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Comment You might as well ask... (Score 5, Informative) 58 to build a software company.

Anyway, there is a lot to QA, but everything starts with the build and bug/feature tracking systems. QA is anchored to these two pillars. Formalizing (and documenting) how these systems work and interact is critical to correctly tracking issues, reproducibility and inter-QA-to-developer communication. A strong nightly build system coupled with a properly used tracking tool (like Bugzilla, Jira, etc) are pretty much the cornerstone of any framework.

The build system itself breaks down into the nightly automated build process as well as source revision control system. Testing should start before QA ever sees a build by testing the build after checkins and running developer implemented unit tests. Tagging release candidates and making sure that QA is working with the correct build is critical to optimizing QA efficiency. Nothing is worse than having QA run tests on the wrong build.

Next, QA testing itself gets divided into two major categories: automated and manual testing. Automation has a high initial cost of development, but pays off in the long run with lower labor, especially for mundane tasks that are too tedious to possible test by human.

Automation typically is closely linked into the build system. Manual testing breaks down into a bunch of different sub-categories, but all manual testing should follow documented test plans. Test plan documentation can get overboard, but at least you want a wiki of some kind (Confluence, etc) to document how development wants QA to perform the testing.

Manual testing is often where labor is the biggest factor, and thus it tends to get the most attention from management. These folks tend to be either "testers" good at testing vs. system integrators who are good at staging environments that look like real world customer environments. Much here of course depends on the nature of your product and your customer.

However, with both manual and automated testing, it is important to have infrastructure for creating clean environments to test with. This usually involves some form of virtualization. QA needs to be able to produce clean images of systems to test with. This part of QA has never been easier, unless you are a hardware company, and actually have to still use a lot of physical equipment instead of VMs.

Release quality is determined by comparing the list of open issues targeting a given milestone and their status. Again, a well integrated tool for issue tracking is critical in the process of release management.

Lastly, I would not wait 10 years to formalize a QA plan. Every software startup that I know of had a QA director starting to fill this plan out within a few months of getting seed money. QA is integral to software (and hardware) engineering.

Comment Re:Phone as a pager (Score 3, Informative) 246

No, it would not - it would be even less private. Why? Because the cell network would not know which tower your phone was near and thus have to broadcast the page to all towers and all phones. Everyone in the world would know your phone needed to check-in. It would not scale (world has too many phones) and it's stupid.

Comment Re:One more reason we need restrictions on drones. (Score 3, Interesting) 179

Firearms are protected by the 2nd amendment. I am afraid drones are not. I guarantee in 10 years, to buy a drone you will have to...

- mandatory background check
- mandatory 3 hour online drone safety course that costs $100 and has to be renewed with a new course every 5 years
- mandatory annual safety inspection of the drone that costs $50
- mandatory national registration markings on the drone tied to you in a federal database

No joke.

Comment Re:Bullshit (Score 5, Informative) 122

Actually, the no pesticides claim is completely true. First, by having the crops indoors, you seriously cut down on attracting open air pests. Second, the crops are seeded in a cloth mat. After harvest, the mats are removed, cleaned, and if too worn destroyed. The cleaning process happens every 20 days, which is much shorter than the insects life cycle. So, the insects never get a chance to settle in. The cleaning process is like a laundry, removes any eggs.

Comment Re:Safety Deposit Box (Score 2) 208

This is by far the best approach out of all of the recommendations. Obviously, sending paper documents (or USB drives) via overnight delivery is relatively immune to intercept, but what if you relatives leave the documents out in an unsafe area? The best place is a safe deposit box, along with any portable valuables (nice watch, jewelry, etc). You can arrange in your will to have your estate trustee then disseminate the contents.

Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal