Many of the country’s finest educational establishments offer degrees in Computer Science. They offer everything from programming skills to architecture and design. However, they all appear to be missing courses on Testing, Quality Assurance or even Consumer Advocacy. You can graduate as a Software Engineer, but not a Quality Assurance Engineer.
I believe this prevailing agnosticism against QA has created a hole in the software industry, which, if not filled properly, can be detrimental to a company. We currently fill these positions with people that may or may not be specifically trained or experienced in “testing”. I hope to show that this is not a bad thing, because what is required to be an exceptional Test Engineer is the right perspective, the right frame of mind.
I will be discussing what Consumer Advocacy (Quality Assurance / Software Testing) is and its importance to product development. This will include how an organization views “test” as a function: the “old” and “traditional” view of Software Testing, or the “new” and “enlightened” view. I hope to impart some simple skills which can help us change our perspective of the world, in general, and 1) take us from “Software Testers” to “Consumer Advocates”, 2) increase QA’s presence in an organization, and 3) increase our effectiveness as Testers.