Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Learn from others' mistakes"

We're always told to learn from others' mistakes.  I read a lot of testing blogs, and take the lessons that other people have encountered and learnt the hard way, and go "phew,  glad I get to learn this the easy way."  But I'm discovering that it's not really good enough, especially when it comes to personal credibility.  I can cite anecdotes from other people and explain why I accept their reasoning and points of view for certain things, but until those stories are mine, and until those lessons are mine, I can't credibly pass those lessons on to others. 

Traditionally, when faced with a situation, I would throw my hands up and go "Nooo, I read about this in Michael Bolton's blog, it's a bad idea cos X, Y, Z!" or "Oh James Bach did a talk on this and why it's bad, let me find it!"  Learn from others' mistakes, right?  Don't repeat them, right?

Well, it may be to the detriment of my own experience.  I'm not seeing first hand the lessons others have learnt the hard way.  So I am now going to consciously try and do things I'm told to do, even if I've read it's bad to do, just to experience it first hand. 

Perhaps I can go into work tomorrow and declare that all our testing should be automated.  Perhaps not. ;)


  1. Predates my time as a tester, but I can certainly share some horror stories about Waterfall projects going horribly pear-shaped because of uncontrolled scope creep.

  2. If you do make mistakes then only you'll get an experience and learn something out of it and able to give other some lessons....