Word Smatter: Exploring Semantics, Testers, and Problems
“Testers [do|don’t] (help) [prevent|detect] problems.” Throughout his career, Damian Synadinos has encountered many variations of this phrase, which uses just a few small words to express many big ideas. It is important to understand what each word means individually to better understand the ideas they convey collectively. The study of the meaning in words is semantics. Damian begins with a brief and broad overview of semantics and some related ideas, which set the stage for deep analysis of each individual word and its potential meaning. We consider: Testers—What might this word mean in different contexts? Do|Don’t—How are normative and descriptive statements involved? Help—How does the inclusion or exclusion of this word affect the meaning of the phrase? Prevent|Detect—What do causality and perspective have to do with the word we choose? Problems—What exactly is the thing that is being prevented or detected? Damian demystifies and promotes semantics, and introduces critical concepts that have practical impacts on testers, their roles, and their responsibilities.