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Breaking Things

weather: raining
outside: 11°C
mood: perplexed
A while ago, we were interviewing for QA contractors. In the process of having a pile of people try to convince me that they would make a good QA person, one of the things I keep hearing a lot is "I like to break things".

It's amusing. People will very carefully shift their eyebrows and rearrange their face to create this somewhat menacing look, complete with a well-practiced evil gleam in their eyes. Some will even go so far as to clench both fists and either make a small whipping motion or come just short of pounding them both simultaneously on the conference room table, presumably to show extra determination to break something.

Why on earth would people think that destructiveness is a good trait in a human being?

Quality Assurance is not [only] about breaking things... at least not in software... at least not in my shop. If you inadvertently break something that should not be broken by what you have done, then that's a problem that needs to be raised. But that really isn't the point.

My top pick was the same as my boss': the guy who didn't say he liked to break things.



Dec. 2nd, 2003 10:19 pm (UTC)
The benefits of pair programming are are quite interesting, in my albeit brief experience with it. But however, having the flexibility to develop modules to build the system, I think is fundamental in any software development in today's society. Mind if I ask how long you've been at this? You finished a computer science degree I also take it? --Ray
Dec. 3rd, 2003 01:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Pair Programming

I take back what I said. =) On the way home last night, I realized that we _do_ do that in some cases and I have done that in previous jobs, just not in a formal way and not full time. It's a very ad hoc thing, we just walk over to someone's office, start talking about the problem and it turns into Pair or even Triplet Programming (which I've been a part of as well) =)

But when your entire company is only 30 people big, it's not very feasible to make that general practice.

Mind if I ask how long you've been at this?

I started out as a fulltime Developer about five years ago. I was doing dev and other software related jobs part time while I was doing my Bachelor of Science in CS. I've been in QA for just over two years now.
Dec. 3rd, 2003 04:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah true enough. I find that companies that are larger than that tend to be subject to a lot of red tape.

I'm still crack on a BSc Computer Science, with concentrations in possible Software Engineering or Network Security, as well as a Pure Math Degree (BSc Pure Math). We'll see what happens.

Cheers. --Ray


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