QA is Dead – Find A Sherpa

Where are the UX Sherpas?

Quality Ambassador

I like this one. Quality is not the sole responsibility of a QA. If the whole team doesn’t take quality seriously, the release of new features will always be delayed (or worse, buggy software gets released). Your job is to help the whole team own the quality of the work. The best QAs I’ve worked with have been able to inspire the whole team to care about quality. They work closely with others to share their knowledge and prod others to pick up habits that help improve the quality of their work

I read the above statement this evening and was left feeling like a relic. I spent some time in a QA role and feel like QA/QE is a bygone art. Code is churned out and released in the wild for users to become the QA testers in today's product world.

The tools that I use on a daily basis are software gizmos that should be relied on – like some fantastic sonic screwdriver – to get actual work done. What once were golden standards of excellence though are now cheap knockoffs riddled with lose screws and wobbly parts that require janky work-arounds just to start a basic task.

The apps that I often use seem to degrade over time, perhaps due to the misplaced belief that completion is better. Better than lost users and negative sentiment toward your product, though?

Move fast and break things” has been proven not to work in the long run. It just defies logic in fact.

Maybe Wall Street and investors pushing for quarterly returns are just as much at fault as company stakeholders who push for results over rational test schedules. QA in fact is often quickly on the chopping block when cost cutting becomes mandatory. No one seems to have learned that lean and mean is not a long term healthy driver for excelling product experiences.

Look at most apps or tech products today. It's a real struggle to find any without user facing bugs. We get products and code with cockroaches scrambling all over the place as we try and use them.

I probably spend anywhere from a quarter to a third of my day battling bugs of various shape and size just to get some productivity clocked for the day.

It used to be that buggy product experiences were the exception – now they are the norm.

Does anyone care? This is just one person's personal rant at the end of a bug filled day, one person feeling like going Mace Windu, Kylo Ren, or whiz bang Yoda lightsaber bashing on a number of apps I used today. However, I hear similar frustrations from so many others too.

QA may have died, but maybe there's still a few experienced UX savvy Sherpas around who won't bend to the winds of flaky product releases.

Users are begging for better UX. That means investing in QA again.

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