Thank the Thinker for Critical Thinking: Two Tips for Better Testing

Ministry of Testing launched a LinkedIn newsletter at the start of 2023. Each newsletter article has got a lot of attention which is awesome. Each one celebrates someone in the community who has produced something that’s been published on the MoT platform. Written by me or @sarah1 – based on our own interpretations and experiences.

So I thought, why not bring them onto The Club to spark conversations, share ideas, celebrate and debate? Here’s the first one that’s helpful for anyone new to software testing.

Our brains play tricks on us when we are testing. Full of bias and lots of thoughts it’s hard not to listen to our personal opinions. Yet personal opinions only get us so far. How do we assess the quality of those opinions and the impact they have on our testing efforts? Try critical thinking! :brain:

1. Share your thought process to solicit scrutiny

Critical thinking doesn’t mean sharing our criticism of something we discover whilst testing. It’s about using reason to explain to others the thinking behind our testing. Sharing the reasons behind the choices we make whilst testing helps others spot gaps in our approach and to highlight our biases. This accelerates the possibility of getting better at testing.

2. Get deep into self-awareness

It takes courage for us to open ourselves to self-awareness. In doing so we develop our ability to spot blind spots in our testing abilities. What biases, overgeneralisations and fallacies cloud our approach to testing? Moving from our own personal default thinking towards critical thinking allows us to get, give and process feedback. This could be feedback – or discoveries – related to ideas, stories, system diagrams, prototypes, an API, the system under test plus more and the feedback we give and receive from our colleagues.

:thinking: Want to start a critical thinking journey? Read @jitgo’s helpful advice in A Beginner’s Guide To Critical Thinking :thinking: