Do you think that a significant part of testing is asking questions? I bet you have lots of questions, don’t you? But have you ever been frustrated by a lack of answers? What do you do about it? Could you answer the questions yourself? How do you think that might help?

When I have questions that require a response from others, I often try to provide a selection of answers too. For me, this helps to think through what I might do next – perhaps I can discover the actual answer by experimenting to see which of the answers is likely, or maybe an answer prompts another question, a more interesting question, one which requires investigation itself.

If I still go ahead and pose the question, having some potential answers alongside it shows that I’ve thought about the issue and gives the answerer some context. Also, in my experience, people are often more able to refute an assertion than generate an answer from cold, so my answers spur their thoughts too. (And by the way, don’t forget to answer others’ questions.)

When I responded to Phil Kirkham‘s STC forum post asking for three pieces of advice for a newbie tester, I included answering your own questions. In fact, the advice I gave for newbies forms three quarters of the advice I give to myself during a mission:
Ask questions – including of yourself
Answer questions – including your own
Act – on what you now know, or to find what you need to know
Again? – there might be more to do here