Thursday, January 20, 2011

Transaction Log Quality and the Importance of QA

If you read my post a few months back that gave a progress report on Drizzle Replication, you know that our major focus lately has been the quality of the transaction log. It has to be solid before other things can be built upon it. And fixing bugs in it usually means fixing bugs in the core replication message stream, so other replication plugins will benefit as well.

Well, Patrick Crews, the Drizzle QA Superman, has sent this post to the drizzle-discuss mailing list:

It looks like we finally have a high-quality transaction log to build on! With that solid foundation in place, we can now work on adding more functionality.

This, of course, couldn't have happened with some super high quality QA work. Any developers out there know that finding your own flaws in code you maintain is difficult to do. You're too close to the code, can't see the forest for the trees. Sure, you'll find the obvious ones whenever you get a core dump, or when some unit or regression test fails (you do have those, right?). It's the super-hard-to-find-make-you-wish-you-chose-another-career bugs that are the ones that are usually missed. Sometimes because once we code it, we want to move on to something else as quickly as possible, so we'd like to assume that it works. The reality is usually different...

This is where QA comes in. Their job is to pull the reins in on you, show you where you messed up, and make sure it gets fixed. It's usually a thankless job, but it's also one that is absolutely necessary. Patrick continually amazes me at what he does and how thorough he is. How we got lucky enough to snag him for the Drizzle team is beyond me, but I'm glad we did. Without his QA expertise, we'd certainly be quite lagging in the quality of our product. (He would try to give us developers the credit for fixing the bugs, but we are the ones introducing the bugs to begin with!)

So never underestimate the value of your QA team. You can't make a quality product without them. And have you thanked your QA team lately?  (Thanks Patrick!)

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely right. Patrick is realy a superman.
    The Great hunter of bugs.
    We are very lucky to have Patrick for Drizzle.