|By Lev Lesokhin||
|March 19, 2014 09:30 AM EDT||
When applications crash due to a code quality issues, the common question is, "How could those experts have missed that?" The problem is, most people imagine software development as a room full of developers, keyboards clacking away with green, Matrix-esque code filling up the screen as they try and perfect the newest ground-breaking feature. However, in reality most of the work developers actually do is maintenance work fixing the bugs found in the production code to ensure a higher level of code quality.
Not only does this severely reduce the amount of business value IT can bring to the table, it also exponentially increases the cost in developing and maintaining quality applications. And even though the IT industry has seen this rise in cost happening for years, they've done little to stem the rising tide. The time has come to draw a line in the sand.
Capers Jones, VP and CTO of Namcook Analytics, recently released a collection of 20 goals software engineers should be aiming to reach by 2018 and we thought this was a great starting point to get software engineering focused on fixing the problems that lie before them, and not just spinning their gears.
However, having ambitious goals is only part of the challenge. In our experience, the organizations aren't equipped to meet these goals because:
- Functional testing isn't enough
- Code analyzers are myopic
- Productivity measurement is manual and laborious
Responsible IT managers need to change the way they think about software development and arm their teams with better tools and processes if they want to come close to achieving any of these goals. This starts with gaining better visibility into their software risk, performance measurement, portfolio analysis, and quality improvement - and it needs to be instantaneous, not quarterly. The problems are happening now, in development, and management is wasting precious time and money waiting until testing to try and put it all together to work out all the kinks.
Once management has a transparent view into the code quality of their application portfolio, then they can shift their focus to achieving the software engineering goals outlined by Jones. They're great goals to aspire to, but let's make sure we're not putting the cart before the horse.
- Raise defect removal efficiency (DRE) from < 90.0% to > 99.5%. This is the most important goal for the industry. It cannot be achieved by testing alone but requires pre-test inspections and static analysis. DRE is measured by comparing all bugs found during development to those reported in the first 90 days by customers.
- Lower software defect potentials from > 4.0 per function point to < 2.0 per function point. Defect potentials are the sum of bugs found in requirements, design, code, user documents, and bad fixes. Requirements and design bugs often outnumber code bugs. Achieving this goal requires effective defect prevention such as joint application design (JAD), quality function deployment (QFD), certified reusable components, and others. It also requires a complete software quality measurement program. Achieving this goal also requires better training in common sources of defects found in requirements, design, and source code.
- Lower cost of quality (COQ) from > 45.0% of development to < 20.0% of development. Finding and fixing bugs has been the most expensive task in software for more than 50 years. A synergistic combination of defect prevention and pre-test inspections and static analysis are needed to achieve this goal.
- Reduce average cyclomatic complexity from > 25.0 to < 10.0. Achieving this goal requires careful analysis of software structures, and of course it also requires measuring cyclomatic complexity for all modules.
- Raise test coverage from < 75.0% to > 98.5% for risks, paths, and requirements. Achieving this goal requires using mathematical design methods for test case creation such as using design of experiments. It also requires measurement of test coverage.
- Eliminate error-prone modules in large systems. Bugs are not randomly distributed. Achieving this goal requires careful measurements of code defects during development and after release with tools that can trace bugs to specific modules. Some companies such as IBM have been doing this for many years. Error-prone modules (EPM) are usually less than 5% of total modules but receive more than 50% of total bugs. Prevention is the best solution. Existing error-prone modules in legacy applications may require surgical removal and replacement.
- Eliminate security flaws in all software applications. As cyber-crime becomes more common the need for better security is more urgent. Achieving this goal requires use of security inspections, security testing, and automated tools that seek out security flaws. For major systems containing valuable financial or confidential data, ethical hackers may also be needed.
- Reduce the odds of cyber-attacks from > 10.0% to < 0.1%. Achieving this goal requires a synergistic combination of better firewalls, continuous anti-virus checking with constant updates to viral signatures; and also increasing the immunity of software itself by means of changes to basic architecture and permission strategies.
- Reduce bad-fix injections from > 7.0% to < 1.0%. Not many people know that about 7% of attempts to fix software bugs contain new bugs in the fixes themselves commonly called "bad fixes." When cyclomatic complexity tops 50 the bad-fix injection rate can soar to 25% or more. Reducing bad-fix injection requires measuring and controlling cyclomatic complexity, using static analysis for all bug fixes, testing all bug fixes, and inspections of all significant fixes prior to integration.
- Reduce requirements creep from > 1.5% per calendar month to < 0.25% per calendar month. Requirements creep has been an endemic problem of the software industry for more than 50 years. While prototypes, agile embedded users, and joint application design (JAD) are useful, it is technically possible to also use automated requirements models to improve requirements completeness.
