All I Ever Need to Know about Testing I Learned in Kindergarten


you come back to the problem, you often have your own "a ha!" moment.

When you go out in the world, watch for traffic, hold hands, and stick together
There is great strength in teams. The days of "us vs. them" are over. The days of "throw it over the wall to the testers" is over. It turned out that idea was about as successful as Communism.

Synergy is the concept that the whole of us is more than the sum of us. In years past I ran an experiment in one of my seminars. It was based on a "Lost in the Desert" exercise in which individuals are given a problem to solve, and then they solve the same problem again in teams. When working together rather than as individuals, 98 percent of the time, the team score was better than the average of the individual scores. And 95 percent of the time, the team score was better than every one of the individual scores on the team. Working together as a team is better, smarter, and more powerful than working as individuals.

Be aware of wonder
I have a four-year-old granddaughter and a two-year-old grandson who live with me. Imagine, at my age, I'm doing the "father" thing all over again. And it is a fabulous experience. You see, I had forgotten the "wonders" in the world: the wonder of butterflies and bugs; the wonder of the rainbow; the wonder of first words; the wonder of fire trucks and cement trucks and bulldozers and diggers of all kinds; the wonder of heartfelt hugs; and the wonder in a child's eyes and smile.

Be aware of wonder as a tester: the wonder that they made so many stupid mistakes; the wonder that so much actually does work; the wonder that your organization is still in business; the wonder of your own talent as you discovered an amazingly convoluted bug in the code; and the wonder that you have so much fun and get paid for it.

The world is full of wonder. It is a wonder-full world. I wish you a wonderful life. Good night.

About the author

Lee Copeland's picture Lee Copeland

Lee Copeland has more than thirty years of experience in the field of software development and testing. He has worked as a programmer, development director, process improvement leader, and consultant. Based on his experience, Lee has developed and taught a number of training courses focusing on software testing and development issues. Lee is the managing technical editor for Better Software magazine, a regular columnist for, and the author of A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design. Contact Lee at

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