Accepting Ignorance – The Force of a Good Tester – Patrick Prill

Accepting Ignorance – The Force of a Good Tester – Patrick Prill


“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.“ – Socrates

When I say ignorance, I mean the positive definition of identifying, and constantly striving to discover (and possibly know) what you don’t know.

In this experience report, I will describe the journey I took in the past 3 years of my 12 years as testing professional that simply started with attending a webinar. I will share with you my discoveries about the importance of ignorance and the benefits to use it effectively.

Together we will explore some common examples of everyday testing terms, and discover where the frontier of ignorance might already exist. We will look at psychological phenomenon that influences the awareness of knowledge. And I will share a few handy tips how to utilize ignorance.

The key takeaways for participants of my talk are:

  • Ignorance is the driver for your self-learning
  • Basic idea of psychological effects that might influence your self-learning
  • The helpfulness of re-evaluation of your knowledge to gain confidence and precision in using it (for bug reports, test reports, risk assessments, etc.)
  • Some starting points how to utilize your ignorance


About Patrick

Patrick Prill has over 12 years of experience in software testing. After four and half years as a tester he became test manager, coordinating the work of ~50 people for another 5 years in a big test project. His new job as test lead for a software and consulting company for the automotive industry brought him back to a smaller test team and the hands-on experience of testing software again. This experience and following the discussions and articles of the testing community relighted his fire for testing and bug hunting.

Patrick is living outside of Munich, Germany and is a proud husband and father of a wonderful daughter. In the little spare time he is a wood turner. Patrick tweets at @TestPappy and blogs at