Im A Rich Tester! (A Test Analogy)

I was doing some reading and further learning today about ways of testing. Read a lot on the how’s and whys people test. All very generic and textbook then I came across some amusing analogies that got me thinking about different ways of describing things.
I thought of a good one about testing and thought I would share it.

I’m Rich!

Being a software tester is like being a demolition man in a gold mine you look over the lots of rock faces every day but one day you find something really good and valuable - like a biggest gold nugget ever seen (biggest risk) then you chuck a stick of dynamite in it to blow it up (communicate it with everyone, tell the world so we can all be rich too) the nugget gets blow up and taken out the tunnel away from the rock face. The clean-up begins, the walls get shimmed and the area is safe (risk mitigated) for everyone… then WE are left with a new shiny new rock face to examine.

…But the new rock face only has little gold nuggets that won’t even cover the cost of the dynamite and clean up (low risk). It isn’t worth blowing it up until we need to connect the tunnels together.

It’s good to try and think of create ways to describe a situation to everyone. I challenge you to try it with something you are doing and add in the comments or let me know on Twitter @Testing_Scott

Thank you to @adrian.stokes for helping me put this together (checking my horrible spelling)


scottkenyon and adrianstokes, what a nice poetic story! :smiley:

I find only one weakness: Software evolves in a different way than rocks do. Your analogy makes me think, the SUT (the rock) doesn’t change.

To me, software testers are more like Sysiphus :wink:

Sysiphus rolls the rock uphill (tester tests and maybe finds a bug). During the night, the rock moves back downhill (developer writes code, e. g. to fix the bug and maybe adds a defect). Next day Sysiphus rolls the rock uphill (tester tests and maybe finds a bug). During the night, rock moves back and so forth…

Means, Sysiphus is working all the time but it will never be finished.

I do really hope somebody finds another analogy which is more positive than my one. :smiley:

Testers rock!


I like how you describe the feeling finding the nugget. I felt exactly this, when a PO told me “good catch!” (found PII issue) :slight_smile:

I find I am the only one smiling away in meetings when I find an unexpected feature. it might be a quick fix of low value but to me it gives me the “keep it up” kind of feeling.

hihihi, “an unexpected feature” :sunglasses:

Scott: I’ll see your “unexpected feature” and raise you this one from some devs I once worked with: “It’s not a bug, it’s just a feature that’s failed far earlier than we anticipated.”

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@robertday that’s getting printed out and put on the Scrum Board! :joy::rofl: