Repeated ‘so whats’

For causal analysis and resolution, there’s the 5 Whys wherein we ask Why repeatedly to arrive at a root cause. In a similar vein, asking So what repeatedly can help “extract all important information implied by a fact.” This technique is called Appreciation and its function is to extract maximum info from facts.

An example presented in the MindTools web site:

Given the fact:  It rained heavily last night.

So what?
The ground will be wet.

So what?
It will turn into mud quickly.

So what?
If many troops and vehicles pass over the same ground, movement will be progressively slower and more difficult as the ground gets muddier and more difficult.

So what?
Where possible, stick to paved roads. Otherwise, expect movement to be much slower than normal.

Although one can deduce the conclusion without the use of a formal technique, “appreciation provides a framework within which you can extract information quickly, effectively and reliably.”

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Wason’s four card task

One of the necessary traits in being a tester is being a critical thinker. This skill, when applied in testing, can surely help us in identifying the parts of the program that are potentially more buggy than the rest. It can also help us in tracing the causes behind the bugs we encounter. Now here’s a simple exercise on critical thinking:

Given four cards (roughly depicted below) — each having a letter on one side, and a number on the other, but you can only see one side of the card at a time… Which cards need to be turned over to verify or negate the claim that “If a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an even number on the other side.”

A D 4 7

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