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

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James Moore
December 11, 2006 11:58
RE: How do you tell a business-minded company that they need a QA tier and staff?
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Adjust your expectations.  You've got four guys.  You're saying you need to
double your staff?  (CTO + QA*n + CM)  That's not very realistic without a
plan to substantially increase revenue to go along with it.  And you want a
CTO with years of experience?  _All_ these people have jobs right now, and
at least one friend at a hot new startup with interesting possibilities;
you're luring them away from someone else, and that's not so easy. 

Figure out what you can do with what you've got.  Beef up your automated
testing, maybe.  Figure out how to build the staging and dev environments in
a testable and repeatable way.  Figure out how the lack of these things hits
the bottom line and make a good case for putting effort into a
quality/internal release rather than the next feature release.

Given the experience of the other people on the tech team, you're the de
facto CTO, minus the power on paper, but hopefully with some experience and
expertise that will help you get the job done.  Find something to improve,
make a plan, and do it.

And if you're screaming, no one's going to take you seriously.  If the rest
of the company is technically clueless, they'll be very happy for you to
step up with concrete plans for what to fix, how to fix it, and how that's
going to make everyone more money.  Technically clueless doesn't mean
clueless, period, or there wouldn't be a company there at all.  Find out
what they want (salesguy: money _right now_; ceo: money, but over a longer
term than the salesguys, etc), and explain to them how doing X in
engineering helps them achieve their own goals. 

 - James Moore

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