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Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 8:30am to 9:45am

The Power of Doubt: Becoming a Software Skeptic

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No matter what the language, “I don’t know” might just be the most difficult words to say. We avoid them, afraid of coming across as hesitant or unsure. Colleagues expect us to be firm and certain, providing definitive answers. However, in the past years, I grew increasingly doubtful. I had a hard time being sure of anything. “You're rejecting certainty,” someone said. “That's skepticism. You're a tester, embrace it!” That seemed like a good idea, but this left me with a new challenge: How do I embrace skepticism, and can it improve my testing? In hopes of finding clues to help my testing, I immersed myself in all things skeptical. For a year, it was a fascinating journey that led me from philosophy, critical thinking, and science to pseudoscience and the paranormal. This is the story of how I embraced skepticism and how it influenced my testing—by adopting a skeptic manifesto and creating a portfolio of critical thinking heuristics that are a valuable addition to any tester's toolbox. Leave armed with tips to improve your questioning skills and your reflexes to reject certainty, empowered by the biggest skeptical force of all: knowing that we’re easy to fool.

Zeger Van Hese
Z-sharp

Born and raised in Belgium, Zeger Van Hese has a background in Commercial Engineering and Cultural Science. He started his professional career in the movie distribution industry but switched to IT in 1999. A year later he was bitten by the software testing bug and has not been cured since. Over the years, he developed a passion for exploratory testing, testing in agile projects and, above all, continuous learning from different perspectives. In 2013 he founded his own company, Z-sharp, dedicated to helping clients on the path to smarter testing. He is co-founder of the Dutch Exploratory Workshop on Testing (DEWT), muses about testing on his TestSideStory blog and is a regular speaker at conferences worldwide. He makes Sketchnotes for fun. Contact Zeger at [email protected]