Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Latest Chapter of Book Published - Being Creative

I have published the latest chapter of my book The Psychology of Software Testing entitled 'Being Creative'.  This has been one of the most enjoyable chapters I have worked on and one that I am very proud of.  The following is a short extract from this chapter.


What is Creativity

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while."
 Steve Jobs - Wired Magazine

Many have a misconception of what being creative means.  Take a moment to note down some words that you feel describe creativity.

Did any of your words match the ones below?

Creativity can be all of these are more. It does not help that there are a variety of definitions of creativity for example:

"Creative thinking is the generation of new ideas.”


"Creativity is the ability to combine ideas, things, techniques or approaches in a new way." 

Doppelt gives a good reason why it is so difficult to define creativity:

"Creativity is one of the words in the English Language which means many things to many people.  At various times it may mean different things to the same person."Doppelt J E 2012. What is creativity?

There is no correct definition for being creative and that is wonderful in itself, since you have no barriers to being creative.

When we talk about creating ideas it does not necessarily mean creating or coming up with something new.  The idea  or concept you came up with is new it may not be game changing or revolutionary.  The majority of ideas come from existing ideas or a combination of different ideas to create a new idea.

Software testing involves large amounts of creative thinking and not just during the test planning phase.  When   testing software we use creative processes to discover, uncover and learn.  When testing we should utilize these natural creative processes to guide our direction and future opportunities to test.  The majority of testers do this without even being aware that this is happening.  If you are following a test script or a testing charter how often do you go off the beaten track because you thought of a new creative approach?

To put this in another way, how often do you find ways to test the software that is both novel and unique?  Capturing this creative process is useful since you then have a record of your thinking at that time, which can help to produce even more ideas.  The creative process is iterative and by creating new ideas you end up utilizing these ideas to create even more ideas.


This chapter also includes some extras
  • Creativity Cue Cards
  • Software Testing SCAMPER poster
  • Software Quality Characteristics Poster
  • A JavaScript ideas generator
I will be presenting some of this material at the London Tester Gathering Workshops:

Creative and Critical Thinking and Testing Workshop
Thursday 16th and Friday 17th October 2014

The Skills Matter eXchange
116-120 Goswell Road,
EC1V 7DP, 

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