May 25, 2006

Quality is in the doing

From "Verbing the Noun" - Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt - The Pragmatic Programmers:

Quality is another important word. We plan it, measure it, hire folks to manage it, and buy big posters about it (“Consolidated Widgets Inc., where Quality is a Word on the Wall”). But again, you shouldn’t use quality as a noun: you can’t measure, draw, or describe it. All you can measure are its effects, the things that result from doing things a certain way. People mistakenly equate (say) bug rates with quality. But in reality, bug rates simply correlate with the way the software was written. If we do things a certain way, the bug rates will be lower and we can claim to have higher quality. Quality is part of the process; it’s in the doing. Quality isn’t a set of rules or a set of metrics; it’s in the spirit of the smallest of our daily activities. Again, quality is a verb trapped in a noun’s body.