On impossible documents and wasted time

Can you explain me how would you ride a bike?

Yes, you have the pedals that you need to keep rotating. Yes, you need to keep the bike moving to be able to balance. Yes, there are the breaks and so on.

But what would happen if you gave these instructions to a farmer in Nepal, who has never even seen a bike? Would he be instantly able to ride it?

I guess not. The thing here is that one needs to see and feel the bike. Process of trying and erring is a must to eventually get the idea of how to ride a bike.

Art of software testing is full of knowledge that we stubbornly try to explain in different kinds of documentation. But it will never suffice. Muscle memory doesn’t work that way no matter how mental it seems.

Only thing we can do is to accept the fact that two kinds of knowledge exists. Things get easier only after admitting it, because acceptance will open our minds up for new ideas of knowledge transfer.

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(This post was inspired by the talk by Huib Schoots at the European Testing Conference in Helsinki)

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