In this week’s reading club, we suggest Seth’s Godin short but deep blog post: Been Done Before. The punchline is that exploratory work is more critical than an automated one.
We all know that punchline, but software testers strive to learn how to program, enhancing exploratory testing is not essential to them. But these are the terms of the software testing market. Almost all jobs require automation, exploratory skills are at the bottom of the job ad.
But why is exploratory work more critical than automation? We need to look at the Cynefin quadrant. When I saw for the first time Cynefin quadrant, I was terrified. Complex, Chaotic, Complicated, it is in our nature to avoid those quadrants.
In the Chaotic domain, we know nothing, and on top of that, there is no order. We need first to establish order and get us to the Complex domain. In the Complex domain, we have unknown unknowns, and we can start exploring the rules. There are no right answers. In the Complicated domain, we have known unknowns, and we know which expertise we can use to get several correct answers. In the Simple domain, we only have known knows and clear rules are established.
Exploration methods are what get us from Chaos to Obvious. And we can do automation only in the Obvious quadrant.