Inside a Tester’s mind: Focusing and Defocusing

AW1     Start Time : 14:00     End Time : 14:45

Testing requires different skills and different routines than most other software production activities. No wonder, then that good testers foster a different mindset than other professionals.

One of the special things about software testing is the significant contrast between our focused and defocused performances (times when we think big-picture about our system and try to find connections and times when one of this connections catches all of our attention). Not only the levels of focus/defocus are high, but we purposedly spend time defocusing, and swing between the two modes often and with staggering speed. To maximize learning and surprise we keep our missions wide and our eyes open, adjusting our concentration on-demand as we work.

Understanding more about focus and defocus, and being able to identify which one occupies your mind at a given point, are strong cognitive tools to be a good tester and important points in creating and maintaining talent in your testing team.

In this workshop we explain what makes testers like software testing and how to be conscious of our thinking mode – and wrap them all together with exercises that will internalize and sediment the concepts. The exercises were created especially for the purpose of teaching focus and defocus with high success.

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  • Speaker


    Shmuel Gershon - Test Lead, Intel, Israel

    Shmuel Gershon has experience in both firmware and software testing; and also in coaching testers and helping friends. Today he works in Jerusalem testing sensor products with his team of Super-Heroes, and his experience includes working for big companies, small companies, and as freelancer — spanning the world from South America to Israel. He is convinced that the most significant factor in our quest for quality is people (not features or technology), and used to be a programmer but discovered that testing is twice the fun. Writes about software testing at and publishes the open-source “Rapid Reporter”, an exploratory testing note taking tool.