Workshop: Critical Thinking Skills for Testers

  • Some bugs are obvious.
  • Every test must have an expected, predicted result.
  • Effective testing requires complete, clear, consistent, and unambiguous specifications.
  • Repeated tests are fundamentally more valuable.
  • Testers should never make assumptions.
  • Experience is the best teacher.
  • People shouldn’t argue about semantics.
  • Test automation saves time for exploratory testing later on.

If you’re a tester or a test manager, you’ve probably heard statements like these touted as universal, unquestionable truths about testing. At best, these bits of mythology and folklore are useful heuristics—fallible methods for solving a problem or making a decision. At worst, they’re potentially dangerous simplifications or outright fallacies that can threaten a tester’s credibility, a product’s value, or an organization’s business.

Testers live in a world of enormous complexity, scarce information, and extraordinary time pressure. In order to deal with this, they need skills of critical thinking—thinking about thinking, with the intention of not being fooled. This one-day workshop, presented by Michael Bolton, is designed to teach strategies and skills—questioning skills, critical thinking, context-driven thinking, general systems thinking—that can help testers deal confidently and thoughtfully with difficult testing situations.

In the workshop, we’ll question the myths of software testing; examine common cognitive biases, and the critical thinking tools that can help to manage them; learn modeling and general systems approaches to manage complexity and observational challenges; and work through exercises that model difficult testing problems—and suggest approaches to solving them.

Participants are encouraged to bring a Windows-based laptop computer to the workshop.

Strategy Workshop
Location: TBD Date: April 2, 2019 Time: - Michael Bolton