I have been trained
- to be sceptical
- to question
- to think analytically
- to think logically
- to be curious
- to try to understand how things work rather than accepting stated facts
- to explore
My research consisted of searching for a signal in a data set made up mainly of background noise. Feel free to read my thesis. In order to do my research I had to write my own software. Since the results of using my software to process the data were going into my thesis I had to test that the software was behaving as I expected it to in an attempt (futile maybe) to minimize the risk of making a complete fool of myself.
I claim that testing in a wider meaning of the word comes naturally to experimental physicists, even when talking about software testing. The life of any experimental physicist consists of
- data acqusition
- data analysis, more often than not using some homemade software
- publishing results from data analysis
Hence physicists - and all other scientists with integrity - test their software tools meticulously to make sure they understand how they work and that they work as expected. It is not a strict, structured testing that ISTQB would approve of, but the physicists have their hearts in the right place. They want things to work and be reliable, and is that not really just what we all want?