Re: Do you do QA?

Subject: Re: Do you do QA?
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 1996 15:45:39 -0500

>My coworker and I were recently informed that we were expected to
>perform QA
>functions in addition to our writing responsibilities, and that QA
>would also be responsible for writing end-user documentation. In our
>25+ years of experience, we have never been asked to do such a thing.
>We do not
>have the training to do real QA testing.

>Certainly we do usability testing as part of our job functions. We
>evaluate the
>design of a product to ensure that it doesn't hinder the user rather
>than help
>him do his job. But it seems odd to label us "QA test
>writers" when we also design and create a product that needs to be QA

>I'd like the opinions of other writers. Am I being unreasonable in
>this arrangement?



I've done some certification (actually volunteered to get one product
out) along with development of automation test code and database
extraction/symbolization rulesets. I have been recruited during some
software testing cycles because having documented the entire package, I
am one of the few people who see the product as a collection of related
pieces rather than stand-alone components (feeding and fed by black
boxes). The testing also force-fed me to follow my own instructions
(who wrote these $#&* instructions anyway).

The downside was the cert plans, filing and tracking TRs, reloading
software, verifying installation, and so forth.

It's not just QA hat that has found it's way on my head, I've been
called in to teach customer classes (one through a Chinese interpreter -
you think with the last name Wing (with is of Danish extraction), I
would speak Chinese), do field training and installation, and handle
sales calls. On one project in my former company, I did the circuit
board layout, wirewrap, soldering, testing, ATE testing code, on-site
training, test plans, and the manual.

Hey, it's the 90s. With downsizing the trend, it's better to build your
skills horizontally (across disciplines) than vertically.

Mike Wing

>_/ Michael Wing
>_/ Principal Technical Writer
>_/ Jupiter Customization and Educational Services
>_/ Intergraph Corporation
>_/ Huntsville, Alabama
>_/ (205) 730-7250
>_/ mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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