Tuesday 2 October 2012

I'm supposed to be negative?

So I've overheard recently  (over the last year or so) things like: 'It gets tiring being negative all the time and pointing mistakes and people flaws.'

And it confused me.

Is that what I'm supposed to be doing?!


I've been doing it wrong!

Should I be negative?

Should I be pointing out flaws in peoples work?

Should I be pointing out flaws in peoples ideas?

Should I be stating that people are doing shoddy work?

Am I there to break things?

Am I there to find the breaks?

I thought I was part of a team and we worked together on creating something.

I thought I approached things differently and could add valuable input because of that.

I thought we were solving a problem and approaching it from different angles.

I thought I was there to provide information.

I thought  we evolved together.

Did I think wrong?


  1. Many people (testers) find it hard to see the MASSIVE positive that comes from them being 'negative'...


  2. For testing something related to security and vulnerability of a product one should always fall to think like a person with alot of con attitude to come up with a quality product.....
    So i will say that sometime negative testing acts as positive @martialtester

  3. If people MUST believe that pointing out potential problems is negative, and it seems that they must cling to that...

    Heard the other day: You can't develop a picture without the negative.

    I don't know how this works in the digital camera world, but I suspect some of the same principles are at work.

  4. Few more thoughts around this topic still brewing in my head. Probably will be follow up post.

  5. There are two types of negative people. One is in complete entropy and acceptance of the environment. The other is there to be constructive and believes that things cannot be improved which are not recognized to be bad. The most common problem with the latter is that it's usually perceived as destructive cynicism. To get the positives out of this type of negativism, you need to work with people who can benefit from negative feedback, and act upon it. If all things are resolved which the most critical people whine about, you'll end up with an effective and efficient software and environment.

  6. I left a similar comment on another blog today - what if the tester dons the mantle of the destructive cynicist on purpose. What if I work for the competitor and want to show how 'bad' that software is by exposing all the bugs in it as fodder for our sales team? The user with malicious intend is not a new invention but one that we can consciously put on AND off again.

    Most of the time it's time to work with the team. But there may be a user scenario that wasn't covered, yet. In my book it's a valid approach if it's not the only one and most definitely not the default approach.

  7. You are not there to break things, we don't break things, they were already broken when we got here ;-)