The Mallet is an amazing artifact that, wielded in the hands of a software tester, beats all defects and design flaws out of a program and leaves it shining, newly forged and ready for release. By virtue of its inbuilt magic, it removes user experience problems and makes the programmer’s beautiful intent accessible to users of all levels of skill. Its power is so strong that it can actually correct for environmental problems and hardware inconsistencies before they even happen. A single strike of the Mallet can remove a defect at the code level. Repeated use can turn a program into a work of art, released to its adoring audience to the sounds of cheers and showers of money and fame upon its creators.

Instead, we’re stuck with the messy and occasionally dangerous process of manual testing, automated testing, and using real human beings to get imperfect results.  Whyever would I want to do that, you ask? After all, it could actually break the software! People miss things, and human judgment is fallible. The Mallet seems like a much better way to go. Unfortunately, all tests to create such a thing have failed, and I do not possess the Magical Mallet of Quality.

Rather than relying upon the abstraction of a tester somehow creating quality and infusing it into a program through sheer force of will, it may be more effective to design competently, execute with style and grace, and release with the knowledge that your shining, beautiful product is probably going to make somebody, somewhere, a little less or more happy than they were before they used it.