The “Captain Jack Sparrow” Tester

There’s a scene in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, where the crew is trying to get the ship over to the other world, which can only happen at a certain time, and under certain conditions.

Captain Jack figures out how to decipher the riddle, which indicates the ship has to be upside down in the ocean at that time, for the trick to work.

Time was of the essence (as you’ll see in the scene), and rather than explain what needed to be done, he used his influence to get the crew to contribute to the required condition.

Once he started running to the sides of the ship, everybody else did too, until the desired effect was achieved.

Then, after people started noticing what was going on, everybody was in step on getting the ship flipped over.

Well. Except for the two guys who tied themselves to the mast.


I like to use metaphors when describing stuff. Testing is hard, and sometimes hard to explain technically.

Occasionally as a tester, you may have opportunities to indirectly steer a team or a department.

There may be a goal in mind which can’t really be explained, but people may try something different without realizing your primary reason why they’re doing it.

I’m not advocating manipulating people. Just saying that people can be naturally curious, and the motion of becoming curious can have interesting effects.

Intriguing. Where can this concept apply to your job as a tester?

–Fritz

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