An Agile Software QA Engineer’s Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,
The rest of QA is writing so I thought I should too.  Santa, I’ve been a most excellent boy this year. Let me explain…BTW, no matter what Matt says, I don’t think your red suit makes you look fat.

You see, it’s really been beat into my brain that I need to track EVERY defect I find in the defect database, but I haven’t done that this year. “Egads!” you say? Santa, you don’t understand… You have no idea how efficient it is to say “Hey Matt” (the developer who sits behind me), Matt will pull one headphone muff off of his right ear and say “you talking to me?” in a slightly gruff voice, and I reply with “Yeah, I found a defect” in my slightly cocky, testing rock-star, voice. He’ll wind through a “Oh reeeeeally”, and typically I’ll reply with a “Yeah, come check it out”. Matt will then give a heavy leg-thrust to scoot his chair across the low profile business carpet to arrive at my desk 10 feet away. “Get outa my way” he’ll sneer as his chair crashes into mine, half out of smart-assedness, half out of spite that I found a defect related to his code.

Scanning the results on my test system, Matt comes to the conclusion “Yep, I know what that is”, which is only half of what I thought it was, but through the process of watching and questioning Matt I understand the 2nd half and then I fully understand the issue which makes regression of the defect easier. “Give me a minute” Matt says, and after giving him that minute I have a new build to use , if I want it.

Seriously Santa, think about it: Real-time defect fixing and regression… Developer time saved wading through a written defect and reproducing it, QA time saved by eliminating blocking issues, and a true understanding of what the issue at hand is.

Santa, I’ve given up Waterfall for Agile. I’ll take coal any day before I go back to that Waterfall crap. I hope you can find it in your heart to understand. I hope you can take my lessons learned and improve your waterfall process. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT…Timmy the elf building the train with a 2″ wheel base, while Elizabeth the elf is on the other side of the wall building a 4″ wide train track. If you can find it in your heart to understand the reality and efficiency of agility and decide to reward me for realizing it…I WANT A ZUNE.

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