Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Software Testing "paused" Creatively

"Being creative may just be a matter of setting aside the time needed to take a step back and allow yourself to ask yourself if there is a better way of doing something. Edward de Bono calls this a 'Creative Pause'. He suggests that this should be a short break of maybe only 30 seconds, but that this should be a habitual part of thinking. This needs self-discipline, as it is easy to forget."
Source: http://www.mindtools.com

Edward de bono has brought out an amazing concept in the above lines. The concept of "Creative Pause". In my experience in working in the field of Software testing, i have found "Creativity" and "Innovation" as something everyone feels as necessary to grow but at the same time have found people to be clueless as to how to be Creative and Innovative. May be in a feedback session- If tester is indicated to be creative and Innovative in carrying out day-to-day tasks , he/she is often seen wondering-
"What do you want me to do ?"
"What is it that i am not doing right now that you want me to do ?"
"Am i not performing to the Manager's expectations ?"

I was reading one of the books by Edward de bono's (For those who don’t know, Edward de bono is widely known as "Father of Creativity") and he so rightly mentions that- "Creative thinking is skill. Its not a matter of individual talent.
Being a skill, Creative thinking is something that can be developed and acquired by practicing the right things, the right way of thinking.
In one of the my previous posts , i have mentioned that- "Creativity is an essence of Software Testing." Probably, a trait that this profession can gain the most from.

The concept of "Creative Pause" is something that can be applied in a variety of situations in Software Testing. This concept gives an indication to a tester on how he/she can go about on the path of creativity.

Considering the situations-
- A tester performing Exploratory testing for a few hours often gets into a situations when all the ideas and enthusiasm starts drying up. It is at this stage, a brief Creative Pause can do wonders. The Creative Pause can open up some of the ideas that a tester never thought about before and he/she ends up with an unimaginable high value bug.
- A tester in a situation when he/she is struck with so-called monotonous chores, a creative pause can give an immense value to find better ways of doing things that are considered to be bane for Software testing profession.
- I have found Creative Pause mostly working in a situations when one is attempting any problem solving be it solving test coverage related issues, test execution issues, people/management related issues etc., taking a Creative pause and assessing the situation gives immense value and proactively gives chance to rectify any errors.

The intent of this post is to introduce this amazing concept to software testing. Keep watching this blog-post on more of "Creative Pause" Experiences.

Always remember, as Edward mentions- "There is no point being different for the sake of being different. Creative idea must have a value.

Keep testing creatively!

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