How not to start a discussion

Posted on Posted in Everything, Software Testing

I gues I must be feeling punchy lately. No new content here for a little while, but I felt the need to respond to someone who linked to one of my posts. What I probably should have done was commented here and sent a pingback, but does anyone click on those anymore?

I digress.
Marcin Zręda has written an article that describes his conclusions from his experience with ET. The problem is, these conclusions are not presented as conclusions of his experience, they are listed as things that are good and bad about ET (with a line about them being drawn from his experience buried in the first paragraph).

I wrote a lengthy reply which I think should serve to counter most of the the errors he has made in describing ET.  Marcin has mentioned in the comments that the article was to serve as a jumping off point for discussion. In my opinion, this will likely have the desired effect, but misrepresenting experience as fact is one way to get people off on the wrong foot when having dialogue with you.

In this case, rather than wanting to know more about Marcin’s experiences, I wanted to correct what I saw as horribly misleading statements about ET. Now that I see he was trying to engender conversation, I am disinclined to continue.

‘I have these experiences with ET – what do you think? How does your experence compare?’ – sets a much different tone than ‘here are some good and bad things about ET’ (followed by a list of flame bait)’. I think that as testers we have a duty to be better than that. If you want to have a discussion about testing, or even an argument about it, there are plenty of people out there to have those kinds of discussions with, but be up-front about it. Be open about it and you will likely find that you will both learn more and keep your credibility intact.

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