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How do you tell a business-minded company that they need a QA tier and staff?

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Terrence Brannon
December 11, 2006 11:38
How do you tell a business-minded company that they need a QA tier and staff?
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I'm at a company that has been very profitable with a limited internet
presence. But now they are buying up web properties and trying to integrate
them into their website.

The IT department consists of:

me - a unix/python/perl data munger
head of IT - an MCSE certified sysadmin
another guy - web developer
one more guy - web developer/sql dba combined

The tech stack consists of a production environment with _no_ QA tier.
Everything that I munge gets loaded into live databases and displayed on the
live web servers. Our customers have become our QA department and it makes
me feel angry and sad at the same time. It's not fair that the salesmen have
to sell a slow/broken website and lose potential sales when the site is down
(and the broken part could've been caught in QA).

I am screaming to deaf ears. I want them to understand that they need to:
- invest in a CTO who has years of experience in architecting and optimizing
websites from end to end
- invest in a QA staff and a QA tier of hardware
- invest in a release control manager to push and rollback code

And more than anything, I want them to know that they need more than they
could ever know they need. A good business person has no real idea was an IT
team needs in terms of personnel. Only CTO-type person I mention above has a
right to make those types of decisions.

I came all the way from Las Vegas for this job in Tampa and had hoped I
would stay a long time. But I don't enjoy being part of an outfit that wants
to handle their web presence in a tacky, sub-standard, naive way.

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