I spoke about the responses to this tweet during my talk titled "A Community Discussion" at Copenhagen Context. Somewhat ironically I've been reluctant to share the feedback that I received in writing. There's been exchanges in the testing community recently that makes me feel now is the time.
I had a lot of responses to my original request on Twitter. About half tried to explain context-driven testing rather than the community. Those who did speak about the people and environment gave responses like:
- A bunch of supportive, challenging and engaged people full of questions, support and understanding.
- Warm and welcoming, literally the best thing that I've come across in my career.
- People who insist on a human perspective on testing
- A community of people who constantly asks the question how can we be (test) better?
- A group of people not restricted by a so called set of best practices and a one size fits all approach
- A world-wide support network of people who share the same fundamental principles as me
I also had a lot of responses via private channels. Direct messages, email and skype. In many instances they were from people who no longer felt that they were part of the community. They gave responses like:
- The Cult/Church of CDT due to the rhetoric used by CDT to describe their heroic and righteous fight against evil
- The Test Police because they feel the need to correct the terminology and thinking of everyone else regardless of whether they share the same world-view.
- They are an academic think-tank that is out of step with modern business needs
- CDT is RST, it’s all just RST stuff, RST is the new best practice
- If you don’t beat your drum to the CDT Rhythm they’ll beat you down hard
- The Anti-ISO group, The Anti-ISTQB people, the Anti-anyone not CDT people etc.
- Not a safe place to share and explore
Are you surprised by this?
I was surprised by the stark polarity in what was shared openly and what was shared privately. I was surprised by who responded and who chose not to. I was surprised by specific individuals who held different opinions to what I had expected. However, I wasn't surprised to see these two views emerge.
What bothers me is that these two viewpoints seem to be a taboo topic to have a conversation about.
On Twitter there has been activity that feels like warfare. Grenades are launched from both sides, loud voices shout at one another, misunderstandings create friendly fire, and when the smoke clears no one is sure what the outcome was.
What I wanted to do in my talk at Copenhagen Context was start a dialog. I talked about an inclusive context-driven testing community by sharing the model I created almost two years ago. I suggested some ways in which we could alter our behaviour. I was part of an Open Season discussion where those present shared their views.
I continue to focus on making the New Zealand testing community as inclusive as possible. I believe that WeTest, Testing Trapeze and even this blog are making a difference in spreading the ideas from the context-driven school without the labels. I strive to be approachable, humble and open to questions.
I hope that I am setting an example as someone making a positive difference through action. My personal role model in this space is Rosie Sherry, who is the "Boss Boss" at Ministry of Testing. I observe that she has her own style of quiet leadership and a practical approach to change.
But the wider conversation is still adversarial or hidden. I'd like to see that change.
What are your thoughts?
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