Elementary, my dear Watson..

The title sounds familiar, right? The master detective Sherlock Holmes often commented this to his friend Dr Watson.. Even though a fictional character, Mr Holmes is one of my favorites. I always wondered about his observation, logical reasoning, deduction skills. Though I like to believe that Mr Holmes did exist, it’s not the truth – that points to the fact that how gifted the writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was! Mr Holmes could have easily become the best Tester in this world if he was in the Software Industry and Sir Conan Doyle could have been the most sophisticated criminal the world has ever seen (no offenses meant! I was referring to the details of the crime scenes in his stories :)).

Now, let’s come to the business part of this post – yes, you guessed right – Observation, Logical Reasoning and Deduction – great skills to have as a tester. Of course, deduction can be a trivial – since one of the most common mistakes done by a tester is the “assumption” he/she makes after the “deduction” of his/her experiments. So be careful when you try to be the Sherlock Holmes tester 😀

Experience adds a lot to your testing skills in an exploratory method – the simple definition of exploratory testing can be like “learning the application by playing with it and using your prior experience“. You tends to think like a tester even in life’s scenarios. Your eyes and ears becomes trained to look at things in a lateral way than others. I don’t know whether it’s good or bad – but I like it 🙂 (and since I like Holmes and am a tester, I like it more!) I have realized that my lateral thinking has improved since I started my career as a Tester. I will site a few examples.

Scene Number One:

I went out for dinner with my wife last month. When we were about to wash our hands before the dinner – there were 3 wash basins in that place. My wife went straight to one and was about to open the tap.

Me: “That’s not working – use the next one”

Since she had already placed her hand on the tap, she opened it and found that there is no water coming from it.

She: How did you know that?

Me: The wash basin is dry, the naphthalene polls in it are as it is and looks new, and the hotel is reasonably full – that means the wash basin is not working.

I used Observation, Logical Reasoning and Deduction in here – and I was right 🙂

Scene Number Two:

Since I started my career as a tester, most of the time I flip the correct switches for Lights or Fans in an unfamiliar place. You know how? I flips the most commonly used switches in a switch board – they might be evident from color change due to constant use. I used Observation, Logical Reasoning and Deduction in here too – and most of the time I’m right 🙂

Scene Number Three:

Remember the post Apple is not in Love with Windows? If I was not a tester, I don’t think I would have noticed that misbehavior – a normal user (not all – typical tester optimism :)) would have closed that dialog and got along with other stuff!

Do you think being a tester makes you look at things in a different way? Let me know through your comments!

Elementary, my dear Watson.. 🙂