The Developer Mind and QA

Why is it that a software developer can hardly walk past a puzzle without stopping to try to solve it? Not only that, but they will be slightly angry if you interfere and offer them a suggestion as to the solution.

Compare this type of problem solving genius to what happens when a new bug report comes in for the software they work on. Inform that same developer that there is a defect somewhere in the ordering system, and they will require detailed step by step instructions on how to reproduce it. And after one minute of trying to reproduce it, they will quickly say that it “works on my machine” and call it good.

People hate to waste time on unsolvable problems. Developers don’t always trust people to give them a problem that is solvable. Think of how soul crushing it would be to give that developer a tavern puzzle that did not have a solution. It would be such a cruel trick (please don’t do this, no matter how sorely you are tempted).

On the other hand, when a developer knows the problem has a solution, they will accept the challenge and put all their focus and brain power into the problem until they get it. It’s like a switch that is flipped once we know we’re not on a wild goose chase.

Hmmm, not sure if there is a solution to anything in here…