Skip to main content

Shallow Statement Syndrome


'Surely its just a case of doing X and creating a Y, then we'll obviously get to Z. I've done this lots of times before.'
This is an example of Shallow Statement Syndrome, one I hear often from those involved in software development. It comes loaded with preconception and assumption and is generally delivered with great belief by the speaker. As a tester it sets my common sense tingling.

Lets decompose the highlights:

'Surely' - I have already decided, I'm already sure, my mind is closed to options.

'Just' - I don't believe this to be complex, I am implying simplicity and ease.

'Obviously' - The outcome is obvious to me, I don't need to encourage others to envisage the outcome.

'Before' - The issue at hand stirs nostalgia, I have done this in my past, therefore it can be done again in a similar way, possibly by others. 

The problem with Shallow Statement Syndrome is the chasm beneath them when you scratch the surface. Beneath each shallow statement is analysis and detail which needs to be uncovered layer by layer as you iterate.  Those who used to have the responsibility of using technology to create complex systems are particularly prone to this syndrome, their subconscious often masking the challenges they faced.


Many projects fall into this particular abyss, recognising and critically challenging shallow statements before setting off/during the journey across the sometimes rickety rope bridge of software development can save you a short trip down a deep, crocodile-infested ravine. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Lone Tester at a DevOps Conference

I recently had the chance to go to Velocity Conf in Amsterdam, which one might describe as a DevOps conference. I love going to conferences of all types, restricting the self to discipline specific events is counter intuitive to me, as each discipline involved in building and supporting something isn't isolated. Even if some organisations try and keep it that way, reality barges its way in. Gotta speak to each other some day.

So, I was in an awesome city, anticipating an enlightening few days. Velocity is big. I sometimes forget how big business some conferences are, most testing events I attend are usually in the hundreds of attendees. With big conferences comes the trappings of big business. For my part, I swapped product and testability ideas with Datadog, Pager Duty and others for swag. My going rate for consultancy appears to be tshirts, stickers and hats.

So, lets get to it:

3 Takeaways

Inclusiveness - there was a huge focus on effective teams, organisational dynamics and splitt…

Wheel of Testing Part 2 - Content

Thank you Reddit, while attempting to find pictures of the earths core, you surpass yourself.
Turns out Steve Buscemi is the centre of the world.

Anyway. Lets start with something I hold to be true. My testing career is mine to shape, it has many influences but only one driver. No one will do it for me. Organisations that offer a career (or even a vocation) are offering something that is not theirs to give. Too much of their own needs get in the way, plus morphing into a badass question-asker, assumption-challenger, claim-demolisher and illusion-breaker is a bit terrifying for most organisations. Therefore, I hope the wheel is a tool for possibilities not definitive answers, otherwise it would just be another tool trying to provide a path which is yours to define.


In part one, I discussed why I had thought about the wheel of testing in terms of my own motivations for creating it, plus applying the reasoning of a career in testing to it. As in, coming up with a sensible reflection of real…

What if information isn't enough?

One of my aims for this year has been to attend/talk at what I will class for the purposes of this blog as 'non-testing' events, primarily to speak about what on earth testing is and how we can lampoon the myths and legends around it. It gets some really interesting reactions from professionals within other disciplines.

And usually those reactions (much like this particular blog), leave me with more questions than answers!

Huh?

After speaking at a recent event, I was asked an interesting question by an attendee. This guy was great, he reinvented himself every few years into a new part of technology, his current focus, machine learning. His previous life, 'Big Data', more on that later. Anyway, he said (something like):

'I enjoyed your talk but I think testing as an information provider doesn't go far enough. If they aren't actionable insights, then what's the point?'
This is why I like 'non-testing' events, someone challenging a tenet than has be…