October 5, 2007

Are you smarter than a 3rd grader?

Posted by Ben Simo

"I guess you could say I like to figure out how stuff works, I just like new adventures."
- Carson Page, 8 year old junior beta tester
Carson Page, 8, junior beta tester.
Rodolfo Gonzalez

Good testers can be hard to find. It looks like Actel Corp has found a good one. He is young. He is smart. He has excellent growth potential. And he works cheap -- for now.

Check out these stories:
I suspect that this kid does not know many testing buzzwords. I suspect he doesn't know much about testing tools and processes. However, Carson knows how to ask "why?" and communicate with engineers.
"We would ask what he liked and didn't like about it and he could explain it on a very high-end level."
- Mark Nagel, Actel Corp, Field Applications Engineer

A tester that can think, ask questions, and communicate can go far.



October 05, 2007  
Anonymous wrote:

I always knew my two sons could come in handy one day.

October 05, 2007  
Pradeep Soundararajan wrote:

That's awesome. As today's testers dont question enough some smart brains have resorted to children - who ask a lot of questions.

So for those testers who do not question..."Question else your son or daughter gets the job"

@ Rosie,

Yes-pecially the fork swaloween :)

October 05, 2007  
Anonymous wrote:

Great! Kids always have curiosity to know about the things that they see or hear.

Lesson that I learn: Encourage them when they ask questions and let them get aware of the things even though if it is beyond their level.
If given a chance they can do better and give amazing results.Carson is an example..

It also says how important for a Tester to *question* himself to find more Bugs and that is why Carson has found so many bugs.

I always remember this saying which helps me to find more bugs(to ask more doubts as well)I hear from Pradeep:

"Question everything that you can see,can't see,that you can hear,can't hear".

Nice post.Thanks for sharing such an awesome story.

Bhargavi M

October 06, 2007  
Anonymous wrote:

Hi Ben,

Thanks for bringing up such an important issue. This is no wonder how Carson is able to to catch so many important bugs inspite of the fact that he is just a kid of 3rd grade! But to me it appears that he has one of the most important skills of a good tester. He knows how and when to ask "why"! Any good tester should learn to ask why. Because, this is one such question, capable of unearthing a whole lot of information. You might have noticed kids (forget about Carson for a moment, I am talking about any average kid) using this question (why) to explore about new things (I keep wondering, why as grown ups do we stop asking why?). By asking why we show our curiosity to develop further knowledge of the world, and that is exactly what Philosophy is! And Testing is applied Philosophy, isn't it? Wake up dear Testers before it's too late! Learn to ask questions.

Ben you reminded me of a post that I had written around 7 months back on a similar topic. Hope you would like it: Wanna become a Better Tester? Learn to ask why!

Software Testing Zone

October 06, 2007  
Ben Simo wrote:

Don't miss the video link on the Statesman article.

Some kids play with Legos. This one plays with electronics and software.