First off, what even is Quality?
All things emerge, change, and die. I think Quality is the experience of the process. The idea of Good Quality essentially boils down to performing the process with grace, and leaving the place better than we found it.
Further, the process of emergence and change—i.e. living—is also the process of dying. It follows that to think clearly about the Quality of the former one must think clearly about the Quality of the latter. The saddest way it can unfold is a slow painful degradation without healing succour meaning or hope. The proverbial death by a thousand cuts. I hope you never witness such a passing, even from afar.
Ok, that got dark fast, and if we’re not careful, we will produce a 300 page Zen dialogue on Motorcycle Maintenance. So we will distract ourselves with the much smaller, lighter—and I’d argue, even pleasant—task of contemplating Quality of software products.
None of what follows is novel, but I feel the message and its surrounding context bears repeating, because if it is not obvious already, software fails us all the time. Far too often with terrible consequences.