July 5, 2011

Five Years

Today marks my five-year anniversary at my current company.

It's hard for me to believe that I've been here five years already. Yet when I look back at all we've accomplished, it sometimes seems like more:
  • When I started, there was no real Quality Assurance Team.  Whatever small bit of testing occurred was being performed by Product Management folks in their spare time.  Since then, we've created a terrific team in the US, augmented by some good contractors, and a small team in India as well.
  • Bugs were not being tracked in any central system.  There were a few emails floating around, and an occasional spreadsheet, but no place where people could go to find the status of bugs.  Now, we use Bugzilla, and people have grown tired of me asking "Do we have a bug report for that?"
  • Lots of people have come and gone over the past five years.  Initially, the biggest change was the prior CTO being replaced by my boss.  Since then, many other folks have left.
  • We've changed a significant portion of the infrastructure behind most of our applications.  It's far more scalable and sustainable now.
  • We've formalized many of our development and testing processes, and created the necessary processes where none existed before.
  • We've gone from fighting fires every day, to a much more stable, dependable set of systems.  Where before many of our systems needed manual, hands-on attention every day, they now run in a much more automated fashion.
  • Our product lines have changed over time.  We have weeded out some products that were single-customer, poorly funded products.  We've created some new products, and retired others.
  • And last year, the company was purchased by a much larger corporation.  We're still adjusting to that change.

Lots of work, lots of changes, lots more to come.  All in all, a good five years.

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
Find me at http://strazzere.blogspot.com/.


  1. Congrats Joe - so what are the main things you've learned in those 5 years ?

  2. Thanks, Phil!

    I learn something new every day, so over five years I've learned a ton.

    In particular, I've learned to always focus on the needs of the business. While I always worry about "are there more bugs?" and "shouldn't I really should be doing more tests?", I know that sometimes it's more important to ship something on time than it is to wait until it's perfect, but late.

    And I've learned to constantly check in and make sure I understand the *current* business needs, since they may change rapidly.