Why I read, write but do not follow (directly)
While blogging and answering comments about writing test cases and test plans I realized that there are two reasons why I write anything: plans, procedures, methodology, even blogs or whatever: 1) to have the artifact for a review 2) to organize my own thinking about it. This blog is about the second.
Yes, I do blog not only because I want to share my knowledge/experience, but in order to better understand that experience myself and learn myself how to apply it in different situations. I read articles and blogs to feed my brains with more ideas to analyze. Comparing with your experience I could better understand my own. But I almost never apply directly anything I read or hear at conferences. Let me explain that in more details below:
The mystic explanation
Iâ€™ve blogged once about lessons learned from my childhood I did not wrote however that Iâ€™ve been writing poems and HOW I did that. When I was about 16 I was treated in the school as a math genius but Iâ€™ve got all the love and existentialism problems in my hart. So I started writing poems. I donâ€™t know how to explain this in sort but I never know what will be the next phrase or even the next word I will write. I simply let my brain to come up with any sequence of words on wrote them down. When I was done I red what I wrote and was sometimes even surprised. If I would be a religious I would probably even think of higher power telling me what to write.
Did I mentioned I was math genius? I was the best in Latvia in my age at solving mathematic problems on Olympiads. My preference was combinatoric problems and I was too bad at geometry. I was just too much logical I believed. Iâ€™m teaching those high-school genius who solve the combinatorics problems today. You know what? I has no idea how to tell them how to use the logic to solve the problems. The only way I found is to do practice. A lot of practice. And try to show them common patterns in solving the problems. Thatâ€™s not logic that helps to find patterns, come up with new ideas to check. The logic is required a lot to apply the pattern and the idea, but you canâ€™t apply all the patterns in the world. The key is the ability to select the right pattern or idea.
Conclusion: what I believe in for years already is the power of brains â€“ the power of subconscience thinking that goes beyond our logical understanding. I know that this is hard to employ on a purpose the subconscience thinking â€“ this takes a lot of training and it requires you not to be afraid to open the channel between you logic, conscience part of the brain and the another one.
The â€œscientificâ€ explanation
Have you seen this exercise demonstrating Right Brain - Left Brain conflict. Left brain is used for numbers, writing and reading . Scripted testing or even free testing that requires to write-down each step you perform or at lest use realistic test data (type in real customer names, phones, etc) engage left-brain. The exercise above demonstrates that there is a conflict when we try to use both brains for the same task, thus blocking your insight and imagination. Or even worse according to this you will fail to be creative problem-solving and time-saving.
Two different channels: choose carefully
I prefer writing. This has nothing to do with waterfall VS agile. This is only a skills/preferences question: even this choice should be context-driven :).
I agree that this is not the high-bandwidth communication e.g. compared to face-to-face conversation. I know that voice conversation could serve the same way as writing to establish a channel between left and right brain. Thatâ€™s what the extroverts to quite well. I would even dare to say that right-brained extroverts end up as leaders or even despots, because they are able to deliver their feelings through the high-bandwidth communication channels, obsessing everyone around.
Iâ€™m introvert. I believe introverts better at opening channel and using whole brains thinking (using language â€“ which is even higher bandwidth as you donâ€™t need to tell yourself what you know already) or writing.
When the practice is a knowledge transfer from a master to a servant, I also use the high-bandwidth communication (e.g. conversation), e.g. when students attend my lectures (although they could as well learn from books). What Iâ€™ve learned as a student that if I concentrate to listening and donâ€™t waste my brains keeping notes I could learn enough to pass the exams. So I donâ€™t need to do any extra reading. Now as I give lectures myself I find it hard to provide useful lesson notes (presentation or something) because of their low bandwidth.