SPONSORS:






User Tag List

Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Changing How Software is Developed

    This article regarding a security hole in a Microsoft app (purely coincidental choice! ) was interesting to me.

    Most of all, the closing statements:

    "It just always goes back to the idea that software is complex," Kolodgy said. "It's a whole software thing. It's not just a Microsoft thing. I think these things just continue to show that we need more discipline in the way that software is developed and coded."

    So the question I have for everyone is whether they agree (I have to guess here that 90% of us would!), what you would change - what things you think need to be done, and why it is that if companies the size and station of MicroSoft are willing to make that sort of statement, are there still so many people unwilling to recognize the need for change, or to adopt the necessary practices.

    I attended a Webinar on Risk Management today hosted by Radview with Johanna Rothman, and of the 50 or so participants, there were nearly HALF who do not manage and analyze risks at all, or who only manage them 'some, but not enough'! How can we improve the industry if companies aren't even taking the time to analyze risks on their projects?

    ------------------
    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved..."
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Ankh-Morpork
    Posts
    2,882
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Changing How Software is Developed

    Remember, for the vast majority of companies, and especially publicly owned ones, the only truly important risk assessment is, "What is the risk to our bottom line in terms of cash flow, earnings and profits?" Unless and until they see a reason that improving their processes (and quality) will have a concrete, positive impact on profits and cash flow, they'll not be likely to spend the additional effort (money) to do so.

    If every time a security bug were found in some application the manufacturer had to do a recall, paying the shipping costs to fix the owners software (and hardware?) and ship it back to them, perhaps they would be more likely to look at prevention measures. Instead, the operating model seems to be, "Get it out in time for the Christmas season (or CES, or whatever), and we'll fix it with patches as needed."

    And since this stuff - at least commercial software - tends to come with a caveat emptor license agreement, they pretty much feel free from worrying about legal fees and penalties should their software fail/misbehave in some way. Imagine MS's attitude if they were subject to class action suits by every corporation/user who lost productivity due to a worm/virus that made use of some security hole in their software?

    Just some food for thought, I won't pretend to have the answer - yet.

    ------------------
    Charles Reace

    charles{DOT}reace{AT}verizon{DOT}net
    web site | [url=http://www.ebookworm.us/[/url]

    [i]...Sound trumpets! Every trumpet in the host! / Sixty thousand, on these words, sound, so high the mountains sound, and the valleys resound.</i] (The Song of Roland)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    München, Germany
    Posts
    171
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Changing How Software is Developed

    Charles made a good point:

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>"What is the risk to our bottom line in terms of cash flow, earnings and profits?"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Unless the quality, or manner, or software production has a significant impact on that statement, there will not be a significant change.

    I believe the change in posistion we see in Microsoft does come from exactly that question though. I think they see too much of a thread from alternatives and are now seeking to minimize that threat.

    I believe the primarily failure of most development is not relating to engineering practices, quality control, or the technical aspects of the process. I feel most failures are produced at the requirements level.

    Quality assurance certainly seeks to remedy that situation by making requirements a part of the whole process. It tends to typically fail in regards to pushing back on sales and marketing to tone their pitch, or alter their desires.

    There are numerous software that I would consider high quality but were developed in the absense of a formal requirements team (and thus no link to sales / marketing). I've worked on such a product before. Even given the absense of QA the engineering teams often stay within their own limitations and product of a reasonably high technical quality. The failing they usually have is marketability.

    I think the fundamental change required to facilitate higher quality software is societal, not relating to quality assurance at all. Unless there is an external demand for specific aspects of quality, corporations will not be afforded the chance to produce better software.



    ------------------
    &lt;edA-qa@disemia.com&gt;
    Quality Assurance
    --
    edA-qa@disemia.com
    TestPlan - Superior Web Application Automation & Testing

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Changing How Software is Developed

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mortoray:
    I think the fundamental change required to facilitate higher quality software is societal, not relating to quality assurance at all. Unless there is an external demand for specific aspects of quality, corporations will not be afforded the chance to produce better software.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    After reading Charles's comments and the beginning of yours, I was thinking the same thing.

    A large part of the problem is that consumers have come to 'expect' software to have bugs, or issues, and as such, there is less of an impact on profitability based on those defects.

    It brings up an interesting point, though, because another aspect to that will be new legislation that could force software manufacturers to modify their processes and to deliver higher quality software.

    One would have to ask themselves, then, if legislating such change is a good idea, if the society and culture for that change is not in place? And will the market allow the additional time for the changes to occur, or will companies who have a difficult time modifying their internal procedures be left behind because they're unable to deliver products in a timely manner?

    ------------------
    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved..."
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  5. #5
    Moderator Joe Strazzere's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    13,170
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Changing How Software is Developed

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by QAGirl:
    One would have to ask themselves, then, if legislating such change is a good idea, if the society and culture for that change is not in place? And will the market allow the additional time for the changes to occur, or will companies who have a difficult time modifying their internal procedures be left behind because they're unable to deliver products in a timely manner?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It's hard to imagine that legislation by itself can produce higher quality software. Legislation can require lots of paperwork and certification, but it's not clear that the end result will be higher quality.

    I believe it is the market that determines the software.
    If people are willing to tolerate lower quality software, then that is what will be produced.
    If people demand excellent software, then that's what they'll get.

