Test Engineer Manifesto


  1. If any task, no matter how simple, is proceeded by the word “just…”, all cost and schedule estimates must be multiplied by approximately 1 or 2 orders of magnitude.
  2. All test benches require a certain percentage of jank to operate.
  3. Never trust the work of interns.
  4. See number three.
  5. Check valves don’t.
  6. The number of flex lines in a system is inversely related to the remaining schedule.
  7. When making schedules: assume nothing works in testing, all 3D print shops are incompetent to the point of “5th times a charm”, and nobody has heard of Rule #1.
  8. If existing test infrastructure is available, it will be broken when you need to use it.
  9. Test days are the best days.
  10. If “well, it shouldn’t move” is ever mentioned, “weld it” is always the correct response.
  11. Regular tag-ups with the designers will help prevent the use of #5-44 fasteners and other poor choices.
  12. If you give a designer a finished detailed design, they will change everything and start over. If you hand them a concept, they will start making drawings.
  13. Jank should be inversely related to energy. Low energy, full jank. Atomic bomb, minimal jank.
  14. Test everything you copy; just because it worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you.
  15. There are no “small changes”.
  16. Analyze only when necessary.
  17. New hires are just interns that get paid more; plan accordingly.
  18. Lean programs must choose between a well-documented failure and an undocumented success.
  19. Trust but verify. Always.
  20. Sometimes the best DAQ is a camera.
  21. Assemble all available components immediately. This will identify if they comply with MIL-TFD-41.
  22.  Pebbles and boulders are both rocks, be specific with what you ask for.
  23.  Opinions don’t change the laws of physics.
  24.  Design is done with math, testing is done with vibes.
  25.  Test hardware is never destroyed, only descoped.