F13-403: Critical Thinking in Software Testing – Leveraging the Scientific Method

Track: Test Strategy, Process and Design

Strong parallels between a software tester and a scientific researcher are evident; they both employ their intelligence, imagination and creativity to gain empirical information about the property or system being investigated. Science is credible, curiosity-driven, critical, impartial and dynamic – can’t we strive for our testing and our testers to also possess these characteristics? Science continuously challenges and questions methods, techniques and core beliefs – how can you question and improve your own approach to testing in this way? In this session, the speaker will introduce the core steps of the scientific method, describe how good software testing adheres to those principles, and then explore how truly understanding and embracing the scientific method can make us better at questioning our assumptions, staying impartial and therefore being more credible testers. You will get to practice your critical thinking, learn to recognize bias, and experience the importance of questioning assumptions.

Session Takeaways:

  • How to use the scientific method in software testing in particular, but also in life in general.
  • The difference between induction and deduction, and the risks associated with using these reasoning processes.
  • The meaning of empirical falsifiability and how to use it.
  • To question assumptions and think critically.
  • The value of peer review and how to employ it in software testing.

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Session Speaker:

Christin WiedemannChristin Wiedemann – CSO, PQA
Changing careers after eleven years as an astroparticle physicist, Christin Wiedemann brings her logical and analytical problem-solving skills to the world of testing. Five years down the road, she is still eager to learn and to find new ways to test more efficiently. In her roles as tester, test lead, trainer and speaker, Christin uses her scientific background and pedagogic abilities to continually develop her own skills and those of others. She is also the co-creator of the exploratory testing approach xBTM. Christin currently lives in Vancouver, where she has joined Professional Quality Assurance (PQA) Ltd. Christin is constantly trying new approaches and is keen to share her experiences. Follow c_wiedemann on twitter.com or christintesting.wordpress.com