Saturday, July 23, 2016

Mind the style - sharing vs. correcting

Today I learned something that is useful to me as a context-driven tester. My responsibility is to teach myself and share, not to teach others. It's pull, not push for others too. Understanding other contexts and viewpoints starts with listening, not telling what I have to add.

Let me elaborate this a little.

There was a tweet.
Seeing this, I felt the need to respond that while I agree that (good) automated testing was much needed there, they could have used any good testing.

I've come to understand that part of automation magic of people like Bret Pettichord, Noah Sussman and Jason Huggings is that they are strong testers and automators. There are a lot of people who are strong in one and weak in other, and to do the great things, you need strength in both. So far, I've come to know personally many amazing programmers who are also great at testing, but I've followed a lot less people I'd identify as programmers primarily in the area of test automation (automation testers).

So bringing in someone like Jason Huggins, you bring in both good testing and good automation. The statement saying "too much manual testing derailed" can include the idea that bad testing and lack of automation together derailed, and that fixing problems of bad testing and lack of automation can happen both at the same time.

As soon as I had commented on the tweet, I read more tweets in my twitter stream. I realized that Anna Royzman and Dan Ashby had also commented, and I felt a surge of empathy. Imagine I was saying good stuff, and the masses focus was on correcting me - how would I feel? I deleted the tweet that had existed for 5 minutes, and made a commitment to pay attention to my interaction on Twitter.

A good heuristic is that Twitter is for making new friends (Facebook is for keeping touch with the ones you have). Making new friends by correcting them is an awful approach in the online world.

If you're wondering why context-driven people come off as anti-automation even though we're not, this could be one of the reasons. We see we're adding new data points when we're correcting. The other person is not in a place to accept the information we're pushing. Focus on the good of automation. Feed what you want to see grow.