e-Talk Radio: Rothman, Johanna, 11 September 2001


Ms. Dekkers and Ms. Rothman discuss the differences between a test manager's job description, what you really want to do in your job, and what the company pays you to do.

TEXT TRANSCRIPT: 11 September 2001
Copyright 2001 Quality Plus Technologies and Carol Dekkers. All rights reserved.

Announcer: Welcome to Quality Plus e-Talk with Carol Dekkers, sponsored by StickyMinds.com, your online information resource for building better software.

Carol Dekkers: Hello, and welcome to Quality Plus e-Talk with Carol Dekkers. I'm Carol Dekkers, president of Quality Plus Technologies, Inc., and we are acknowledged leaders and providers of professional software measurement and function point analysis consulting services. Quite a specialty. Today I'm here with Johanna Rothman, whom many of you may know from Internet listening, from many of the shows that we've done in the past. This is our first, premiere show of this new season. And I'd like to welcome Johanna to the show. Welcome, Johanna.

Johanna Rothman: Hello, Carol. It's nice to be here.

Carol: Johanna observes and consults on managing high technology product development, looking for the leverage points that will make her clients more successful. And today we're going to talk about something that I think a lot of people have had challenges with, especially in our new economy, where a lot of people get moved from job to job, and that's the topic: What Do They Really Pay You to Do? And Johanna's written a number of articles, and we're going to walk through those, and really find out what it is that they pay us, in software development, to do-what they pay us in testing to do-and really, how can we be more successful in our jobs? What I'd like to do, Johanna, in the first five-minute segment here, is just go over a little bit about what we're going to talk about, kind of set the stage, so to speak, and then when we get back from the first break, we'll actually get right into it. How does that sound?

Johanna: Sounds good.

Carol: Okay. The article that you just wrote, which is phenomenal, was in the September/October 2001 issue of STQE magazine. Correct?

Johanna: That's right.

Carol: Can you just give me a little bit of an idea, kind of maybe a 30-second abstract, of what do you mean by "what do they pay you to do?"

Johanna: Well, I've been to a lot of conferences, and I've met a lot of people. And people are always saying to me, "But I really want to do this thing, but my manager doesn't want me to. I thought it was part of my job description, but my manager says we have no time. I see a real crying need for this in our organization, and my manager says, 'No, we can't do that.'" And so I thought, you know, this is crazy. These people really want to do a good job. But their personal mission is mismatched with what their company wants them to do. So that's… And I said, okay, I'd better write about this, so people can figure out, do I fit into this category, is there something I could be doing differently, to either realign my mission with my company wants, or make my company see that there's something else that I could be doing?

Carol: This sounds like it extends beyond just software. And I know that you wrote the article primarily for software developers, for software testers. But from what you've said so far, it sounds like it could be anybody in any job, no matter what they do.

Johanna: Well, it actually is for that. The article is aimed at testers, but I see this a lot with project managers. Project managers who want to see their product go from


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