A Business Analyst's Views on QA



  • One of our BA's was nosing around for me to make some changes under the radar. We are under strict orders to do everything via our change-management system - no exceptions. The BA knows this. He says that if we put it into the CM system, that the QA people will know about it. I pointed out that that's the whole idea. He then says that he doesn't want QA to know about this change because then they will start asking questions when they go to test it. When I queried as to why he might not want QA to know about or test a change he wanted, he sheepishly admitted that he had been "cooking the books" by changing the books-and-records after-the-fact, that he had inadvertently admitted doing as such to the folks who oversee such things, that they raked him over the coals, and that he wanted to remove all evidence of what he had been doing.

    I asked him what change he needed, and after he walked away, I put it into the CM system: "Change needed: xxx; Reason: eliminate code that [BA] used to cook the books [details], mandated by [oversight team]".

    And I get *paid* to be entertained by this guy! God, I *love* my job.



  • Can you say Sarbanes Oxley? 



  • @belgariontheking said:

    Can you say Sarbanes Oxley? 

    That's pretty much what the oversight folks said. Interestingly enough, the functionality was put there so that support folks could fix legitimate problems without having to resort to SQL; at least this way the tables would be updated consistently. Unfortunately, this guy took it upon himself to go beyond what he was supposed to do in a very misguided attempt to make things look "better". His access was immediately removed, additional limits and logging were set up so that when someone does make a change, it can be tracked more easily, and as far as I can tell, this guy is now in hot water with our legal folks.



  •  WTF is a BA for? I'd like to give a medal to whoever convinced corporate America that they need BAs.  BAs are the most useless pieces of tissue on the planet. If every BA were to drop dead tomorrow, would business cease to make a profit?  I'd like to hear that resounding NO.  So BAs, learn your place in life and just STFU and GTFO and go get a real job.



  • @snoofle said:

    I asked him what change he needed, and after he walked away, I put
    it into the CM system: "Change needed: xxx; Reason: eliminate code that
    [BA] used to cook the books [details], mandated by [oversight team]".

    And I get *paid* to be entertained by this guy! God, I *love* my job.

     

    Please, please, please - keep us updated on the progress of this ticket as it progresses through the tracking system.  I anticipate plenty more LULZ as it proceeds!

     



  • @DaveK said:

    @snoofle said:
    I asked him what change he needed, and after he walked away, I put it into the CM system: "Change needed: xxx; Reason: eliminate code that [BA] used to cook the books [details], mandated by [oversight team]".

    And I get paid to be entertained by this guy! God, I love my job.

    Please, please, please - keep us updated on the progress of this ticket as it progresses through the tracking system. I anticipate plenty more LULZ as it proceeds!

    It took me about 10 minutes to restrict the privileges (mostly just adding a row to a permissions table and adding a 2 line check), and a couple of log statements. The QA folks seemed amused by my comments on the change request until they called to check and realized I was dead serious. They pushed it through and tested it in 10 minutes, then made a very public email about expediting this critical security patch into prod ASAP. I just got special permission to push it to prod mid-day. Emails are flying cc'd to everyone - this BA is toast!

    Addendum: apparently everyone hates this guy, and they're using this little patch as a reason to bury him. The oversight folks decided that instead of firing this guy, they would force him to be (effectively) demoted, have his privileges severely curtailed, and be completely humiliated. He's going to have to find another job. If nothing else, he'll never ask me for another favor :)



  • @Lysis said:

     WTF is a BA for? I'd like to give a medal to whoever convinced corporate America that they need BAs.  BAs are the most useless pieces of tissue on the planet. If every BA were to drop dead tomorrow, would business cease to make a profit?  I'd like to hear that resounding NO.  So BAs, learn your place in life and just STFU and GTFO and go get a real job.

    As I understand it, they translate customer desires into requirements.  At my last programming gig, writing a custom POS app for a client, that took up a signifigant chunk of my time.  Had we been working several consulting gigs, rather than just one, that simple task could easily have become a full time job.

     

    Someone's gotta figure out what the client wants.  Is that a job you relish? 



  • @merreborn said:

    Is that a job you relish? 
     

    MMMM. Relish.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    MMMM. Relish.
    Yes:

    Relish, v.: to be pleased or gratified by : enjoy

     

    Thank you for insightfully pointing out that the same word can also be used to mean a pickled garnish.  You've really raised the level of discourse in the thread.  Where would TDWTF be without you? 



