The Big Picture

Lately I have been thinking a lot, not to say “obsessed”, with the big picture. I can’t but wonder if that is a general IT industry problem, that big picture. I mean missing it.

My current theory is that computer work is just too hard (or tools not advanced enough?), and there is too much pressure and too hard time constraints to allow people to step back and think about the big picture from time to time, to make sure everything makes sense.

And perhaps that’s why you hire and have QA people, perhaps that is the real purpose of QA. At least I feel that now. I mean, what’s the use of something that has a high “technical quality”, if it just doesn’t make sense? That is actually a big part of the quality, “making sense”. Because of that I’m starting to feel like my job is being a developer that does important things that “nobody has time to do”, because they’re too busy fighting with details. Not in the sense of a “manager”, but in the sense of some “responsible” developer. It’s a really strange job position I think :-)

It’s really hard to measure the impact of good QA in a software project, but I’m sure that is high, probably higher than people use to think. For me, thinking about software projects without QA is a bit like thinking about programming without a Version Control System: I wonder how I had done it in the past, and feel really unconfident without it. How many projects have failed (both from the resources and goals point of view, and from the business point of view) for not having good QA? How many projects have been delayed, or even cancelled, because they lacked someone caring about the Big Picture?

EDIT (2008-5-18): I have disabled comments in this post due to insane amount of spam. If you want to comment, please comment in some other entry :-/