A photo of a man's face<There is nothing to see here...Move along...>My copy of the photograph of a man's face

One technique which has helped me learn to see is to copy and deconstruct the works of artists I admire. My initial copies could hardly be called such. As I continued to inspect other artists’ work, however, I started to understand how the bits and pieces worked individually as well as how they fit together to make the whole. And then I increasingly understood how to build on them to make my own whole.

I used this technique to learn about testing too. My initial tests could hardly be called such. As I watched other testers test and my customers use my applications, however, I started to understand the techniques they used and the things they did individually as well as how they combined these techniques and actions into more involved tests and workflows. And then I increasingly understood how to build on their techniques and actions to create my own tests and scenarios.

Copying and deconstructing the work of people you admire can help you identify the works’ parts and understand how they fit together, at which point you can fit them together in your own unique way.

[Photo from See all my art at]

*** 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.

Comments (3)

  1. Will I also get a chance to listen more about this from you in CAST or Are you presenting any form of this in CAST 08?

  2. Tanveer Badar says:

    I wasn’t in touch with your blog for some time and missed a post where I would like to reply but comments window has expired.

    ‘Campy Bear Heuristics’

    The answer is: There are infinite such points. One unique point is north pole, hence the bear was white.

    Then, there are infinite circles of ever decreasing radii at the south pole, but no bear lives there.

    It is a typical problem Microsoft HR asks in interviews.

  3. Pradeep: I won’t be attending CAST this year, so nope.

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