It’s a Testing Blog Jim, but not as you know it

I’ve been considering adopting a new name lately. Between you and me, I’ve always been more than a little unhappy with my original christian name. Colin has no gravitas. It’s definitely never been cool and it has often received significant levels of scorn in books, TV shows and movies. Even when my fave movie of all time (Love Actually) adopted it for one of the main characters, it’s cache was short lived. To me Colin is one of those names you get given when your parents are having an off-day. It’s not like I was the tenth kid in line either. I’m the eldest, goddammit!! It wasn’t even the name of a famous forebear. No-one in my lineage was a Colin – so why ME? I asked my Mum on more than one occasion why I got to be a Colin. She never came up with, what I considered to be, a good reason. So for all of my life I’ve been Colin – except for a short time in my 20’s when I worked with a guy who was convinced that my name was Chris and recently when an over-friendly female assistant at our local Bakery insists on calling me Alan!!

Now, my surname is a different story altogether – I love it to bits. When you have a surname like Cherry, it conjures up all sorts of thoughts around fresh, plump and juicy fruit. When I was a kid a friend of mine nicknamed me Blossom – it was kinda cool and cute. In the current vernacular both of my kids have been referred to as Chezza. It works… So, all in all, Cherry fits the bill for me as a surname.

But let’s get back to my christian name; what is acceptable? I’m thinking Jim. It’s short and to the point. It’s strong and clean. I have an uncle we call Jim (even though he was christened Michael). My middle name is James and Jim is a derivative of that. So from today onwards, I am going to tell the world that my name is no longer Colin Cherry, it’s Jim Cherry. Colin Cherry will cease to exist from this day forward and henceforth I will be known as Jim Cherry – the strong one… So, please update my Contact Details in your mobile/cell phones and wipe all memories of the former Colin. My Facebook page will be updated and so will LinkedIn, yada yada yada and so on.

While all this may sound a little frivolous to you and a considerable waste of my time and energy, it is no different than the current (predominantly) online discussions I see regarding how we define our profession – software testing. Software Testing has been an accepted discipline since the the late 1950’s when NASA first put together a team of software engineers whose primary role was to test the software. So, why are we now seeing thousands of hours dedicated to the task of renaming it? And what are people wanting to call it? Checking

Real men don’t Check. Real Men Test.

And, where is all this leading to and does it really matter in the broader context? Will I get a call from a recruitment agency one day asking me if I’m interested in the role of Senior Checking Manager? Will the ISTQB become the ISCQB? Will House of Test become House of Check?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with debating the future of our profession and how we might possibly improve it. But, I’m not going to spend inordinate amounts of time and energy debating the difference between a Test and a Check.

Someone far cleverer than I once said “A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools”.

Dateline: Tuesday May 5 2015, Melbourne (Jim on behalf of Colin)

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