Thursday, March 26, 2020

At Bree

This is the fourth part of the story which began here. The second is here.
The third is here. This saga continues below.

All that is said among us is that far away,
over many hills and rivers,
live the halfling folk
that dwell in holes and sand-dune...*

Four brave testers, related to the Tooks and Brandybucks, looked around them and began thinking about how things were. They began thinking about how things might be. They began thinking about how things could be better.

These testers looked around and wondered what they might do. They kept seeing problems come up even when they followed the rules. They worked hard to make sure the rules were strictly followed and there were still problems.

They asked for help and were told they must not have been doing something “right.” They showed what they had done to plan for testing. They showed how they had done the testing. They showed the bugs they found in testing. And they showed what bugs were found in production. They asked what they should have done to know something like those bugs might happen.

Answers were not helpful. “Work smarter.” The testers drinking their beer at The Green Dragon, in Bywater (nice place if you ever go there) talked quietly amongst themselves. They compared results with each other. They compared the responses they received.

Then they very quietly began talking about other things. They began wondering why it was that the “experts” were not able to give them guidance or even suggestions on how to do things better. They wondered why, no matter how hard they tried, they still had problems.

Then they began wondering.

They wondered if other people had similar experiences. They began quietly asking others if they ran into things as they had. They wondered if they had gotten any better help in how they should work from the experts.

They got answers along the lines of “Well, the experts told us we needed to try harder and make sure we did not misunderstand anything. They also said we must have misunderstood something because there were bugs in production.

But we don’t know how we could have misunderstood anything because we always asked the developers to make sure we understood the same things.”

So the testers decided they needed other sources of information. Other ideas they could try to make their testing better.

The four of them decided to head to Bree. 

None of them had been there before, but they heard there might be other testers who could help them. They might encounter people with different ideas and different experiences. They might find the solution to the problems they had. 

They might figure out why the testing rules they were supposed to follow did not eliminate the bugs found in production.

After some adventures, they indeed met people with different views.

“Testers out of the Shire! Strange.This hasn’t happened in a long time!” 

Still, it was good for them to get out. What they found was that many people found testers to be imaginative. They met testers from Bree and other wanderers. There were people who sat quietly and listened to the conversation. They did not join in the stories. They did not sing along with any songs. They simply observed. And watched.

Some of the Bree testers warned them that doing things “against the rules” wasn’t natural. Bad things would come of it. They were cautioned about taking up outlandish ideas. They were warned against taking up with strangers and wanderers who did not seem to follow any rules but their own.

What they found was that many were so comfortable, so convinced of the “rightness” of what they were told, even when they thought something was amiss, any fault lay with themselves.

To the four travelers, these seemed predictable yet sad. They knew something was not right and were determined to seek out what it was, or at the least, a better way. 

They continued from Bree, looking for signs and portents and reading and talking with people. They talked with wandering Elves and Bombadill (Iarwainn Ben-adar, Orald.) They knew things were wrong. They knew things needed setting right.

They knew they needed something. 

* JRR Tolkien, The Two Towers, ©JRR Tolkien, 1954, renewed 1982, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, Boston, 2014, p 544. 

The Story continues here.

1 comment:

  1. Might take power of all the wizards and rings to help Bree testers to participate and flourish across middle earth!