  •  @merreborn said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    MMMM. Relish.
    Yes:

    Relish, v.: to be pleased or gratified by : enjoy

     

    Thank you for insightfully pointing out that the same word can also be used to mean a pickled garnish.  You've really raised the level of discourse in the thread.  Where would TDWTF be without you? 

     

    sense of humor


    noun
    the
    trait of appreciating (and being able to express) the humorous; "she
    didn't appreciate my humor"; "you can't survive in the army without a
    sense of humor"

     

    Stop being a prick.



  • @merreborn said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    MMMM. Relish.
    Yes:

    Relish, v.: to be pleased or gratified by : enjoy

     

    Thank you for insightfully pointing out that the same word can also be used to mean a pickled garnish.  You've really raised the level of discourse in the thread.  Where would TDWTF be without you? 

     Well, I thought it was funny...



  • @merreborn said:

    @Lysis said:

     WTF is a BA for? I'd like to give a medal to whoever convinced corporate America that they need BAs.  BAs are the most useless pieces of tissue on the planet. If every BA were to drop dead tomorrow, would business cease to make a profit?  I'd like to hear that resounding NO.  So BAs, learn your place in life and just STFU and GTFO and go get a real job.

    As I understand it, they translate customer desires into requirements.  At my last programming gig, writing a custom POS app for a client, that took up a signifigant chunk of my time.  Had we been working several consulting gigs, rather than just one, that simple task could easily have become a full time job.

     

    Someone's gotta figure out what the client wants.  Is that a job you relish? 

     

     

    No, I hate users.  But I hate going to work in general.  If I built the system and/or I maintain the system, then what could a user possibly express to me that I would need someone to translate it for me?   I understand the business AND the system which gives me an advantage over a BA who has no clue what it would take to make changes. 



  • @KludgeQueen said:

    @merreborn said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    MMMM. Relish.
    Yes:

    Relish, v.: to be pleased or gratified by : enjoy

     

    Thank you for insightfully pointing out that the same word can also be used to mean a pickled garnish.  You've really raised the level of discourse in the thread.  Where would TDWTF be without you? 

     Well, I thought it was funny...

     

    It made me realise just how much I want a cheese and Branston Pickle sandwich - I'm just glad I'm off to London tomorrow and can find Branston Pickle! :)



  • @KludgeQueen said:

     Well, I thought it was funny...

    me too.  Chill out merreborn 



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @KludgeQueen said:

     Well, I thought it was funny...

    me too.  Chill out merreborn 

     

     

    Pot calling kettle...pot calling kettle....you're black....over. 



  • @Lysis said:

    @belgariontheking said:

    @KludgeQueen said:

     Well, I thought it was funny...

    me too.  Chill out merreborn 

     

    trolly trolly troll troll.

    Did this make sense to anyone else?



  • @belgariontheking said:

    Did this make sense to anyone else?
     

    What makes no sense to me is why everyone doesn't just ignore Lysis... why do you feel obligated to respond to his behavior?

    Just let him be stupid... Who cares? He is only looking for the rise from you. There is nothing factual or intelligent in anything he has said here, so why would it bother anyone?



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @belgariontheking said:

    Did this make sense to anyone else?
     

    What makes no sense to me is why everyone doesn't just ignore Lysis... why do you feel obligated to respond to his behavior?

    Just let him be stupid... Who cares? He is only looking for the rise from you. There is nothing factual or intelligent in anything he has said here, so why would it bother anyone?

     

     

    Need I remind you of your WRONG information in the Ajax thread?  You and baljerk should just shlob nob each other  with your intense hypocrisy likeness.



  • I like the basic idea of Business Analysts, it's just the flawed execution that gets me every time...

    I'm still hopeful that one day I'll meet a BA who actually performs analysis.

    As an aside, I'm impressed by the speedy reversion to insults in only 15, or so, comments! ;)



  • @belgariontheking said:

    @KludgeQueen said:

     Well, I thought it was funny...

    me too.  Chill out merreborn 

    Sorry, it's just been a while since I've seen a post from MasterPlanSoftware that was actually on topic.



  • BA's are useful, here is why:

    Customer: I want A (They really need C)

    BA: Ok (Recognized they need C)

    BA to Development: Make C

    (Development Makes C) 

    Customer: Thanks, this is exactly what I needed!

     

    Without a BA:

    Customer: I want A (They really need C)

    (Development Makes B, because customer was too vague about A) 

    Customer: This is nothing like what I asked for!

