[QUESTION] Assigned Defect Reports and QA

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[QUESTION] Assigned Defect Reports and QA

Dennis E. Hamilton-2
I am using Urmi's message just as a reminder about a question that has been in the back of my mind.

When students and others come here to work on QA, what is it QA is thought to be?

So, what do those who have asked to be part of the QA operations here regard as what they are called upon to do and what skills are to be demonstrated?

I'm asking because, normally, QA is not about making fixes.  

Quick fixes and simple fixes are generally what we think of as something a developer that is new to the project could start with in making contributions to the code.

QA encompasses rather different areas.  Identifying a defect in the code and even preparing a tested patch can and has happened.  Yet, as welcome as that is, it is not, in my mind, what QA is about.  In particular, much QA requires an understanding of the product, but not of its code.

I am not making reference to the use of QA as a meta-activity related to the quality and repeatability of a development and delivery process.

I am thinking of QA for AOO as an activity that is involved with confirming reported defects, obtaining sufficient precision and reproducibility to ensure that different defects/symptoms are not being confused together, and then to verify that a repair, if produced, actually cures the defect that is reported.  This activity can well isolate a defect and its occurrence so much that a developer can find a single or connected cause.  The person conducting the QA might even do that.  I tend to think the QA person has put on a different hat when that happens.

Another aspect of QA is focused attention to the product that gives rise to defect reports, either in documentation, in product behavior, and also in product usability.  (This last is not regarded by some as a proper matter for QA, but that is a separate topic.)

I am not out to discourage anyone from finding fixes to reported defects, or even identifying defects on their own.  I just want some clarity on what those who have asked be part of QA here how they see what their contribution is.

 - Dennis

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Urmi Shah [mailto:[hidden email]]
> Sent: Friday, February 5, 2016 11:34
> To: [hidden email]
> Subject: Assign Defect Reports
> Hello,
> I am fairly comfortable with the process now. Can you please assign a
> set of defect reports to me?
> Thank you,
> Urmi Shah

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