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David Blankinship – Passionate about Quality October 9, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in Management, QA.

David agreed to be the first in my series of profiled QA professionals. I figured interviewing other QA Managers for my blog would be a good way for me to network and learn more about the current trends and philosophies in the industry. I wasn’t disappointed. David is very articulate and well-versed in software quality best practices and it was a pleasure speaking with him this morning.

Currently at Oracle, but through a series of acquisitions (Decisioneering to Hyperion to Oracle) David has been leading QA for the Crystal Ball product for the past 6 years. His small team reports up to the Development Manager, the same manager David has had for the past 7.5 years. Clearly they have a strong relationship!

I asked David if QA was typically organizationally combined with the development group, and he told me that, though his team works side-by-side with development, that he also has a strong partnership with the centralized QA Management group which provides standardized processes. David observed that while the centralized QA group allows for autonomy and independence, that his group is able to more closely couple with the development team, ensuring high-quality throughout the development life cycle.

When asked what was most important when hiring a QA professional, David answered that he gives most weight, not to the tools a potential candidate knows or the number of certificates he or she holds, but at their passion for quality. “QA has historically been looked as a stepping stone.  It’s really important to understand if someone’s interested in QA for the long haul.”  When asked how he’d be able to gauge that passion, David describes the excitement at finding more than bugs… finding quality throughout the life-cycle by really being in sync with a customer’s needs and requirements. David said he looks for people that are “enamored with all aspects of quality. It’s in their wiring.”  He described seeing that passion in their eyes.

It was enlightening to have this conversation with David because though I couldn’t see his eyes, I could hear the passion in his voice. It made me realize that we convey our passions through our voice, our eyes, our energy…  How about you?  Are you passionate about quality? Does it show?



1. John - November 6, 2009

Interesting interview. I agree with David in that while hiring for QA, it is important to look for passion and a genuine interest in the quality & testing function.

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