Are you a Jedi Knight?

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    Jedi Knight

    In a recent blog with Andres Curcio, Huib Schoots & Kristoffer Nordström we looked at James Bach’s notion that “context-driven testers strive to become the Jedi knights of testing

    This got me thinking. If context-driven testers are like Jedi Knights, what does that make other testers?

    I look forward to seeing what interesting characters you come up with 🙂


    To continue the Star Wars analogy, many people (particularly outside testing) think that testers are more like a “Clone Army”.

    Clone Army from Star Wars

    They see that all testers should be interchangeable/replaceable, that all test activities are 100% repeatable, and that for this reason we need highly-specified written test cases which will “guarantee” repeatability. They think that the ultimate goal for all testers is for them to become a soulless automated testing machine.

    Hopefully the Jedi Knights will continue to sway these people away from the dark side 😉


    @Neil: nice. I like your comment! 😀

    Ben Kelly once did a presentation on Testing Zombies…. He also wrote a blog post about it.

    Clone Army, Testing Dead, Lemmings…


    Then of course we have the TMAP Consultants 😉

    TMAP Consultant

    Derk-Jan de Grood

    Hi Kristoffer,
    I am not really sure how to interpretate this upload from you.
    The warrior seems a little battered, and clearly his equipment has been used. He is carrying several weapons.
    Does that make this man a fighter that seeks battles and contradictions where co-operation is required.
    Does that make him less than the ones in shiny armor?
    Is it a weakness that he seeks protection in his harness, and should he trust more on his skills and strength?
    Or is it the archetype of the craftsman that has been out there, learned his lessons whilst doing it, and is well equipped with more than one tool, so he can select whatever works best in the context at hand?
    You tell me?


    If I’d known this was going to come up I might have found some old photos first. My Dad flew in an RAF Pathfinder squadron during world war two. Nothing much to do with Star Wars but this was a real war and the job was to be at the front of the attack and accurately mark the targets with bright incendiary flares. The main bomber force would arrive shortly afterwards and drop everything they had on the markers.

    I see a parallel here with what I’m trying to achieve in Application Security. The targets are not visible to most testers, they are flying in the dark and need someone to show them the right aiming points. One day every tester, test manager, developer, project manager, analyst and architect, will know how to build and test for application security by design. Until then, a first wave of path-finding testers needs to illuminate the objectives for everyone else involved in the Security Development Lifecycle. After all, if we’re not testing for application security, why would they bother designing and building for it? I know how to do it, but I can’t fight this war single-handed. I’m hoping to find new recruits for my path-finding squadron among the EuroSTAR delegates in November!

    If we hit the target, there won’t be an analogy for application security testers because everyone will include that competence in their normal skill-set.


    Jedi? No! Sith? Yes!

    Jedi and the Sith have a common command of their professions and abilities.

    The Jedi are disciplined, structured and follow rules and teachings to improve their skills and master what they have learned. The Jedi learn to supress their feelings so their actions are not clouded by emotion (much like the text book tester).

    The defining difference between the Jedi and the Sith is that those that turn to the dark side draw their power from their emotions. Anger, frustration, fear feeds the Sith making them more powerful than could be imagined and becoming instruments of destruction.

    In Beta/public & human interaction testing this passion is key. Allowing emotion to surface changes our actions, makes us unpredictable. This power uncovers the weaknesses others may not see.

    The Jedi among you may argue their path is the one to follow. But we do share the same common ground. Both are needed to restore balance to the force. My path is clear but you must choose your own.

    Witness the true power of the dark side!

    We’re not too keen on grocery shopping either..

    Seth Okai – Beta test guru a.k.a. Darth Kaden – Destroyer of veg
    Emotion based testing


    Uhhhmmm… although I’m a huge StarWars fan, I cant help but shout out: ‘You people know it’s FANTASY right?’, I do my testing in the REAL world with actual systems and with actual real situation, I don’t depend on fictional forces or mindtricks to do my job, although I would LOVE to have some Jedi-mindtricks up my sleeve to convince my boss to give me a raise 🙂

    But Okay, let’s ‘go with the flow’ ; If I was to be a Jedi, which many people seem to find very awesome, would you (think of Ethics!!) use Jedi mindtricks or rely on ANY kind of Force-related thing to find your bugs? Or would I go with ‘being one with the system (analogue to one with the force) only to find out that anger will haul me over to the dark side? I think I would go for the ‘Han Solo- approach’: No hocus pocus to define my faith or destiny. I rely on skills and knowlegde… things I learned, mistakes I made (aren’t they the greates lessons?), theory, practice etc. etc. . Or maybe I would go with the Ewok-tactics: be resourcefull with your surroundings, no matter how overwelming the odds (reference to the Batlle on Endor). What to think of the ‘clean’ approach of RdD2 in cloud city to find out technical difficulties? or maybe I should go with de C3Po approach and learn to speak ‘system’ so I can figure out what bugs me :-). I don’t think BobaFett’s a ‘Tmap’ approach is that bad also; he’s battered by experience and going to battle all the time, he’s the father of the clones (read the novells!) so he’s perhaps to be seen as some kind of leader and his armor is proven technology…

    Come on people: if it’s ONE thing that is to be learned from my work and summarizing the things above it’s that there are many roles to be taken on when in software testing DEPENDING ON THE CONTEXT. Sometimes you need to think ‘in good’ and you take on a role like Luke, Leia, Han or C3Po, sometimes you need to be the ‘bad’ guy and you take on roles like Darth Vader, the Emperor or Boba Fett (may even the greediness of Jaba the Hutt) ; but most of all: let’s not believe in fairy tales: real testing is relying on REAL expertise, context and skills and it’s here and now: not in a galaxy long ago and far away…


    BTW… Seth… awesome pics! 🙂

    Derk-Jan de Grood

    Good point Nathalie


    completely agree with Nathalie, even if this way all the poetry of Seth has vanished!


    There are many other people in the galaxy, others are also fighting the Empire. The wookies, ewoks, Jar-Jar’s gungans, citizens of Naboo etc. And that’s OK, they may not know the force yet….

    but yes, I’m a Jedi – and my hero is Obiwan Kenobi 🙂


    I love the jumper Jasper. We might have to consider designing something similar for the EuroSTAR Conference in November.


    A ninja. Adapt to the surroundings, do whatever is needed to get the job done.

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