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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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Andrew Brosnan
December 11, 2006 12:04
Re: How do you tell a business-minded company that they need a QA tier and staff?
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On 12/11/06 at 2:37 PM, (Terrence Brannon) wrote:

> 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.

Sounds yucky. But I've been in a similar situation that turned out well.
It just took management longer than the IT department wanted to deal
with the growing pains.

I suggest a sit down with management that focuses on what *they* want
and need, as much as what the IT staff needs. Sounds like you may have
done that, but when you say 'screaming to deaf ears', I've never found
that approach very successful.

Second, go slow. Hiring a staff, a CTO, etc. is scary. Some manager
needs to stick their neck out. Nobody wants theirs chopped off if things
don't go well. We started with, 'Just hire one
person...somebody...*anybody! We need help!' It wasn't a big risk, and
management got to see the benefits of having some level of QA. Things
grew nicely from there.

If you like the company and want to stay long term, help them grow at a
pace they can handle and keep pushing for steady progress.


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