Software Engineer’s Blog

Software Engineering weblog

Measuring agile project manager’s success

Following are my comments on discussion “What’s a good measure of an Agile project manager’s success?” in ‘Agile CMMI’ group in Linkedin

I had been with agile approach all along, enamored by the simplicity. Do we need to complicate?

I like it because it has brought trust and communication back into our business which was lost into documentation in the name process. To me, our job is to deliver value to our customer on time and budget.

What am I going to do measuring my project manager whom I trust? What is the point in finding out that he/she measure up or does not? We are delivering or we are not. If we are not, we need to find that out ASAP and make amends.

Let us measure project (not project manager) and help project manager

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August 27, 2009 Posted by | Agile, software engineering, Software Quality | Leave a comment

A Magazine on Software Test Automation

Though software test automation has been around for quite some time by now, success with test automation is far and few. Test automation space is replete with marketing hype, technical jargon, and claims of “silver bullet” solutions. Adding to the woes are idiosyncrasies of test automation tools used. Scene is sufficiently confusing to an innocent but curiously enticing to the gullible.

In my experience, failures are partly due to i) expectations based on hype rather than facts from the field, ii) half-hearted but expensive approach to automation as an extension of manual testing and iii) lack of business focus. These are, by no means, unique to software test automation; we have seen this repeated many times over in the past

I think, it is time for the dust to settle with increased demand for quality in software. I have come across a magazine focused exclusively on automated testing.

I am glad to see such an effort; it is need of the hour. I hope this magazine would help in harvesting success patterns, promoting knowledge exchange, scientific spirit and objective analysis in test automation space.

August 27, 2009 Posted by | Functional testing, Software Quality, Software Testing, Test automation, Test Automation Architecture, Test Automation Framework, Testing | Leave a comment

Subtle changes

It is long since computers have moved from glass houses to individual desktops at home and office and internet jargon got into language of common man.

In fact, spread of computing is far deeper with spread of mobile phones. Even the cheapest mobile phone has more computing power than the computers that I started working with, and has more intelligence with the software that comes with it. Looking forward to changes that changing the very game

August 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Elements of engineering discipline

As per IEEE definition, software engineering is “systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software, and the study of these approaches; that is, the application of engineering to software”. There is still ongoing debates on how much engineering can apply to software development, and what would applying engineering mean.

Let us put it this way. Being “systematic, disciplined, quantifiable” is more of a business need. As software is getting increasingly pervasive to every aspect of life, business wants software development to be more repeatable and predictable.

Computing, business and software development environment has been undergoing drastic changes. We have attained some level of repeatability and predictability in software development though that may be far below the level desirable from business standpoint. This was due to untiring efforts of many great brains.

Looking back, what helps us towards being “systematic, disciplined, quantifiable”? “repeatable and predictable”?

I would classify progresses into following categories, with progress made in each of them:
1. Processes (who does what and when) and methods (how)
2. Standards (with standards like CMMI levels on one side of the spectrum and coding standards at the other side)
3. Proven practices (Harvest success patterns)
4. Tools (Software tools that help us do our work better and faster)
5. Metrics (Measures helping in objective observation and decision making)
6. Body of knowledge
7. Code of ethics

These are what I am calling elements of engineering discipline.

Let us not have any illusions.

Methodology/process wars are far from over. Proliferation of programming languages would continue. Computing technologies would continue to evolve.

There is a long way to go before software engineering would stabilize as a true engineering discipline but essential ingredients are getting to be in place and there is business need…

Let us move on

August 21, 2009 Posted by | Agile, Rational Unified Process, software engineering, Unified Process | Leave a comment

Consortium for IT Software Quality

As software permeates every aspect of daily life and as we depend more and more on software in all walks of life, quality of software gets to be of utmost importance.

World has come a long way from the early perceptions of quality as a natural consequence of following a good process. Agile community has asserted umpteen times, reflecting in manifesto of software craftsmanship and agile manifesto, quality of software that add value to users in their context is far more importance than religious, and often dogmatic, adherence to process.

People, process and automation are three different, orthogonal but often inseparably interrelated, factors of what goes into making of a quality software. These form different dimensions that call for attention of a manager of software development project, and not conflicting goals as they are sometime made out to be. Managing software development project is not progressing on one dimension at the cost of another but working with a dynamic balancing of these dimensions through the course of project

Three dimensions of software quality

Three dimensions of software quality

It is interesting to note, in this context, emergence of a consortium focused on software quality. It is a step in the right direction. I hope that this would help in making life better for its users and customers

August 20, 2009 Posted by | Agile, Product Engineering, Software architecture, software engineering, Software Factory, Software Quality, Software Testing, Testing, Uncategorized, Unified Process | 1 Comment

A picture is worth a thousand words

(Mis)Communication

(Mis)Communication

August 17, 2009 Posted by | Product Engineering, software engineering, Uncategorized, Unified Process | Leave a comment

eLearning 2.0

eLearning 2.0

eLearning 2.0

August 17, 2009 Posted by | e-Learning, eLearning, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

eLearning kaleidoscope

eLearning kaleidoscope

eLearning kaleidoscope

August 17, 2009 Posted by | e-Learning, eLearning, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Virtual world of collaborative games

Virtual world of collaborative games

Virtual world of collaborative games

August 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Art of management

Art of Management

Art of Management

August 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment