We join our conversation in progress:

“This bug slipped through because the product was poorly QAed.”

“Why was the product poorly QAed?”

“Because our QA is poor.”

“Why is our QA poor?”

“Because it’s a low-caste job.”

“Why is QA a low-caste job?”

“Several reasons, all of which generally fall under ‘QA isn’t respected as much as engineering.'”

“Why isn’t it respected as much as engineering?”

“Well, it’s not paid as well as engineering is, for one thing.”

“Why isn’t it paid as well as engineering?”

“Because what they’re doing is fairly rote testing, rather than actually building test harnesses and so forth. If QA were actually engineers, they’d be paid like engineers.”

“Why isn’t our QA actually engineers?”

And *that* is where the real discussion should start.

(Hat tip to my friend Dan Milstein, who’s all about the 5 Whyses.)