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4839Re: [XP] Role of QA

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  • Michael D. Hill
    May 1, 2000
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      [The following in no way represents the offical XP view, which
      frankly, I don't even know.]


      I have no faith in external QA. I believe it is one of those
      ideas that looks magnificent on paper, like ISO 900X, but absolutely
      awful in practice. I've never seen an external test group produce a
      problem report other than identifying an installation process that
      doesn't cover all the angles. Possibly, I have only seem crummy
      QA teams, but that's been my honest experience.

      I am *not* in denial about the abysmal quality of most development
      efforts in our industry. But I believe that quality sucks for little
      other reason than because underskilled and undercoached development
      teams are constantly pressed to move faster than they can.

      Many externalities affect this situation to bring even lower lows.
      1) Heavyweight processes place unrealistic and value-subtracted
      burdens on developers and their front-line managers. 2) Ludicrous
      expectations from the money and over-inflated product descriptions
      from marketing are a major source of customer disappointment.
      3) Magic bullet beliefs add to the pain. 4) The worse we get at
      delivering the more folks want to find a system of 'control', and the
      heavier the non-development burdens get, destroying many fine sparks
      of talent and interest in the industry.

      I would like to see some figures on the cost-benefit analysis of an
      external QA department. I would even like to hear some anecdotal
      evidence. My own experience strongly suggests that external QA is
      simply not a cost-effective route to quality.

      Sorry for the rant, but I couldn't stop myself? [Ron? Phlip? How come
      I'm doing all the ranting around here? Are you guys well? Cough if you
      can't talk now.]


      |Michael Hill |
      |Software-> Developer, Consultant, Teacher, Coach |
      |Lifeware-> Egghead, Romantic, Grandpa, Communitarian |
      |<uly_REMOVE_THIS_PART_@...> |
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