February 26, 2013

Software testing is like peering into a blackhole

Sometimes software testing, particularly looking for bugs, feels as if you’re looking into a blackhole from the outside and trying to spot a dot of light. Johnny told us all about this recently, where he described feelings of looking for tiny needles in huge haystacks but that was specifically about requirements.

Still, it doesn’t matter, looking for and identifying a bug does truly feel like you’re on the precipice of a blackhole looking in sometimes. Of course this could be coincidence, or it could be more evidence of┬áthe Heisenbug.

What is a Heisenbug? It’s a whimsical computer programming jargon term for a software bug that seems to disappear or ‘alter its behavior when one attempts to study it’, named so after legendary physicist Werner Heisenberg.

If you can identify with this feeling, share the cartoon with your tester friends and commiserate in the knowledge that you’re not alone!



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