This was triggerred by
an excellent post by Ajay.
He spoke of the inquisitive nature of children, one thing most of
us inhibit as part of adult culture and peer pressure.
I have actually attended an intensive training course where "
breaking a sweat asking for help" was one of the learning
objectives. It was also a great team building exercise and focussed
on individual self improvement as well. As such, the McCarthy
BootCamp was the most useful training course I've seen so
My daughter (age 3) has no qualms asking questions, especially the
"5 Why's". She will never worry about wasting my time. As adults,
it's easy to struggle with a question, and then waste a lot of time
not asking it. When asked, there are no stupid questions.
Another thing that we can learn from children, is the way that they
learn things - learning by doing, learning by playing and
interacting. Reading documents first is not their style, nor is it
to write down a detailed plan of what they will do - instead they
will explore, and ask questions about what they do not
How does this relate to testing? Well, Testing happens to be a
discipline with a lot of prerequisites. For most of us, it's too
complicated to configure some of the tools we use, and in many
cases we will not have access rights to modify our test
environments anyway. To exercise our craft, we actively have to
gather information, such as finding the latest requirements changes
that were not documented. If a test produces an unexpected outcome,
then it's good practice to ask a question, rather than writing a
defect report right away. By asking a question, we acknowledge the
possibility that we might have been fooled by something, or that
our information is not up-to-date.
In recent years, many organisations were pushing the less
communicative people into the testing field, under the assumption
that in a waterfall-style development model, testers didn't have to
communicate all that much. How this has changed. In an agile
environment, a tester can and should be building bridges between
various stakeholders, end users, and the development team. His or
her inquisitive nature has to be uninhibited by any fear to ask