Software testing means evaluating a product by learning about it through experimentation. This is a dynamic, exploratory process. Although we might script parts of it, and even reduce some of it to programmatic fact checks, testing itself is a live performance. In fact, all technical work is a live performance.
Programming, managing, designing…it’s all a performance. Meanwhile, for many years, some managers have dreamed of making technical work into a factory activity. That would require thinking of testing, for instance, as being encoded in artifacts such as “test cases.” The primary aim of that effort is to turn testing into a commodity and to devalue testers. To fight back we need to become better at explaining “performance culture” and better at arguing for what can and cannot be done with a script.