Quality is NOT Dead!

Here is my comment to James Bach’s Quality is dead hypothesis..


I cannot help but draw a parallel about what you mention about falling levels of quality (or rather its death in your view) with the life we live today and its many ‘unsavoury’ accompaniments versus say 2-3 decades back when our forefathers were the flag bearers of a relatively less complex life veering towards simplicity and order.

Do we not sense and realise that our lives are today more complicated, stinkier by the day, falling in value and substance, cursed and step-by-step rotting away from the (uncontaminated) life that we knew existed say back in the 60s/before. Are we not now witness to scenes of crime/violence/hatred which becomes bloodier and more horrific than the previous one? Vietnam, 9/11, Mumbai terror attack, Winnenden school shooting, & so on…

How do we counter this in our own individual microcosmic way? Do we give up on teaching good values to our children? Do we not stop the sibling fights and not abhor violence of any kind? In a bus, when I see an elderly woman struggling to keep her balance, do I not offer her a seat? When I hear a child speaking profanities do I not admonish even if she is not a blood relation?

Of course I do.

Quality of life is in our hands to a great extent and we must continue to encourage, inspire, instil and ensure that we influence its goodness to the extent possible.

Likewise when a product we are not happy about is readied for release would we not raise a RED flag?

Of course we will.

We will be vehement in giving this information to the powers-that-be supported with defects information, tests undergone/not undergone, plan ahead for testing and so on… When we do this do we not try to protect the user who should better not use the product in its present shape. Do we do this because it is our job? Yes but is that all. I think the voice comes from within & it is equivalent to the scenario of a small boy uttering profanities.

We do our best and we should.

So I do not agree with your “Quality is Dead” completely. As much as the Project/Release Managers will push the buggy products out there would be test professionals (like us) standing in the door wearing and shouting ‘red’. The test professionals may be outnumbered and shooed away but the bugle would have been sounded. Sanity would prevail at times and it would not at others but death – No. We would not let it happen!!!


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