    ------------------
    - Joe (strazzerj@aol.com)
    Joe Strazzere
    Visit my website: AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Changing How Software is Developed

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by jstrazzere:
    It's hard to imagine that legislation by itself can produce higher quality software. Legislation can require lots of paperwork and certification, but it's not clear that the end result will be higher quality.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Let me try to clarify how I meant that. . . I don't think legislation in and of itself will change anything. The type of legislation I'm referring to, and has been discussed in some circles, would allow users to sue software manufacturers for 'low quality' software, or defects.

    So, based on the theory that everything is driven by money, and the financial effects on the company, it could have HUGE impact.

    Consider you're a software manufacturer, and you do whatever paperwork is necessary for auditing and the like, but still release bad software. If your paperwork doesn't actually prove due dilligence in court, and you lose that 1 million dollar class action suit, you're going to make changes or you're going to go under...

    ------------------
    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved..."
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    München, Germany
    Posts
    171
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Changing How Software is Developed

    We cannot forget one of the reason's why people don't necessarily choose things that are a higher quality: cost.

    Often the cost of bad quality is quoted by analysts, corporations, and other oberservers. The cost it would take to improve the quality isn't always considered.

    The reality is that improving product quality, or the process of improving process, costs money. In the end a well matured process should be saving money, but the path from A to B is often very expensive.

    In other markets it is very clear to the purchaser that higher quality initially costs more money. Walk into an electronics department, or to a car dealership, at any store and you'll see several examples -- often the higher priced ones don't simply have more features, but they are rated higher in trade magazines etc.

    What I find amazing about the software industry right now is the general disagreement about the cost of quality:
    1) Open source advocates are actually pitching that increased quality can actually cost corporations less.
    2) Some (I have no specifics) of the costs of damages relating to bad quality seem to far exceed what implementing quality would have cost.
    3) There currently exists a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft that they are already overcharging for their products.

    I loosely mentioned that the increased cost is one of initial cost. Unfortunately many people do not consider the total cost of ownership -- many businesses are faulted for not doing this either.


    ------------------
    &lt;edA-qa@disemia.com&gt;
    Quality Assurance
    --
    edA-qa@disemia.com
    TestPlan - Superior Web Application Automation & Testing

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    München, Germany
    Posts
    171
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Changing How Software is Developed

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by QAGirl:
    Consider you're a software manufacturer, and you do whatever paperwork is necessary for auditing and the like, but still release bad software. If your paperwork doesn't actually prove due dilligence in court, and you lose that 1 million dollar class action suit, you're going to make changes or you're going to go under...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't think that a law extending liability to software would have any impact (Assuming the venue is the US, or any nation with similar liability laws).

    Firstly I have not seen any law, or case, that specifically excludes software vendors from liability. There have been a few lawsuits on liability that the vendors have lost.

    More importantly however is that there are several points that have to be considered for a liability case. Simply producing a bad product is not usually enough to get a conviction against you. Perhaps you could sue under Neglience, Breach of Warranty, or Tort cases. I won't provide more details here, but suffice to say, it is very hard to sue under liability laws.

    And since software development is still immature, it would be premature to introduce laws mandating the nature of the process of its development.

    I think the onus should still be on the industry to sell quality to people. Show the purchaser what they are getting for their money and perhaps they will pay for it.


    ------------------
    &lt;edA-qa@disemia.com&gt;
    Quality Assurance
    --
    edA-qa@disemia.com
    TestPlan - Superior Web Application Automation & Testing

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    2,693
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Changing How Software is Developed

    Ed,

    See this thread for a few references on the kind of legislation I mean.

    Current laws would make things difficult, but there are people working to legislate software and IT even as we type... and that could change the face of those types of lawsuits.

    As to some of your other comments, I am one of those who believes that long-term, the costs of quality actually help to lower overall production cost. It has to be a long-term commitment and analysis, however, as I would definitely agree that initial implementation introduces cost to projects that is not there now.

    ------------------
    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved..."
    Annemarie Martin
    Secretary
    Association for Software Testing

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Ankh-Morpork
    Posts
    2,882
    Post Thanks / Like
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Total Downloaded
    0

    Re: Changing How Software is Developed

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by QAGirl:
    ...
    As to some of your other comments, I am one of those who believes that long-term, the costs of quality actually help to lower overall production cost. It has to be a long-term commitment and analysis, however, as I would definitely agree that initial implementation introduces cost to projects that is not there now.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    The thorny aspect of this is that publicly traded companies these days (and those which aren't publicly traded are usually looking to become so) place a huge emphasis on their quarterly reports. It's therefore hard to get the bean counters to look 1 year ahead, let alone the several years it might to take to recoup the costs of overhauling how they do business. Even if they're convinced that in the long term it would be a good thing, it's always, "Let's wait until next quarter to start, otherwise we'll be too far below this quarter's expectations and our stock options will lose value."

    Just my (somewhat jaded) opinion.


    ------------------
    Charles Reace

    charles{DOT}reace{AT}verizon{DOT}net
    web site | [url=http://www.ebookworm.us/[/url]

    [i]...Sound trumpets! Every trumpet in the host! / Sixty thousand, on these words, sound, so high the mountains sound, and the valleys resound.&lt;/i] (The Song of Roland)

 

 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.36 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 11.54%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.4 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.2.8 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBNominate (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Username Changing provided by Username Change (Free) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
BetaSoft Inc.
Digital Point modules: Sphinx-based search
All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:20 PM.

Copyright BetaSoft Inc.