Software Testing as a Martial Art
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Software Testing as a Martial Art

There is no One Style

About the Book

For as long as I can remember I have loved martial arts. In more recent years I have come to love software testing. That may sound strange, but to be passionate about one’s chosen career is a truly wonderful thing; and it makes it a lot easier to get up in the morning.

In these recent years I can attribute a lot of that passion to my alignment with the Context-Driven approach to software testing. As my knowledge of Context-Driven Testing grows, and software testing in general, the more I can also align it with my beliefs in martial arts. These are the seven basic principles of Context-Driven Testing:

  1. The value of any practice depends on its context.

  2. There are good practices in context, but there are no best practices.

  3. People, working together, are the most important part of any project’s context.

  4. Projects unfold over time in ways that are often not predictable.

  5. The product is a solution. If the problem isn’t solved, the product doesn’t work.

  6. Good software testing is a challenging intellectual process.

  7. Only through judgment and skill, exercised cooperatively throughout the entire project, are we able to do the right things at the right times to effectively test our products.

In my own way I relate these to personal principles that I follow when studying and training in martial arts:

  1. Your art is only as good as your environment and situation allows.

  2. There is no one style, you must adapt to survive.

  3. Sparring partners will teach you far more than a bag or a pad; the better they are the better you will become.

  4. NEVER underestimate your opponent.

  5. Seek to understand why there is conflict before becoming part of the conflict.

  6. In order to discipline the body you must discipline the mind.

  7. Only when every element is in alignment – mind, body, and spirit – can you achieve true success and mastery.

Who is this book for?

The selfless answer is anyone that is interested in software testing, or better still, anyone who is interested in both software testing and martial arts. The title of this book may be somewhat misleading as I do not intend to create a new martial art from software testing. My goal for this book is to share my thoughts on various aspects of software testing, and how my love for, and teachings in, martial arts has helped my understanding of it. This may not be evident upon first read; however you can ‘join the dots’ when thinking a little deeper.

The selfish answer is me. It has been a goal of mine for many years to write. This book marks the first significant achievement towards that goal. I feel that I still have a long way to go and I’m hopeful the journey will never end.

About the Author

David Greenlees
David Greenlees

A Martial Artist and a Software Tester.

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Reader Testimonials

Gerald Weinberg
Gerald Weinberg

What a gift David Greenlees's book is! The day I received my copy, I spent all morning scanning, digging, smiling, nodding appreciatively. It's a wise book, and I'm recommending it to all the testers (and others) I know.

Table of Contents






Chapter 1 – How Did You Become a Tester?

Chapter 2 – The Community

Chapter 3 – Be Like Water

Chapter 4 – Don’t Be Like Rock

Chapter 5 – The Power of Why

Chapter 6 – Thought Leaders and Why We Need Them

Chapter 7 – Waste and Why We Don’t Need It

Chapter 8 – Bugs with Black Belts

Chapter 9 – My School is Better Than Yours

Chapter 10 – The Statistics Show…

Chapter 11 – Who Are Your Opponents?

Chapter 12 – Communicating Information

Chapter 13 – Learning to Fight

Chapter 14 – Awareness

Chapter 15 – Lessons from T’ai Chi

Chapter 16 – The Testing Arts

Chapter 17 – The Naïve Mind

Chapter 18 – Of Filipino Martial Arts & Testing

Chapter 19 – More Magical Quotes

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