Thursday, 24 February 2011

Exploratory Testing Lessons from the Tao Te Ching

Tony Bruce posted some quotes inspired by Taoist traditional writing from The Magic of Metaphor. I have a particular fondness for Taoist classics and I have a fair few translations of the Tao Te Ching on my bookshelf. I love the feeling of simplicity generated when reading.
I cherry picked the following quotes with a relevance to my testing.
If you have not before taken the following approaches in your testing then I encourage you to try them (failing this you could just read “The Berenstain Bears Inside, Outside, Upside Down” as initially recommended to me by Rob Sabourin):

On Subtle Wisdom…
  • In order to contract a thing, one should surely expand it first.
  • In order to weaken, one will surely strengthen first.
  • In order to overthrow, one will surely exalt first.
  • In order to take, one will surely give first.

What is planted by the best planter can never be removed;
What is embraced by the best embracer can never be loosened.

On Absolute Equality:
  • Blunt all that is sharp;
  • Cut all that is divisible;
  • Blur all that is brilliant;
  • Mix with all that is humble as dust;

Chapter LXIV:
  • What is motionless is easy to hold;
  • What is not yet foreshadowed is easy to form plans for;
  • What is fragile is easy to break';
  • What is minute is easy to disperse.
  • Deal with a thing before it comes into existence;
  • Regulate a thing before it gets into confusion.
  • The common people in their business often fail on the verge of succeeding.
  • Take care with the end as you do with the beginning,
  • And you will have no failure.

All the above from the 1937 Translation by Ch’u Ta-Kao
You can find various translations around the web:

Monday, 21 February 2011

Can a new certification survey change the landscape of Software TestingCertification?

I doubt it, but what the heck. Let’s try. Inspired I was by Dot Graham’s explanation of the original reasons behind certification in “Certification is evil?”. Which in turn was inspired by the Software Testing Club “Tester is for life, not just for Christmas” e-book.
My views on certification in the e-book were “You’re better off becoming an ordained minister from the Church of the Subgenius for only $30.00 than putting any money, or time, towards the Testing Certification Scam.”