Joe Strazzere is a longtime software tester and test manager, blogger, an active member of the online testing community, a sports fan, and a recent grandparent. Here, Alan Page chats with Joe about his love of testing, his career in test, and his philosophies of test management.
Alan Page: Most testers have an interesting story about how they found the profession. What's your story?
Joe Strazzere: I do have a story. I'll let others judge how interesting it is.
My first career was in mainframe IT. I started as a programmer/analyst and worked my way up to management. A few jobs later, I was laid off and joined my family's fast-food business with hopes of helping them develop more restaurants. That didn't quite work out.
I gave a referral for a DBA who had previously worked for me. She was applying for a QA job at a rapidly growing startup. During the referral phone call, the recruiter asked if I'd be interested in a position with the company as well. I interviewed there and landed a job as QA lab manager. While I knew very little about QA and had never been a tester, I was able to capitalize on my domain knowledge in their field, my overall background, and my management experience. It turns out that I love testing and QA!
So, basically, I went directly from making sandwiches and salads on a Friday to managing in a QA department on a Monday.
Alan Page: You’ve been managing testers for a long time. What’s your philosophy on test management?
Joe Strazzere: I just looked it up. I’ve been managing testers for twenty-three years—yikes, time flies!
I guess my philosophy is something like "Find out what is really important to your stakeholders, then find a way to deliver." Oh, and "Never forget that you are managing people, not resources!"