I used to work in consultancy, in 2005 and 2006. I worked at a company called: Wanadoo. When I first got there, I was the first professional quality assurance employee. Someone said: “We’re going to test using TMap.”. A positive outlook for him.

Wanadoo was the company a consumer TV show received the most complaints about. They kept track of this with a ‘complaints top 3’. We were at number one, which is bad. At some point I summarised the most important features of the software we developed in-house on an A4 sheet of paper. Once we worked that out into more detailed ‘test cases’ we went from nr 1 in the complaints top 3 to nr 3.

After that we managed to build on that foundation and got software quality under control. We were no longer mentioned on Dutch national TV for having bad software quality.

When I left the company had been renamed to Orange. At that time that same person said: “I’ll say this only once: Mr. Orange.”. Around that time I started working on my quran translation and left after a quarrel with my manager.

France telecom sold the company to Deutsche telekom within a year for €1,3 billion.

I have made some interesting observations.

First of all:

Designers are designers;

programmers are programmers;

testers are testers;

salespeople are account managers.

Also, you get a lease car with a gasoline pass. You are required to go for each job as if it were the last one on earth. When you then take a job in city B, living in city A yourself, you have to sit through traffic jams. On the other side of the road are traffic jams of cars driving from city B to city A. Is that really necessary?

This does not go for major cities, but it does for smaller ones.

It is common to have to work in another city and live in hotels and dine in restaurants, which does sound nice. However when the job is over you will discover who your good friends are. So to speak.

The consultancy firm I worked at was the only one I know that required applicants to do an intelligence test. It is also the only one that would hire me, because all other companies require you to be good at getting that last job on earth, not on actually performing it. Most large companies only work with consultants because it is less hassle. Then they are surprised they never meet their deadlines.

We did at Wanadoo, by the way.

As far as quality assurance goes, it is said there is no software without bugs. In one project at Wanadoo we had some bumps during delivery (installation) but during operations there were no problems whatsoever. Everything was working as intended. It’s a bit of a rotten attitude to say there is no software without bugs. You could at least try. It’s possible.

© Koos Swart 2006 - 2021