Photo of a white and light brown cat with one paw on its head: "I r confus."

Keep High Standards High


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I disappointed myself today.  After finishing up with what should have been the final test build before release, I made the decision to keep a small bug in the release build to avoid my colleague having to do another (manual) build to revert the changes that caused it.  Yup, this was a new bug that we’d knowingly be releasing to production.


What was I thinking?


I was thinking about all those times I’ve been told, “your standards are too high,” or, “that can be fixed next week,” or, “that won’t have much of an impact, will it?”  And I was concentrating on how much work my team has done in recent months to keep the build and release schedule tight – vastly reducing the number of rushed builds at the last minute, and surprise urgent bugs – I didn’t want to instruct an unscheduled build for something that wasn’t urgent, creating more work for my busy colleague.


Luckily, I work with great people.


Another dev colleague approached me: “I was surprised by your decision… Are you sure?”


The truth was no, I wasn’t sure.  If I’d been in the same position a few months earlier, there’s no way I would have let that go out, but I’ve been feeling worn down and not up for causing a fuss – absolutely no excuse for a poor decision!  We had a quick chat about the version in production and how that would change after the release – which would we rather have?  The one we have now, of course!  But I was feeling weak, and had a momentary lapse of judgement and standards.


I’m a tester.  I live quality.  This is what I’m passionate about.


In the grand scheme of things, the small bug probably wouldn’t have caused a massive issue within a week, but that’s really not the point.  I’m so grateful to my colleague for bringing me back to the right path, reminding me that I have the right to pull things out whenever I see fit, and call for another build.  A lapse like that probably wouldn’t have been a big deal for someone else, but this is one of my main responsibilities and when the ball was falling through the air, I watched and didn’t put out my hands to catch it, and that disappoints me.


So, testers, keep your high standards high.  It’s why we do this job, and people rely on us doing it well.  It can be hard feeling like you’ve caused extra work and hassle for other people, but you can either do that quick and early, or lose sight of the users you’re doing this for and cause more problems later.  And for the weak moments you probably will have, hopefully you’ll have a good team by your side to help you catch the ball too.


Thanks, William =]

6 thoughts to “Keep High Standards High”

  1. Thanks Cassandra! You say “I made the decision”: is it right that one individual tester should be the one to make that call? I think discussing it with others and getting a collective decision is probably better, especially as other people might have information or views that you are not aware of, which could also have a bearing on any decision.

    1. Hi Simon,

      Good point! To give more context, I’m the only tester working on the entire current version and am usually the one to make a final decision on the build.

      However, you’re right that others may still be able to provide useful information or opinions, just like in this case!

      A lesson for me is to remember I have the team to consult with before having to make any decision =]


  2. Interesting to me that you see this as a ‘lapse’ when it could also be viewed as the outcome of a risk assessment: the risk of taking on another build (which could introduce other unknown issues) vs the known risk of having this small bug in production. Sometimes the push to be “perfect” every drop causes its own problems. ?

    1. Ah, that’s another interesting way to look at it! Yes, as I’m finding with lots of things, it’s about balance and knowing how to find it! I often go too far the other way while trying to “adjust”. Hopefully I’ll even myself out some time! =]

  3. Well done, Cassandra! By putting your experience in words, you have not only let other testers in the community know what not to do, you have also made your working relationship stronger with your colleagues. Good work.

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