The Article Challenge

Summer at Altom has been full of challenges. Some of these have showed up in previous posts on our blog. This post is an introduction to a challenge focused on writing and sharing of perspectives on testing matters that matter to us.

The idea was launched during one of our Friday lunches and the Altoms embraced it: let’s each propose one or several topics ­ related to the testing experience ­ that we consider significant/ would love to explore, write/ read about, then organize a poll, and write articles on the most-voted topics.

The winner of the first poll ­ and the theme that will be the subject of four future articles to be published on the blog by our colleagues ­ is: “Bad habits during testing activities”. As all the Altoms who undertook the endeavour noted, writing an article about bad habits in testing is a pretty challenging challenge. Our authors all acknowledged the difficulty of, first and foremost, identifying those harmful patterns of behaviour.

Our series dedicated to bad habits in testing will debut with Dolly’s piece. After careful reflection, and inspired by watching Alan Richardson’s workshop on technical testing, Dolly has come up with her insightful list of bad habits. Her article walks us through the dangers of getting too caught up in testing, or shunning technicality, draws awareness to attentional biases, and stresses the value of questioning not only the product under test but one’s testing as well.

The series will continue with Oana’s article, a cameo experience report addressing another unhealthy behaviour, particularly damaging in the context of remote testing projects: “focusing too much on results and too little on people”.

Next we’ll join Adina in her experiment, sparked by her acknowledged struggle to pinpoint the bad habits: putting herself in the context of actually testing something and observing her habits while she tests. Adina’s frank analysis of both good and bad habits identified, and her conclusions are food for thought. She talks about assumptions, incomplete communication and “lazinessplus”.

The last article in the series brings an intriguing twist of perspective. Ale wonders how bad these bad habits are in effect, and whether there might be instances where they could actually prove useful. She comes up with a number of helpful ideas for identifying bad habits and practical tips and tricks for getting rid of them.

We hope our bad habits article series be constructive and spark dialogue, helping all of us discover additional habits negatively impacting testing and effective strategies for mitigating them.

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