Wednesday 15 February 2012

Before Computers

There's a hidden message in the cartoon that I wanted to highlight. But thinking about it, there are a few messages the cartoon could be highlighting. So, please leave a comment if you have an idea of what the cartoon could teach us about testing. Thanks!! I wonder if anyone will guess my original idea for the cartoon...


  1. "Pingpong without a ball is boring"?

  2. You had a power outage ?
    Why not test the requirements or stories, dont have to have the program to find problems

  3. Testing done at Initial Stage of SDLC!!!!!

  4. you need eyes, ears and a mouth to communicate

  5. Real Testers, are starting testing before computers are inveted!

  6. Testing is not only exercising program to find bugs. It is also (and more importantly) testing requirements and learning about hidden part of requirements before SUT is built or even started to be built.

    So +1 to previous comment by Phil.

  7. Message: Just because you don't have software, doesn't mean you cannot be finding bugs (essentially +1 Phil)

    Original idea: The History of the World - Part 1 by Mel Brooks. :-)

  8. Testers existed EVER. The next phrase the chief should say is "Let's go and find bugs -- anywhere!"

  9. # May be they are testing the table or their cubical.

    # May be they testing the work / office environment by experiencing with those chair, table and their own space.

    # May be they testing their own organs.

  10. On the flip side, if there were 4 computers sitting there before testers were invented, they would all be saying; "we're all bug free, isn't it brilliant?"

    (We hired a tester and she brought all the bugs with her)

  11. The number of bugs I've found when I've literally just sat back and thought about the requirements is legion...

  12. We used paper planes to tell the developers about bugs.If it lands on his desk it is a bug otherwise it is a matter of judgement.

  13. Wow, great comments and suggestions. Keep them coming!
    My idea of the cartoon is so obscure that one has guessed it yet...

  14. Try #2
    No computers means there's nowhere to store the test scripts. No test scripts means no bugs

  15. Second try: you cannot measure tester's work by number of bugs they have found!

  16. The delicious irony that we need computers to effectively communicate issues we find with computers?

    I look at the cartoon and something to do with 'Divide and .... concur' comes to mind. A divided table and they are all agreeing.

  17. Before computers were invented, the word "bug" only could have meant:

    1 a : an insect or other creeping or crawling invertebrate (as a spider or centipede)
    b : any of several insects (as the bedbug or cockroach) commonly considered obnoxious
    c : any of an order (Hemiptera and especially its suborder Heteroptera) of insects that have sucking mouthparts, forewings thickened at the base, and incomplete metamorphosis and are often economic pests —called also true bug
    2a : a germ or microorganism especially when causing disease
    b : an unspecified or nonspecific sickness usually presumed due to a bug
    3: a sudden enthusiasm
    4: enthusiast (a camera bug)
    5: a prominent person
    6: a crazy person
    7: a concealed listening device
    8: a weight allowance given apprentice jockeys (from its designation by an asterisk on race programs)

    So, if these 4 characters are testers, what were they testing for, if they were looking for "bugs"? The presence of crawling invertebrates? The presence or absence of enthusiast/prominent/lunatic coworkers? Whether or not their office was wired? Or were they merely checking out the latest local horse race program?


  18. If they a trail of sugar then the bugs will appear. Well, ants and wasps anyway ;)

    1. Oops, typo!
      If they *lay* a trail of sugar....

  19. I guess a good example of testing before computers were invented is supermarket layouts. These are planned, designed, implemented, evaluated, re-implemented, evaluated, tweaked, evaluated, tweaked....... A lot of thought and psychology goes into planning and optimising these.

    Did you ever wonder why the biggest deals are on the end of isles? Why they place sweeties next to the checkouts? The thought behind the introduction of quick checkouts and why and who they attract?

    Everywhere you look testing is being done to help achieve great things. To get to your point though, perceptions of testing by testers and non-testers alike is often very flawed. Perhaps the word testing simplifies it somewhat?

  20. Attempt 3 -

    The 1st computer bug was a bug:

    .... but they were not looking for a bug when they found it

  21. There is no such thing as perfect software, hence the only time a tester would be unable to find a bug was when there was literally nothing to test.

  22. Most testing happens in your mind.


  23. i originally thought about it as a joke about automation, and later i thought it may be related also to bug reporting software, and all other software we use daily in testing.

    so i took the "before computers" in the sense of "before testers had their workstation computers", and not as "before they had computers with software to test".

  24. Thanks for all the great responses. Goes to show that an image (or a cartoon in this case) can mean many things to many people. I do like the suggestions about testing before the software is available.

    Well, my idea was obscure!! No one guessed it although some people got close. The idea is that in the grand scheme of things, software development, and specifically software testing, is totally new. Whether you call it a profession, a career, a craft or something else, software testing is still in the early years compared to many jobs. To mature and catch up, we must continue to evolve, learn, re-learn, invent and try out new concepts/ideas, challenge each other. In other words, there’s a whole world out there to be discovered.

  25. Manual work as no computer exist, people work manually and ask each other if any problem and than help each other

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