You Hates QA, Too

Joe Strazzere links to a story about how Cosmi blamed its QA team publicly for a problem:

A woman was stunned and a software company apologetic after an offensive word showed up on a computerized typing test. Monica Loadholdt was using Perfect Typing Pro, a software program made by Cosmi, when the ‘N word’ showed up in one of the typing exercises.

“I just stopped,” Monica remembers. “I said, ‘What did I just type here?'”

Monica quickly sent an e-mail to the Cosmi Corportation. Cosmi replied to CBS station KOVR-TV in Sacramento, saying, “It is in no way something we would ever desire to have in our software. It was a mistake not caught by our quality assurance team.'” [sic]

Strazzere digs a little deeper and finds:

It turns out that the typing tests included in the product are based on classic literature – “The Iliad”, “The Odyssey”, “Through the Looking Glass”, etc.

I ran a quick scan of the text, and sure enough, the offending word shows up in two of the exams – one based on “Three Partners” by Bret Harte and one based on “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain.

Shame on those QA staffs for not reading the entire Western literary canon for offensive words.

On the other hand, Joe then says that it’s not a bug if it’s not in the requirements; however, this, too, would identify a place where QA could pipe up and say, “Are you sure you want the word nigger in our application?”

Kind of like I would have said to WCCO news, “Are you sure you want an obscene acronym in your URL?”

Still, if I worked for a company like Cosmi that would publicly blame gaffes on its QA staff, well, I’d be hitting Dice.com from the comfort of my home this morning. Cosmi has really declined since the days of Super Huey anyway.

No Responses to “You Hates QA, Too”

  1. strazzerj Says:

    “On the other hand, Joe then says that it’s not a bug if it’s not in the requirements; however, this, too, would identify a place where QA could pipe up and say, “Are you sure you want the word nigger in our application?”

    It’s not clear that QA for Cosmi even has an opportunity to look at the content. I’ve asked Cosmi about that, but haven’t yet received an answer.

    It certainly wouldn’t be unusual for the QA group to be involved in testing the application portion itself, while inserting the content is left to others.

    -joe


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