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Testing in the Age of Distraction

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This paper accompanied Zeger van Hese’s presentation at EuroSTAR 2013 and was chosen as the Best Paper at the Conference.
We live in curious times. Knowledge is available at our fingertips, everywhere. Social networks increase communication with peers from around the world but along with these marvels of the information age come weapons of mass distraction. With so little time to focus on real work, it’s a wonder we get anything done at all. More than anything else, this is the age of distraction.


There is a common notion that only focused concentration leads to productive work and that distraction causes procrastination and hurts creativity. While it is of course important that testers are able to find flow and maintain focus, I would argue that a state of defocus – guilt-free play – can be helpful in testing.
Here I explain how to benefit from distraction, how to find flow and focus when needed, and – lastly – how to make the most of our testing in these connected times.

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Zeger Van Hese (Z-sharp, NL)

Zeger Van Hese has a background in Commercial Engineering and Cultural Science. He started his professional career in the motion picture industry but switched to IT in 1999. A year later he got bitten by the software testing bug (pun intended) and has never been cured since.

He has a passion for exploratory testing, testing in agile projects and, above all, continuous learning from different perspectives. Zeger considers himself a lifelong student of the software testing craft. He was program chair of Eurostar 2012 and co-founder of the Dutch Exploratory Workshop on Testing (DEWT). He muses about testing on his TestSideStory blog and is a regular speaker at national and international conferences. In 2013, Zeger founded his own company, Z-sharp.

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