If - A Testing Poem

A little while ago I had an odd idea of a few things that Rudyard Kipling might have mentioned if he were a tester all those years ago. Some tinkering later and here we are. I recently published this on my blog at https://thebigtesttheory.com so I thought I’d share it with you.

I’d love to hear your feedback, good, bad or terrible to either encourage or dissuade me from another attempt. Thanks.

‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling was written in 1895. Here’s my version, if Rudyard were a tester.

If you can keep your head and explain the quality of the product that’s due,
When all about you are losing theirs, and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when others are doubting you,
But make allowance for their doubting too.
If you are treated worse than you really should,
Or there’s misunderstanding of what you said,
And that the future doesn’t look too good,
Or being told that your art is dead.

If you can advocate your worth and believe in testing’s value,
And think of every possible practical scenario that could transpire.
If you can dream of all the things the customer might do,
Then analyse the results to take your testing higher.
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same.
If you can script, but not make scripts your master,
And make discovery of truth your aim.

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew,
To serve your turn long after they are gone.
And so hold on when there is nothing in you,
Except the Will which says to the team: ‘Hold on!’
And explain simply your deductive and inductive reasoning,
That was led by curiosity and guided by your intuition.
If you can hear bias arguments but smile and keep on listening,
Then use soft skills and diplomacy to keep everyone on mission.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Management - not losing the common touch.
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all stakeholders count with you, but none too much.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute, (or 99 seconds)
With sixty seconds’ worth of testing value.
And find a great community who’s in it,
To share their knowledge and is truly diverse too.

If you can treat everyone equally,
No matter their difference to you.
If you can treat their sex, origins and history,
As valuable to offer a different view.
If you can be an ally to all those who need,
And defend their right to be just who they are.
Support everybody’s rights to succeed,
And mentor their journey so they may go far.

If you can see scenarios that will make the testing great,
As well as the risks that others do not spot.
If you can see the value in which tests to automate,
And more, the value in which to not.
If you can use tools to add value to your quest,
But understand their value to aid and not replace.
If you’re not afraid of change and always do your best,
And can interrogate a database.

If you can be the personas and advocate for all,
And the voice of the customer in use and value too.
And advocate and test for your product to be accessible to all.
Explore to make discoveries because that’s what you do.
If you accept that those discoveries,
Will change what you thought you knew.
Look for threats and system recoveries,
And help defend against those too.

And then know all these things here,
Are just a part of what you do.
And be brave and show no fear,
Accepting our learning will never be through.
If your passion for testing means that you will never quit,
You will be here to the end.
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And - which is more - you’ll be a tester, my friend!

Ady Stokes 2017


Awesome! Seriously! :smiley:

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One of my favourite poems by Rudyard Kipling (I even have some of it tattooed on me). Absolutely love this @adystokes :heart:

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Wow!!! I love it, Ady! :star_struck:
Yes, do another one!

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A rap this time!