- Lower the risk of project failure or cancellation on large 10,000 function point projects from > 35.0% to < 5.0%. Cancellation of large systems due to poor quality and cost overruns is an endemic problem of the software industry, and totally unnecessary. A synergistic combination of effective defect prevention and pre-test inspections and static analysis can come close to eliminating this far too common problem.
- Reduce the odds of schedule delays from > 50.0% to < 5.0%. Since the main reasons for schedule delays are poor quality and excessive requirements creep, solving some of the earlier problems in this list will also solve the problem of schedule delays. Most projects seem on time until testing starts, when huge quantities of bugs begin to stretch out the test schedule to infinity. Defect prevention combined with pre-test static analysis can reduce or eliminate schedule delays.
- Reduce the odds of cost overruns from > 40.0% to < 3.0%. Software cost overruns and software schedule delays have similar root causes; i.e. poor quality control combined with excessive requirements creep. Better defect prevention combined with pre-test defect removal can help to cure both of these endemic software problems.
- Reduce the odds of litigation on outsource contracts from > 5.0% to < 1.0%. The author of this paper has been an expert witness in 12 breach of contract cases. All of these cases seem to have similar root causes which include poor quality control, poor change control, and very poor status tracking. A synergistic combination of early sizing and risk analysis prior to contract signing plus effective defect prevention and pre-test defect removal can lower the odds of software breach of contract litigation.
- Lower maintenance and warranty repair costs by > 75.0% compared to 2014 values. Starting in about 2000 the number of U.S. maintenance programmers began to exceed the number of development programmers. IBM discovered that effective defect prevention and pre-test defect removal reduced delivered defects to such low levels that maintenance costs were reduced by at least 45% and sometimes as much as 75%.
- Improve the volume of certified reusable materials from < 15.0% to > 75.0%. Custom designs and manual coding are intrinsically error-prone and inefficient no matter what methodology is used. The best way of converting software engineering from a craft to a modern profession would be to construct applications from libraries of certified reusable material; i.e. reusable requirements, design, code, and test materials. Certification to near zero-defect levels is a precursor, so effective quality control is on the critical path to increasing the volumes of certified reusable materials.
- Improve average development productivity from < 8.0 function points per month to >16.0 function points per month. Productivity rates vary based on application size, complexity, team experience, methodologies, and several other factors. However when all projects are viewed in aggregate average productivity is below 8.0 function points per staff month. Doubling this rate needs a combination of better quality control and much higher volumes of certified reusable materials; probably 50% or more.
- Improve work hours per function point from > 16.5 to < 8.25. Goal 17 and this goal are essentially the same but use different metrics. However there is one important difference. Work hours will be the same in every country. For example a project in Sweden with 126 work hours per month will have the same number of work hours as a project in China with 184 work hours per month. But the Chinese project will need fewer calendar months than the Swedish project.
- Shorten average software development schedules by > 35.0% compared to 2014 averages. The most common complaint of software clients and corporate executives at the CIO and CFO level is that big software projects take too long. Surprisingly it is not hard to make them shorter. A synergistic combination of better defect prevention, pre-test static analysis and inspections, and larger volumes of certified reusable materials can make significant reductions in schedule intervals.
- Raise maintenance assignment scopes from < 1,500 function points to > 5,000 function points. The metric "maintenance assignment scope" refers to the number of function points that one maintenance programmer can keep up and running during a calendar year. The range is from < 300 function points for buggy and complex software to > 5,000 function points for modern software released with effective quality control. The current average is about 1,500 function points. This is a key metric for predicting maintenance staffing for both individual projects and also for corporate portfolios. Achieving this goal requires effective defect prevention, effective pre-test defect removal, and effective testing using modern mathematically based test case design methods. It also requires low levels of cyclomatic complexity.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
Jun. 29, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,748
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jun. 29, 2015 12:19 PM EDT Reads: 654
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
Jun. 29, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,549
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Jun. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,107
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Jun. 29, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,876
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Jun. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,025
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jun. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,430
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
Jun. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,164
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Jun. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,185
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
Jun. 26, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,175
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jun. 26, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,034
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
Jun. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,983
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jun. 25, 2015 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,128
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, and the “Third Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place June 7-9, 2016, at Javits Center in New York City. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Jun. 22, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,649
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Jun. 20, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,827
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
Jun. 15, 2015 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 4,060
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
Jun. 15, 2015 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,855
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
Jun. 15, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 5,912
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discusses the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jun. 11, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,308
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Jun. 10, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,300