Nicky Tests Software: Reminding myself about how one's experience shapes one's point of view

Monday, November 27, 2017

Reminding myself about how one's experience shapes one's point of view

As I am helping introduce Exploratory Testing to our current project, there is one thing I've had to remind myself over and over and over again.

One's experience shapes one's point of view.

When having a discussion, or trying to convince someone of my point of view, I try to consciously remember this.

If the people I am having a discussion with, have a different point of view to me, that doesn't necessarily mean I should jump to the conclusion that they are wrong and I am right (or vice versa). Based on our own experiences, chances are, we are both right in our own minds. Which means it's not up to me to try and figure out how to convince them that they are wrong and I am right

BUT

I need to figure out how to close the information gap.


I love analogies so let me use an analogy to further explain what I mean:

Working Remotely Analogy
Let's say you want to have the option to work from home and are going to propose remote working in your team.
You have had great experiences working from home. You've been able to get more done (less disturbance), you get to enjoy having no commute and you've had access to the right tools etc. so you can still get your job done and communicate with your team.
But then one of your teammates raises their concern about this because they have also worked remotely and it didn't work out so well for them. Your teammate says that they struggled to contact people who were working remotely and that people who worked remotely often had problems around logging into the VPN and around the communication tool.

We're not going to get anywhere by just having one person be right and another person be wrong. Each person's experience resulted in that person's opinion. Therefore each opinion is valid.

The goal here is to first get a shared understanding of what working remotely is (should be easy enough) but more importantly what working remotely requires by both the project and each individual.

Some questions that may run through the team's mind when discussing working remotely may include:

  • What are their experiences of working remotely?
  • How have these experiences affected their understanding and opinion of what working remotely is?
  • Since I can't just share my own experiences (I can't just tell them), is there any way I can get them to experience what I experienced when it comes to working remotely?


Ideas on the thought process
When it comes to introducing Exploratory Testing to our current project and helping dispel people's misconceptions about ET, I'm keeping the following in mind:

  • What do they think Exploratory Testing is?
  • How can I check to see our understanding of Exploratory Testing is the same thing? (Before trying to advocate for the use of Exploratory Testing, it might be worthwhile seeing if we are discussing the same concept or only the same term)
  • What are their experiences with Exploratory Testing?
  • How have these experiences affected their understanding and opinion of what Exploratory Testing is?

  • Self reflection
  • Am I happy with my use of words, to describe and explain Exploratory Testing?
  • Am I listening to understand, not to answer? (this is a very difficult one for me, working on this)
  • With my use of words and how I say things, am I showing I am open to discussion about the topic and that I am open to questions?
  • Since I can't just share my own experiences (I can't just tell them), is there any way I can get them to experience what I experienced when it comes to Exploratory Testing?
Note: This is an effort to document my thought process when it comes to certain discussions at work, not all of these questions run through my mind with each and every conversation. But I do try to be aware of these questions and again remind myself that:

One's experience shapes one's point of view.