The Power of Doubt: Becoming a Software Skeptic
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.