Mike’s Dump

July 31, 2007

Passion for Quality

Filed under: Work — mikesdump @ 3:11 pm

I get pissed off sometimes. Actually if you read my blog I get pissed off maybe more than I should. One thing that really gets me fired up is quality or to be more accurate a lack of quality.

I know very little about house painting. I do know when the job is done I don’t want it to be streaky, I don’t want my baseboards dripped on, and I don’t want my ceiling marked up. A professional that takes pride in their work wouldn’t need to be told this. A professional would realize that their reputation of producing quality work is worth far more than their current job.

I believe this applies to pretty much any profession. Professions that are regulated or have their work inspected afterwards are not exempt. If anything these professions have to maintain a minimum standard otherwise it is unlikely they will survive.

Now, look at the software industry. There is no regulatory body, nobody is going to revoke your “development license” and far too often the quick response is “why didn’t QA find it”? When I’m talking about software industry I’m not talking specifically about the quality of the code. I think there is a million and one posts related to improving code quality. In this case I’m only referring to what the customer sees because I have seen time-and-time again that documented requirements don’t work.

Ya, ya, ya, I know, “but developers make lousy testers because they test it the way they know it was implemented.” I’m sure we have all heard that one before and I’ll accept that to a certain point but again, consider any other profession.

Let’s consider a mechanic. Let’s say you took your car in to have the battery replaced because the car wouldn’t start. After the battery was changed wouldn’t you expect the mechanic to at least start the car before giving it back to you? If they didn’t do this very basic test to ensure your issue was resolved wouldn’t you start to question if you brought your vehicle to a professional? If you are the mechanic and said, “well I don’t know. I used that battery in another car and it worked fine”… not helping your cause.

Some might dress up otherwise but I still believe that developers are human. Everyone makes mistakes (I make a crap load!) and mistakes are a great learning opportunity. I believe the professional with a passion for quality will continue to learn from their mistakes, grow and earn a reputation for producing quality.


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