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Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach by Bret Pettichord, James Bach, Cem Kaner

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Chapter 2. Thinking Like a Tester

Testers come from many backgrounds. They are a diverse bunch, but most people agree: Testers think differently. How do they think differently? Some say testers are "negative" thinkers. Testers complain, they like to break things, they take a special thrill in delivering bad news. This is a common view. We propose an alternative view. Testers don't complain; they offer evidence. Testers don't like to break things; they like to dispel the illusion that things work. Testers don't enjoy giving bad news; they enjoy freeing their clients from the thrall of false belief. Our view is that thinking like a tester means practicing epistemology Testing is applied epistemology not grumpistics or whinography

This chapter is an agenda for developing your mind into a fine-tuned reasoning instrument. Just remember: Use your mental powers for good, never evil.

Lesson 16: Testing is applied epistemology.

Hey come back! We're not talking about a new religion for movie stars, here. Trust us on this. Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that helps you test better.

Epistemology is the study of how you know what you know. It's the study of evidence and reasoning. It establishes the foundations of scientific practice. Epistemology is studied by scientists, educators, and philosophers—and elite software testers. Students of epistemology study science, philosophy, and psychology with the goal of learning how we all can improve our thinking. We use the term more broadly than ...

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