Bad Teachers

Today, more and more tech realms require a bit of programming knowledge. If you’re a QA, you may be writing test cases in Python or Java. If you’re engaged in Devops, you may be writing scripts or code for automation or other tasks. If you’re a hardware hacker, you may be writing C++ code for an Arduino board or Python for interacting with GPIO pins on a Raspberry Pi. Unfortunately, most of the code written by QAs, devops teams, and hardware hackers is not up to the standards of good software engineering. Indeed, all of the above fields are more software hackers than real engineers in the software realm. What that means, is that when you view tutorials or documentation created by people skilled in areas outside of software engineering, that you’re likely learning poor coding standards. Of course, it’s seems hardly fair to hold QAs to the same standards as you do software engineers. But the problem comes later when the QAs say “I know Java.” Or when the hardware hacker says “I can program in C++.” Now, you end up with bad code entering your codebase because of untrained developers. I want to be clear – my point is not to discourage QAs and devops teams from programming. But rather to encourage developers to assist programmers in these fields to adopt proper coding standards. Treat there code with the same scrutiny you would a developer – subject it to code reviews, and demand proper coding standards. Otherwise, the same problems that plague software projects will end up causing problems in your devops environment or your QA testbed. Don’t assume that a QA can program in Java because they’ve written some test cases. After all, you wouldn’t trust me to replace the engine in your car just because I’ve changed the spark plugs in mine.

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