Friday, April 13, 2012

Capital 'Q' Quality Isn't

DHH likens rabid, unchecked, mindless testing to the TSA. I lived in a world like that once:
 

It isn't necessary to do quality work; merely appearing to do so is sufficient.

This was the workplace culture in one of the IT sweat shops I spent a few (too many) years in during my wild youth.

We had actual project requirements, component specifications and quality assurance tools up the wazoo. But it was all capital 'Q' Quality and had only the fleetest bearing on any actual little 'q' quality that might have been foolishly pursued by the younger, less experienced coders on the floor.

It didn't matter how crappy the underlying code, so long as all the little boxes were ticked on the Quality sheets. The more experienced (and jaded) coders were spewing out poo and signing off their Quality sheets at quite a profitable rate.

I had one pointy-haired manager (and he really did have pointy hair, I swear) tell me not long after I started at the privatised semi-government "company"... "just do an 80% job. Haha... we'll pick up the rest in the support budget."

o_O

What a way to pop your cherry, eh?

I eventually managed to escape the evils of that company and the industry in general. I have never forgotten the lessons learned, though.

Don't pursue Quality at the cost of quality.