     



  • @merreborn said:

    Sorry, it's just been a while since I've seen a post from MasterPlanSoftware that was actually on topic.
     

    Maybe you should check your reading comprehension then...



  •  Regardless of anything else on this post...

    snoffle, you seem to be in the most entertaining company! Screw television, you should video tape these and share with us!



  • Cooking the books. Well at least some one has some ethics. A rare commodity it seems.

    I used to run a lot of statistical trend reports for management. Usually they'd come up with a statement "our q of n increased by x percent ..." and then just task me with proving it. When I'd come back with "our q of n decreased by x percent ..." they of course would often inquire about redefining q and/or n

    I never really caved into this nonsense. I would sometimes give them what they asked for (which often amounted to a similar result anyway) with strong disclaimers and caveats and the definition of n clearly spelled out to denote the apples are not the oranges nor is this lemon either of them. Other times I'd just walk into my direct manager's office and explain my ethical dilemna which would get the phone and me both off the hook. 

    In pretty much every job I've ever had I've been at one point or another asked to do something that didn't seem right, ethical, or in some cases even legal. "Just doing my job and following orders" doesn't fly in a court of law if your own hide is on the line. 

    It's a shame that even with the recent elevation of whistle blowers to saintly hero status that some people are bullied into unethical business practice by their peers or management.

    If it happens to you escalate. If that doesn't work escalate it some more until you've escalated it right out of the company.

    At the very least always try do the right thing. 

    I'm surprised this guy wasn't fired on the spot. Maybe "cooking the books" wasn't quite as bad as it sounds from my end?

     

     



  • @Jonathan Holland said:

    Without a BA:

    Customer: I want A (They really need C)

    (Development Makes B, because customer was too vague about A) 

    Customer: This is nothing like what I asked for!

     

     

     

    uhhh actually what really happens is customer tells the BA that it's not what he asked for and then the BA blames development for doing it wrong. 



  • @medialint said:

    I used to run a lot of statistical trend reports for management. Usually they'd come up with a statement "our q of n increased by x percent ..." and then just task me with proving it. When I'd come back with "our q of n decreased by x percent ..." they of course would often inquire about redefining q and/or n

     

     

    HAHAHA I've been there!  Where I used to work, we had this Director of Sales who thought he could just make these access reports for his numbers.  Well, one quarter, he ran his bad reports and gave them to the new owners of the company.  The VP of Operations then asked me to run numbers on just how many sales we made and my numbers came 5,000 units lower than what this saleshole had come up with.  I was promptly asked if "I could make the query to match what the Salehole's numbers were."  Man I'm glad I'm out of Enron v2.0. 



  • @Jonathan Holland said:

    BA's are useful, here is why:

    Customer: I want A (They really need C)

    BA: Ok (Recognized they need C)

    BA to Development: Make C

    (Development Makes C) 

    Customer: Thanks, this is exactly what I needed!

     

    Without a BA:

    Customer: I want A (They really need C)

    (Development Makes B, because customer was too vague about A) 

    Customer: This is nothing like what I asked for!

     

     

    And of course what really happens is that the BAs and PMs are email forwarding bots with excel spreadsheet generating functionality.




  • @medialint said:

    I'm surprised this guy wasn't fired on the spot. Maybe "cooking the books" wasn't quite as bad as it sounds from my end?

    Depends on which books were cooked and how.



  • @Carnildo said:

    Depends on which books were cooked and how.
     

    Right... With the proper amount of salt, anything can be made ok....



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Carnildo said:

    Depends on which books were cooked and how.
     

    Right... With the proper amount of salt, anything can be made ok....

    The salt is a lie.

    The hot sauce is not 



  • @merreborn said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    MMMM. Relish.
    Yes:

    Relish, v.: to be pleased or gratified by : enjoy

     

    Thank you for insightfully pointing out that the same word can also be used to mean a pickled garnish.  You've really raised the level of discourse in the thread.  Where would TDWTF be without you? 

    MMMM. Donut.



  • @slayd said:

    I'm still hopeful that one day I'll meet a BA who actually performs analysis.

    What most companies do is hire a Business Analist. This is pronounced with a long "a" rather than a short "a" in the first syllable, and the purpose of such a person is to be anal about how and why you do your business. Since it's still a BA, the executive leadership doesn't really notice... and since they're more anal than technical themselves, the people who do notice really have their work cut out for them trying to explain it.


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