Alright, that’s a provocative title right there, I admit it. I couldn’t resist.
A short while ago, I was perusing the July 2011 issue of the Communications of the ACM, when I came across an interview article with some of the people behind a massive retro-documentation project at Microsoft. Microsoft had to document much of the client-server communications of their existing software to allow third parties to implement interoperable software. The article is succinctly called “Microsoft’s Protocol Documentation Program: Interoperability Testing at Scale”. Definitely worth a read.
The sentence that struck me, and that is repeated in sentiment in the remainder of the article is this: “First and foremost, a team would be required to test documentation, not software, which is the inversion of the normal QA process; (…)”.
I’m not sure I agree with that statement. And to be fair, that statement isn’t the point of the CACM article, either. But it presents a good launch pad for something that concerns me a little.