That contradiction in testing and coding.
Tabby had found the half-finished manuscript in a trash can. She confronted Stephen after reading it through. She wanted to know the rest of the story.
“You’ve got something here,” she said, “I really think you do.” So Stephen decided to give it a shot and finish the story about a schoolgirl Carrie White.
The book Carrie slowly gained momentum and launched the trajectory of King family from a trailer park towards a brighter future. Today Stephen King is one of the most successful authors of our time.
I just finished the autobiography by Stephen King. On Writing is a captivating story of how his career finally took flight after almost two decades of daily writing.
As a testing professional, I got inspired for realizing how writing is creative work much like coding and bug hunting. And as Stephen put it, the creative process will never work the magic if he was to try editing the text at the same time.
No writer can create great text while simultaneously trying to inspect the outcome for errors in the storyline, grammar or spelling. First comes the story, then comes the grooming.
As a professional bug hunter, I find this disturbing.
- We expect our coders to create beautiful software and amazing experiences for the users. And at the same time, we would need coders to inspect their work for bugs.
- We expect our testers to put in their creativity in finding all possible situations where the software still doesn’t work. And at the same time, we need testers to script and execute test recipes we call cases.
There is a contradiction to the work we do. Most significant results are an outcome of a creative process. We know this, and still, we try to mold the process into a work of an editor.
Editing and proofreading are phases that step in only after the writer finished the creation.
So what would it mean for your development practice?