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I'm in between jobs in my field (unrelated to software development), and I recently picked up a temporary side contract writing a few applications for a firm. I'm the only person working on these specific applications. Are there ways I should be checking myself to make sure my applications are sound? I test my code, try to think of edge cases, generate sample data, use source control, etc. but since I'm the only person working on these applications, I'm worried I'll miss bugs that would easily be found in a team environment. Once I finish the application, either when I'm happy with it or when my deadline expires, the firm plans to use it in production. Any advice? Not to use a cliche, but as of now, I simply work "to the best of my ability" and hope that it's enough.

Incidentally, I'm under both strict NDA's and laws about classified material, so I don't discuss the applications with friends who have actually worked in software development. (In case it's not obvious, I am not a software developer by trade, and even my experience with other aspects of information technology/computer science are limited and restrained to dabbling for the most part).

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Tester is must for a serious application! –  Yusubov Jul 8 '12 at 20:55
    
@ElYusubov Definitely true. I've suggested some form of hallway testing, but as of now the department in the firm has only expressed interest in having the application "when it's ready." It's problematic. –  Ricardo Altamirano Jul 8 '12 at 20:56

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would suggest that you plan UAT (User acceptance test) sessions with your client.

Usually, it is done at every iteration, or when you have some block of functionality ready for review. This will give you nice feedback before rolling to production.

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I will suggest something along these lines. I've been stressing to them that either a) this should be done, or b) they should hire a professional software developer, but I wasn't familiar with the official terminology in the field, which may help. –  Ricardo Altamirano Jul 8 '12 at 21:05
    
Sure, no problem. You are on a right path. –  Yusubov Jul 8 '12 at 21:06
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I was going to add an answer, but this is almost exactly what I was going to suggest. Also, I had a friend that was working on a closed international program and couldn't talk about it with me, but he was able to simulate the program with pseudo graphics/information that allowed him to get virtually the same feedback from me without compromising the back end. –  BillyNair Jul 9 '12 at 2:57
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@BillyNair That sounds like a good idea that I may have to adopt. –  Ricardo Altamirano Jul 10 '12 at 17:24

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