…..Either, either, neither, neither Let’s call the whole thing off

Do you sometimes find yourself on a totally different page to colleagues when it comes to your understanding of something?

It could be something as simple as misunderstanding of terminology, implementation, people’s names, the use of a meme on a slack channel.

Actually, I would say it happens in life outside of work too. My wife once asked me to go downstairs to get her Mac, and when I returned with a cagoule, I got laughed at relentlessly for what felt like two hours – we have that kind of relationship, it’s a good thing.

doh

Misunderstandings can be pretty hilarious at times, but can also have negative consequences to your output or even lead to people being upset.

Have you ever tried asking a few people for what their definition of what exploratory testing is? I’m sure you’ll find a few different responses. Does one definition supersede another?


I have been thinking a lot about this in recent weeks, looking into inducting new starters, perhaps in the form of a bootcamp style induction. I know I’m not the only one, Leigh Rathbone was talking about this on LinkedIn the other day, and he is so right.

Other examples of where wires get crossed could be in requirements gathering, the content of tickets in JIRA (or your favourite tool), in email, IM, testing terminologies…..the list goes on. How easy it is to get lost down a rabbit hole, far from where you need to be.

halfixinglightbulb


In a blog post I wrote last year, I covered the output of a test team meeting that we had, where we posed the question “what attributes/characteristics help to make a good tester?”

One of the responses here has bubbled back to the surface as I have been in this season of semantics, that is Critical Thinking.

As a frequent visitor to imgur.com, I came across a handy little critical thinking cheatsheet, which I think is a nice little thought provoker. I managed to find the original source, which you can find at wabisabilearning.com

criticalthinkingcheatsheet


You hear it said that no question is a stupid question, now as a father to two very inquisitive little boys, sometimes you can feel like there is, but we learn through these questions. Even when you’re the one being asked, you learn to present information in a more easy to understand and digest form.

Many heuristics and techniques exist for these things, the 5 Whys being another, Start with why and so on.


I feel like I should finish with some sort of profound statement, but in essence it comes down to respectful communication. While writing this blog post, I came across this tweet, and the tone is respectful and useful, we should follow this example.