Good testers copy, great testers steal

Confession time: I’m a thief. I’ll steal anything valuable from anywhere I can find it. My job, my colleagues, even strangers. I’m an expert at hiding my loot, smuggling it from one place to the next. I’m also not going to stop. All I ask is that you hear me out before turning me in…

If you’ve made it this far then don’t panic! I am, of course, talking about ideas. I’ve stolen so many good ideas from so many places it’s hard for me to remember where they come from. And, in a way, doesn’t that make them my ideas at this point?

It would be pointless for me to try and list everywhere I steal things from, but a shortlist includes:

Stack Overflow, blogs, accessible material from other projects (like open source test documents), conversation with more experienced colleagues, conversation with less experience colleagues, news stories, books, twitter, YouTube, reddit, historical events, meetups, GitHub…

My point is that if I see something useful I’ll steal it for myself. I have no shame and neither should you. How obvious my theft is depends entirely on context.

Is this a bad thing? Heck no! There are no original ideas left in the world at this point. People don’t come up with things by divine inspiration anyway. Everything is a copy of a copy, a lesson from a lesson, knowledge from knowledge.


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