As part of software quality workshops that I have been taking recently, I asked various attendees about how would they define “Software Quality”. It was found that everybody gave different answers on this, and most of them could said to be partially correct.
What did the trainees (primarily, software developers) say?
Following were some of the common answers:
- It is about how fast a software screen loads?
- Is the software secured enough?
- There should be as minimum defects as possible?
If one looks above, they belong to following characteristics of a software product:
While interacting with end customers which primarily included the developers and team leads/scrum masters, following were some of the opinions:
What did the customers say?
Following were some of the concerns of stakeholders from customer end (software developers, scrum masters), thereby saying that software delivered is of poor quality:
- There were several defects found after the software release
- Code was found to be lacking “separation of concerns”
- Long classes, long methods, duplicate code
- Lack of proper unit tests
- Classes were written to have mixed responsibilities.
Above concerns belongs to following characteristics of software quality:
- Design & coding concerns leading to delivery of software of inferior quality
What were the concerns of the delivery managers, regarding delivering software of high quality?
Delivery/Project managers were found to be having tough time in determining what needs to be done in what sequence in order to address concerns of customers and lack of knowledge of software engineers.
This can be attributed to some of the following:
- Lack of knowledge of key characteristics of software quality
- Lack of knowledge about software quality governance practices
- Lack of knowledge about consideration of software quality characteristics during requirement analysis
- Confusion between quality assurance and software quality governance practices
Some of the following remained as difficult questions for stakeholders across the table:
- People/Process/Technology: Is there a blueprint using which software of high quality can be delivered over a period of time in a predictable & consistent manner?
- Technology: Are there tools & frameworks which can ensure the delivery of software of high quality?
- Process: Are there standard guidelines which can be adopted as best practices for delivering software of high quality?
- People: Will there be need for software developers to undergo training/workshop sessions on software quality vis-a-vis coding techniques?
Following will be a series of blogs on software quality with objectives of defining and describing various aspects of software quality.