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4841Re: [XP] Role of QA

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  • Peter D. Padilla
    May 1, 2000
      My group is still deciding whether or not to implement XP, but if it has an
      inherent animosity for quality assurance, I will be reluctant to go that
      direction. Frankly, from a QA perspective, there need to be checks and
      balances throughout the process - it's better if they're on the same team...
      not really "external."

      I am not an advocate of heavy external processes and metrics; I agree that
      they weigh down the process and contribute to bad code being delivered late.
      I once forced such process upon a group that, while we achieved a high CMM
      status, we wasted energy on non-productive process work. However, it seems
      that unit and even functional tests, whoever performs them, don't
      necessarily ensure that the developed product meets the client requirements.

      There are valid and essential roles for project management, quality
      assurance, and product acceptance - and you'll be hard-pressed to find an
      organization willing to toss those out the window because some developers
      want to "go extreme."

      Truthfully, do you as developers want to walk through and test every
      business process (with every possible variation), test usability, check
      performance and stress against standards, and do the tracking work of a test
      group? Yes, you should be comfortable enough with your code to believe that
      it works... and the more you know about the business process for which you
      are developing, the better... but is it a good use of resources for you to
      test in detail rather than begin new development?

      I've managed QA groups for ten years, and they've produced a whole lot more
      than a few bugs about details in installation. A lot of code which compiles
      successfully, and works to the satisfaction of a development team, is still
      not ready for release to a client. QA teams are trained to look not only at
      how the software works, but at how it doesn't work. That seems to be an
      important function. Development may assist in covering some basic
      functional tests as they build - hallelujah! But if you think that's the
      extent of quality assurance - even in a RAD environment - you are mistaken.

      Look, I've only been lurking for a short while... and my total experience
      with XP is from reading the book three weeks ago. But if it boils down to
      developers wanting to throw a lot of valuable process out the window because
      it "restricts" them, maybe I'm looking at the wrong alternative to enable
      great applications. I don't want to be offensive, and I apologize if
      anything in this message is perceived as derogatory... but a great team
      knows how to delegate its responsibilities - even those which aren't
      strictly development.

      Peter Padilla

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Phlip <phlip@...>
      To: <extremeprogramming@egroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, May 01, 2000 11:52 PM
      Subject: Re: [XP] Role of QA

      > From: Michael D. Hill
      > > [The following in no way represents the offical XP view, which
      > > frankly, I don't even know.]
      > >
      > > Jen...
      > >
      > > 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 thought in XP QA mapped onto the "parallel development of comprehensive
      > functional tests" role.
      > Phlip
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