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I’m not Testing, Just Noticing

December 21st, 2017 · No Comments

by Dwayne Phillips

Sometimes I fill the role of the “just notice-er.” Perhaps that should be an official title in systems development.

I was preparing a demonstration of software we developed in house. Something wasn’t happening as I expected. I asked a couple of the programmers to look over my shoulder.

“Look at this,” I said. “Tell me if I am doing this wrong.”

I demonstrated what I saw. The programmers were puzzled. There, right in front of them, the software wasn’t working as it should. Many questions followed. They were honestly trying to understand the odd circumstances I presented to the software they had written. I could see their minds churning through the code to find where something was possibly misbehaving.

Later in the day, one of the programmers had me look over her shoulder at how what she saw. She said, “I don’t think we are testing the software correctly.”

Then it hit me, I wasn’t testing the software. I was just noticing something about how it behaved.

Hmmm, could it be that “just noticing” is a part of “testing?” Is “just noticing” another branch of system development? Who has the official title of “just notice-er?” Why is it that these “just notice-ers” always spoil the fun? What could I do as a “just notice-er” to speed product development and improve quality? Why do I come up with titles like “just notice-er?”

Possibly someone out there reading this has answers to these questions. Answers are welcome. I am happy to notice anything you pass along.

Tags: Communication · Conversation · Notice · Systems · Testing

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