Testing: Article info : Do You Want Fries With That Test?: "Do You Want Fries With That Test?
By Michael Bolton
May 1, 2005
Summary: Connect with an expert to learn how to work smarter and learn new ways to uncover more defects. In this issue, Michael Bolton dishes out commentary on why testers who master skills instead of memorizing techniques are relished in the software industry.
In my early 20s, I decided that if I were to be a well-rounded young man (and appeal to young women), a good start would be for me to learn to cook. Like most young men, I didn't want to spend a lot of time and effort every time I walked into the kitchen, but I still wanted to impress. Above all, I wanted to learn skills so I could deal with whatever the situation required: people with different tastes and special dietary needs, the bachelor’s meager refrigerator, and the unexplored territory of someone else’s kitchen. One of my standard approaches to learning is to head for the bookstore and browse. I spotted a copy of The 60-Minute Gourmet, by Pierre Franey. Perfect, I thought.
In the introduction, M. Franey described his philosophy of cooking. He stressed speed and simplicity, which surprised me. I had assumed that all French cooking was elaborate and complex, but true to its title, each recipe required an hour or less to prepare. He also recommended some tools, emphasizing important characteristics and qualities—a heavy saucepan and a balanced, substantial chef’s knife. He included a modest list of basic foodstuffs and seasonings to keep on hand. He recommended gathering the tools and measuring out the ingredients before turning on the heat, and he advised continuously tasting the work in progress.
Each recipe was the centerpiece of a meal; each included an accompanying side dish that was sim"