Back to my very first blog, Root Cause Analysis thoughts, I brought up my value diagram for QA.

QA Value

This Porter competitive advantage graph is how I truly see how QA should, not only use to promote the discipline to stakeholders, it should also be used within our very discipline.

Since I achieved my MBA years ago I have viewed our discipline in a different set of eyes. Speaking about the value QA will provide and remove the stereotypes that people have regarding it. I have lost count on how many times I need to correct people when discussing my career.

“What do you do?”

“I am a Director of QA”

“QA?”

“Quality Assurance”

“Oh, you test things?”

Then I would go into a long conversation of what it is I actually do. Now don’t get me wrong I do talk about how I am responsible for “Testing”, it is just I go further down the rabbit hole in what that all involves.

Now when this conversation started about early in my career I would have just agreed that I “test things” and left it at that. To say that now, with what I have learned and practiced over the years,  lowers the value of what it is that is actually done.

As a discipline and community I feel that are some areas that don’t help the cause to better legitimize what it is that we do.  Just as there are great books, speakers, articles and classes on the subject matter there are more that lowers peoples views of what it really means to be QA.

Just recently I did a search for courses on QA and Test planning for some peers that were looking for something to do outside of going to a physical class. A few were based on certification standards,  my views on that Thoughts on certification, while other were just sites that offered a course or a series of courses. Viewing some of the overviews I provided some recommendations and sent them off.

Do say I was disappointed with the feedback coming back on what they went through is an understatement. The courses did not even go into QA, they were focused on Quality Control. Physical testing of software not trying to avoid issues early. I get it, it is something that we do within the discipline. What gets me upset is they talked about learning everything they need to know about QA. In the overview it looked like they were going to go over some of that, unfortunately it was wrong.

I have asked this for years is “why can’t there be a diploma program on software QA?”. There are ones for software engineering and development. To help with that I am trying to get into post secondary institutions to see what can be done to get that going or to enhance what they already have. I feel getting something a little more solid than a printed piece of paper with some third party logo in the corner for attending a 3 or 5 day course would help legitimize the QA discipline more.

We as a community have to not only show the value of QA to those on the outside, we need to also keep up the value realization within ourselves. Help each other build and grow.

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