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QA Engineer Job Description

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  • Stine, Matt
    Hi, all. I m working with a team that really lacks any formal process (i.e. we re doing XP, or we re doing RUP, etc...), but that is slowly migrating toward
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 1, 2005
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      Hi, all.



      I'm working with a team that really lacks any "formal" process (i.e.
      we're doing XP, or we're doing RUP, etc...), but that is slowly
      migrating toward somewhat of a "homegrown" agile process - we're a small
      team (8 members) doing greenfield development, custom integrations,
      maintenance, etc. on multiple projects in parallel. At any rate, I've
      been charged with writing job descriptions for a new subgroup to our
      team - Quality Assurance Engineers. These guys will take on tasks that
      encompass all or part of the tester, coach, and tracker roles described
      in the white book, as well as wearing the customer hat at times
      (stepping in to a very busy biologist's shoes and translating his needs
      into geekspeak).



      Anyway, I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions as to what types
      of things I should include in these job descriptions, as well as things
      I should avoid.



      Thanks!



      Matt Stine

      Software Engineer/Web Developer II

      Hartwell Center for Bioinformatics and Biotechnology

      St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

      332 N. Lauderdale St.

      Memphis, TN 38105

      901.495.4602

      901.495.5108 Fax

      901.495.3978 #1314 Pgr

      matt.stine@...

      http://www.hartwellcenter.org





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Kay Pentecost
      Hi, Matt, First thing to do is get a copy of Johanna Rothman s book _Hiring The Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets & Science Of Hiring
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 1, 2005
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        Hi, Matt,

        First thing to do is get a copy of Johanna Rothman's book _Hiring The Best
        Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets & Science Of Hiring
        Technical People_
        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0932633595/qid=1107295252/sr=1
        -1/ref=sr_1_1/103-4149881-4357413?v=glance&s=books
        , got to ITConversations and listen to her interview, and check out her
        blogs at http://www.jrothman.com/weblog/htpblogger.html and
        http://www.jrothman.com/weblog/blogger.html

        I just recently starting realizing how *valuable* her thoughts are, and I'm
        working my way through all her writings.

        Kay



        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Stine, Matt [mailto:matt.stine@...]
        > Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 3:50 PM
        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [XP] QA Engineer Job Description
        >
        >
        > Hi, all.
        >
        >
        >
        > I'm working with a team that really lacks any "formal" process (i.e.
        > we're doing XP, or we're doing RUP, etc...), but that is slowly
        > migrating toward somewhat of a "homegrown" agile process -
        > we're a small
        > team (8 members) doing greenfield development, custom integrations,
        > maintenance, etc. on multiple projects in parallel. At any rate, I've
        > been charged with writing job descriptions for a new subgroup to our
        > team - Quality Assurance Engineers. These guys will take on
        > tasks that
        > encompass all or part of the tester, coach, and tracker roles
        > described
        > in the white book, as well as wearing the customer hat at times
        > (stepping in to a very busy biologist's shoes and translating
        > his needs
        > into geekspeak).
        >
        >
        >
        > Anyway, I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions as to
        > what types
        > of things I should include in these job descriptions, as well
        > as things
        > I should avoid.
        >
        >
        >
        > Thanks!
        >
        >
        >
        > Matt Stine
        >
        > Software Engineer/Web Developer II
        >
        > Hartwell Center for Bioinformatics and Biotechnology
        >
        > St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
        >
        > 332 N. Lauderdale St.
        >
        > Memphis, TN 38105
        >
        > 901.495.4602
        >
        > 901.495.5108 Fax
        >
        > 901.495.3978 #1314 Pgr
        >
        > matt.stine@...
        >
        > http://www.hartwellcenter.org
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
        >
        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
        > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
        >
        > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
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        >
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        >
        >
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        >
        >
      • Ron Jeffries
        ... I m wondering whether you re asking a lot of one job description, and at the same wondering what is driving a small team like yours to move toward such
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 2, 2005
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          On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 3:49:55 PM, Stine, Matt wrote:

          > I'm working with a team that really lacks any "formal" process (i.e.
          > we're doing XP, or we're doing RUP, etc...), but that is slowly
          > migrating toward somewhat of a "homegrown" agile process - we're a small
          > team (8 members) doing greenfield development, custom integrations,
          > maintenance, etc. on multiple projects in parallel. At any rate, I've
          > been charged with writing job descriptions for a new subgroup to our
          > team - Quality Assurance Engineers. These guys will take on tasks that
          > encompass all or part of the tester, coach, and tracker roles described
          > in the white book, as well as wearing the customer hat at times
          > (stepping in to a very busy biologist's shoes and translating his needs
          > into geekspeak).

          I'm wondering whether you're asking a lot of one job description,
          and at the same wondering what is driving a small team like yours to
          move toward such specialized roles. Please tell us more about your
          current situation.

