But still, in all the discussions there's two points that bother me and a lot of the critique revolves around.
- 'Standard' the word and its definition
- Available options for the contents of the standard
'Standard' the word and its definition
A few days back, I saw Lisa Crispin tweet a reply to Michael Bolton that I'm strongly paraphrasing from my memory. The reply was related to a discussion on agile testing as per Lisa's new book and pointed out that not everyone appreciates time spend on word games as they have a full-time testing job to attend to. It caught my attention, as it was pointing out a problem I feel I'm having with context-driven testing arguments, and a problem that is in the core of discussions for #stop29119.
Many people suggest strongly that there should be no standard. Standard the word strongly implies a connection with the regulations, and through that, compliance and lawsuits of non-compliance. I get that. I agree that standard is a very risky word to use if we mean 'guideline'. But I think I hear the other side on this as well.
I live in Finland and Scandinavia is quite different from USA. Really. The whole discussion about standards isn't that big of a monster in the world I live in. It becomes a monster occasionally with EU regulations and it's always been a monster with things regulated from USA. But in the little fluffy cloud I get to live in, it just doesn't matter that much. I'm sure its not equally bad to everyone in USA either. But in this particular fight for #stop29119 the definition of that word becomes a key issue.
Standard the word has many contexts. After all, we're talking of context-driven testing with testing area not having set meanings on the terminology. Words are communication between people, and for testing terminology we don't believe in set terminology but trying to understand and hear out what the other party is saying. How come the word standard is that different from all the other words we use? How come we can't accept that standard in one context is regulation and standard in another context is guideline.
The fact that this guideline ISO 29119 is totally worthless contents that make things worse is a different story. But the basic idea of attacking the word standard seems like word play I don't even care to win. The risk of compliance requirements is relevant for certain contexts.
Available options for the contents of the standard
To get anywhere from here, we need to start making compromises. Compromises to how strongly we feel about the word standards, compromises on how serious we are about no standard-like documentation about testing can exist. The standardisation organisations need to win too, it's not exactly fair to say we want them to stop doing the business they are in. Or is this really something that can, by no means me resolved?