The School of 1

The School of 1

Like many testers I’ve been watching the unfolding drama of school versus approach that is taking place in  Context Driven Testing community with part dismay, part fascination and part anger.
That’s a mixed bag of emotions and it bothers me.

Two people that I hold in such high regard are not speaking to each other. People that I have worked with and respect deeply. On a personal level that saddens me. From a professional testing perspective, not so much as good testing will continue to thrive as long as testers are devoted to their craft.

But something angers me about this whole debacle. Lanette Creamer describes this as estranged family but to me it more like when a couple decides to divorce and the friends end up divorcing too. To be fair to both James and Cem, neither have suggested that this is necessary. James has stated he still has a huge respect for Cem. I admire him for that. Similarly, Cem has never suggested that ‘sides’ have to be taken.

Why then, do I feel that I’m being put in a position that I have to chose between the two?

Emotions aside, this whole debacle has challenged me to try and logically reason about what I think. Where I see myself.

I am a Context Driven Tester. I don’t want to test in any other way. I won’t test in any other way. If its an  an approach then I’m not going to take any other. I guess according to this post, that makes me part of the Context Driven School.

Yet I do agree with Cem. The idea of schools is polarising and sometimes I feel uncomfortable when other schools are denigrated publicly. Regardless of schools, I respect thoughtful testers who work in these paradigms.

My solution at times like this is to look to myself. Reaffirm what I believe and move on with my work. I will continue to test in a way that I believe is best for me. I will continue to treat testers who I admire regardless of school with respect. I hope that means being able to work with both Cem and James (albeit independently) in the future. Time will prove if thats possible or not.

So in the mean time I will continue to study testing, help others test and focus on growing a vibrant testing community in Sydney. If that means I end up in a school of one, then so be it.