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Views of software quality: a field report

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2 Author(s)
Hall, T. ; Sch. of Comput. Sci., Westminster Univ., London, UK ; Wilson, D.

The authors present findings from a recent study into the quality views of software practitioners in five UK companies. The study explored how issues of software quality have affected grassroots practitioners in companies; in particular the typical experiences of practitioners and what practitioners really think about quality initiatives. It is only by listening to the experiences and views of ordinary practitioners that truly effective approaches to quality can be developed. Indeed various ways are recommended in which the results presented can be used to improve the effectiveness of quality initiatives. One of the main findings is that managers and developers are keen to see software quality improved, and are positive about ways in which that can be achieved. Developers are more enthusiastic than is usually believed to see quality formalism in software development. Developers in almost all of the companies in the study said they wanted a more formal approach to quality; developers in the companies with the least quality formalism were most keen to see it implemented. Although there has been significant progress in the field of software quality, it is shown that this has not yet filtered through to ordinary companies. Where it has, there is evidence of an overzealousness and dogma that have turned practitioners off quality altogether. The result is that many practitioners are frustrated about poor quality but feel they lack the power and information to do anything about it. Indeed, many practitioners believe that the market wants cheap software quickly and is not too concerned about its quality

Published in:

Software Engineering. IEE Proceedings- [see also Software, IEE Proceedings]  (Volume:144 ,  Issue: 2 )