Adding Value, Revisited

A while back, I wrote a post on breaking code, in which I suggested that testers don’t add value to a project; they merely defend the value that’s there. This isn’t a general systems law, but any general utterance should have a couple of specific exceptions or alternative views. So, with the passage of time, here are a couple. First, a while ago, I was chatting with James Bach, and … Read more

Artists on Software Development

I heard two wonderful things on the CBC today, both of which relate to this business of software development. One was on the radio, on an arts magazine called Q, hosted by the urbane Jian Ghomeshi. He was interviewing the winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Junot Diaz. At one point, Diaz said something close to this: Appearances are not what matters…what’s the reality? As an artist, I’m … Read more

Adam Smith on Scripted Testing

While reading Tim Harford’s excellent book on economics, The Logic of Life, I found this quote from Adam Smith: “The man whose whole life is spent on performing a few simple operations … has no occasion to exert his understanding or to exercise his his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur. He … generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a … Read more

Questioning questioning questioning

Shrini Kulkarni reports on a conversation that he had with Rex Black. Shrini apparently offered a definition of testing, developed by James Bach, that we use in our Rapid Software Testing course: testing is questioning a product in order to evaluate it. Rex didn’t agree with this definition. “Questioning a lifeless thing like software is bizarre. I cannot question my dog,” said Rex. Despite the fact that a statement is … Read more