Creating a “Testing is Fun” Mindset and Learning from Bugs

In my last post I wrote about how co-workers will send me details of bugs they find out in the wild as they know that’s one of my interests (along with Minis and soccer). We also have a dedicated Slack channel for poor user interface designs we come across. We strive to create quality software, and learning from mistakes can help us avoid similar issues. This also helps encourage a ‘testing can be fun’ mindset.

Lessons We Can Learn from the Black Team.

Testing is necessary, but many see it as a chore and drudge. That means helping see the interesting side of it is worthwhile. IBM used to have a special Black Team who would grow mustaches they could twirl and laughed maniacally when they found a bug.

I don’t have a mustache to twirl, nor a desire to grow one. However, I will play up the ‘here comes Phil, so everything is going to crash and burn’ idea. We’ve started to slowly return to working in the office, and on my second day back when I sat next to a co-worker, her laptop crashed. So, of course, I made sure to make the rest of the company aware of what had happened.

Ways to Encourage the ‘Testing is Fun’ Mindset

I’ll find some reports of crazy bugs in the wild such as The Wrong Kind of Sunshine or The Wrong Kind of Snow or Leaves and Bird Poop Causing a Disturbance at a Nuclear Reactor and either share them on our Slack channel or save them up for a presentation at our internal company conference.

And then there are questions such as How Would You Test A Roadrunner Cartoon? Well, you have to make sure that Chuck Jones’ 9 Golden Rules are not broken.

Testers used to be seen as adversaries. One of the first testing blogs I came across when I started to learn testing was titled “Making Developers Cry Since 1995” by Micahel Braidy, a tester at Microsoft (sadly the blog is no longer available).


It’s still popular as a meme but we’ve (hopefully) moved on from this type of relationship to one where we can all chuckle at (and learn from) some of the bugs that are out there (but not in OUR product).

What’s your relationship with your testers? Let me know in the comments.