Learning from #RSTORCAS: Keep calm and understand the context

One of the things that I learned from my recent attendance at #RSTOrcas class was that many testers (myself included) have a tendency to get started on testing assignments before we understand everything that we might about what we are being asked to do. That was something that came out in many of the testing exercises that were a part of the class. Those exercises were well crafted to show us our tendencies in that regard. After about the third time I saw it happen I started paying attention to it when I was in an observer role and I saw it happen again and again. When I was on the hot seat, I wasn’t entirely successful in keeping that idea in mind, though.

I think that when the pressure is on there’s some part of the brain that reverts to some kind of automatic behavior. The challenge is to try to implement new behavior that is more effective. One of the tools that I learned about at #RSTOcas was the Heuristic Test Strategy Model. In particular, the Project Environment part. Running through the list of Project Environment elements before starting a new testing assignment is a habit I’m trying to build now.

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