Oh, Poor QA

Geez Dilbert. Must we perpetuate the stereotype that QA engineers (or testers) are intellectually inferior to developers.

Here’s the strip for 10/28/11:

Dilbert.com

While I don’t doubt that there are QA jobs that require little brainpower, many folks seem quick to generalize and lump *all* QA jobs into this bucket. I even get a whiff of this when interviewing external candidates for testing positions at Microsoft.

Candidate asks - “How much time will I spend coding?”

I translate this into - “How little time will I have to spend doing inferior QA type activities?”

It makes me ill.

Marketing folks, I’ll let you defend yourselves.

4 comments:

  1. Nice going, I'm going to have to deep dive and read more stuff here :-)

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  2. Question is - why is there this stereotype ?

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  3. I ask - “How much time will I spend coding?”

    I mean - “How little time will I have to spend doing less-interesting coding activities?”

    ;)

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  4. Phil - Some quick thoughts on a couple of factors that I think contribute to this perception.

    One, there are companies where testing is nothing more than scripted button clicking. Others see this and assume testing is like this everywhere.

    Two, if you consider the definition of the roles, developer and tester, at a surface level, it's almost a natural conclusion to evaluate the person building the product higher than the person testing it. If you could have only one of these two disciplines in your team, you'd go for the developer since without that role, nothing gets built. Without the tester, you still get a product, but it might be garbage.

    Three, in terms of career progression, folks often move from tester to developer. Rarely, does it happen in the opposite direction. This would indicate to most that development is more valuable than testing.

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