I hate it..but I must admit I’ve not tried it

It seems the more that something becomes popular the more that people start to hate it, often without even trying it. Look at what’s happening with Agile in the testing community. A lot of negativity from people who’ve never tried it. The lashing out is usually based on false ideas of what it actually means to be a tester in an agile context. A good example is a classic and incredibly misguided BCS blog post here. The comments are invaluable…and funny.

I see the same thing in the social media arena too. Lot’s of people berating twitter, blogging and facebook as nothing more than a passing trend. Yet for many it’s bringing them closer to their real customers and end users. For some it’s building long lasting friendships and relationships. Giant circles of contacts. Extending peoples reach, making the wider community available to us all.

The detractors seem to be those who haven’t tried it, or dabbled and didn’t like what they saw. It is those who see it from a distance and critique it, often with misplaced or over hyped information, often without understanding how contexts and environments play a role.

Look at how some people react when you mention acceptance test driven develoment or exploratory testing.

They offer the same look my careers advisor once gave me when I told her I wanted to be a Ventriloquist when I leave college.


Some people go mad at how ridiculous these ideas are. “Where’s the quality” they shout?

New communication techniques and social media channels give us a platform to challenge the one sided stories we’ve been hearing for years and years. The empty arguments and global testing norms can be challenged, globally, locally, glocally. We can discuss these so called Best Practices and expand our sources of information to get a better picture of what may or may not work for us. We no longer have to go to the mainstream for our information.


I heard someone at a Testing Conference criticising Virtual Machines when used for Load Testing because they felt they weren’t reflective of real systems.

Yet they spent thousands of pounds on expensive build environments, big teams to manage these environments and they then had to wait two days to rebuild this system after a failure.

The interesting part of this story was that the “real” system the presenter was Load Testing was indeed virtualised anyway. What? A live system being run on virtual machines??? Never.

It’s a bit of a rant this post, but really……if you must criticise, reject or belittle something, then criticise something you have at least tried. 

6 thoughts on “I hate it..but I must admit I’ve not tried it

  1. Hi Geordie,Thanks!I take every opportunity to use that term. Think Globally, Act Locally. 🙂

  2. Toooo True, Great Rant, but really, a virtually live system?? Love it 🙂

  3. I tried to get pair programming happening and was meet with a similar reaction, although it was a mixed reaction. But we’re not doing it and haven’t tried it yet. My suggestion was to pair for one story of a sprint over a few sprints and then evaluate. I’ll keep suggesting it.I hope you kept up with the Ventriloquism.

  4. Hi Tony,Thanks for commenting. It’s quite scary though isn’t it how very few people seem prepared to try something new? lol – I wished I had continued with ventriloquism, it would have been a great way to open a presentation on Software Testing. :)Rob..

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