Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Are you an Inquisitive Tester?

#softwaretesting #testing #qa

 I read an ariticle yesterday, here, about a study of innovators - including characteristics of the main drivers behind Apple, Amazon & Ebay.

They distilled their finding into 5 "discovery skills":
"The first skill is what we call "associating." It's a cognitive skill that allows creative people to make connections across seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas. The second skill is questioning - an ability to ask "what if", "why", and "why not" questions that challenge the status quo and open up the bigger picture. The third is the ability to closely observe details, particularly the details of people's behavior. Another skill is the ability to experiment - the people we studied are always trying on new experiences and exploring new worlds. And finally, they are really good at networking with smart people who have little in common with them, but from whom they can learn."

 They then summarized these into a characteristic - inquisitiveness. A good summary I think.

Initially, I was just browsing but the more I read the more I thought "yes, this is exactly what I'd look for in a tester". A tester has to be inquisitive. Throw the communication and networking skills into the mix and you have a very sound foundation.

So, as far as skill sets go: Great Innovators = Great Testers.

Have you thought about the skills that make you successful? You are inquisitive, right?


  1. That's what you'd look for in a tester, is that something that also describes yourself?

    Good post, yes I'm inquisitive and yes I have a thirst for learning...questioning....erm yes...trying to understand and learn from people...yeh...
    I'm always looking for new stuff that can help me along my journey....tools/approaches and ideas...

    I'm trying to jot down what I do also, whether good or bad...maybe some skills will come out of that...I'm hoping it will help me and maybe others and I've eventually got round to a blog and my first blog post...wahoo....

    Oh and why after I have finished by comment on your blog and click the 'preview' button do I get some text in red above my comment saying. 'Your request cannot be processed. Please Try again'. A red blob appears below the preview button....Anyone else get that?

  2. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for the comments. I have no idea about the preview button problem - but PhilK recently hit a strange "blogger" problem (http://expectedresults.blogspot.com/2009/09/make-sure-to-mention-bx-uu1rwa.html).

    I identify with the above - but luckily I still have plenty of improvement areas. Lot of improvement possibilities, thing to try out and experiment with - exactly how I'd like it!

    Good luck with the blog - I think having the approach of being a help to yourself (and maybe others) is a great approach to take to blogging.

    Make sure there's always a discussion possible - rather than being a monologue - and you won't go far wrong (IMHO).


  3. Yes, good point and summary, even though a tester also should be creative, and a fast-learner, and a lot of more things.

    I participate on a blog where we have posted some inquisitive tips:

  4. Hi Rikard,

    Thanks for the comment and link.

    I think creativity is wrapped-up in the first "discovery skill". On being a fast-learner, I don't know - I find it hard to think of as a determining factor in inquisitiveness.