Notebook with magmifying glass. Showing texts “Test Awareness” and “”!

Test Awareness

In my sight Out of mind

My kids were playing somewhere and I was relaxing. I did not have to entertain them. They were self entertaining. Then my wife asked: “Do you know, where the kids are?”
I took a good look. It was not possible to pinpoint them within a minute. Then my wife told their locations. I relaxed.

A few minutes later she posed the same question. This time I used a faster way to locate them.

Several quarters of an hour later “Do you know, where the kids are?”. This time I knew the last locations and the area to be scouted was a way smaller than the area I scouted the first futile time.

What’s going on?

In the past I was a test coordinator in waterfall projects. Some readers might remark that this is old fashioned. My answer is, that it depends on the context. For a few years I was responsible for performance tests. These complex tests needed a rigid string of tasks, but the durations were known in advance.

In order to coordinate 20 performance tests with my peers within a team there were the weekly meetings. These were real tough. It was a mixture of management and testing. There was a steep learning curve for performance testing. I got questions, which were incomprehensible at first. I was scrutinised on details in order to deliver good projects. I learned to do my homework and keep a good overview.

Out of sight You do mind

On a birthday party I was constantly turning my head and sh.. [word I cannot use without writing a disclaimer] to check my children. Then my wife remarked:
“The other grownups watch them.”
So I had to watch the kids in front of me. It sounded like a good deal while minimising the use of my muscles.

How are things going?

A call came in at the service desk. The agent answered the call of her colleague. By posing questions she tried to pinpoint the problem. Then she looked at me with the silent question:
“Would you please help me?”
I had tested the system; I had some inside knowledge of the system.

Another time another situation. The most boring part of an administrator job is browsing through log files. And I knew what to look for. Once in a while I had sneak view of the files. It was not a surprise, that I found some neglected situations, which I dutifully reported to the service desk.

Once I noticed, that I got a server error message instead of a proper reply after using a form on a website. It was a challenge for me to find another discrete channel to inform the owner. The reply on my notifying mail was most grateful.

Fortunately I worked with people watching me testing.