What do we call ourselves, we testers, we process analysts, we engineers? Boy do they have a lot of names for us:
QA (aka Quality Assurance)
QE (aka Quality Engineers)
QC (aka Quality Control)
I'm not much of one for names or titles, so I'll generally respond to any of these. That being said, I tend to self-identify with "QA". I find that it best encompasses what I do.
QA - that's me.
QE - okay, but a little "big company".
QC - ick. Implies industrial, mechanical processes. I always think of someone measuring and comparing to an acceptable range but not really innovating.
Product Assurance - that's great if you're working on a product, but what if you work on a service?
Tester - this only covers part of what I do.
I say that I'm QA because my job is to:
1. test software, designs, and requirements to prove they conform to expectations
2. help support and troubleshoot issues
3. define and enforce a software development process that discourages opacity
4. find ways to measure how much our software does what our customers need
5. fill in all the holes where there is no release engineer, support engineer, product manager, etc.
I'm QA. I'm the glue that keeps this all together.