The Importance of Quality Control and Assurance

Alex Sloman is an exceptional developer who really does not need someone checking his work, however, he accepts it openly. Once you read his response, you will understand why. We have worked together for 6+ years and the greatest part about that experience is his direct openness.
How important is QC to you, as a developer?

Alex Sloman:
It is important to the point where it can make a good developer a great one.

When a developer builds something, there is a proud ownership of the work that is there. That pride in their work is important, but it can also be the very thing that prevents a developer from becoming a better developer. Because although that piece of work may be good in its own right, it won’t be perfect. There will always be something incorrect within the work. Whether it is something major, such as a part that is actually broken in a certain viewing environment, to something as minor as an extra word space. That’s where an opportunity to become better arises. The QA person can review your work, spot the errors, and urge that they are fixed before a client has had a chance to review the final work.

A developer that is not used to this process could strongly dislike it at first. Work that they worked hard to produce is suddenly being scrutinized. Flaws are being discovered. In some cases, many flaws. Some of these flaws the developer will disagree with. It is a direct challenge to the developers’ ego. However, the fixes are important. They bring an essential polish to the work. It makes good work great. It prevents the client from discovering these sorts of imperfections. After all, if it is indeed the client that is actually discovering these problems, how long would it be before they decide to go somewhere else, where they make far fewer errors?

And so the work gets reviewed. Mistakes are found, and mistakes are fixed. And the client is none the wiser. They see a (near) perfect piece of work. And they get used to seeing high quality work again and again. And so, they keep coming back. The client rarely gets to see this part of the process, but would certainly notice the absence of it.

And the best part is the developer gets to improve. They can learn to put their ego aside, fix the errors, and release the work. And they get to reinforce their pride knowing that the work is great, rather than just good.

Alex Sloman
Senior developer