Software Quality Professional Overview - September 1999 - ASQ

Software Quality Professional Overview - September 1999


Yet another maturity model? Yes, and this one addresses testing. (Ilene Burnstein, Ariya Homyen, Taratip Suwanassart, Gary Saxena, and Rob Grom, “A Testing Maturity Model for Software Test Process Assessment and Improvement”) The main value of such an assessment is not so much for the organization to achieve a particular maturity level, but rather to serve as a guide for process improvement. The authors are also developing a framework of procedures, templates, and checklists to support integration of maturity models from various other software engineering concerns.

Alan Weimer and Jack Munyan offer a “Recipe for a Successful System: Human Elements in System Development.” The human–as opposed to technological–components are their key ingredients: adequate budget, business alignment, clear deliverables, end-user involvement, and appropriate training. Planning and change management are also essential to set the proper course and then to steer through the shifting winds and currents of a project. The authors conclude that good communication is essential to facilitate acceptance of even the most technically correct systems.

“Using Assertions to Make Untestable Software More Testable” by Jeffrey Voas and Lora Kassab describes both theory and practice of augmenting software with assertions to increase the likelihood of observing defects. Regions of code that appear to be untestable are exactly where such assertions should be placed. Developers and testers must partner to strategically derive and embed assertions. Also presented is a unique and cost-effective benefit of assertions that offers a new way for finding testing techniques with a higher return on investment.

Should software quality professionals actively support or oppose the proposed Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA)? Cem Kaner offers his “point,” and Lorin Brennan and Glenn Barber respond with their “counterpoint” on this controversial legislative model. Consider the issue at two levels: How can professionals provide insight into this immediate question? How can and should such professionals become involved in other, and wider, public-policy debates?

Note that the section formerly called “Book Reviews” has been renamed “Resource Reviews.” There are still book reviews, of course, but we have added reviews of videos and self-study materials in this issue. In the future, coverage will also extend to conferences, training courses, and other resources for professional development.

As SQPreaches the end of its first volume (with the fourth quarterly issue) there are also two items that will be featured annually: a statement of appreciation for all the "anonymous" reviewers and a pair of indices, arranged by author and by subject, of the articles that have appeared in the last volume.

The SQPWeb site will begin carrying supplemental information. In this instance, the additional articles are a "point" by Kaner and a "counterpoint" by Brennan and Barber, which mirror those authors' presentations in this issue of the print journal.

Software Quality Professional

Taz Daughtrey
Babcock & Wilcox
Lynchburg, Virginia

Richard E. Biehl
Data-Oriented Quality Solutions
Orlando, Florida

Paul R. Croll
Computer Sciences Corporation
Fredericksburg, Virginia

Beth Layman
Melbourne Beach, Florida

Stanley H. Levinson
Framatome Technologies
Lynchburg, Virginia

John Pustaver
Creative Data Systems
Sudbury, Massachusetts

William Tony

Tania Kuropas

Leigh Ann Klaus
Kris McEachern

Cathy Schnackenberg

Mary Uttech

Michael Bortz

Software Quality Professional Journal Cover

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