What I have had most difficulty learning about drawing is probably also the most important point for me to learn: to draw what I see rather than what I know is there. Many years of experience tell me, for example, that a person’s shoulders are always the same width, regardless of how the person is turned from me. In actuality, however, the angle at which the person is turned affects the length their shoulders appear to be.
What I know is there are shoulders and arms and legs; what I see are lines and curves and shadows. When I draw what I know my mind gets in the way of recording reality; when I draw what I see my mind helps record it.
What I had most difficulty learning about testing was probably also the most important point for me to learn: to test what I see rather than what I know is there. Many years of experience tell me, for example, that all developers tend to make the same mistakes. In actuality, however, developers are different from each other and make different mistakes from each other, and they make different mistakes on each application they write.
What I know is there are boundary errors and duplicated hot keys and failures to validate input; what I see are issues which prevent my customers from doing what they want to do. When I test what I know my mind gets in the way of finding the most important issues; when I test what I see my mind helps find them.
Work what you see, not what you know.
*** Want a fun job on a great team? I need a tester! Interested? Let’s talk: Michael dot J dot Hunter at microsoft dot com. Great testing and coding skills required.