The Quality Assurance profession is at a crossroads: One way leads to a loss of distinction and credibility, the other to greater professional awareness and understanding the value represented by QA during delivery. Brian Gaudreau believes the profession must respond quickly and forcefully to ensure that the second road is taken.
Gaudreau, a veteran of more than 20 years in the quality assurance field, will make his call to action Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 18, at the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference 2016. His topic: Quality, 2020–in fact, nothing less than a hard look into the future of his profession.
“I call it 2020 for two reasons: I believe a lot of factors are going to come into play to make 2020 a critical year for the profession, and 20-20 vision is what we’re going to need to see our way to the future we want to be a part of,” he says.
Trends have been working against a healthy quality assurance field in recent years, he argues.
“Quality in software delivery and sustainment will always have competing pressures between capability desired and the budget/time/quality delivered.” Gaudreau says. “As we approach the year 2020 technology landscape, there are additional competing pressures we need to understand to be most effective with quality going forward.”
Chief among them are changing customer expectations and accelerated time-to-market demands. These place QA team or methodology in the position of “holding up the product” rather than ensuring its performance prior to shipping. “We need to take a hard look at quality and ask ourselves, ‘What is our value proposition?’ Scrum can articulate clear principles–what about quality? What are our principles?”
His presentation will delve deeply into the dynamics within the industry that are challenging sustaining quality at many companies. “It should be provocative,” he says. “The way I see it, either we evangelize on our own behalf and defend our value, or we will be caught unprepared and absorbed with assumptions about quality by the time 2020 rolls around.”
Gaudreau will be speaking at 1:30 on Oct. 18 in the Level 3 auditorium at the World Trade Center in Portland, OR.