WQTS 08

Three food-related QA failures today.

Last weekend, Maggie and I went to “Pints for Paws,” a benefit for Berkeley Humane. Naturally, this being the Bay Area, there were protesters. Mercy for Animals had a question for everyone who attended:
11 - 01They have a point. I immediately saw the error of my ways. I assured the young man who gave me the brochure that I would make changes in my diet as soon as I could find a supermarket that carried canine cutlets and feline fillets. Oddly, he didn’t seem pleased with the evidence that their campaign was working.

In software development, ambiguous specifications are a major cause of bugs. The same is true in any other field. Murphy’s Law tells us that if something can be misinterpreted, it will be. If you’re trying to make an important point, have an independent observer review your copy before you blow your budget on printing.

While I’m on the subject, wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on organizations that are actively working against your cause instead of a group that’s has similar goals, but doesn’t go exactly where you are? I’ve never seen a pro-vegan protestor outside a barbeque restaurant, even in Berkeley…

For what it’s worth, we also went to the Bay Area Book Festival. Oddly, there weren’t any protesters there. Shouldn’t someone have been alerting attendees to the fact that the publishing industry kills trees–but not flowers–to print books, and urge them to go 100% e-book?


A few weeks ago, I saw this display at the grocery store:
11 - 02Yes, that’s a penny that I added to the basket to provide a sense of scale. Those are the smallest, orangest grapefruit I’ve ever seen.

And no, the sign isn’t for the shelf below. It’s hard to tell in this cropped, resized photo, but those yellow things are lemons.

It’s the little things that matter, folks. Developers test their code* before it goes to QA. You can do the same thing in any industry. Take a few seconds to ask yourself if you’ve completed all of the steps before you mark a task as done.

* Well, in an ideal world, anyway.


And then there’s this:
11 - 03I’m sorry, but this is just wrong. I freely admit that I don’t really get the whole “sweet + salt” craze. Sure, I’ll occasionally nibble a chocolate-covered salted caramel* or pretzel, but I don’t obsess about it. And, while I don’t have a problem with anyone who has gone full-on for sweet/salt foods, I will object strenuously to this abomination.

* No, Maggie, I haven’t been snitching yours, despite the temptation.

Let me make it easy: bacon is not a universal food, nor does it make everything better.

Back to the software industry: projects are reviewed many times to ensure that the software can be built as defined and that the design meets the needs of the customer. Same again in the rest of the world. Get someone outside of Marketing to take a look at the plan. And remember that “It won’t kill anyone” is not a sufficient standard of excellence.

It wouldn’t have taken a culinary QA expert to tell them this was a bad idea. Anyone with two functioning taste buds could have said “these flavors just don’t go together.” But I suppose cynical exploitation of a pair of trends trumped common sense.

4 thoughts on “WQTS 08

    • We weren’t there long–made a last-minute decision to go to Scalzi’s reading–but it did look good. Had we not already had tickets for Pints for Paws, we probably would have stayed a lot longer.

      Hopefully they’ll make it an annual event and not give us a scheduling dilemma next time.

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  1. Absolutely agree. Couldn’t possibly agree more. But- just in the interest of doing my own, empirical research, rather than just mindlessly following the crowd- were can I get some of this “Baconluxious” stuff? I will make sure it does not fall into the wrong hands, keeping it, especially, away from children, etc. Just…. where? Where? It’s alright. I’m a professional. You can tell me.

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    • I can’t stop you from destroying your taste buds. Nor would I try. I do my best to protect people from the dangers that surround them–especially those derived from inadequate testing–but it’s not my place to be anyone’s nanny. I can tell someone they’re contemplating a bad idea and present evidence to discourage them, but in the end, it’s their decision.

      I spotted the evil object in question at the Draeger’s market in Los Altos. This was, however, some time ago, and I’m pleased to be able to say that the last time I was there, the dread bar was no longer on the shelf.

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