Tester Remains On-Stage; Enter Beauty, Stage Right
Are you skeptical yet? If you are, I can’t say I blame you. To many people, the word “testing” brings up images of drop-dead simple pointing and clicking, or following a boring script written by someone else. They think it’s a simple job, best done by simple people who, well…at least you don’t have to pay them much. I think there’s something wrong with that.
Again, the above isn’t critical investigation; it’s checking. And checking certainly isn’t beautiful, by any stretch of the word. And beauty is important.
Let me explain.
In my formative years as a developer, I found that I had a conflict with my peers and superiors about the way we developed software. Sometimes I attributed this to growing up in the east coast versus the midwest, and sometimes to the fact that my degree was not in computer science but mathematics. So, being young and insecure, I went back to school at night and earned a Master’s degree in computer information systems to “catch up,” but still I had these cultural arguments about how to develop software. I wanted simple projects, whereas my teammates wanted projects done “right” or “extensible” or “complete.”
Then one day I realized: they had never been taught about beauty, nor that beauty was inherently good. Although I had missed a class or two in my concentration in computer science, they also missed something I had learned in mathematics: an appreciation of aesthetics. Some time later I read Things a Computer ...