What is the philosophy in our job?

13 March 2017

In all traditional domains there is something more than just technique, procedures and money… there is something philosophical which makes the human being complete. I wrote in one of my previous articles that I do not think we are one at work and another at home … we are ONE, THE SAME ONE in all situations. But if it is so, what is the philosophical part of Quality Assurance? I mean, being complete in life and work is just part of it. We need some philosophy behind our work to like what we are doing and come with pleasure at work. It is our inner motivation much more powerful than money or a whip or anything else.  What is that in Quality Assurance and Software Testing?

I recently had the opportunity to shoot some arrows somewhere in a misty part of Carpathians and I remembered a book very dear to me: “The Art of shooting the bow” by Eugen Herrigel. In that book the author found such a deep philosophy behind shooting the bow… actually today nobody needs to master a bow for survival, but we all need to have jobs to survive! Right? Do you have one? Modern, Living, day to day activities … what is the philosophy behind them? If they could find such deep wisdom in archery, they certainly found it in a time when this was alive, modern and practiced for survival. Then this core philosophy was transmitted from master to disciple until now.

“Something” shoots the bow” ‘ the master said in the book I am quoting. “From the exterior, a correct arrow shot is distinguished in that the recoil from the right hand is cushioned and this is why it does not cause thumping of the body. On the other hand, after a failed attempt… the breath is released explosively so you cannot breathe in again fast. On the contrary, after a successful shot, the breath is expired through an effortless slip which can be easily followed by a calm new inspiration.” That creates the proper context for the next successful shot.

I wish you could feel what I feel when I have the bow in my hand and clearly distinguish a good shot by the calm in your body and mind. Deep isn’t it? Behind me, in the weekend there are two hours of archery and those deep thoughts. Ahead a whole week of Software Testing and Quality Assurance ! A week when I have to calmly breathe in and cushion the recoil of all issues that I encounter in my path to ensure the successful shot. What is the successful shot? For me, finding a solution which works for those issues is that fantastic moment when the arrow hits the center of the target. Then the air effortless slips out, allowing another solution to hit its target.

I believe that when I am in the office, I need to find as many situations as possible when the software I test might not behave as expected. Then naturally and with effort I find the next one, make sure they are all properly solved and move on to the next project. Something like that I believe it is hidden behind my job. In Software Testing issues must be found quickly, in Quality Assurance solutions for optimizations must be found as effortless as possible. Could that alternation issue – solution could be the rhythm for my job? I think this is what I like when I am in the office. That slide from issue to solution and confident customer at the end of the road.

Everything has its own rhythm, find the rhythm of your patient and he/she will feel good“  Shihan Peter King – Amatsu Tatara Hichibuku Goshin-jutsu Seminar Bucharest 2017.

Well, finding deep meanings in the path that I have chosen for my career will need more study than a few hours. I am glad I started to find true meaning behind what I do, that will strengthen my belief in what I do and I will do it better in the future.  If you want to travel by car from New York to Los Angeles you will see in front of you the next few hundred meters. You just need to start the car, make the step, and the next few hundred meters will unveil  in front of you, and the next and the next until you reach the destination.

You can learn the basics of archery in a few days, but you need a life to master it. I will give you the basics of Software Testing in only 4 days … the rest is your journey.

I will present these understandings in my next training  “Fundamentals of Software Testing – ISTQB Certification” in Bucharest in April. Will definitely be an interesting exchange of information with the people in my class. Looking forward to see you there.


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