Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are you a tester or a resource to impact better user experience and product quality?

Every person involved with traditional activities within the software development testing industry are referred to as "Software Quality Assurance" resources immediately realize that someone hired as a QA resource cannot impact quality of the product. They are hired as merely testers, and the only product/deliverable from these people are information about the product in that capacity.

Smart and capable VP/Directors of Engineering who really understand this realize the obvious:

1) Traditionally, QA people are hired mostly with intent of only being software testers, and testing has no impact on better software quality. Testing provides information about the product in its current state. This information is to better inform the team of more accurate product readiness.
2) Traditionally, QA people are expected to be entirely responsive to the development team's schedule, testing environment, and the development team is much more greatly appreciated and coddled to rather than the mostly neglected QA teams' effectiveness, passion, and contribution to the company's product roadmap objectives.

And the response from these managers are:

1) Respect the QA teams' concerns about user experience and product quality based on the findings and understanding of the test results.
2) Completely understand and acknowledge the leadership and intent of feedback from the QA team is entirely because of sincere concern for good user experience and product quality.
3) Acknowledge and promote the QA team's accomplishments, especially when it involves meeting the challenge to a reactive situation that they don't control, i.e. like working on weekends because the development team didn't meet the code freeze deadline.
4) Understand and reward test automation innovation and be open to acknowledgement of the effectiveness of these tests and how it benefits the customer experience and every resource in the company.

If you are a QA person, then eventually you will need to decide to accept being merely a tester with no meaningful impact on product quality, or stepping up and being a leader and positively impacting quality.

If your current company does not offer opportunities to meet your career goals as a QA professional, then quit your job. Your future employer will appreciate your initiative, talent, and passion.

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