As a software developer and self-proclaimed geek of many years I have seen many words repurposed and mangled to reflect our new technologies and actions.
Words like Tweet, which used to be the sound a bird made. Selfie, which never even used to be a word. Google which started out as a company name and their flagship product and now is used as a verb, ie; google it, I just googled my name.
So I was in a conversation in the office and used the acronym QA [Quality Assurance] as a verb. ie; I QA my code before sending it to the QA team. Unbeknownst to me, this is now considered a faux pas. Apparently to some Quality Assurance folks, this is so heinous that you must be called out for it publicly. Made to answer for your crime, etc. etc.
I submit that the acronym QA has now been repurposed as a word and that the word can be either a noun or a verb. What say ye, the diverse and wonderful community of Daily Kos?
Follow me below the orange doodle for a deeper dive into this subject.
The arguments against this that I have read is that you would never say "I am going to send this to IT and have it IT'd." or that it would sound silly if you blew out the acronym in your sentence, "I Quality Assurance my code before sending it to the Quality Assurance team". I was told that I should use the word "Test" instead.
Those arguments, while true, are red herrings. I am not using QA as an acronym. I am a software developer, not an IT specialist. I develop software. I am a subset of IT which includes our QA department.
When I "QA" my code, I am not just testing it to make sure it works. I mean the damn thing compiled so it works in some way right? No, what I am doing is making sure that my code does what is expected in the way it is expected. Currently that also means to insure that the User Experience (UX) is what is expected and acceptable and that the User Interface (UI) is correct and follows our standards and guidelines.
A Quality Assurance Specialist does oh so much more in my opinion. If all they did was test, I could write some kind of AI (Artificial Intelligence) code that would step through a test. Oh wait, our QA department already does that. Companies have created whole suites of tools to do the stuff that can be defined and automated. ie; click this button and this value should appear given these parameters...every time.
To me, a Quality Assurance Specialist's main focus should be, assuring quality. Quality of layout and design. Quality of user experience. Quality of consistent coding and calculations. Quality of the product as a whole package, not just the one issue on the one page that you are testing.
I get the argument that they gave me that they want to have the company use the proper terms for things. I want that too. When I work on an issue (or bug as most people refer to them as but that is a different diary for a different time), I send it to QA when I am done. I want them to Assure the Quality of my work. I do not want them to just test it. I can build a script to test it. I want them to look at it with the critical eyes they have developed over years of working in applications. I want them to use their knowledge of the product and our clients to Assure the Quality of the design, process flow and accuracy.
I am reminded of my days back in the PC (Printed Circuit Board but changed to PC because 2 letter acronyms are best) assembly division of Hewlett-Packard. I was a final inspector of the finished PC Boards. (They were called PCA Printed Circuit Assembly but again, just PC for that 2 letter sweetness).Our mantra was, you don't inspect in quality, you build it in. Software applications are not like an assembled product where you have a schematic, an assembly drawing and a build of materials (BOM), where every xyz Motherboard will have the same parts assembled in the same way and the same order. As a final inspector, my job was to insure that the quality of the assembly met our standards. It then went on to the Testers. They tested the board functionality which again was the same thing every time. You only needed a human to do it because someone had to physically load the board onto the machine and load the correct test program into the machine. If something failed a test, we had the ability to "tweak" things so that it would pass. It would then go on to become part of an assembled product that also got tested as a complete product.
The level of skill, and pay, was greater for a tester than it was for a final inspector. In this analogy, final inspection is like software testing. Is the button there and does it do something? The QA specialist is more like the finished product technicians. Does this working button do what it is supposed to do? When I use it as it will be used, do I get back the correct results every time, no matter what has changed?
So, QA... verb, noun, both? Discuss...
7:22 PM PT: Updated: changed repurpose to re-purposed. My spell checker likes it better now.
7:44 PM PT: Added the snark tag because truthfully, even though this has been being pondered by my thoughtful side of my brain, I will honor and respect their request for me not to use it as a verb again.
Sat Dec 14, 2013 at 2:56 PM PT: Wow I find it kind of telling that no one voted for the "No Opinion". I am also amused by the replies that read way more into the situation than was actually there.
I value the people who assure the quality of our product. I would much rather have them find things than have it get released and the client find it.