Quality Assurance and Testing Principles Applied to the Sport of Golf
Golf is an imperfect game – and QA is about imperfect jobs. I am passionate about both.
This makes me a wannabe perfectionist who knows I’ll never reach perfection. But, in my endless ascent of Mt. Perfection, I employ similar tools and rules for golf and quality assurance.
Making the fundamentals count
With the game of golf, each round is distinctly different from each other. One day might be a good driving day, while other days might be great putting days. It’s rare when all cylinders are hitting at the same time. But, what is common between the rounds are the fundamentals of the swing that can help minimize the issues I run into on the course.
Patience, humility and a good sense of humor can make each round enjoyable regardless of the score. This is especially true when playing unfamiliar courses.
With quality at the office, I work with my team to deliver software that delights the customer. We can try many different ideas, but, over time, one recognizes patterns that appear over several projects.
Consider your variables
Most new software projects can be thought of as unfamiliar golf courses. There are patterns that you learned in the past, but how do they apply in the current context? What types of adjustments do you need to make?
Before taking a shot, I take a little bit of time thinking about:
- the distance from the hole
- the right club for the job
- the current weather conditions in which I am playing, like wind and rain
- and where the sand traps are located.
All these are taken into account before I approach the tee. I play the shot in my mind before playing the shot in real life.
This time to catch my breath is something that I have found to be very helpful in my professional job as well. Instead of jumping straight into what one might consider being a good solution, just taking a little bit of time to do a quick analysis of the situation can really help save time down the road.
Ask yourself these questions, to better apply quality to all aspects of your life:
- What have you learned from your job that has helped in your day-to-day life?
- What have you learned in your other passions that you have applied to the testing role?
I dove into more parallels between golf and QA in my recent PNSQC talk, How Golf Taught Me To Be A Better Professional. You might be surprised about what the real takeaway is. I’m not promising to rid you of that annoying slice or help you have more two-putt holes. But, I think my remarks will be worth taking back to the job.