Tunnel Vision while fixing test

In last week two situation happened that remind me about tunnel vision.
So let’s discuss that.

What is Tunnel Vision?

Definition „constriction of the visual field resulting in loss of peripheral vision” it also used to describe a situation when we concentrate so narrowly on a problem or our solution that we don’t see other option.

So what happened?

I have implemented some tests to check the new feature. We already knew that the next future will also add some functionality affecting my test, so I have built it open for extension.

When the other feature was ready he took over, and turned out the changes are much more significant than expected and basically, he had spent 1 day changing my code to work with the new version.
I was confused when he told me about that. We had read requirements for the other story, and I’had checked mockups nothing likes that should happen. I admit at the beginning I was little pissed of that there are such significant changes in the middle of a sprint.
But then it hit me.

I had a theory that I had to check. So I went to see myself what going on.
Since he was in a hurry and under pressure to finish, he didn’t understand that what he was fixing wasn’t the broken test (name drop! hey! I think it is the first time for me! ). The test was fine. What he was seeing was a bug in the application. Instead of human-readable values, the interface was displaying data straight from the database.

So what happened here?

  • Few things, Our test are still young, and they haven’t proven their worth to us yet. (That is a separate problem About which I will write other time).
  • I’ve failed a little at knowledge sharing, He didn’t know enough about my code.
  • And most importantly pressure of time has happened.

All of this lead that he has fixated of fixing the test to see it green instead of thinking why it was broken.

What you can do to avoid it?

  • Rubber duck debugging is good for that, when you talk and explain the problem to someone, it leads us to see it in a new light.
  • It talking to toy won’t work you can do what he did. Talk with someone else. Here was my failure; I should realise sooner something is not right
  • Take a break maybe if you have some other tasks to finish take care of it. (only if it is a short one). Go for coffee, go for a walk. Stop thinking about it for 15 minutes.

Remember failing is part of the experience so when it happens to you and you finally recognize it. Try to learn from it. Do a little retrospective. Why it happened and what you can do differently.

That all for today!

If you interested in more inspirations check here.
And what about you did you had tunnel vision in your work?

This weekend is Test:Fest – so my next post will be a relation from the event. I will be doing lean coffee there. If you want to check relation from last year click here.

Dodaj komentarz