          I'm not as entranced by the tracker role as I was in the early days
          of XP. I think it works far better when the team uses its planning
          and standup meetings, and its physical togetherness, to do tracking.
          I can see that with multiple project in parallel, one might want an
          overview. Does the team have a manager who might do this?

          Maybe I'm saying that a job description that's hard to write is a
          signal that it might not be a new person that we should be looking
          for. Anyway, I'd like to know more about what's going on there.

          Ron Jeffries
          www.XProgramming.com
          I could be wrong, of course. It's just not the way to bet.
        • Stine, Matt
          ... small ... I ve ... that ... described ... needs ... Ron, I think I may have over summarized the responsibilities of these guys. First, let me expand a
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 2, 2005
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            >Message: 6

            > Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 07:18:30 -0500

            > From: Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...>

            >Subject: Re: QA Engineer Job Description

            >

            >On Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at 3:49:55 PM, Stine, Matt wrote:

            >

            >> I'm working with a team that really lacks any "formal" process (i.e.

            >> we're doing XP, or we're doing RUP, etc...), but that is slowly

            >> migrating toward somewhat of a "homegrown" agile process - we're a
            small

            >> team (8 members) doing greenfield development, custom integrations,

            >> maintenance, etc. on multiple projects in parallel. At any rate,
            I've

            >> been charged with writing job descriptions for a new subgroup to our

            >> team - Quality Assurance Engineers. These guys will take on tasks
            that

            >> encompass all or part of the tester, coach, and tracker roles
            described

            >> in the white book, as well as wearing the customer hat at times

            >> (stepping in to a very busy biologist's shoes and translating his
            needs

            >> into geekspeak).

            >

            >I'm wondering whether you're asking a lot of one job description,

            >and at the same wondering what is driving a small team like yours to

            >move toward such specialized roles. Please tell us more about your

            >current situation.

            >

            >I'm not as entranced by the tracker role as I was in the early days

            >of XP. I think it works far better when the team uses its planning

            >and standup meetings, and its physical togetherness, to do tracking.

            >I can see that with multiple project in parallel, one might want an

            >overview. Does the team have a manager who might do this?

            >

            >Maybe I'm saying that a job description that's hard to write is a

            >signal that it might not be a new person that we should be looking

            >for. Anyway, I'd like to know more about what's going on there.

            >

            >Ron Jeffries

            >www.XProgramming.com

            >I could be wrong, of course. It's just not the way to bet.



            Ron,



            I think I may have "over summarized" the responsibilities of these guys.



            First, let me expand a bit on our current situation:



            St. Jude Hospital basically has 3 different communities: Administration,

            Clinical, and Research. Our software development team is within the "IT
            Division" (even this

            is an oversimplification) that services the Research community (we also
            have systems/operations,

            bioinformatics, and desktop support teams within this division). We are
            responsible for the

            types of work I described above. Currently we are in the midst of one
            "enterprise-scale"

            development project and a handful of small-to-medium size projects, as
            well as maintenance,

            integration, and customization work related to past and present
            development and legacy apps -

            in other words, we have way too much work to do.



            If we only had one project at a time (I wish), we would be a
            poster-child for agile processes -

            small team, rapidly-changing requirements, "XP-friendly" development
            room, etc. The multiple

            projects plus maintenance aspect forces to customize things quite a bit.



            At any rate, our biggest handicaps right now are in the areas of
            requirements management and

            quality assurance. We struggle with writing testable requirements,
            which in turn leads to

            difficulty writing acceptance tests (embarrassingly, we tend to not
            write these at all). Testing

            is done in a rather ad-hoc, unrepeatable manner. It is impossible to
            track progress in terms

            of failing and passing tests. We do have quite a bit of unit testing in
            place, but that is only

            half of the ball game.



            So, essentially these folks will be explicitly in charge of mitigating a
            lot of these problems.

            Very close to what Lisa Crispin described in Testing Extreme Programming
            for testers. Add to

            that the fact that this person will also be in charge of overall process
            improvement and direction

            (teaching the XP/Agile practices, understanding what is working and what
            is not, etc.) in

            Cooperation with the group leader, who is so tied up w/ "meta-business"
            type tasks that he

            has little time to "Coach."



            Anyway, I hope this stream of consciousness has given you more insight
            into what we want

            out of this position.



            Let me know what you think!



            Thanks,





            Matt Stine

            Software Engineer/Web Developer II

            Hartwell Center for Bioinformatics and Biotechnology

            St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

            332 N. Lauderdale St.

            Memphis, TN 38105

            901.495.4602

            901.495.5108 Fax

            901.495.3978 #1314 Pgr

            matt.stine@...

            http://www.hartwellcenter.org





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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