This weekend I went hiking with a few of my friends. Our original destination turned out to be off limits due to a forest fire, so we decided to try a trail we had noticed earlier along the way. The signage to this trail, however, turned out to be mostly missing, and so we ended up wandering around logging trails for a while.
After coming to yet another dead end, we decided to see if we could get to a particular outcropping. It didn't look that far away, but there wasn't a trail to it either. No matter; we are all seasoned cross-country hikers (ha!) and so we started on our way.
Note to self: glacier-carved hills and mountains are much steeper than they appear!
The incline we had set ourselves was rather steep, and our path crossed various bits of mostly unnavigable landscape. We traversed several rockfalls, where we discovered that even though many of the rocks sported coats of moss the rocks weren't all that stable. We also climbed sections of ground where the groundcover didn't provide much in the way of handholds. All of us stumbled a time or two, but none of us slid more than a few feet before catching ourselves.
At first I crossed the way my friends did - more-or-less upright and simply striding around, but they seemed to be much more stable than I was and to slide much less. Eventually I discovered that by lowering myself to the ground in a spread eagle position I was much more stable and could go much faster.
This has distinct parallels to software development and testing: