In part II of our latest Testing the Limits interview with James Bach, we tried something a bit different this time, crowdsourcing some of the questions from our uTest Community members. Additionally, James shows us his lighter side and which of his picks won the World Cup — of his heart.
Be sure to check out Part I of our interview, if you already haven’t.
What is the biggest hurdle to testing you see testers struggle with? (Jeff S.)
JB: The hurdles that come with having no credibility. Gain credibility, and every external hurdle gets a lot smaller. If you ever find yourself saying, “I want to do good work, but my manager insists that I test in a stupid way, instead,” then probably the issue is that your manager thinks you are incompetent. Fix that. Then when you politely tell your manager to mind his own business, he will let you get on with your work in the way you see fit.
Do you see the tide changing for development teams modernizing their testing philosophy? Or is entrenched thought winning the day? (Jeff S.)
JB: I don’t know, really. I don’t do polls or anything. I can say that business is good for me and my colleagues, right at the moment.
Which area or skill is best to focus on first as a tester to build a solid foundation or understanding of testing? (Frank B.)
JB: I would say: general systems thinking (GST). See the book Introduction to General Systems Thinking by Jerry Weinberg. Within the realm of GST, I suggest: modeling. It’s vital to gain control over your mental models of products. Models are a prison from within which you test.