Monday, August 17, 2009

Fresh Eyes

In QA we can learn and teach and think and improve our testing of a product. But there's one thing we can never get back.... fresh eyes.

Every time I hire a tester, we see a surge in bugs logged and/or changes to the test plan shortly after that tester starts. Why?

Fresh eyes.

That tester may not know our product particularly well yet, but he's looking at it with the compendium of his entire prior experience, and none of us can match that. He'll see things we won't. He'll see things we've simply accepted and say, "why that?"

It's part of the reason I like interns... a rotating selection of fresh eyes.

Unfortunately, getting someone new on the team (either temporarily or permanently) is not always an option. So how do you freshen your own and your existing team's eyes?

The trick is to change your approach, to try something new. There are a number of ways to do this, depending on what you're doing now:
  • Blink testing
  • Rotation through another team (e.g., spend a week with dev, or with support)
  • Walk away for a bit. Work on something else; take a day off; whatever - just go away
  • Have a Go Crazy Day
  • Walk through a section of your test plan.... backwards
  • Find a really old bug that was fixed years ago and riff on it. Try variations of what triggered the bug.
Ultimately, you're trying to see your product in a way you've never seen it before, or bring a new perspective to it. Try to give yourself fresh eyes.

1 comment:

  1. you are right catherine, fresh eyes always help in testing application with slightly different angle, we often see usuability issues coming from fresh guys.