Recent research has shown that when a chess Grand Master is briefly shown a chess board, and then asked an hour later to remember the position of the pieces on the board, that they can do so with a surprisingly high degree of accuracy.
What the research has discovered is that when a chess Grand Master looks at the board, they don’t recognise the positions of the individual pieces, but that they remember clusters of pieces. So they would remember a cluster around the King, around the Queen, and other key pieces. The best remember clusters that overlap and can show them the whole board. With that understanding of the cluster, and a great level of experience the Grand Master can also work out how the pieces came to be in that position by predicting the moves with a high degree of accuracy.
This is in comparison to beginners or less experienced chess players who remember the individual pieces or maybe smaller clusters, but not the whole board, and then can not work out the preceding moves.
Sounds very interesting but how can the theory be applied to Software Testing?
Mind Mapping is a process that many of us are familiar with, and is well suited for representing clustered information. The aim is to run a workshop with experienced testers, such as those that attend EuroSTAR, to produce Software Testing Mind Maps that cluster together their knowledge of testing and the relationships between the testing entities. In this way an overlapping model can quickly be built up that shows the key relationships between the areas of the testing discipline.
This can be shared and validated with others, and can be extremely useful, especially for testers just starting out in the industry because they will have a representation of the software testing world which will show them for each area not only the things they already know, but many of the other things to consider as well. This may also be useful in diagnosing problems, understanding the current situation, and planning the next steps forward.
This is the first step in getting many testers to produce individual Testing Mind Maps which can then be brought together to add to the Software Testing Body Of Knowledge which will have use for the whole industry.
Participants should be prepared for this session to be; informative, fun, challenging & rewarding, with the very real possibility of benefiting the whole testing industry.
1. EuroSTAR, Stockholm – Dec. 2007