I’ve talked to a lot of unhappy testers – smart, talented testers who always feel like they are working at odds with their teams in order to advocate quality. In this kind of situation, it’s easy to believe that quality is dead. In my last post, I speculated that perhaps it just isn’t cost-effective anymore for companies to have a primary quality focus. In which case, as an advocate for quality, how could a tester ever have real job satisfaction?
Software isn’t just a “see who can make the most money” game. There are people out there who believe in making good products.
The quality of the product is limited by the quality goal of the company. Testers, developers, designers – we all help the company achieve that goal. If the goal doesn’t align with our own personal ideas of quality, then we will not have much job satisfaction.
Whether you like software to look beautiful, or produce huge profits, or be driven by beautiful code, or make your customers love you, you want to build something that makes you proud.
Jerry Weinberg famously said that quality is value to someone at some time. What is quality to you, at this time? Are you working at a place that has the same quality definition as you? If not, then you have two choices – adjust your personal definition of quality to match the company’s, or find a company that has the same values as you do.
Every successful company is making quality software, by some person’s definition of quality. If we want to have real satisfaction in what we help create, we need to find or create a company with quality values that align with our own, and then work out how we can best serve to help achieve that goal.