The QA quandary

I love figuring out problems. Solving riddles, brainteasers, and seemingly insurmountable challenges thrill me, but of course that is what you would expect from a tester or quality assurance professional. There is a sense of accomplishment when one of these obstacles is overcome, demolished, or consistently avoided. And perhaps that is the key characteristic of an exceptional quality assurance team.

Nonetheless, the age-old debate rages on of whether it is better to test with a dedicated QA team or use some other methodology.

Perhaps this query never finds resolution because it is simply asking the wrong question.

Exquisite cuisine is another passion, but here again great chefs are more than just a recipe. That's clearly evident. Well-known chefs are hailed for their dishes possessing qualities of unusual delicacy and fine craftsmanship. It is no more the result of simply following a recipe than art is following a list of steps to produce the miracle on canvas or sculp grace and beauty amid sheer rock. Wolfgang Puck / Gordon Ramsey and Leonardo da Vinci / Michaelangelo are much more than a list of steps or a compilation of ingredients. Success is art.

There is not just one way.

QA is not an objective process that can be evaluated based on a predefined list of criteria. The purpose of QA is to consistently deliver the best outcomes repeatedly. So developers are correct that rage their process supersedes quality assurance team-based strategies. However, their assumption misses the point.

One way?

  1. QA team
  2. Developer QA
  3. Alternative options 

Why would we ever want just one way? One way is no more desirable for software than it is for art or cuisine. This strategy has proven flawed. Apple turned this philosophy on its head, and their position now is solid.

No one likes to be told they don't matter or their contributions are inferior to others, and that would be significant if this were a beauty contest or a skills pageant. But it's not. In the game of technology the goal is excellence and delivering the best solution out there, and this consistently comes as a result of combined efforts.

The solution is no quandary at all.

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