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102
votes
18answers
24k views

Dealing with engineers that frequently leave their jobs

My friend is a project manager for a software company. The most frustrating thing for him is that his engineers frequently leave their jobs. The company works hard to recruit new engineers, transfer ...
62
votes
35answers
13k views

Why isn't software as reliable as a car?

I had a user ask me this question. We know that cars break down, but that's because of something physical (unless software is involved!). I tried to answer that software is a much younger industry, ...
48
votes
9answers
5k views

Clean readable code vs fast hard to read code. When to cross the line?

When I write code I always try to make my code as clean and readable as possible. Every now and then there comes a time when you need to cross the line and go from nice clean code to slightly uglier ...
38
votes
17answers
2k views

Software Design: Build it fast or build it well?

When building a non-trivial application, is it best to focus on getting things working quickly, and taking shortcuts in the code like mixing model logic with your views, breaking encapsulation - ...
36
votes
10answers
2k views

Bare minimum on the Joel Test [closed]

From the Joel Test, of the 12, which do you think are the absolute must-haves to at least have a decently running software department/company? I realise there is no absolutely right answer. I'm just ...
32
votes
20answers
4k views

Is Software Testing Really Needed?

I'm a student working on my B.E(CS) and my question is the following: Is testing in the software field needed? If we create a software with great care, then why should we test? After testing can ...
27
votes
7answers
1k views

Are there architecture smells?

There are tons of resources on the web referring to and listing code smells. However, I've never seen information on architectural smells. Is this defined somewhere, and is there a list available? ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the term for a 'decoy' feature or intentional bug? [closed]

I have forgotten a slang programming term. This thing is an intentional bug or a decoy feature used as a distraction. An example usage, "Hey Bob, QA is doing a review today. Put a $THING into the ...
20
votes
14answers
2k views

When is it okay to ship a product with a known bug?

When is it okay to ship a product with a known bug?
20
votes
4answers
609 views

How to create a “cult of quality” [closed]

DeMarco and Lister (Peopleware) suggest you create a "cult of quality" within your programming team. Frustratingly, they don't suggest how you go about doing that! Anyone got any thoughts on how to ...
20
votes
1answer
840 views

What is the effect of creating unit tests during development on time to develop as well as time spent in maintenance activities?

I'm a consultant and I am going to introduce unit tests to all developers at my client site. My goal is to ensure that all new applications should have unit tests for all classes created. The client ...
19
votes
8answers
3k views

Is the average number of bugs per loc the same for different programming languages?

I have been told that the average number of bugs/defects per line of code is "constant" for different programming languages. 10 KLOC of Ruby would have the same number of bugs as 10 KLOC of c++. The ...
18
votes
9answers
1k views

Good design: How much hackyness is acceptable? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Prototyping vs. Clean Code at the early stages I'm right in front of a difficult decision. I have a problem in my codebase (it's in C++), which I could solve in two ...
17
votes
5answers
964 views

Is there a measure of code rot? [duplicate]

I'm dealing, again, with a messy C++ application, tons of classes with confusing names, objects have pointers into each other and all over, longwinded Boost and STL data types, etc. (Pause and ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How do you integrate Testing into a Scrum process?

This is really perplexing me. We have a 'definition of done' and it includes dev 'done', unit tests 'done', dev test 'done'. However we also have a user acceptance test that needs to be 'done' but the ...
13
votes
9answers
762 views

What are the worst things that inexperienced developers forget to think about? [closed]

As a young developer, I would find it useful to get some advice regarding things to think about in order to develop a high-quality application. In my college courses, most teachers emphasized input ...
13
votes
6answers
483 views

Peer review for tests just like code reviews

Does anyone practice the "code review" process for functional tests? Do you find it useful? The way that my current employer practices SCRUM we include functional testing as part of our "must have ...
12
votes
7answers
2k views

How do big companies of software developers check for bugs in their programs?

I was wondering how big companies of software developers check for bugs in their programs. Do they just test it on several computers?
12
votes
5answers
578 views

How does one determine whether or not to rewrite poorly-designed code? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is a BIG Rewrite the answer? I'm on a small team that's been handed a poorly-written, half-finished 2D Java game. Our objective is to do as much as we can to make ...
12
votes
7answers
620 views

Is there really a relationship between number of people assigned to a project and the number of defects?

Here is a quote from a training manual at work regarding SLIM and software estimation: Notice also, there is a correlation between Effort and Defects. This means, the more people there are ...
11
votes
8answers
738 views

Do you believe it's a good idea for Software Engineers to have to work as Quality Assurance Engineers for some period of time?

I believe it is. Why? I've encountered many Software Engineers who believe they are somehow superior to QA engineers. I think it may help quench this belief if they do the job of a QA engineer for ...
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Objective Metrics for Software Quality

There are various types of quality that can be measured in software products, e.g. fitness for purpose (e.g. end use), maintainability, efficiency. Some of these are somewhat subjective or domain ...
10
votes
4answers
700 views

How can I update a large legacy codebase to meet specific quality standards?

There is a lot of information about tools and techniques for improving legacy codebases, but I haven't come across any successful real world case studies. Most advice is on the micro level, and while ...
10
votes
8answers
576 views

How to Deal With The “Automation is Easy” Mindset?

The title says it all. Some employees in our company believe that automated tests are "easy" and that it "should take a day" to write suites of COM and UI tests. What can be done to counter this? ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How does the use of a rules engine impact the design, implementation, and performance of an application?

I'm interested in the ability of rules engines to: launch and iterate over business driven logic have "business users" perform the actual modification of those rules rather than developers ...
9
votes
9answers
777 views

Does code generation increase the code quality?

