When Wrapping Satisfies the QA Analyst

‘Tis the season to get together with family, share a meal, give and receive gifts, and cozy up by a warm fire. It’s also the time where stress is at an all time high as you prepare for the holidays by cooking and wrapping presents.

Such a time really pulls out the QA in me.

While I was helping my wife wrap some presents, she hands me a gift and some paper, which has a few horizontal lines on it. This type of paper is a dream because it allows the opportunity to satisfy my need of making a wrapped gift completely “bug free’.

As I wrap the present, I so carefully line up all the trees and bars so that everything matches, pull it tight, fold the corners down and slap some tape on it. Upon completion, I sat back and was mesmerized at my gift, how the lines came together to make a perfect square on the ends. I even said to my wife, “this paper is so satisfying”.

Gift Wrapping

Then I began analyzing my present. Where are the bugs, where could I make improvements to better the wrapping process and make future gifts more pleasing to the eye. In the picture you’ll see many opportunities for improvement, each one made it to my next gift. Although, I realized there is an additional skill needed, more than just being a QA analyst on my wrap job.

I am not a great wrapper. I can wrap a present and carefully take the time needed to make it look pretty good, but without much more practice, my gifts will always look like this.

I’ve been asked why I always analyze everything, why I am always looking at everything around me and “judging” the look or the process, or perhaps the behavior. Truth is, this is just how my brain works. I’ve trained myself to be analytical at all times, and while sometimes that may not be a great thing, it has proven very beneficial in order to improve process and quality of the products I work on.

This type of mindset is a learned ability, if you want to become a good QA analyst in your respective field, or a developer who wants to better your code, start by wrapping a present and analyzing all the good and bad. Take a walk and find problems with houses and sidewalks, simply look around and analyze what is around you, there are bugs to find everywhere.

Now go and make memories. Merry Christmas.