All the chanting got me thinking, tricks and treats are not limited to Halloween. In fact I believe there are numerous examples of both within our software testing community.
There are fantastic examples of treats. For me these include folks who are passionate about the progress and global understanding of software testing. They are focused on making positive contributions to the craft in concert with their own continual learning. They focus on testing as a service and enhancing their methods in order to provide a greater service. They have an appreciation for context and the need for adaptability. They understand the relativity of quality and value for their customers. They value and respect the creativity and individuality of their peers. They are able to articulate what they stand for and welcome the opportunity to debate and discuss their perspectives.
Unfortunately, there are far too many folks who through their actions and behaviors appear to be tricks. For me these include folks who are promoting the standardization of our craft and limiting the global understanding of software testing to be non-sapient and mundane. They seem to believe that through the definition of more standards and “best practices”, that we can simplify and eliminate the problems of software quality. They appear to have a limited or non-existent understanding of context or adaptability. They seem to be able to quantify and qualify both quality and value; irrespective of customers or context. They show limited value or respect for individuality; emphasizing the value of certification and cloning of testers. They appear to have limited ability to articulate what they stand for and even less willingness to debate their position.
Unfortunately the tricks of the software testing community do not only appear one night of the year or in crazy costumes. Perhaps even more frustrating, it is going to take more than turning off the porch light to make them go away.