The Unique Relationship Between Yoga and Testing
When you’re testing software, yoga is probably the last thing on your mind. Especially since you’re often staying just about as stationary as possible—looking to squash bugs and polish your application before users get their hands on it.
However, according to Dawn Haynes, CEO, testing coach, and consultant for PerfTestPlus, relating the mindset and principles of yoga to your everyday testing can allow you to assure greater quality and adapt to new situations as they arise.
Speaking in an interview at the 2017 STARWEST Conference, Haynes explained how the mountain pose—which is where you simply stand up, put your hands down, move your head up, and breathe—is something that can help you when you need to be sturdy with your testing.
“You try to be sturdy, you try to be grounded, you lock your knees, and you know, you feel strong and rooted. That's mountain pose,” Haynes said. “Sometimes, as testers, we need to be the mountains that can't be moved. Sometimes we need to stand up absolutely for what's right.”
That’s not the only pose that applies here, either. Especially in our agile world, your testing team needs to be able to change gears as the project goes along. In some cases, being sturdy and grounded is the right call. In others, you need to be ready to flip a switch.
“Sometimes we need to be the tree. The tree, if you've ever tried tree pose, there's a whole lot of falling going on, and not really ... You know, sometimes you have to lean up against something. Sometimes you need to flex with the project,” she continued. “If you're too rigid, if you're too quality-minded, right? If you have your bar, and it's in a different place than the project bar, then there's conflict. And sometimes, not acquiesce, but just understand that there's a different set of priorities. and quality isn't always the highest priority.”
Even just going beyond having a yoga mindset, Haynes argued that taking a few minutes out of your work day to do a few poses, center yourself, and discover what might be stressing you out or causing a mental block can make all the difference in the world.
You don’t need to be a yoga master to test to the best of your abilities, but if you add a few poses to your routine and understand how your mindset needs to adapt to different situations, you’ll set yourself up for smarter, more complete testing.