Testing Software

Subject: Testing Software
From: Tom Murrell <trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 13:05:35 -0700 (PDT)

The quotes from Len Humbird and John Posada, below, were taken from a
different thread (Advice to a new writer).

--- "Humbird, Len" <len -dot- humbird -at- intel -dot- com> wrote:
> From: John Posada [mailto:jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com]
>
> > I'm documenting an application and I'm one of the few people
> > in the company getting the CD of the link to the network
> > install for every build...there was no question (that I know
> > of) that I shouldn't.
>
> QA people should get the same thing. Just a few minutes ago I just
> came out of the QA lab. This SW developer wanted to show me how his
> little program
> worked. He says he always finds bugs when I'm around. Now I don't
> "look" for bugs, but I think any tech writer's thoroughness should
> reveal bugs in the process of discovery.

You know, I sometimes think that attitude accounts for a lot of the
reasons that software developers don't like to work with technical
writers. It's not that we're technologically incompetent or that we're
not interested in learning (most of us most of the time), but we DO
make things darned inconvenient for them when we start playing around
with their software. This is especially true, I've found, where there
is no QA or testing function. Then the writer becomes the only
non-developer to touch the software. And since we don't know what it's
"supposed" to do, we break it, and it's our fault.

I've been there, and despite the discomfort it causes developers, I
love it. If it breaks for me, it'll break for a user. That's what so
annoys some of our brothers and sisters in development.

=====
Tom Murrell
Senior Technical Writer
Alliance Data Systems
Columbus, Ohio
mailto:trmurrell -at- yahoo -dot- com
http://home.columbus.rr.com/murrell/

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