Monday Musings

By September 23, 2018 Mondays 2 Comments

And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. [Galatians‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬]

One of the most powerful forces in the world at the moment is marketing. Fake news. Social media timelines. Irrespective of whether you think you’re impervious to the actual content; one thing is certain. Your exposure to it frames your thinking. You may well cast a critical eye over the specifics, but the fact you’re thinking about the subject at all means the influencers have mostly done their job. The Pareto Principle applies.

One of the reasons I’ve been such an admirer of Yuval Noah Harari’s work is because he opened my eyes (further) to humanity’s reliance on story and narrative as an evolutionary toolkit. To wit, without fictions like money, religion, nations, government and the like – the human race would not have evolved to where we are today. If you haven’t read his book, Sapiens, I recommend it unequivocally.

Anyway, I read a bit of galatians this morning. And it reminded me to be be watchful in my thinking. Before I knew the truth, I was enslaved to the powers of this world. Since the truth has set me free, I need to ensure I don’t get enslaved by it again.

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. [Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬]

Or, as Yoda said in The Empire Strikes Back:

A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away…to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing.

  • I’ve been seeing a lot of flak directed towards the notion of MVP’s in the product world recently. This article is representative, though there’s many more. I’ve been a strong believer in the idea of developing minimal functionality, shipping then iterating. But I understand and empathise with this point of view. I can see how easy it would be to fall into the trap of releasing and not iterating. Something to ponder further in my own product development efforts.
  • With that in mind, I thought the starter kata questions (and indeed the whole article) here provided a useful steer with regards to how to think about and start to address systemic challenges.
  • Also, raising my level of organisational awareness as a whole seems like it could be a good idea. This article and linked resources (particularly the book – Organisational Awareness, a Primer) refers.
  • Figuring out how to manage requests and deliverables in the form of some kind of departmental API endpoints is something I’ve given thought to in the past. Not with a huge amount of success at the time, I’m sad to say. With the benefit of hindsight, I suspect it was because the attempted implementation was a reactionary measure (I was annoyed with demands coming from a particular area of the organisation I was working with) rather than a proactive effort designed to make people’s lives easier. Anyway, Cal Newport’s article here reminded me that it may be worth looking into further.
  • We did a webinar last week: Continuous Testing with TestRail and AgileTestWare. If you missed it, the video’s here.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to reach out via a comment or on the socials if anything resonates.

Cheers,
Simon

2 Comments

  • Robert Day says:

    I have found the writings of the 16th century Japanese samurai master Miyamoto Musashi (in his “Book of Five Rings”) to be useful. His Way of Strategy is based around nine principles:

    1. Do not think dishonestly.
    2. The Way is in training.
    3. Become acquainted with every art.
    4. Know the Ways of all professions
    5. Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
    6. Develop an intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.
    7. Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
    8. Pay attention even to trifles.
    9. Do nothing which is of no use.

    That sounds like a pretty good basis for an approach to testing – I seem to feel a blog post coming on!

    • Simon Knight says:

      Thanks Robert – I’ve not read the Book of Five Rings, though I’ve heard it cited by other testers whom I respect a couple of times (Alan Richardson and Ben Kelly, if memory serves). That sounds like a good basis for some strategic test thinking though! I supect there may also be some parallels with the lean principles to which I referred also.

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