Process Management / Transition Manager
Legent / Computer Associates
1995 - 1996
I was hired by Legent
to build a Quality Assurance department for them. This not only
included building the team, but also building a process, and building
a lab. They had no test equipment, no test procedures, and three
testers to work with about 60 developers.
I spent my first weekend
there doing on-hands testing on the product that came out of development
late Friday night, and was due to be released on the following
Monday. We borrowed everyone who was willing to come in to conduct
the tests manually (no automated test tools). I even pressed my
boss and my wife into service! Clearly, we needed to start with
QA as part of project planning.
I was three weeks
into the process of outlining what the QA department and its role
in the company should look like when a unique thing happened:
Computer Associates announced that it was taking over Legent.
Shortly thereafter, a long list of "thou shalt nots" came out
including hiring freezes, blocked equipment purchases, and orders
to stand by until directed what to do. At least one improvement
happened; the ratio of QA people to developers doubled. Half the
development staff was working elsewhere a week after the announcement.
I was willing to give
the new company a fair shot, but it eventually became apparent
that the company was not for me, and that if they got around to
finding out who I was, it would also be apparent to them that
I wasn't the kind of player they wanted. So I started a job search,
after working out a new job with my Legent boss.
Since I could not
build a QA department, I could at least transition the plans I
started for configuration management, test lab, and test processes.
We had a lot of software and other intellectual property just
"out there." It became my job to find it, organize it, and turn
it over in a manageable fashion.
About this time, I
met an acquaintance on the Internet to whom I confided my plight.
She volunteered her skills as an expert in Microsoft Word to format
my resume. I sent it to her, and she sent me back a transcript
of an ad from the Greensboro News and Record for a QA Manager
position - specifically for someone to build a QA team. I applied,
I interviewed, I accepted.