While at CAST (refer to previous blog for details), I was lucky enough to attend an all day tutorial with James Bach. During the day, he challenged us to write our own heuristics (“fallible method of solving a problem”). I was terrified. Firstly of writing - there are a few things I am confident about, but writing my own thoughts is not one of them. Secondly, I was terrified of embarrassing myself in front of one of the people I consider to be a guru in Software testing. I sat with this bunch of blank cards in front of me and thought... and thought some more. Suddenly (and surprisingly), a thought came to me... write what you know. One of my "philosophies" in life is that you can't always change things or accomplish things overnight. It happens one slow step at at time. I realised we have a saying for this... "Slowly Slowly Catch Monkey". I use it when trying to convey a need for (artful?) patience. I guess to me, it means that there is a plan involved. And part of the plan is to make small changes or progress steps all the time - sometimes without anyone even noticing, until finally, the “Monkey” is captured. (Your goal achieved). I have no idea where I heard it first.... I just know we say it. My boss says it, my cousin says it... So I wrote it down and put my own "slightly testing related" spin to it. I had a heuristic! I wasn't overly confident that this would be something that could work... but then a friend (Adam) in the class came over and read it... he liked it, and that gave me courage – he even offered to put it up on the wall with the others for me. And from there, I guess it's history. James seemed to like it too, which was cool. Very cool. So here we are.....(and I am taking some poetic license with myself cos I am not sure this was exactly how I originally worded it!!)
“Slowly Slowly Catch Monkey” (as it relates to Software Testing)
When trying to make changes to a process or environment, it is sometimes best to tackle things one small step at a time.