The Trip Tester vs the Travel Tester


I have consistently noticed that people that take trips expect everything to be the same as their home town. They don’t like unexpected events or surprises.

They go on trips out of obligation, not to meet new people or new ways of life. Perhaps it’s the current sales pitch or training they will offer to some company, or perhaps it is the business trip they are making to the next neighboring city, but the common theme for such people is that they expect a trip to be a relatively low-impact, quick thing where the goal is perhaps to get to the new location, close the deal or do the job, and then get back home as quickly as possible without delving too much into the new place.

As such, someone that takes trips does not grow as a person.

Here is an example. London’s streets are known for being particularly tricky to navigate, and can get “circular” if you don’t know the streets or are not paying attention. By “circular,” I mean that you can end up in exactly the same street whence you started.

I remember a friend getting very angry simply because they got lost in their trip to London. My friend told me that they had a particular restaurant in mind that he wanted to dine in, and walked and walked, but always ended up at the same original street, so they decided to end their day by going back to the hotel angry with an empty stomach (hangry, some people would say because hungry + angry…).

After asking him several questions, I recalled those streets, and I asked him if he had seen a place called Tayyab’s. He confirmed he had seen the place several times while being lost, but since it was not the place he had in mind, he ignored it.

This was a real shame because Tayyab’s has one of the best Punjabi cuisines that I know of, and is truly a gem in London. Because of his tripster mentality, he missed out on this great restaurant that might have been perhaps better than the one he was looking for.




On the other hand, people who travel are exactly the opposite. They enjoy meeting new people and experiencing different ways of life. They enjoy learning about their destinations beforehand and discovering new things when they arrive.

To travelers, unexpected events are sweet morsels that they cherish forever and mark their travels as treasures. Most importantly, people who travel do not expect things to be the same as in their hometowns. In fact, they are delighted when they encounter new ways of thinking, whatever those may be, and accept (if not adapt to) them.

Travelers explore and learn constantly, be it about things they thought they already knew, as well as about completely new things.

Travelers grow as they journey, and they know they might perhaps never stop learning. This, in turn, helps them mature.



How does this relate to testing?

There is a classic testing technique called equivalence class partitioning that is taught in Software Engineering and/or Computer Science courses by almost any respectable university. The technique is by now a classic entry-level approach to being smart about reducing the testing space and is included in many good books on software testing.

Anyone worth their salt knows that such a technique is one of many in a toolbox of techniques, and it is not an end-all big-hammer-approach that must be used all the time. As in any profession, professionals know when a tool is adequate for the job and, if it is not, they know how to modify it to make it adequate if there is no other tool available. In other words, professionals travel around in their field, learning new ways of thinking and new techniques.

It also goes without saying that Wikipedia is no substitute for such books, courses or academic papers. In fact, anyone knows that whoever quotes Wikipedia as the ultimate source of knowledge (or complains about Wikipedia not being correct) is an idiot and has no brain.

Alas, I present to you the most idiotic blog post where the author (a high-school dropout) whines about the fact that Wikipedia’s version of equivalence class partitioning does not match his own version, while at the same time assuring us that he, a genius, will present unto our undeserving civilization the Blessing of a new version of the Truth “in the next blog post.”

Don’t let this happen to you. Be a traveler in your profession, not a tripster.

If you’re craving a good laugh, however, I suggest you read the blog post and learn how closed-minded a tripster can be.