≡ Menu
Pawel Brodzinski on Software Project Management

Prestige of Quality Assurance

The other day I’ve heard that old rusty idea:

We should hire a bunch of youngsters as testers. If they’ll appear worthy and will be smart maybe (but just maybe) they should be offered a development job.

No, no, no. Not that way. Quite the opposite. If a developer shows his worth, maybe he should be offered a quality assurance job.

1. From the best quality engineers I know, almost all have programming background. Even when they do some black-box tests they understand how software is constructed which makes their job much more conscious.

2. Testing is still very often considered as clueless clicking on the application waiting for the crash. The whole set of quite interesting tasks in the area of quality assurance is somehow forgotten. Load tests, performance tuning, tracking down architectural limiters in application growth etc. All of them more interesting than adding yet another edit window in yet another database application.

3. A number of boring tasks ascribed sometimes to testers are rather developers’ duties. I’ve heard: “Maybe testers would develop some unit tests for us.” What? Who? That’s developer’s job, isn’t it?

Yes, I know I’m dreaming. Unfortunately quality assurance roles are considered as worse ones. People understand promotion as moving from quality assurance position to development, (almost) never the other way. No one think for a longer while about details, the whole thing usually ends up after comparison of prestige brought by both positions.

I will still start discussion whenever someone will come with any idea considering testers as a worse kind. I think there’s a bit of truth in saying that developers treat themselves as sacred cows too often, but to be honest one of main sources of having the situation alike are managers who don’t appreciate testing roles, considering them as low-budget options.

As far as decision-makers attitude won’t change there won’t be much difference in that area.

in: software business

2 comments… add one

  • Craig October 27, 2007, 10:31 pm

    You are absolutely right.

    Another thing I have been discussing recently is the mprtance of bringing QA into the development process up front – at the requirements definition stage. Thyat way you can plan your validation and verification activitities right up front.

    Everyone will know whether the requirements and software is good enough early in the project, and so fixig problems will be easier.

  • Pawel Brodzinski October 28, 2007, 1:42 am

    Unfortunately in this case being right doesn’t change the situation much. Quality assurance, even when recognized as important, isn’t considered so prestigious as other roles (development, project management etc). That affects both quality of people willing to take the role and quality of whole software development process, from gathering requirements to deploying solution.

Leave a Comment