Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Freakonomics is a book by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner.

It has nothing to do with testing.

However, it’s a great read (very easy to pick up, read a chapter, get on with your life, pick up, read another chapter, and so on).

Plus, it makes you think! I love this, I love that feeling you get in your head when your pre-existing ideas and concepts are intellectually challenged and suddenly you can see in your mind all these doors opening that each leading to new ideas and new challenging concepts.

Via real world examples, it illustrates the difference between causation versus correlation.

This does have an impact on testing, albeit subtle and indirect.

When I root cause analyze a bug I’ve found, I need to be able to differentiate between what actually caused the bug and what just happens to exist alongside the bug.

Quick example: Drowning and ice cream sales are positively correlated. An increase in ice cream sales does not cause an increase in the number of people who drown.

I believe that critical thinking skills are essential if you are to become a really good tester – this book helps to develop those skills. And it’s actually pleasant to read!

1 comment:

  1. Good podcast, too.

    Some very interesting, thought-provoking, and sometimes funny, stuff.