Artful Testing: Learning from the Arts

Zeger Hese, CTG

At first glance, art and testing may seem like an odd couple. However, Glenford Myers combined both in his book, The Art of Software Testing-though his "art" referred only to skill and mastery. More recently, Robert Austin and Lee Devin published Artful Making which relates software development to the creation of a piece of artwork. These authors inspired Zeger Van Hese to consider the idea of artful testing. Zeger investigates what happens when we combine and infuse testing with aesthetics. With some surprising examples, Zeger shows how the fine arts can support and complement our testing efforts. For instance, the tools art critics use for their critiques are valuable additions to the tester toolbox, enabling testers to become more professional software critics. Zeger discovered that testers can benefit from learning how to analytically study art, a skill that relates directly to our job of evaluating software. Yes, good testing can be artful in many ways. Come and learn how in this thought-provoking session.

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