This is part 7 of a 13 part series.
Software testing in itself is a vast field of study. The primary rationale behind these practices is to treat software as a black box with a predefined set of functionalities, provide a fixed set of inputs and gauge its success based on the accuracy of the produced output. The confirmation of compliance to originally requested, designed and developed ideas is considered as passing the test. The test involves a huge set of test cases targeting all possible outcomes and hence focusing on multiple input data set simulations.
Often the efficiency of a test procedure is measured by its relevance to the final usage of the product in question. A mere irrelevant rigorous test is of no use to anyone. To enhance the potency of every product component, developers are encouraged to test every component individually, then as part of modules and finally present them for an overall test. If perfection is attempted to be achieved as a part of development then testing is meant to verify it. The bond between testing and development is the one that defines the success of any product. It is a rare case of sharing the same vision between two minds, but from almost opposing perspectives. A great degree of coherence and integrity is needed to make this bond successful. It is a test of how deeply can two humans connect and communicate for a greater cause.
The relation between education and industry is very similar to the one between development and testing teams. The problem arises when both parties take other for granted and are more than happy to blame the failure on the other. The key to symbiosis relies on each system maintaining individual moral codes and not relying on the other to make up for complacence and internal shortcomings.
The work ethic developed during the education life is the backbone for the professional life. And a stable professional life (stable used to project heading towards a purpose and not fixed, time guaranteed salary scenario) is necessary for a peaceful adult life. With increasing greed oriented work ethic, it is only a matter of time before insecurities consume the ambition and accepting mediocrity in work place becomes a more practical solution. But deep inside our conscience, we are all members of an ambitious species who have evolved to outperform our previous generation. With this increasing social pressure the only option remaining is to suppress this natural instinct and adapt to an artificial lifestyle celebrating mediocrity nicely wrapped as “security”.
But unlike a software test case failure there is no easy way to fix this damage in future. It is one of the classic cases for prevention is better than cure. The problem needs to be sorted out using visionary curriculum which is designed with help of industry. The industry needs to keep its profits out of equation for once and contribute with the tons of feedback they collect over the years about thousands of above average intelligent people. The education system needs to step up to accept this feedback and redefine the way they are executing the curriculum. If necessary gradually start reorganizing the curriculum as well. The exams should be targeted to achieve the intermediate markers to help students improve and just discard the ones who do not fit the industries predefined expectations.