I, personally, think that Is the "Joel Test" appropriate when looking for a QA job is a great question.

That said - given how subjective it is and the fact that there really is no one right answer as the way the question/title is phrased it's effectively a poll with two answers {yes|no}, is it a question that's appropriate for our site?

More specifically is this type of question appropriate for our site?

4 Answers 4


I think not. It is too broad and very subjective.

  • I raised the point here, rather than immediately voting to close on the basis that a bit of discussion is essential in the formative stages of a site - I'll give it a few more hours to see if there's any further feedback before voting to close - two people don't make a consensus ;=)
    – Rob
    Commented May 4, 2011 at 12:32
  • Agree let's see how it shakes out Commented May 4, 2011 at 13:08
  • Personally, I think that's what the close button is for. You click to close. If four others agree, it gets closed. The first close vote is the hardest to get. Once there's one, people see it and begin to say "What did someone see that makes them want to close it?" and they usually come to the same conclusion you did.
    – corsiKa Mod
    Commented May 4, 2011 at 18:38
  • +1 Too subjective, I say. (I felt the need to comment to communicate how strongly I feel that this is not a useful question here.)
    – KatieK
    Commented May 4, 2011 at 23:15
  • @KatieK, @glowcoder, @Bruce - as the overwhelming concensus here appears to be flag to close for this question as it's inappropriate, that's what I'm going to do.
    – Rob
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 12:57

I think it is appropriate.

Yes, it is subjective. But if you read the guidelines for allowable subjective questions, you find it meets the criteria quite well.

  • Great subjective questions inspire answers that explain “why” and “how”

This question does not specifically ask for it, but I would not expect anyone who answers it to not give an explanation of why the various points do or do not apply.

  • Great subjective questions tend to have long, not short, answers.

The answers to these questions are not walls of text, but the aren't one liners. I think they qualify the question to meet this criteria.

  • Great subjective questions have a constructive, fair, and impartial tone.

Not much explanation required here. I don't think anyone is questioning the bias of the question toward any particular answer.

  • Great subjective questions invite sharing experiences over opinions.

Again, while not explicit, this question does invite sharing the personal experiences. The fact that it's a list, for some reason, we just naturally break things down by lists. shrug In any event, the answers DID share experience. (Personally I love the Alan Test :-) )

  • Great subjective questions insist that opinion be backed up with facts and references.

The question does not make this explicitly clear. However, I feel if the OP would have thought there would been a question on the subjectivity he would have made this clear. Instead, I think by default we expect facts over opinions, or at the very least, expect that opinions are explicitly detailed as such.

  • Great subjective questions are more than just mindless social fun.

Finding a job you'll be happy in is most certainly not simply mindless social fun. The intent of the question was to legitimately correlate an accepted list of attributes to one profession to a related profession.

So while I do feel it was subjective, I do not necessarily feel it is "too subjective." While it doesn't in its present form meet all the criteria of the list of great subjective questions, it certainly would be trivial to edit it to do so without changing the intent of the post. Poor subjective questions are typically intentionally subjective. The ones that aren't intentionally subjective usually are easily adaptable to confirm to the subjectivity guidelines.

If it did get voted to close, I would vote to reopen, personally.


I think that it is appropriate. When it comes to testing and quality, finding definitive answers isn't always going to be easy. It's a broad question, yes, but I'd love to see the discussion about it.

  • 2
    Todd, I don't agree and my reasoning is this. This is a Q&A site, not a testing discussion forum to quote the SO faq "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page. " Commented May 4, 2011 at 13:31
  • 2
    I see your point but perhaps it is up to the person answering the question to bring ideas with them, as opposed to opinions. What if the question were framed differently? "Here are the Joel Test bullet points. Do you have any suggestions on other ideas that could be useful for a tester to look for when searching for a new employer?" Commented May 4, 2011 at 17:01

The key word here is "discussion".

SE isn't the right place for it. SE is not the right place to tap community genius to discover new answers. If the question produces a long discussion to find out what the answer might be, then the question is not appropriate.

However, if experts have already considered this question in depth and have wisdom to share, then this question is fine.

A good metric of a question is the quality of the answers that it invites.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .