Archive for December, 2012

NOTE – I’ve struggled putting my thoughts on this into something beyond a “rambling, incoherent” vomiting of scramble.  Hopefully some part of it makes sense…

Being able to effectively investigate, replicate and document bugs in a black-box sense are key skills for a tester (and anyone who doesn’t think so “is a bum”, to mis-quote the venerable Bob Hawke).  But regardless of the level of a tester’s “bug investigation” expertise, most testers can recall instances where lengthy investigations of a bug have caused a lot of blood (most likely “figurative blood”… well, I hope so), sweat (quite possibly literally… especially in warmer climes) and tears (most definitely actual tears of frustration).  And while we’ll never be able to entirely avoid those nightmare (and rather wet) scenarios, it stands to reason if we can get better at trouble-shooting, we can get better at tracking down what went wrong when “it” went wrong.

But how much do you invest in developing your trouble-shooting “muscles”?  I ask this in two senses – on a case-by-case “micro” level, and on a larger “macro” level.  Macro-wise, the answer seems almost too obvious – as much as you possibly can afford to!  The tester who can proficiently trouble-shoot complex system issues has a significant advantage over his less problem-solving-oriented fellows. (more…)