Lessons Learned in Software Testing 2

Thinking like a tester

  • Testers don’t like to break things; they like to dispel the illusion that things work.
  • Testers don’t enjoy giving bad news; they enjoy freeing their client from the thrall of false belief
  • Testing is applied epistemology, not grumpistics or whinography

Testing is applied epistemology

  • Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that help you test better
  • Epistemology is the study of how you know what you know
  • Socrates advocated and embodied the critical examination of belief 2400 years ago. We, therefore, see him as an early epistemologist. Philosophers, scientist, and psychologists have continued the study of epistemology up to the present day. As a tester, this is your heritage.

Studying epistemology help you test better:

  • Testers should learn epistemology to test better than good
  • Some books to get started:
    • Tools of Critical Thinking: Metathoughts for Psychology (Levy 1997)
    • Thinking and Deciding (Baron 1994)
    • The Craft of Research (Booth, Colomb, and Williams 1995)