My latest post to the agile-testing yahoo group:
Ben Simo asks how we can talk testing without talking philosophy.
If you will permit me, I will try to expand on that. As I see it, software testing is questioning the product, asking questions like "Is this Good (Enough)?"
To do that, you need to answer questions like "What does 'Good Software' mean?" "What does 'Good' mean?" and pretty soon you are asking "What does 'meaning' mean?"
The good news is that we can stop wayyyy short of that final question and still declare victory.
So we define good according to a value system - for example - we value this over that, because we value this outcome over that outcome -- applied philosophy. I am not the first person to notice this[1, 2].
So that is what geeks me out about testing. I suspect, that by philosophy, Lisa means to stay away from the arguments about "is testing critical inquiry?" or "is testing a repeatable process that should be automated all the time?"
This is very hard for some of us to do, as ideas have consequences, and our worldview will impact our work.
/AND/ here is what I can try (harder) to do in good conscience: When things get airy fairy, we can bring them down to THIS report, THIS web screen, or THIS server product, and it's constraints, and what test strategy we would develop.
I believe that's what we are being asked to do. I'm not excited about it, but I understand the concern and I'll try to keep things grounded in good faith.
Schedule and Events
March 26-29, 2012, Software Test Professionals Conference, New Orleans
July, 14-15, 2012 - Test Coach Camp, San Jose, California
July, 16-18, 2012 - Conference for the Association for Software Testing (CAST 2012), San Jose, California
August 2012+ - At Liberty; available. Contact me by email: Matt.Heusser@gmail.com