Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is there anything left for us to write in Testing?

Hi Reader,

I have often stumbled upon Cem Kaner's Articles page and it is very recently that I realized, most of the articles have been written and published.

For every problem, you encounter in testing, people like James Bach, Cem Kaner, Jack Falk, Hung Nguyen, Bret Pettichord.....( I could have missed your name too, apologies for that), have written and published articles but "What are we writing nowadays?". For everything else, there is Jerry Weinberg .

I, being naive, did get disappointed but something struck me recently, with which, I now have confidence, to write or continue writing articles about testing.


_ Is there anything left for us to write in Testing? _

Myself being in India, luckily, gave me an opportunity to become optimistic on the scope left in writing articles in testing.

You might be interested to know as to what was one of them, which pulled the trgigger in me to become optimistic about writing and here it is for you.

I graduated, as an engineer, from one of the engineering schools in India and I was able to recollect that for every subject we had to study, we usually referred to two books, one a foreign author and the other an Indian. It is not that we wanted to show patriotism but just that for things that we could not grasp from the foreign author book there was a simpler version written by an Indian author, who understood the audience/students and put things in a layman fashion. Fortunately or unfortunately, they too are a part of the testing community and there should be articles tailored to their understanding levels.

I was able to recollect this concept and this did give rise to my optimism of continuing writing. Before you conclude anything, it is my responsibility to let you know that the above situation prevailing in India or might be in other countries is not because the foreign authors write it in a way that is too complicated for students here to understand but just that there are lot of factors that influences a student to refer to a particular book. One such is psychology, if a person has come across a book authored by some foreigner and due to his own naivety, was unable to grasp then he/she brands all foreign authors book as something written in Greek or Latin, despite the book being very simple to understand.

I also need to mention that the command over the language English is very important, to understand the simplicity of the written book/document.

Did I fail, by making you think that all Indian authors are the ones who abstract work from the ones who originally published the work ?

Not all, but some, yes. There are many genuine writers and I must appreciate their work in this context. Those who write the abstract versions of the original book mostly are the ones who write for commercial or fame, provided they do not give due credits to the original authors. ( As a tester, if I write such abstracted versions of original, I would be mentioning the limitation of my work in terms of the effectiveness in conveying the topic in detail or its usefulness)

It is time for me to make you think of "What can we write?" apart from one such I have mentioned in detail above -
  1. Extensions of research work of published articles.
  2. New experiments, its results, matching or defying with published articles.
  3. Testing, itself, is a game of perspectives, hence, each one's perspective.
  4. Applying the existing research to any non software field/domain.
  5. The problems that did not exist during the days the experts wrote articles and proposed solutions.
  6. Mistakes you have committed and the learning you have had from it.
  7. A new skill that a tester needs, which was not discussed earlier by any of the experts.
  8. Case studies of a project that you have been in, which you are authorized to write and publish.
  9. The kind of change you did to testing to suit new/different business needs.
  10. Things that have baffled you as a tester.
  11. Re-writing an article in native language, giving due credits to the original author.
  12. Lots more... The only limitation is your imagination - ( sorry, I do not know who quoted this)

_ End of _ Is there anything left for us to write in Testing? _

"What can be written, itself, has turned out to be a writing"

Thanks and Regards,

Pradeep Soundararajan

Tester Tested !

Note : In this post, I am representing those upcoming testers who are experimenting, trying to come out of naivety. Seniors excuse if it had not made sense to you.

1 comment:

Bevan said...

A famous 18th century scientist once asked "Is there anything left to be discovered ?"