Six Thinking Hats for Software Testers

Julian Harty, Google

Our testing is only as good as our thinking—and all too often we are hampered by limiting ideas, poor communication, and pre-set roles and responsibilities. Based on the work of Edward de Bono, the Six Thinking Hats for software testers have helped Julian, and numerous others, work more effectively as testers and managers. The concepts are simple and easy to learn. For instance, we can use these concepts as individuals performing reviews and while testing and in groups during team meetings. Each of the six hats has a color representing a direction of thinking—the blue hat provides the overview and helps to keep us productive, the white hat helps us to collect facts, the red is a way to express intuition and feelings without having to justify them, the yellow hat seeks the best possible outcome, the black hat helps us to discover what might go wrong—not only with the software but also with our tests and our assumptions! Finally, the green hat enables us to find creative solutions to ideas and issues discovered with the other five hats. Come and learn how to apply the six testing hats and other "thinking skills" on your test projects.

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