The Inquiry Agent

On July 6, 2015, in Software Testing, by Siim Sutrop

Imagine this building. Part of it is ready and there seem to be people living there or doing all kinds of things. Part is being renewed and expanded as we speak. The house is an establishment that provides a kind of service to people. So naturally there are persons involved that have very different interests depending on the situation they’re in.

One disturbing thing is, that the house is said to be standing on an old burial ground and there are people who believe it’s haunted. It’s one theory, that people have, why the construction work of the new parts only very slowly advances, why parts of the old building keep cracking, creaking and breaking and why even some of the people have reportedly been killed while being in the house.

It’s one theory.

I am the private detective they hired to sort out that mess – my client wants to know if there is any truth in these allegations. My task in this case is to interview witnesses, speak to my informants, try to collect and preserve evidence. My mission is to unearth information, so that my client may make a more informed decision in the stated matter. That’s all I am allowed to say in this case; for now.

Tomorrow I may have a different case with different tasks and different nested missions.

***

Similarly a software project may be one big case or a collection of several smaller ones, but in spite of that I have to sort out a mess.

But just as a private detective doesn’t enforce the law and provides the client, who may be one person or even a group, merely investigatory services, I as a software tester don’t enforce decisions about “the stated matter”. I serve my client/-s and aim to provide them investigatory services to attend to their desires and needs.

***

This short train of thought was inspired by Michael Bolton’s blog post “What Is A Tester?”.

 

What are your thoughts on that subject? How do you sort out your testing-mess?

 

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