Well, the relaunch anyways!
In order to explain what exactly Qubed Apples is, I want to tell you a brief story…
A man goes to the manufacturer and asks for them to make him some apples (yes, I know you don’t manufacture apples…just bear with me). In order to be extremely helpful, and to ensure that he got the right product, he was very specific about what he wanted from his apples. They should be dark red apples, about the size of your fist, really juicy, and really sweet. For apples, that is a pretty good description…in fact, if you know apples, you could probably even figure out what varietal they are.
The manufacturer says no problem, and gets right to work cranking out the apples. Since this had the potential to be a major client, the manufacturer wanted to make sure that they were putting out the best possible apple they could, and so they hired on a team of testers to test the apples to make sure they met the specifications the client requested. Finally, after many trial runs, they finally had an apple that passed 100% of the criteria the client set forth. When the client came to pick up the apples, he opened the first box and nearly had a heart attack. This was not what he had ordered at all! Instead of the apples he was expecting, what he saw were little cubes about the size of his fist.
See, the manufacturer didn’t know what an apple was, outside of it being a fruit, and had just gone on what they had been given by the client. The client had made the assumption that everyone knew what an apple was, and thus did not need to explain that part. The end result was a product that 100% passed testing, but in reality, was not at all what the client wanted. How did this make it into the clients hands? The QA process had a fairly major flaw…they were simply testing the product, instead of making sure it was a quality product.
This is one of the biggest issues with QA teams at the moment. They believe that Quality Assurance is testing. While it is true that testing is a component of QA, it is really a pretty small component in the big picture. QA is more of a mindset than anything to me. The QA organization/team/lead should know their product inside and out, even the things the developers don’t know, or even the product owners. You should be making sure the product does what the user expects, not just what the developers build, or what the specs say to build. You should strive to put out the best possible product for the end user that you can. That means saying no sometimes (a lot actually…), helping during the design stages, and just being intimately involved during the entire process. If you are merely testing, chances are you will end up with Qubed Apples…
My goal here is to further the QA mindset, to help people move beyond just testing their applications, and moving towards making it a better application that fully meets the needs of their clients. I want to elicit conversations that make you think about the things you are doing, and want to improve upon those things. I want to create a collaborative community of professionals that draw upon each other for ideas and inspiration. I want QA to be a real advantage for an organization, and not just a resource drain. I don’t want to make Qubed Apples, I want to make Jonathan Apples!