It’s been said that Testing = Learning + Evaluation
Since Software Testing has only been around for 50 years and Learning since before ancient Greece, it makes sense to research what we can about learning.
Not surprisingly, when I started reading books about Experiential Learning I found many useful theories. They made me look at my Test Process differently, look at my colleagues differently and how I test, differently.
Kolb is an educational scientist who came up with four different learning styles. These have been widely used in educational programs to make them more effective. I remember his theories from when I studied to become a teacher.
Researching these learning styles, I related them to four testing styles:
Playing, Modeling, Theorizing, Experimenting.
Each of us have a preferred starting point. Yet it is only when we go through all four activities our learning becomes complete. The test processes we employ may very well dictate the learning cycle of our whole team. Which could push our fellow testers into an unnatural process to start their learning.
This, in turn, could result in superficial understanding, missed results and increased risk.
We should draw upon the strengths and diversity of our team members to learn new and diversified information. Having the knowledge of Learning and Testing Styles can help us see what might not be apparent otherwise.
- You will acquire insight into different Learning Styles;
- You will understand how those impact your testing;
- You will have a model of reference to communicate with your colleagues;
- You will be triggered to inspect your own Test Process to see whom it benefits and whom it alienates.