Context is important


In some parts of the world, there are things that are taboo to talk about.For example in Japan, mental illness is a taboo topic. Yet it’s quite serious as “a study last year by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Labor found that 24% of Japanese people had suffered from some kind of mental health problem. Another report found that one in five adults had considered killing themselves, with actual suicide rates at 51 per 100,000 people — twice as high as the U.S. and three times that of the UK.” (from

In America, there’s still some stigmatism around depression, though as more and more people are aware of it, the better it has become. Information is readily available for those that read about it such as from : or

Personally, I have been suffering from depression since I was 6 or so and same with social anxiety. I fear meeting new people at times and esp being in crowds of people. For those that know me well, this might not be so much of a surprise. For those that don’t know me but know the work that I do, this probably would be a surprise. It’s because I have kept forcing myself to face my fears and have been faking a smiling face ever since I was young.

Growing up I have been seemingly different; I was a third culture kid ( ). My father decided to leave Japan and come to America where the medical research have been more advanced. I was 2.5 years old then. I went to a southern baptist elementary school ( ), and was also in a magnet program ( and later on.

I grew up with a mix of cultures : Japanese at home, English at school; I loved art and music, but was feed science; religiously grown at a Christian school in an atheist family; programmed on the mac at school, but went home to a pc. In the end, I just wanted a place to belong, and some how I never felt like there was such a place for me. I like being by myself the most, because there’s no one giving me opinions or judging me for who they think I am other than myself. And I already tend to be my own worst critic. ( There’s another part to my depression and anxiety, that is not worth mentioning in this blog as it doesn’t have to do with the theme of this blog ).

Currently, I am getting the help I need by seeking counseling and getting medication. Normally, it’s something that I would have just kept to myself and if asked about, I would talk about it; but most people don’t ask about these things directly. And I trying to face my fears. Eventually I hope to overcome my depression and anxiety like I got over my fear of cats. Yes, this is my quirkiness.

What’s this got to do with QA?

Understanding that there is a lot to learn because I see various sides of the various things, it has helped me a lot in being QA. I try to look at both sides of the spectrum and try to be unbiased. For many things, I can give you a list of pros and cons, but in most cases will only spout out a few to keep the conversation short.

Earlier in a post, I mentioned that I am still biased. I would think that’s true of most people if not all, as we’re certainly biased based on the “limited” context of what we currently know. For example, I would say that I am bias towards blackbox testing, because I know more about exploratory testing than automation. Though it does not necessarily mean that I would be thinking less of automation. There is an importance to automation as passing tests mean a lot to the functionality of an application in making sure it works correctly.

In my opinion, to try to “understand” and not assume (because you know that saying… “assume = ass out of you and me”) means to gather the data which includes getting the proper context of the situation.