After a month, I should be in pretty good shape, if I haven’t taken a job already if the pay and position is right. I think I’d really like to help build a new and growing QA department up. I don’t really have any management experience, but I’ve found in the last six months that I have a lot of ideas I’d like to put into action, and work on a lightweight but effective and thorough process using open source tools.
It’s a really exciting time for open source QA tools, and while Selenium shows the way technically, its things like FitNesse and the “wiki way” that are really exciting. Not using wiki’s specifically, but the idea of leveraging hypertext (linking documents) — and the web (server-side applications) to create QA/PM/Development “mashups.”
I know it’s a silly web 2.0 type word, but the idea is great. Chicago Crime was a perfect illustration for what you can do with online data, AJAX, web services, google maps, and an MVC framework. It’s the killer app behind Django.
There are some great QA tools out there. Bugzilla, Jira, Selenium, Watir, FitNesse, Ant, Luntbuild, etc. can all be put together into something more powerful than their parts. Maybe the tools need re-written, but it’d suck to throw away the years of development, and especially all the experience and data that businesses alread have.
Whether businesses use a “QA site”, something else like it, or implement their own solution doesn’t really matter. The time is ripe for tools integration to make QA, Dev, and PM teams more productive, but especially to make the “work” part of their jobs more enjoyable.
That’s where I want to be. The idea of marketing a QA site (0r PM site) as a product is really just the way to get the idea in the door.
Dev tools seem to be migrating towards IDE plugins (with bastard children like mylyn crossing over to QA and PM) — but I don’t really think developers really love eclipse that much that they would never want to leave it (but there was this think called emacs…)
The PM trend has been to lighten up and use hosted apps like basecamp and be nimble or agile or (if you prefer expensive products) LEAN. I think PM has gone a little too far, or rather that PM is too much being relegated to the developers or managers.
QA is still a mishmash of tools. There are a lot of new tools and some old ones that keep getting better. The real excitement is in the fairly recent tools like Selenium, Fit, WATiR, Canoo, etc. that are now maturing and being accepted — though I worry about people losing interest in them, or not really seeing the potential as they go into maintenance mode like Bugzilla did for a long while.
I want to unlock the potential of these tools (and others) and now that we have the potential with open source, to realize the gains, do our jobs better, and make them less tedious.