Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Beginner's Mind

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few." - Shunryu Suzuki

For a long time, I refused to track test requirements at any level of detail. The rationale was that it took too long and had limited value. I was able to convince many people that I was right and that this wasn't needed. I 'knew' that this wasn't useful, so I didn't do it.

What really happened was that I had tried a couple times to track requirements at a very (very, very) granular level and gave up when the maintenance of these requirements was too much. I made the mistake of believing that my was was the only way and that since my was was not workable, no was was workable.

I've spent too much of my career 'knowing' what to do. This is not to say that I've come across as a know-it-all or not being cooperative when other (and better) ideas come along. I mean to say that I've not taken the opportunity to seek other opinions, especially from those with a 'beginner's mind'.

The 'beginner's mind' is not only found in beginners, but those that allow the many possibilities to be given full consideration, even when our experience tells us otherwise. We use our experience to help guide us in making better decisions with less work. However, these shortcuts can get in our way, especially when the basis for some of these shortcuts no longer exists.

Since these early days, I've been able to open my eyes to the possibilities and come up with a method of tracking test requirements that is actually maintainable. (go figure)

Are there things you 'know' to be true about testing software?
Have you examined those 'truths' to ensure their basis is still valid?

Examine your beliefs, see what you find.

No comments: