At least one, probably no more than six


I really enjoy the moments when I occupy myself with something far, far away from testing and it suddenly makes complete sense and shines light upon a topic that I know from work. Obviously I’m the connecting factor in the equation, but it amuses me nonetheless to read about screwdrivers as a description of the advantages you gain with testing, to follow a bagel recipe and draw analogies to performance testing or to enjoy Borges and find the importance of context shown as its finest.

These days, I’m reading a somewhat recent fantasy novel, Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, and am stumbling upon a scene that depicts the protagonist in his admittance interview for The University¹. He’s being presented with a long line of questions from the different masters, and amongst them I find this passage:

“I felt Master Elodin look at me. […] He lifted a hand, his index finger pointing upwards. ‘How many fingers am I holding up?’
I paused for a moment, which was more consideration than the question seemed to warrant. ‘At least one,’ I said. ‘Probably no more than six.’
He broke into a broad smile and brought his other hand up from underneath the table, it had two fingers upright.” (p. 233f.)

I think he got himself out of there using some safety language, no?

* Michael Bolton: Critical Thinking for Testers, workshop review by Eric Jacobson
* Michael Bolton: The Rapid Software TestingGuide to What You might have Meant to Say
* Harnessed Tester: Safety Language & Ducks.

¹ Of course, in a fantasy novel, it will be “The University”. In Capitals. Unseen or not.
Picture: michael davis-burchat: knockhead (CC)


About Karo Stoltzenburg

Software Tester in Cambridge. Views are my own.
This entry was posted in I've read a thing (or two) and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to At least one, probably no more than six

  1. Si Grim says:

    An enjoyable book! I’m wondering how long we’ll have to wait for him to finish the third one of the trilogy.
    On a testing note, I was playing Portal 2 the other day, and the announcer said, “And remember: Testing is the future, and the future starts with you.”

    Liked by 1 person

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