Courtenay Teska
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Wesley Clark for President Contract Project Manager for Software Quality Assurance


Bug Queen for the Tech Team

As Project Manager for IT Quality Assurance on the Clark for President Technology Team,
I was responsible for the reliability of the campaign contributions page
(achieved 100% up time with the exception of one harrowing hour of downtime
caused by a vendor error!) and all other campaign web applications and forms
excluding the blog and eBlocks.

Working literally elbow to elbow with my colleagues at campaign headquarters,
I designed and executed usability and functionality tests on the work of programmers
each working 80+ hours per week, month after month -- just as I did.

Often we felt as linked in our thoughts and actions as our computers were.

When I accepted a contract with the campaign in October of 2003, I was testing the work of three;
by January the work of seven programmers, some off-site, was coming through my banked computers.

"Evaluate test results and recommend modifications to programs by priority"
sounds innocuous enough,
but when your job is to identify and describe in detail every error in the work of others
 and tell them to drop what they're working on to fix something else --
or telling someone that something urgently needed has too many errors to be released yet --
humor becomes essential.
Toys like my "bug eaters" helped programmers "digest"
the software bug reports I sent them.

Add to my Bug Queen responsibilities recruiting and communicating with
beta testers all over the country, evaluating and responding to web site user complaints
and questions (up to 50 per day), training and supervising on-line and on-site QA volunteer assistants, coordinating elements and timing of roll outs for new and upgraded web applications,
conducting cross-department interviews to gather spatial information and mapping requirements, evaluating and recommending GIS software, formatting, preparing and sending out
the majority of text and HTML e-mail public communications,
and you can understand why I rarely knew what was happening outside the Technology Team.

Only when something BIG was happening did we techies tear ourselves away from our computers and phones to find out what had the politicos glued to the breaking news monitors.

What a reward for our work that the Clark Technology and Online teams won industry-wide acclaim for innovation, and the widely-read Adaptive Path study of all candidates' websites
gave Clark's its highest rating.

 


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