Embracing Uncertainty in Software Development

Uncertainty is a normal condition in software development. Managers and teams often have to act and make decisions without having all the answers—even without understanding all the questions. But the only way many people know how to deal with uncertainty is to pretend it doesn’t exist, or that it can be wished away by setting arbitrary deadlines and fixed scope.

Good testers know that uncertainty is inescapable in software development (as in life), and it is better to embrace it in our work, and grapple with the issues it poses, than to run away from it or ignore it. It’s our job to expose uncertainty, and to help reduce it when possible.

Fear of uncertainty is natural and human, and testers are not immune to human feelings. We too can fall into denying risks and grasping at too-easy answers.

In this interactive deep-dive, we’ll do group exercises and debriefs to tackle the questions:

  • How can we grow our own tolerance for uncertainty and learn to embrace it?
  • How can we and our teammates make good decisions and work productively in conditions of uncertainty?