Nothing too controversial here, but I’m from the U.S. and here are some observations that I believe. I’d be curious to here what Europeans, Latin Americans, South Americans and others have to say. Also what other U.S. folks have to say (I avoid using the term “Americans” to refer to U.S. people, since “America” covers many countries on 2 continents).
These are all my opinions based on my experience.
Testing vs QA
Everyone here probably knows the technical difference, but in the U.S. there is a marketing difference and the technical difference is ignored, “Testing” is considered unglamorous and low-pay while QA sounds much better. We have the same for “Sales” - it’s dirty and bad, so we call Sales Reps “Account Executives” or Marketing Reps even though sales !=marketing. I believe the roots of this is that when “testing” is mentioned, people envision some low-skilled person reading instructions off a clipboard and punching keys and marking it Pass or Fail. For some reason, it never occurred to them that the tests had to be designed, which could involve a great deal of thought. Early on in my career, I would list “Test Case Design” as one of my skills instead of “Testing.”
Process and Standards
I get the impression that Europeans and Latin Americans love to follow standards, especially internationally recognized standards like ISO 9001. In Costa Rica, the local cookie factory boasted that their cookies were 9001 compliant. My impression is that consensus is preferred over innovation. It’s better to conform to a wider community instead of experimenting with some new way of doing things. I think of how manufacturing standards tried to be applied to software development, which doesn’t work.
Age Discrimination in IT
In the U.S., age discrimination is the worst-kept secret. I believe age 40 was the first milestone where they saw this happening, but now I see they’re saying it’s 30 these days! This is getting as bad as figure skating where you’re over-the-hill at age 17. Are you experiencing this same thing?
That’s it for now.