Alison Hawke

QA

Building a QA practice from scratch

When you’re the only QA, how do you instill quality practices and build that mindset into the wider company? I'm going to walk through how we went from eight to forty-five quality advocates, and talk about recruiting, training, fun, multiple remote offices, delegation, velociraptor-avoidance techniques, staffing, blood, sweat, and tea. I’ll share the potholes we fell into so you can fall in different ones, and build a practice of awesome testers.

Building a QA practice requires buy-in from management and developers, and can mean changing the process to include up-front quality advocacy, instead of end-of-the-line quality control. Quality starts before the project is sold to the stakeholders, and it doesn't end until after the product is in the hands of the end users. Growing a practice means finding the right people to work with, and communicating well with clients, users, sales, management, and developers.


Alison Hawke

QA Practice Lead/Agent of Chaos

I'm the director of quality advocacy for WWT, serving a team of over forty testers in five cities. My goal is to write code that breaks code to make a better product for the user. I train technical testers who can help a team release awesome products that make client's lives better. I've been in QA since 2005 and I love getting into the code to test more thoroughly. I've written test code in Java, C#, JavaScript, and I am currently learning Elixir. Outside work, I'm a black belt in Chinese Kenpo and have fun sparring every week. I knit a lot of hats. Originally from England.

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