Testing Strategies for Disfunctional Software Organisations (Page 1 of 3 )
The October 2002 edition of Software Development Magazine reported the results of a survey that included a question on what roles (they listed twenty) in software organizations are hard to fill. Which roles made the top three?
This may come as no surprise: QA engineer, QA specialist/architect, and metrics engineer. I talk regularly to quite a few CEOs and CTOs in Silicon Valley, and although they have no problems staffing their engineering, marketing, and sales departments, staffing a QA department with the right people seems to be very challenging.
"All good QA engineers would rather be developers," these managers complain. "The reason we have testing problems is that we can't find good QA engineers."
Well, I'm here to tell you that simply isn't true. In fact, the skill set required for development is very different from the optimum skill set for testing. Often, organizations fail at testing because they have unrealistic expectations for their QA personnel. They ask them to do the impossible. They make their QA people responsible for something they can't control, so that no matter how good they are, these people are likely to fail.
To make their organizations successful at testing, managers need to understand how testing works and rethink their testing strategies. In this article, I'll try to explain some of the issues and suggest improvement strategies.