Thursday 28 October 2010

Monotonous, context and certification

Hi all,

I just want to thank everyone who follows this blog! I would have given up months ago if it wasn’t for all your support :o)
It’s been a bit hectic of late so I’ve not been updating the blog as much as I wish.

Today’s cartoon was first printed in The Testing Planet (check out the newspaper if you haven’t done so yet).

I specially like today’s cartoon because it reminds me that if we follow scripted tests without using our brains, then we’re not testing, we’re just following a script! That can get very boring, I don’t like being bored!

I got the idea about the matchsticks from a fellow tester who heard the same joke a few years a go (thanks Karen!). The title for the cartoon “the monotonous tester” I got from an article by Pradeep Soundararajan (thanks Pradeep!).

I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I hope some of my cartoons reflect the following statements I believe about testing:
  • Good testing is a challenging intellectual process (hence today’s cartoon)
  • There are no best practices for testing. It’s all about context!
  • Every software development is unique (e.g. be very careful with testing metrics and estimations)
  • Testers provide a service to the software development project (by testing and finding out relevant info on the application)
I *think* all of the above rings true with the context-driven school of testing. Some of the text was taken directly from the “Lessons Learned in S/W testing” book.

This has led me to believe that the current test certifications are harmful to the testing industry. Being a certified s/w tester (which regretfully I am) does not mean I know how to test. Test certifications are very good at identifying people who are good at memorizing words (I can be good at memorizing words). By claiming we're good testers because we have just passed a multiple choice exam sends the message to the wider s/w development industry that testing is fairly simple, so much so, that in future we could train monkeys to do our job (or automate every single thing that we do in testing).

I’m not a monkey (or a robot). Nor do I think my job could be done by a monkey (or a robot).

Thanks for reading. Thanks again for following this blog.


  1. I will try to do myself small cartoons:)
    I will send you links to ask for your feedback.

  2. @testalways,
    Great! Let me know when you have a cartoon/s ready :o)

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