Unexplainable

(Cross-posted from LinkedIn)

Hey Testers – If you listen to podcasts, I’ve been plowing through Unexplainable by Vox and cannot recommend it enough. There is a LOT in there for us to learn about what we think we know and what we really know and the power of observation. From gravity to our sense of smell, what we DON’T know about these subjects is enormous, but what has been apparent through the research into all these topics is how much observation plays a big part in moving things forward. Small, casual observations that might ordinarily be dismissed as anomalies or mistakes can unlock new ways of thinking about problems, complexity, and our view of the systems we unleash on our customers (and potential harm on the world).

Similarly in testing and quality engineering, in my experience the most important part – trying to learn something through observation – is lost due to an overreliance on checking functional correctness as the primary enterprise software quality management approach. Checking if something “works” is in my opinion, the most expensive and least effective way to manage risk and software quality. What we observe through that process – our emotions, disruption, inefficiencies, etc and the insights that provides into our systems and flow are what will help us understand and mitigate risks to our business.

Anyway, the podcast is great so have a listen and find out how little we actually know about a lot of stuff! Enjoy!

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