NOV. 8 – 13, 2020


What Discworld tells us about Software Testing

There´s a lot of learning for software development in the Discworld novels

British author Sir Terry Pratchett has set ~40 of his novels in his most famous creation: Discworld, which is a flat disc on the back of four elephants, who are again standing on the armature of a giant turtle "Great A'Tuin" which is travelling through space. Discworld´s inhabitants are -amongst others- barely competent wizards, wise witches performing the magic art of headology, Death and his horse Binky and many others. Pratchett´s work could be described as fantasy meets fairytale, folklore, quantum physics and philosophy, but they also tell us a lot about psychology, about how humans behave and interact in different contexts, very much depending on roles and the expectations people have depending on different factors.

All this relates very much to software testing and software development in general. In this talk, some observations and behavioural patterns which Pratchett shows in his novels will be presented and discussed, with quotes and abstracts being contextualized to audience members, regardless of their knowledge of Discworld. For each example it will be presented how this relates to software testing in particular or software development in general, what issues are being caused by the matter, and how those could be overcome.

The audience will learn, why people in software development (projects) behave the way they behave, and understand the underlying psychological principles and get some tips and advices to overcome this at their daily work, this mainly via collaboration as well as using agile methods and tools.

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