QA is very important part in other industries. especially for those which produce human safety related products like cars, medical equipment and others...
But why in S/W industry QA(Quality Assuring) is less valued in general?
Well, in my work place, I can see that it is valued higher than other places(at least which I used to work for). However we as QA sometimes are frustrated with what we are doing and how QA org is working..
I think that it is time to change our mind set on QA. otherwise we will see huge disaster which may be caused catastrophical manner. Why?
Now in this world, S/W is in many many places. your cellphone, car, PDA, PCs, appliances, elevators and many many other places. well some people will say. “Who cares them? they are working fine now and though they fail, it will be ok. so what is the matter?“. No, it is not true. they may work for now. but How do you know it will work for all time? For example, if your ECU(Emition Control Unit) in car is malfunctioning by internal S/W mis-calculation, when you are on highway. it can be very dangerous. and if All your computers are just starting to spitting bad things into internet at once by a small fraction of bad code in your daily use S/W, it can down all your stock trade and bank account and many others.
Well, if you get that situation. as customer, you will be so pissed and you may want to sue the company which made the S/W or product. However as engineer who needs to prevent this sort of issue. we should re-evaluate how important QA is and what should be in place for QA on product we make.
First of all, QA should be valued high. we need to hire better people for QA position. it is not just a position to run a script. it is position to see the big picture and also co-ordinate the details to live together in harmony.
Second, QA process should be in place from the beginning of product design. you will be supprised when you see how many issues and bugs can be found at the design level by the sharp eyes of well prepared QA person.
Third, QA should have broad and in-depth knowledge on product and also customer expectation. QA engineers should be better to understand code in the manner of integration. Devs know detail and they will be great for digging into the specific things. but QA should be able to see how each component work together. otherwise when product is finalized, testing can be done in specific manners, but the integration story will be disaster.
Forth, We as QA engineers should have high self-esteem. and we should develop ourselves to be ready for improving quality of product. we may need to understand system which your product will run on. and we need to have better understanding of customers. and we need to be objective and critical of our process to be improved. same old just good is not the sentence we should take. we always need to figure out point of improvement in our process to make our product better overall.
there are many more things to be done. however important thing is to start now. not wait until the problem comes up. it will be too late to do QA work at that time.