Musings – Sherlock Holmes

A friend of mine sent me link to PBS Masterpiece Mysteries where there were links to the new Sherlock Holmes series. This is where Sherlock Holmes meets 21st Century CSI. This show is brilliant and I loved it.

 

When I was watching the show it reminded me of testing. Holmes strengths are attention to details and observation (investigation). He observes and lets his observation tell him things. Things (requirements or bugs in our world) that others might miss easily because either they were not looking for it or didn’t know to look for.

It’s the same with testing – we are observing and looking for things that are out of place (bugs) and things that should be there (requirements). When we find bugs, we should build the story. Build it: where could it have originated? What did we do to get here? What values can cause the system to break? What else can cause the system to break?

We can help the rest of the team (software engineers or business analysts) if we went a few steps further than just logging issues. We could give them as much information as possible. All we have to do is look for it, observe it and document it. We have the information (we saw the bug first, have the test cases, know the requirements, etc) and we have the system where the bug was found, let’s now go and build the story if possible by asking the questions and trying to answer them.

With New Year right around the corner let’s try and be better investigators in 2011. Let’s find the bugs before the customers do and let’s show our team we are Sherlock Holmes the best software detective in town.

Happy New Year Friends.

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