How many times have you driven all the way home, only to realize you didn’t remember anything from the drive. Your mind was in a different place, and you were driving on autopilot. Or maybe you walk out to your garage and get in your car every day and are so used to the surroundings that you don’t notice that something has been taken or moved to a new location. When our eyes are so familiar with the things we see every day, our brains are tricked into believing that there is nothing that has changed.
In the popular TV show, “Brain Games”, we find many exercises where you, the audience, are asked to pay attention and focus on what is happening. That simple focused attention gets the majority of people in trouble, because the art of focusing on a specific area or activity prohibits the audience from seeing things that are going on around them. This “inattentional blindness” causes key details to be missed. Your brain is the most complex tool that you will ever have in your possession. However, with a highly complex tool comes the need to ensure that it is used appropriately and to its full potential.
In the testing profession, such focused concentration, leading to “inattentional blindness” can be detrimental to the success of the product being delivered. As testers, we must find a way to constantly challenge our visual images and prohibit our brain from accepting that there are no changes which could impact the quality of the product. It is critical to be aware of the entire surroundings of the testing activity and to be able to recognize and call out changes that may be easily overlooked without an attention to detail.
In this session, Mike Lyles will challenge the audience to literally “think outside the box”. The audience will be given specific exercises to show how that the human mind sometimes overlooks details when they seem visually insignificant or unrelated. We will examine how testers can become better prepared for such oversights and discuss strategies that can be used immediately in your organizations. The key to eliminating the risk of oversight and missed problems is learning how to identify the areas where you may have originally ignored a focused effort.