Manufacturing Quality Guys Have All The Fun

Another story about how manufacturing quality guys have all the fun, this time at Shure, manufacturer of microphones:

If you’ve ever played in a band or done some home recording, chances are good you’ve come across a Shure mic. Their products range from entry-level throw-aways to wallet-goring audiophile tools.

And while the company’s products are sometimes short on sex-appeal, their ubiquity is testament to their consistent level of quality: Shure knows how to build sturdy microphones. Ironically, this is due in no small part to the company’s equally impressive ability to destroy their mics as well.

“You test until something breaks, then you fix it,” says Boris Libo, Shure’s Manager of Corporate Quality Engineering. “And you keep going until you can’t fix it anymore.”

The SM58, a standard for live vocals known for its rugged design, is one of many products that Shure employees decimate on a regular basis. A few mics from every batch are brutalized in Shure’s destructive testing facilities to ensure they perform up to par. There they are scorched, smashed, frozen, and bathed in synthetic sweat.

Meanwhile, if one of us software quality guys brings a chainsaw on site, suddenly the contract is cancelled and you’re escorted to your car. Um, so I hear.

2 Responses to “Manufacturing Quality Guys Have All The Fun”

  1. jstrazzere Says:

    “they are scorched, smashed, frozen, and bathed in synthetic sweat”

    That’s a lot like what I do to the software systems I test.
    Expect that the sweat is real…

  2. The Director Says:

    Also, what happens if it is submerged in a project manager’s tears?

    But that’s pretty much every piece of software not developed in pure Scrum.


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