Why it is good to be a 3yr old at work

Why? it is a question three year olds' love, and as a Tester and Consultant it is one I love as well, and I don't believe it is a question that is asked often enough.

I believe a good QA/Test Analyst/Test Engineer or whatever title you want to bestow, should be like a 3 year old at work. Now I don't mean this in the throw a tantrum to get your own way type three year old, I am talking about that seemingly annoying phase children go through where anything you say to them is followed by:


When a child asks this simple question they have no malicious intent, they are simply curious, and trying to learn. So why is it when we become adults we tend to stop asking the question for an assumed knowledge. As professionals we are meant to have a critical eye, and as QA professionals we are expected to have an even more critical eye. But if we don't ask the simple question about everything, are we really being critical? 

At a recent summit I attended on DevOps a panel discussion was presented with the question of "What is the biggest or most common factor you encounter that blocks or derails the implementation of DevOps?" What struck me about the answer was not technology or training, but was in fact process or business rules. One of the panelists said we need to find a work around to not bypass the process but change it. What really resonated with me was the fact that they hinted that realistically we should be asking why is a 'rule' or policy in place.

Using the mindset of the 3 yr old, we should constantly be challenging Why to everything in our daily lives.

  • Why do we do it that way? 
  • Why do we have that policy
  • Why do we want that?
  • Why do we think our clients want that?
  • Why do we like that?
  • Why can't I do this?

If we are constantly asking why, and the answers are: "it just is"; "that is how it has always been done"; "just because" or similar then it is definitely time to start throwing that tantrum and challenge things. If the only reason something is done, is because it is historical, then chances are it is not the most efficient, or beneficial.

The best way to achieve this is not by throwing an actual tantrum, but getting sponsor buy-in to do a proof of concept, with an exemption clause to bypass the aforementioned standard policies, this might be as simple as getting a dedicated help desk resource assigned to the team who has the authority to perform  tasks that are outside the box.


So I challenge you to go back to your childhood when you are at work today, and start to ask Why?

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest



  • No comments found