One of the most valuable services a QA group provides is preventing failure. Ironically if the group succeeds at this, QA might find themselves unpopular or out of a job. Linda Hayes reveals how typical methods of measuring success can actually cause failure. Especially if success is achieved at the loser's expense.
Despite the fact that iterative approaches to software development are increasingly used, most of the people paying for IT software developmet have an expectation that we should be able to tell them—before coding starts—"what's it going to do, what's it going to cost, and when's it going to be ready?" This article exlains why that's an unattainable expectation and corrects the misleading "product-lifecycle-model" for estimating.
In his article "Test Estimation" (STQE magazine, Nov./Dec. 2002), Rex Black describes the major elements of the test estimation process; for example, techniques for compromise between estimate extremes, project management tools to use, how to predict bug find and fix rates, and options to consider when the estimated test time exceeds Management's plan. The best estimation techniques fail, however, if no one considers the factors that influence the team's effort, time, and resources. In this companion piece, the author explains those factors that affect the test effort for good or ill.
Churning out medium-grade software to meet deadlines, and experiencing critically defective projects over the years, can easily wear down optimism till it gives way to cynicism in the software testing and quality professions. In this column, Eileen Strider empathizes with that tendency and offers ideas that may improve the quality of your experience.