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Testing Software - the right mindset for better results

The concept of peer review is the best mindset for any software tester. Treat the software as if it was a scientific paper proposing a radical new hypothesis. This means assuming it's wrong and looking for the flaws. This process is essential for accurate analysis. Every product should be tested with the same attitude one would expect from any other peer review. When a paper is submitted to a scientific journal, the author’s peers aren’t concerned about where it may be right, they are only looking for where it may be wrong.
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This doesn’t mean that the software tester trusts no one. It’s perfectly okay to trust the developers, it’s just not okay to trust the product. When it comes to software testing, skepticism reigns.

Software is developed to solve problems or facilitate actions. Developers and designers must approach development and design with the assumption that these goals can be reached. They are required to be optimistic. While the tester, on the other hand, is required to be pessimistic. A successful software tester is often considered nitpicking and anal-retentive by his or her colleagues. It’s the price you pay for being a good tester.

There are all sorts of reasons why a tester must be critical and skeptical. For example; the pressure to complete a project can cause developers to overlook sometimes ambiguous results. If the tester doesn't sniff out these potential problems, they will end up in the end user’s lap. We are all familiar with horror stories of what happens when software is put on the market prematurely.

So, it's important to work with developers in a friendly and open-handed manner. There is nothing wrong with honest criticism and no one should take offense. We are all on the same team. However, it is vitally important to make certain that the software reaches the market as clean and functional as possible. The reputation of everyone involved is at stake, as well as the future profitability of the company.

It's better to find the bugs in testing, than to fix a crash in the field.

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