Posted by Ben Simo
This past week at STAR East, James Bach presented a number of questions, magic tricks, games, and riddles to testers that volunteered to be tested. I feel like I did fairly well on some of them and failed miserably on others. James uses these tests to teach testers to think. I thought I had learned some valuable lessons until I was presented with two riddles from children today. If only I could learn to think more like a child. :) I think that I sometimes let my search for hidden meanings keep me from seeing the obvious.
A riddle from my children:
You are blindfolded, placed at the start of a maze, and told to get to the other end. How do you navigate the maze?
You can feel your way through.
It can be easy to blindly feel our way through though a challenge -- one obstacle at a time. At times it can be good to isolate problems but problems taken out of their context can be misleading. We need to look at problems in the context of their environment. Sometimes we just need to stop and take off the blindfold and look around.
With this in mind, consider the following riddle passed on by a colleague's grandchild:
How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?
How do you put an elephant into the refrigerator?
The Lion King is hosting a party. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?
There is a river inhabited by crocodiles. How do you cross it?
Let's not forget to think.