It’s Tick Season

Tick, public domain photo from the CDC

Tick, public domain photo from the CDC

I hate these things.  Its tick season, and I’ve been doing a lot of hiking with the dogs, which means that I’ve brought a few ticks home with me.  Getting a tick bite is a pain, and removing a tick does take some skill.  However, its better to avoid the bites because you can become infected with lyme disease.

So, I’ve taken to dropping my outer clothes on the porch (not visible to the neighbors), and doing an inspection when I get home.  I’ll shake out the clothes then go inside.  I also work on preventing ticks in the first place.  When the trail offers a choice between one with tall grass vs one without, I’ll take the route without the grass. (I tried to work a road lesser traveled reference, but the words didn’t come to me).  Recently, I found out about Permethrin, an insect repellant/insecticide that I can treat my clothing and it will keep the ticks off of me.

Now, I have multiple layers of protection. First layer is preventing the bugs in the first place, next is inspection to find the bugs before they bite, and finally, skills, methods and equipment to remove the bugs if they do bite.

Why am I writing about ticks?  Recently, I was sharing my point of view on Quality Engineering Leadership – and articulated this exact mindset:

  • Find & fix the bugs (hopefully before the customers find them)
  • Even better, Find and fix the bugs earlier in the development cycle
  • Best, prevent the bugs from happening in the first place.

As testers, we are pretty adept at finding bugs on completed software. Great question to ask ourselves, what can we do to find them earlier in the cycle (before they bite), and even better question, how can we prevent bugs.

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