Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Survivorship bias - Let's talk about bias 1

You'll probably remember that a tester's profile has one of its main reasons for existence in avoiding author bias.

As QA and testers dive into Agile environments it's hard not to become part of the problem.

Interesting enough, there are well known biases we all have intrinsecally implemented in our own brains that lead us to make certain decisions, as Rolf Dobelli describes in his bestseller The Art of Thinking Clearly.

This post starts a series of checks of those biases with QA specific examples, so any tester or QA role can improve their work. Besides Agile, I like the move forward Quality Assistance because I experience that it works. So anybody in the team should have some advantage by knowing these biases.

Survivorship Bias

You as QA are confronted with developers and business representatives telling you "product X didn't have all of those design patterns, automated tests, branching policies, etc."
They strike you hard. You feel like earth's gonna swallow you. You're in China and only speak Hopi. Shit!

This is not your bias! Let'em check out their bug reports and time (and money - YEEEES, business speaks MO-O-NEY!) spent on fixing them. Speak to them about your customers serving as testers. But we're not facebook, we sell other stuff under different conditions. And if you really can't find none of those arguments to have effect present them the worst case, find examples for companies who failed with much embarrassment or quit your job, right now there are great developers at work!

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