maandag 22 september 2014

Sad but True...

As some of you might know, the past year I haven't been very active in blogging. First it was because I had a new job, then it was because I didn't feel like it (having more free time, causes to slack a bit :-) ) and after that, I felt to bullied, vulnerable and 'attacked' to blog anything. (I think 'Gotesen' with her blog wrote it down very well:  ).

Lately there's much fuss about the ISO29119 standard. I've followed the different 'discussions', seen the rise of a petition, seen blogs being written etc. etc.  
I've observed and my sadness has grown and grown. I'm deeply saddened that a group within the tester's community is perceived and treated as lesser lifeform by people who think they have a right to do this.  I'm saddened that although I have a right to learn, explore and experience things myself, I'm bullied into a certain thoughtprocess, fellow testers who deprive me of a learning process of my own, only by their own false pretence of 'knowing what's good for me'. 
I was astonished of one of the replies on a reply I wrote 'I don't follow the same process as you' .. I wasn't even aware I HAD a process, but apparently that stamp has been pressed on me. 

I'm astonished by some blogpost, which, judging on the content, are based on non-information or not (entirely) correct facts . I'm even more astonished on the amount of people who, again judging on the replies, are without questioning the content believing what's in there. It scares the s**t out of me, that it's believed that easily, sometimes it seems that only because a certain person says something ' it must be true'. 

I once saw a reference to a quote on the Wikipedia... it was on wikipedia so it must have been true.. only to find out this person had added the wiki-article himself.  
I've seen perfectly good replies, seen 'beaten to death'  by replies that shout 'it doesn't matter what you say, it's wrong anyway' -non-arguments.
Arguments are made that are of the 'pot calling the kettle black'  persuasion. 
Arguments are made, it seems, because of the sake of it, not because they have any constructive value in the discussion. 
People with the loudest shout or that have the gift of easy writing are sabling down what people with small voices or that have difficulty writing are saying, not on the arguments themselves, but on the way they are using words. 
It's not about the meaning but about the correctness of use of words, there just doesn't seem any tolerance anymore for hearing messages, just because a comma or certain word was used wrongly, but only when it's not a message of ones own, because then you are supposed to 'get the overall message'.

Yes, I'm one of the 'ISO people', but I'm also a tester, thinker, questioner, learner, explorer and most of all... I'm a human being... sad but true.

4 opmerkingen:

Michael Bolton zei


If you have comments about specifics, bring specifics.

For example...

"I'm deeply saddened that a group within the tester's community is perceived and treated as lesser lifeform by people who think they have a right to do this." To do what, specifically?

When I read your sentence, I feel the same way. I'm saddened that one group of people believes that it has the right to use the prestige and the process model of the ISO to declare something a standard when it is manifestly not a standard. I think it's sad that people who participated in the ISO 29119 working groups dismiss the reasoned objections of a larger group of people as unworthy of an answer, as Anne Mette did on my blog. I think it's sad when people (even people of good will) are unwilling to take responsibility for the foreseeable outcomes and consequences of their actions.

And yes, Nathalie, you do have a process. Everyone has a process. Process is simply what happens. I urge you to join us in attempting to think consciously and deeply about our processes and the factors that influence them for better or worse.

"I'm astonished by some blogpost, which, judging on the content, are based on non-information or not (entirely) correct facts." I would be upset about that too. If you see something like that, please help us by calling it out specifically. If you see something like that in my work, I would like to ask you the favour of letting me know about it.

Like you, I'm sad. That's what the beginning of this post is about.

Nathalie zei

Hello Michael,

Thank you for your reply.

You ask in your first paragraph ‘to do what?’, it’s referring to treating and perceiving people as lesser lifeform. I can’t –of course- speak for others when being specific, but me personally have been called a spiteful ### in one and a drunken bitch in another occasion, when the discussion clearly was not about alcohol. I’ve been called dumb, backward, stupid and implicitly also insensible, oblivious and shallow, and unreasonable (as opposed to ‘ when you get to your senses..’, ‘ attempt to think consciously and deeply’ and ‘ when you become reasonable’ ). And of course people have that right to do that, but it saddens me that these persons exercise this right (freedom of speech and having an opinion that is) – particularly on me, but I guess a large group of people with me, feel the same.

As you might have noticed, no matter what 'camp' a person is in (and yes; I know I'm for this particular instance generalizing), the text can be read in that context. Like you state; you feel saddened too, but you – as I read it- are saddened because people declare a standard where you clearly state that this is manifestly not the case. I'm not stating that this is because of being pro or against a standard, it's because the way people are treating each other in the discussion about it (or handling the discussion themselves). That includes cutting of – disrespectfully- a response beforehand by saying ‘ I have better things to do’ , that would piss me off too, especially when I have given my equally valued time or thought into things.

Of course I know I have a process, but in this particular case, the reference was used as having A process (as in: one rigid one, emphasis on A, not on process). As far as I know I adjust my process as is needed in the situation whether it is at that particular moment or for a prolonged amount of time, but I’m also admitting that my process is affected by, I guess it could be explained as the familiarity heuristic.

You invite me to join you in attempting to think consciously and deeply about your processes. Who says I’m not already doing that; is it because I refuse to sign a petition or because I was part of an ISO mirrorgroup (and does this latter by default causes people to be labeled as people who don’t think consciously and deeply about other processes but the ‘standard’ ones?) Who says I haven’t given this much thought and that I didn’t contemplate over this. Having another opinion – for me- doesn’t mean a person is (per se) stupid or hasn’t given something thought (and I’m not stating/claiming/ saying that you do either!!!)

Again thank you for your time to reply to my blog, it’s much appreciated. And if I find facts or information, that I can back with proper evidence etc. I will have the decency to point them out to you or if I think it’s wrong/ disputable I will just ask questions.

Kind regards,


Fergus McLachlan zei

Hi Nathalie,

I very much empathise with what you are saying.

There has been too much ‘name calling’, questioning of others’ motives, and pejorative language in the ISO29119 debate. There is a debate to be had, but it needs to take place from a position of mutual respect and with the desire to try to understand each others point of view.

Jennifer Hofmeister zei

Hey Nathalie,

I found your blog via as I'm trying to get a picture of what this whole discussion is all about. Thank you for being one of very few voices who just bring a different opinion out into the net!

And really, the net seems to be full of very loud voices shouting things like "Using a standard makes you a brainless sheep! You should think for yourselves!" ... which is obviously a contradiction in itself. I am new to the discussion, and it seems like it is often a matter of bruised egos (such as on James Bach's blog

I don't see why a standard's usefulness for one's organization should not be considered. Actually, why not even buy it, assess it, and find it useless? Or find it tells you things you are already practising anyway? So what? You would have made up your own mind about it.

I don't think it's necessary to become cynical or angry. I think as in many situations in life, it's just best to look for yourself and listen to your very own responses. No need to start a war over a difference in opinion. And for me, too, the most prominent impression that blog wars like the one you describe leave behind, is sadness. It's sad to see a discussion go down like that, when it was actually just about something that may or may not impact people's profession.

So, thanks for saying this. It's important to have voices like this speaking out among all the noise.