QA or…?

Here is an interesting post on Evil Tester called, “Don’t call me a QA!” Fortuitous, as I was just thinking about this very issue, that of testers being referred to as “QA” or quality assurance.

I understand that in traditional models of software development, QA is NOT just testing, though testing can be a part of it. Thing is, at almost every place I’ve worked, 99% of what I have done is software testing, yet my function/team/group/title almost always uses the “QA” terminology. What this leads me to believe is that a lot of people in the IT space that I work in (specifically Federal contracting, for the most part, as well as some smaller commercial projects) misunderstand what QA is supposed to mean according to those traditional models.

Heck, maybe I misunderstand what it means myself. I have no problem being called QA (you can call me whatever you want, just don’t call me late for dinner), test, v&v (verification and validation), or whatever you want. There are a lot of terms that seem to be interpreted pretty subjectively in the field of testing, at least as it is understood by the people that hire and manage testers. “Regression testing,” “integration testing,” and “system testing” are some of the other ones. In my own experience, this only starts to matter when you’re out there interviewing for a new job! Because once you’re in a position, as long as you (as a tester) understand what’s expected of you, it doesn’t really matter all that much what it’s called.

Maybe at my next job, I’ll lobby to have my job called somethign else all together. Something more exciting. Bug Wrangler? Software Abuser? Requirements Punisher? LOL!

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