Testing is like… writing a blog post

After a surprisingly busy month of lockdown meant I left myself only one evening to complete the Ministry of Testing June/July bloggers club challenge, I’ve thrown together a quick, tongue-in-cheek post about how I’d rather this month had gone…

Testing is like writing a blog post for a bloggers club. You start off with a brief; the blog title, a risk. This gives you the problem you need to tackle, but it’s up to you to decide how to approach it.

You come up with an idea; a topic, a charter. This is your decision about the direction you’d like to head. You throw around some ideas, a couple of bullet points about what might be interesting to cover. This starts to take shape, and eventually, you have a strategy, a clear idea of the key points you’d like to explore.

You embark on the task; the thinking, the testing. You switch off from what’s around you to focus on the ideas you have. Your exploration builds up a picture, a model. You keep notes to keep track of your thoughts, observations and questions. You question yourself, whether your ideas are valid, whether what you’re thinking is interesting to others; would there be value in sharing it?

You’re convinced yourself of your idea, your model; you’re at a point where you think you understand things, and you now want to convey that understanding to someone else. You begin writing your post, your test report. You need to articulate things clearly, focusing on the audience and their model of how things work. You need to focus on things that are important to them.

You’re pleased with where you’ve got to. You’ve taken your brief, have an understanding you’d like to share with people and have that down in writing. Before you share that, however, you get a second pair of eyes on your summary; in the form of a draft review, a test debrief. You run your thinking past someone else to get their insight and opinion. They might spot errors in your logic, omissions from your brainstorms and possible extensions that you could explore. After their insight, you have the confidence that you’re ready to share wider. You share the blog, the test report.

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