Saturday, July 5, 2008

Quality Assurance Blog - Why the Heck Would you do that?

I have always said that you do not join the field of QA for the hugs. If you do your job well, people wonder why you are there at all, and if you miss one thing, they wonder why you are there as well.

I joined the field of QA by accident. I was hired in my early 20's to be a developer for the Mac version of an existing application for managing Head Start children's information. I had never written code outside of my Comp Sci classes in college - this was my first chance in the real world. I was TERRIFIED. The fear of failure was humongous. They decided to not go with the Mac version, and asked me to go into Tech Support before I could even start. I was relieved.

In Tech Support, I helped design a support ticketing program with the lead engineer, and started the beta programs, testing the new releases by myself, and then with sample client groups - I LOVED it. I knew where things would probably break, I understood the code, I understood the client. It was the perfect job.

I then moved to new companies with established QA groups. I learned the methodologies that I knew naturally and understood how and when they were used through study and training. Using the word "training" loosely, I learned test methodologies through trial and error in the field.

My career in QA has gone from beta tester to QA Director. I now spend most of my time looking for ways to show how cost effective testing can be. I believe in the need for internal audit and checks and balances. I also think that the most important role for QA is to communicate to the business the accurate status of the product being released so that there are no surprises. Risk communication and mitigation is the key.

In this blog, I hope to chat about what QA can achieve, get some of your opinions from the ether-world of the internet, share practices, links and books as well.

Please come back soon for more!


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