Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Yet more Monty Python & Software Testing

I drift in and out of Monty Python analogies for Software Testing now and then. Here's a previous reference <link>.

Whilst falling asleep the other night I remembered a Phil Kirkham post about Monty Python and my comment on it, so I thought I'd indulge myself and do a little bit of Monty Python - Software Testing analogising(?) - just for therapy :)

Here's the "Life of Brian" based comment I made:

Coordinator: Crucifixion? 
Prisoner: Yes. 
Coordinator: Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each. 
[Next prisoner] 
Coordinator: Crucifixion? 
Mr. Cheeky: Er, no, freedom actually. 
Coordinator: What? 
Mr. Cheeky: Yeah, they said I hadn't done anything and I could go and live on an island somewhere. 
Coordinator: Oh I say, that's very nice. Well, off you go then. 
Mr. Cheeky: No, I'm just pulling your leg, it's crucifixion really. 
Coordinator: [laughing] Oh yes, very good. Well... 
Mr. Cheeky: Yes I know, out of the door, one cross each, line on the left. 

Or, as applied to testing...

Coordinator: Scripted test?
Tester: Yes
Coord: Good. Other there on the shelf, one scripted test case each.
[Next Tester]
Coordinator: Scripted test?
Tester: Er, no, an exploratory approach please.
Coord: What?
Tester: Yes, they said I could come and do some testing with my eyes open.
Coord: Oh, I say, that's sounds very nice. Well, off you go then.
Tester: No, I'm just joking my PM gets scared if we don't follow the script.
Coord: Oh, well in that case...
Tester: Yes I know, over there, one scripted test case each.

Life of Brian is a rich source:

Spectator I: I think it was "Blessed are the cheesemakers". 
Mrs. Gregory: Aha, what's so special about the cheesemakers? 
Gregory: Well, obviously it's not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.

Or, as applied to testing...

Tester I: I think it was "Blessed are the certified".
Tester II: What's so special about the certified?
Tester III: Well, obviously it's not meant to be taken literally; it refers to any arbitrary label or categorisation.

There's lots of potential in the Meaning of Life too:

Three Project Managers (PM) and a management consultant (MC) discuss the state of affairs:

PM#1: Ah! Morning Perkins.
PM#2: Morning.
PM#1: What's all the trouble then?
PM#2: Test reports in disarray. During the night.
PM#1: Hm. Not nice numbers eh?
PM#2: Yes.
PM#1: How's it feel?
PM#2: Stings a bit.
PM#1: Mmm. Well it would, wouldn't it. That's quite a lot of extra information you've got there you know.
PM#1: Yes, real beauty isn't it?
All: Yes.
PM#1: Any idea how it happened?
PM#2: None at all. Complete mystery to me. Woke up just now... one piece of detailed analysis too many.
PM#1: Hallo Doc.
MC: Morning. I came as fast as I could. Is something up?
PM#1: Yes, during the night old Perkins (PM#2) had his test progress reports disrupted.
MC: Any headache, bowels all right? Well, let's have a look at this test report of yours then. [Looks at sheet] Yes... yes... yes... yes... yes... yes... well, this is nothing to worry about.
PM#2: Oh good.
MC: There's a lot of it about, probably a virus, keep warm, plenty of rest, and if  you're reporting progress remember to stick to statistics.
PM#2: Oh right ho.
MC: Be as right as rain in a couple of days.
PM#2: Thanks for the reassurance, doc.
MC: Jolly good. Well, must be off.
PM#2: So it'll just sort itself out then, will it?
MC: Er... I think I'd better come clean with you about this... it's... um it's not a virus, I'm afraid. You see, a virus is what we doctors call very disruptive. So it could not possibly have made a positive impact on the quality of these reports. What we're looking for here is I think, and this is no more than an educated guess, I'd like to make that clear, is some multi-cellular life form the genu *bonus extertus*. What we management consultants, in fact, call a good tester.
All: A good tester...!!
PM#3: A good tester - on this project?
PM#1: Hm...
PM#3: A good tester on this project...?
PM#1: Ah... well he's probably escaped from a zoo.

And remember don't be complacent in testing:

A tester has been asked for his certification in testing:

Tester: "I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition." 

Certification advocate: "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the certification syllabus.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again."

I was working on the dead parrot and test tool vendors, but it got messy - so I'll stop there!


  1. Nice - must work on some more of my own, thanks for the reminder

  2. 'How to do it' is also good source:

    How to rid the world of all bugs

    1. Become publicly acknowledged software testing expert
    2. Develop a new method for finding bugs
    3. Jolly well tell others about it
    4. Make sure they get everything right (processes, standards)
    5. There will never be bugs any more

    So easy!



  3. @Aleksis,

    Nice monty python take! There's always a lot of analogies with software development and testing in monty python.

    There's a problem with you're #4 - that doesn't necessarily need a tester to "make sure" - so in this scheme you'd only need step #4. Wait, that sounds like: "if all wishes and requirements were transparent, visible and unambiguous; if all interpretation/coding of those wishes/requirements was fault-free; if all coding was fault-free; and if all deployment of the software and configuration was fault free.... then there would be no more bugs or complaints about software" - sounds like utopia, or something biblical.....