A short QA horror story


T - 3hr

Slack in complete silence, unheard of in normal circumstances. It's Friday and although you opposed it many times it's another release Friday. Devices scattered around your workplace, your office machine, a machine with IE11 two to three iPhone models, couple of Android phones, there's notches there's no notches you got everything covered.

Check lists close to done 99% green, couple of more bugfixes soon coming in, it's now:

T - 2hr

You start reading the bug tickets, you know them by heart, check the pull requests, tests passing, every thing's as you'd like it to be. So you start spinning up that testing environment and plan out those final last checks. The road ahead couldn't be clearer in your mind.

You are half way through your mental check list, it's far too late for spreadsheets now, in your head every possible area of the application is mapped out and there's a check box next to each component just waiting for that check-mark.

The slack notification sound pops up, it's a developer, without a moment's hesitation you open it and read:

So, found anything yet?

You respond hastily and with typos:

Nothign yet but I'm not finished.

You close down Slack, your focus is completely set on the mental check list, you've done this a million times before, only this time everything should work, everything must work .. everything seems like it works, it is now:

T - 1hr

Check list done, the sigh of relief is cut short by a message from the release manager:

Hey, are you guys still releasing this today?


Think so, seems there's nothing wrong with it, I'll see now if I can break it somehow.


Fingers crossed.

You ponder, what could fingers crossed mean? Is it meant as an expectation to find breaking points and postpone the release or is it meant as hope that nothing breaks and everything works fine? You have no time for thoughts like this! Your mindset now shifted, it's no longer about those check marks, it's no longer about making sure it works, it's now about finding out if and how it breaks.

So you starting firing the big guns, throwing punches, launching cannon balls and having a rabid cat like approach to everything but to no avail, it all works, it all appears to work, you check the bug logging tool, nothing new, nothing escalated, no comments.

So are we releasing this then?

You overhear your team mates saying.

Looks like QA didn't find anything so let's do it.

The decision is made, it is now time to press the button, it's release time, it's:

T - 0:

It's gone out, there's relief, there's joy, excitement but some anxiety lingers. Your work mates are in the kitchen having beer so you join in. There's talks of anything but software, the atmosphere is relaxed but you somehow can't breathe. You walk outside, grab some air, open social media and try to take your mind off everything, it is way past time to go home already, so you go back to grab your stuff.

On your way up you finally realize the weekend is here and there's so much you could do, all the stress and anxiety somehow washed away by these liberating emotions, you quickly go back to your desk, open your machine and while it boots you are discretely shaking from the excitement of all the events you are just soon to discover and possibly attend.

The machine loads up and it still has the app opened, so you grab your mouse, you hover the X, the close tool-tip spawns up but you don't click it just yet. You instead start looking at it, and like an owl, turning your head side ways, suddenly say out loud:

Huh, think I've never tried clicking on that before

So you click it, you don't breathe, you don't move you're just standing there looking at how beautifully it crashes, it all crashes, just like the Agitato part of a Rachmaninoff piece all the parts are just making noise, it is now:

Too late.


Posted by Horia Gug

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Horia's Blog

Welcome to my blog! The idea for this sparked as a side project for me to learn flask but since deployment was a chapter in my learning path it got published!

About Me

I'm a software enthusiast currently working as a quality assurance automation specialist by day and software developer by night, currently living in Helsinki.

You can find me on Twitter , GitHub , or via email at: hg_hel@protonmail.com

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