Quality Coach Newsletter 11

Primarily through interviewing, I’ve discovered many people have different ideas of what a quality coach may be. For example, some software testers call themselves this, as they occasionally coach the team even though their core work is software testing within a team. Some folks who do this type of work call themselves different titles (see the comments!). As a result, at CultureAmp, we doubled down on clarifying the role during hiring.

So, what exactly is the difference between a quality coach and a software tester? In this month's premium post, I offer some ways you can detect the difference. In the discussions, you will see many people perform this type of role, but they call it different names. Life is never dull in tech!  

How do I know I'm a Quality Coach?

Sitting within a team & helping teams with software testing doesn't necessarily make you a quality coach. A quality coach thinks and behaves differently from a software tester. Fundamental to the philosophy of quality coaching is that the team owns all aspects of quality. They are accountable for the quality and, by nature, should be empowered to make decisions on quality.

A quality coach guides, supports and rallies a team to collectively own and improve quality through facilitation, education, experimentation and visualisation. They are a passionate advocate for quality.

It's a bit of a mental shift, so here are eight ways a quality coach behaves differently from a software tester.

Here are some related posts on quality coaching and hiring.

What is a quality coach? (Definition & nature of role)
Defining the term quality coach and explaining this role in software engineering in contemporary organisations
Quality Coaching Role Description
Your company has decided to move to a Quality Assistance model where engineers perform all testing. They want a quality coach to perform a coaching role, so what should this new role look like?
Nine tips on hiring Quality Coaches (can you make it ten?)
Hiring is tricky at the best of times, hiring a quality coach is trickier because the nature of the role is not yet well understood.


Discussions were a new feature I added to this site. Since October, the discussions have been steadily increasing. I'm enjoying the interaction. So please keep posting me your thoughts and ideas.

Also, want to hear my thoughts on a topic? Ask me here in my suggestions box.

Next Month

Next month, my post will be on how to think through tunnel vision when someone asks you to solve a quality-related problem and they're fixated on one solution like "automate all the things". I show how to use lateral thinking techniques, and Teresa Torres and her Opportunity Solution Tree can help us offer alternative solutions.

From the Community

There's no actual theme this month. So instead, these are posts I've enjoyed reading and may be helpful.

Job Search Template
I’ll start this post by saying that if you’re one of the thousands of employees impacted by tech industry layoffs over the last year - I’m so sorry. I know how much it sucks. I was laid off last May, and I know how hard it is. If you’re still processing, I wrote about that too; I hope it can be some…
Five for Friday – January 20, 2022
This was…not one of my favorite weeks. Other than a few long walks with the dog, I’m taking a light weekend to see if I can get my head back on straight. Here are a few things I read th…
Building Skills Over Time
Holding learning sessions to get everyone up-to-speed.
The Three Cultures
Ideas and experiences on software testing, software development, conference speaking and organizing.

That's it for this month. With all the uncertainty going around, I'll share a quote from Angela Riggs' blog (which is incredible and worth a check out).

"👋🏼 While you're here - take a deep breath. Unclench your jaw, your brow. Relax your shoulders. Remember that you are cared for and loved. Have a wonderful day 💖"

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