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QA vs Dev and the great Ping Pong “Battle”

QA vs Dev and the great Ping Pong “Battle”

Anyone who has worked in hi-tech can tell you war-stories of how in the olden days those QA folk would come out from the dungeon to have defect meetings with Dev. That was in good cases where meetings actually occurred or Defect Tracking was done using an actual Bug Tracking Tool.

Many of us have worked under the gun in a Waterfall lifecycle management environment where for a variety of reasons major defects cause a ping-pong effect where builds are failed by QA at an early testing stage and returned to Dev.

This syndrome has many effects including frustration in QA and Dev, failure to meet deadlines, failure to test deeper as QA repeatedly gets stuck failing a build early on in testing and others.

This week on LinkedIn I (virtually) met a great Project Management Consultant, Itay Foyerstein. He raised this question in one of LinkedIn’s groups and I decided to add my thoughts to the discussion as an experienced QA Manager.

You can see Itay’s question here: –

How does your organization reduce the number of "PingPongs" between SW dev / QA ?

There are a number of great responses from people who have obviously lived thru this kind of  event, all of which I recommend reading however, ego aside I have included my response below:


Those of you who have worked with me or simply discussed this sort of thing with me are aware that I am an advocate and practitioner of  Agile / Scrum (in fact I’m a Scrum Master) so it should be no surprise if I am a believer in people over process.

I was in a job interview a few months back where the interviewer asked me what was a skill a QA Manager should develop and I jokingly said that QA Managers are the closest thing to Hostage Negotiators. We have to negotiate schedules, provide risk assessments and often report on bugs whose severity may clash with release schedules, priorities and perceptions of Dev or Product as to the actual impact of the bug.

These discussions are often adversarial or simply stressed due to tight scheduling. So the most important thing is to ensure strong collaboration, communication and realistic expectations.

Of course that was just my in a nutshell answer. If you have a product or team(s) that require this sort of Test/ Quality management then let me know. I am quite happy for the work. (Comments or e-mail)


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