Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time to Start Talking About QA...

QA,  or "quality assurance," has been coming up a lot in my conversations, job-seeking - and naturally, thoughts - lately.  Poor QA! No one wants to do it: companies, as a whole, don't always invest much in it and individuals themselves don't necessarily seek it out as a career path -- at least, that's what it feels like.

At the end of the day, QA just ain't that glamorous.

It can be somewhat philosophical, though, and seems to me worthy of inquiry (yes - inquiry into a type of inquiry). QA can be seen as an excellent example of a posteriori knowledge -- and, by virtue of that, reinforce arguments against a priori knowledge, and can even be used in the case against solipsism.

I'll delve into what it all means in the next couple of posts, so stay tuned.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Tonight is a Three-Kitten/One Old Cat/One Young Dog Night

It has been incredibly busy on my end of the world these days -- yes, being unemployed can mean being productive, just not in an office for a company. Being an unemployed project manager means you're juggling multiple projects, even some with conflicting priorities. In a scrum environment, I'd be my own product owner, scrum master and Team, all rolled into one.

So I've been busy.

Now, to add to it all, friends of mine found a litter of three (most likely) feral, newborn kittens. I knew immediately that they couldn't have been more than 48 hours old. A quick Google search confirmed this, as they still have their umbilical cords. My friends didn't know what to do, except to call me: "She'll know what to do," they said. And, generally, they'd be right.

I've never had the sole care of newborn kittens, however. It's moments like these when I thank the stars there is a such thing as the interweb. I am now a baby kitten feeding, eliminating, disinfecting, nest-making machine.

The tasks themselves are not only time-consuming and physically draining, but is also daunting on some intangible, karmic kind of level. Newborns abandoned by their mothers generally have a high mortality rate: they don't have the benefit of the immune-system-building goodness that mother's milk provides; they may have any number of bacteria or parasites without anyone knowing yet; they may simply fail to thrive...

The responsibility is nearly overwhelming. So I focus on one task at a time (i.e., boil water to clean bottles; warm up the milk, etc.) to keep things in nice, small do-able pieces. It turns out that hand-raising newborn kittens can be an iterative process, too.