Tuesday, February 08, 2011

"Freaking QA Tester"

Last week, I was talking to one of the seasoned IT executives and was educating him about the craft called – Testing. Taking a leaf from two of the experts – I follow –Michael Bolton and James Bach, I was explaining about – Confirmation Testing Vs Exploratory Testing, Defect Vs Issue etc. Seemingly uneasy at understanding the analytical, critical, logical landscape for Testing, he yells – “It is just freaking QA”. Killing my urge to reply in the same passionate yell, I just said “Oh, thanks for proving your point, I rest my case” and walked out.

Clouded with so many questions and thoughts, I am still finding it difficult to accept the narrow mindsets and preparing to challenge next time (if situation permits).

Having given myself a few days to cool off and reply appropriately, I was on usual business on Monday morning, checking and replying mails. A new mail pops up with a very provocative message. I just got blown away on the second side to the same coin

Mail from this account executive of some company, read:
I sent you an email a few weeks ago about how SFDC, Pershing, Zappos and hundreds of other quality assurance professionals are reducing test center cycle time, increasing test coverage and consistently delivering to production much higher quality releases.

Imagine if you could consistently reduce production defects by 50% while cutting test time in half. Too good to be true? If you don’t believe it, please take 3 minutes to see how has used to transform their test center operations from a “necessary evil” into a leadership organization.

If you’re challenged with delivering higher quality applications to production with less time to properly test, please contact me to discuss further and organize an online demonstration or hands-on trial. You can call me directly at (xxx)xxx-xxxx or reply to this email.

This was the second mail I received directly from this gentleman.
Two contrasting yet related incidents made me ponder, something is grossly wrong. Something needs an overhaul to help our craft gets its due respect and also transform the technological advances of generations to come.

Anyhow, I thought of questioning this guy and understand how much he understands the testing to make such lofty (read: exaggerated) claims. Here is what I asked him:

I must appreciate that your mails do lend the provocative edge to make the reader, read and not shift delete. With that said, I have a couple of very curious question to validate the claims you are making, so that I can assure myself of investing my 3 minutes for your case study.

1. How do you define Quality (when you say it’s 2x)?
2. How do you measure quality?
3. On what basis do you say that the time assigned was the ideal for testing? For what I know from my experience, the Testing NEVER stops. So what is your yardstick to the claim that you can reduce the time by ½
4. What constitutes the TEST COVERAGE?
5. Please define “Quality in Production”? In what stage of lifecycle of testing this is declared that if we achieve this / that, the testing team will deliver quality in production. Also it will be beneficial what all includes in that call out

To no surprise and very much on lines to what I could have expected I received the reply, which was same old sales s***. These are the basic questions we daily answer for our clients. Since this is what our clients demand from us, is there harm in demanding the same.

For both the seasoned IT Executive and this sales Account Executive, I pity the company who has employed such a sales person, and their gullible clients (I am sure they have many). Through these inept representatives work culture is totally on display.
On a positive side, we “Freaking QAs” can take an inspiration to help these morons and many more like these, who are thriving in our industry.

- Manav Ahuja

1 comment:

Srihari said...

They have made sales like this now a days that even customers ask what do i get for free?

Least not, we hear they sold two testing suites, for different products to one client, at half (read: four times) the rate.