Career thoughts

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Watts Humphrey Articles : Writing Quality Software

Watts is a great software writer. His articles seem pretty good.

One of his articles on time tracking made the point that we spend a lot less time on development than we think.
Interruptions, breaks, ad hoc activitities etc all eat up our time.

Best way to learn about your time is to do time tracking. Record where your time goes...


Writing Quality Software

Good series of articles on writing great quality software. Read Two articles.

1. The Quality Attitude
He says that testing alone will never find all the defects in any piece of code. It is impossible.
He says that the developers have to develop a quality attitude , indepndent of tools/gadgets and testers.

2. A Personal Quality Strategy

There are five quality stages. We have personal control over the first three, for the next two we have to work with others.

Software quality and security are synonymous. So is safety.

The stages:

A. Basic Code Quality

Keep track of your errors and understand what caused them. Do not depend on the compiler to tell you of all the errors. Otherwise your error rate will not improve.

B. Detailed Design Quality

Do not design while coding.
Design the whole code and fucntions etc. Do code reviews.
Produce complete designs and have your teammates review them.

C. High Level Design Quality

Interfaces, interactions and interactions of your program with the other parts of the system.
Performance, security and safety.

Get the high level design specifications done for your module and get them reviewed.

D. Requirements Focused Quality
Understand clearly all the requirements for your software.

E. User Driven quality

Look for elegant creative solutions. Sometimes users themselves cannot specify what they want or they will not provide good ways of doing it.
Look for crazy ideas and creative leaps that may work.


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