow colleagues via twitter or blogs, it has inspired me to jump in and see what comes of it. I don’t promise to have any ground breaking fresh ideas. These are just the ramblings of a freshly rejuvenated software testing professional that is excited to take the next leap.

In the Critical Thinking for Testers tutorial, James Bach states:  “A tester is someone who knows things can be different.”   Don’t let others tell you how you should think about a problem, learn for yourself.  Think about it. You may end up thinking they are right and that you agree, but come to that conclusion on your own. Group think can be very dangerous – politics and religion being prime examples. If used inappropriately and without question, each can and has been used to condone horrible atrocities. 

We are in an era, where the loudest and most flamboyant message wins regardless of accuracy (or at least dominates the airwaves), it is a very dangerous landscape. With the information highway any kook can broadcast their ideas and if not questioned can become “fact”.  We have a moral responsibility to flush these kooks out for the betterment of human kind.

Testers need to withstand peer pressure and stand up for themself. Peer pressure tends to lead you down a bad path and if you are not strong enough to think for yourself, you will be dragged down it.   Even as I find and learn about new ideas from industry experts, I feel I need to take it in, digest it and question it as well. Otherwise I would be jumping on a bandwagon because someone in authority “said so”.

This is my first dip into the blogging world and I know this may be somewhat incoherent, but in recent weeks feel like I am “thinking” about testing really for the first time. It has been an enlightening and inspiring experience as I dip my toes in the water of software testing. The rambling and run on sentences are of a man that sees a whole new world in front of him ready to explore.

I would like to end with some lyrics from The Avett Brothers “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise”

There’s a darkness upon you that’s flooded in light
In the fine print they tell you what’s wrong and what’s right
And it flies by day and it flies by night
And I’m frightened by those who don’t see it

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About Alex Bantz

Director of Quality Engineering at Salesforce in Indianapolis, Indiana. The views expressed here are my own and not those of Salesforce. I am a proud father of 3 wonderful boys. I have been involved in the field of software testing 15 years as both an individual contributor and in managerial/leadership roles. I enjoy not only learning new techniques but also assisting others in their growth and development and am a vocal supporter of the importance of software testing. View all posts by Alex Bantz

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