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Your Testing is a Joke

Reading Time: 1 minute

Edward de Bono, in his Lateral Thinking books, makes a strong connection between humour and creativity. Creativity is key to testing, but jokes? Well, the punchline for a joke could be a violation of some expectation, the exposure of some ambiguity, an observation that no one else has made, or just making a surprising connection.  Jokes can make you think and then laugh. But they don’t always work. Does that sound familiar?

This eBook takes a genuine joke-making process and deconstructs it to make comparisons between aspects of joking and concepts from testing such as the difference between a fault and a failure, oracles, heuristics, factoring, modelling testing as the exploration of a space of possibilities, stopping strategies, bug advocacy and the possibility that a bug, today, in this context might not be one tomorrow or in another.

It goes on to wonder about the generality of the observations and what the value of them might be before suggesting ways in which joking can provide useful practice for testing skills.

There are some jokes in the book, of course. And also an explanation of why any groaning they provoke is a good sign…

Key Takeaways:

  • A significant element of testing is making connections.
  • It’s important to be able to frame and tell your testing story.
  • Joking provides a way to practice these and other testing (and creative and social and language) skills and have fun at the same time, any time.
Editor's Image

James Thomas (Linguamatics, UK)

James is one of the founders of Linguamatics, the world leader in innovative natural language-based text mining. Over the years he’s had many roles in the company and is currently the test manager, a position in which he strives to provide an environment where his testers have an opportunity to do their best work. He’s on Twitter as @qahiccupps and blogs at Hiccupps.

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