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I think that Quality Assurance is a soft skill. Here’s why | TestguruTV #37

September 23, 2019

– We were developing like
this state of the art amazing new smartphone, and we didn’t even have smartphones
on the market back then. And it was amazing, it had
like a touchscreen in it. And it had never been done before. It was like all touchscreen all device. It was going to be like, blow the minds of our customers around the world. And obviously this wasn’t Apple, so it’s not going to be a
success story, you might imagine. It wasn’t Apple, but we were
developing that software, that application. And I was the quality assurance manager, I had the team in China. Alright, there was this one cool feature that we had come up with, and
it was like haptic feedback, do you know what that means? Yeah, when you touch the screen
it like vibrates slightly, that it feels like tactile
when you type for example. And the haptic feedback was awesome. The development team were somewhere else. The testing team were here and all. But the development
team was somewhere else, and they had like, they had
an awesome specification for doing the feature. And every time there is
an event on the screen, when you touch it has to
like vibrate a little bit. And the development team
had like interpreted the requirement specification, exactly the specification
that you talked about, they had interpreted the
specification in a way that it has to vibrate
on every event that comes from the screen to the operating system. And what happens there when you swipe? There’s going to be multiple events. And when you pinch zoom it’s
going to be multiple events. Or if you arrange the icons it’s going to be multiple events. And our CTO came one day to
decide, to see how we’re doing, and he got the phone,
and he swiped the screen, and the device turned into a vibrator. It’s a dildo. A phone that vibrates constantly, there was an eternal loop
of vibration after that, and his expression was priceless. Our pass rate for every test was 98%, because everything that we had developed matched the specification. Everything was according to the spec. And everyone was happy, everyone
was getting their bonuses, and everything was perfect,
but the CTO when he came, his expression was like, it was the screensaver all over again. And it was an extensive silence, that was here in the room
in the beginning as well. And after two months, the whole program, the whole project was like terminated. We didn’t get to make the state of the art first touchscreen smartphone
ever in the world. And I was the quality assurance manager, and that’s like awkward, isn’t it? We did everything by the book. We did everything like we were instructed. We did everything that was specified, and it didn’t work out. So what I learned from this project is that thinking about quality assurance, I don’t actually have any
control over the specification, do have control over the
schedule of the project. No? Yeah exactly. Do I have any control over the budget or the resourcing of the project? No access. So if we’re thinking about
all the aspects of quality, schedule, the source code, releasing, anything that has something
to do with the actual quality of the product, I don’t
have any control over it. And still I’m the quality
assurance manager. So how am I supposed
to do my job that way? Quality assurance is, I think
it’s a dangerous word to use, and I don’t use it all that often anymore, because if I’m supposed to be a quality assurance specialist, how am I going to do it if
I don’t have any control over any aspect of the quality? Only thing that I actually
do is hunt the bugs, so we have a chance to
fix them before releasing. And that’s what I call
testing, and testing is what actually makes the difference. – [Man] But you just said you don’t have any influence on the specification. – I don’t have any control over it, I can influence the people
who have control over it. And then it all boils down not
to my technical competence, but my skill of influence. And it’s a soft skill isn’t it? (upbeat music)

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