Making QA Strategic – Let’s Get Real

This February, for the third time in a row, I made the trek from West Michigan to Columbus, OH, for the QA Or The Highway Conference. The show maxed out the facility, and featured keynotes from Karen Johnson, now at, and Bramha Ghosh of Google.

The pleasant surprise for me was the debate on making QA Strategic. We got real, we got honest, we talked about out successes and our not-so-successes. About half way into the session, I turned around to the whiteboard and taking notes. Here’s what we came up with:

Hand Notes Making QA Strategic

My friend, Bryan Bayer, took notes on his laptop, and offered to share them with the attendees; I’ve saved them to a PDF.

And, of course, there is the audio. I recorded the session for my own notes, and, toward the end, prematurely offered to give the material away to anyone who asked. This is the sort of thing I should have sorted out in advance, but, after talking to all the players, we’ve got enough consensus to offer the audio recording of the session. The audio is not great; I did not bring any specialized recording gear. Still, I hope you find it helpful.

The ideas we were talking about – about the impact of quality on strategy, about developing influence, and becoming advocates for resilience in a system under constant change – those ideas are early days. It was really neat to kick them around in a place where we could be real, and honest, and open, and vulnerable, with people I trust like Joe Ours, Josh Assad, Jared Small, Rob Boyer, Kevin Malley, Erik Davis, and Diana Wendruff.

The potential is real. The opportunity is real. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

Let’s get to it.

2 comments on “Making QA Strategic – Let’s Get Real

  1. As the number of software tests increases there are bound to be test failures. And it’s easiest to spot a house in disrepair when the rest of the neighborhood is clean. As the entire neighborhood deteriorates, finding that same house gets harder.

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