Arguing for code generation, I am looking for some examples of ways in which it increases code quality. To clarify what I mean by code generation, I can talk only about a project of mine: We use XML ...
9
votes
7answers
4k views

What is the difference between Static code analysis and code review?

I just wanted to know what the difference is between static code analysis and code review. How are each of these two done? More specifically, what are the tools available today for code review/static ...
9
votes
3answers
676 views

Do we need test data or can we rely on unit tests and manual testing?

We're currently working on a medium/large PHP/MySQL project. We're doing unit testing with PHPUnit & QUnit and we have two full time testers that are manually testing the application. Our test ...
9
votes
3answers
631 views

How come verification does not include actual testing?

Having read a lot about this topic --- such as on this Software Testing Fundamentals site on verification and validation and Software Testing and Quality Assurance: Theory and Practice by Naik and ...
8
votes
6answers
636 views

How do I locate Uncalled Functions?

I am looking at some C/C++ code that appears to have functions that are defined, but never used. This is a pretty tedious process to trace through the code and verify. I've done some surveys and there ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How to determine the effectiveness of a code review process?

We've introduced a code review process within our organisation and it seems to be working well. However, I would like to be able to measure the effectiveness of the process over time, i.e. are we not ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there any work into the application of the Halstead complexity measures to determine software quality?

In 1977, Maurice Howard Halstead introduced his complexity measures for software systems, which included measurements of the program vocabulary, program length, volume, difficulty, effort, and an ...
7
votes
13answers
749 views

How is quality important to the programmer, the person? [closed]

I didn't ask how the quality of the software is important to the product itself, the customers/users, the manager or the company. I want to know how it is important to the programmer that build it. ...
7
votes
8answers
591 views

Quality vs Time

I have heard of developers who work with code which is a complete mess because originally the code was quickly developed and the quality was not there in the first place. Its always good to get ...
7
votes
9answers
1k views

What's the most important feature of quality software? [closed]

This question is along the same lines as this one, but instead of talking about quality of code, I'm talking about the final product from the users' perspective. If you had limited time / budget, and ...
7
votes
4answers
753 views

One-week release cycle: how do I make this feasible?

At my company (3-yr-old web industry startup), we have frequent problems with the product team saying "aaaah this is a crisis patch it now!" (doesn't everybody?) This has an impact on the ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Outsourcing Quality Assurance and Testing [closed]

I was recently approached by a software firm that specializes in Quality Assurance and Testing. Up until this point, the developers at our (small) company have been responsible for their own QA for ...
7
votes
11answers
344 views

What is the correlation between the quality of the software development process and the quality of the product? [closed]

I used to believe the practicing "good" software development methods tends to yield a better product in the long run. However, I've seen quite a few cases where "quick-and-dirty" \ "brute-force" \ ...
7
votes
1answer
389 views

Difference between software inspection and verification

I was reading about software inspection in Software Engineering by Ian Summerville and I came across the term Software inspection and I started reading about it on Wikipedia. I am unable to understand ...
7
votes
3answers
286 views

How to measure external quality of software

For my thesis, I am doing research into the characteristics of Behavior Driven Development (BDD). One of the BDD claims is that by specifying the requirements in a ubiquitous language together with ...
6
votes
9answers
888 views

Review quality of code [duplicate]

I have been asked to quality review two code bases. I've never done anything like that, and need advice on how to perform it and report it. Background There are two providers of code, one in VB and ...
6
votes
5answers
356 views

How do you get developers to want to write good code they can be proud of? [closed]

In a team of developers, how do you get the developers to feel pride in their code and write good code (I realize this is subjective and everyone is different, but there is a point when I write code ...
6
votes
4answers
431 views

Qualifying 'happiness' in software development? [closed]

It occurred to me today that often the real goal of questions asked on sites such as this one (where the questions tend to be more open-ended than say, SO) is for the OP to become happier upon ...
6
votes
2answers
382 views

Do I have to be skilled in advanced theoretical problem solving to become a good programmer? [closed]

I have been doing programming for about a couple of years. I am currently in University 2nd year. In most universities here, the problem solving from sites like uva.onlinejudge.org and ...
6
votes
3answers
379 views

Why is implementing copy-paste in a touch screen based smartphone such a big deal?

When Apple didn't implement copy-pasting on the iPhone since version 1, I had just assumed it was a UI issue (Eg. they were waiting until they figured out a good UI for it). Now however the idea is ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Can defect containment metrics be readily applied at an organizational level when there is only a consistant organizational process framework?

Defect containment metrics, such as total defect containment effectiveness (TDCE) and phase containment effectiveness (PCE), can be used to give a good indicator of the quality of the process. TDCE ...
5
votes
7answers
325 views

What is a programmer's role in error-checking text content?

As a primarily web-based programmer, a lot of my projects involve significant amounts of text content. In my previous job, I frequently worked with a project manager notorious for his unwillingness ...
5
votes
3answers
194 views

What are creative ways to unblock a development team?

The setting: Multiple development teams, lots of dependencies and constraints. If one team is blocked on developing some code, getting service calls, or moving to a QA environment, what are ways for ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I apply Six Sigma in a software development environment? [closed]

I am a Java developer, but I was asked to learn about applying Six Sigma with the goal of increasing our organization's profits. I have read that Six Sigma can be applied in all environments, but I'm ...
5
votes
3answers
297 views

How to deal with the trail of bugs?

Every release, our trail of bugs keeps on increasing. These are valid bugs however, we also have to write new features to stay in the competition. Also, those features will be more used than the ...