Friday, January 19, 2007

[Event] Software Engineering for Everday Business - Review of the Last Event

Today we had the last event of the series "Software Engineering for everyday business" in coopertion with the chamber of commerce (Vienna) and the Austrian computer society OCG:

Dietmar Winkler introduced the day defining the term quality and giving some introduction about quality factors and quality management, quantification of quality and measurement issues. He continued describing quality assurance strategies on the example of V-Model (XT), Rational Unified Process and SCRUM. Then the process enhancement cycle following PDCA (plan, do, check, act) was described.

In the next presentation, Dietmar explains strategies to review and audit Software artifacts. He explains different review strategies and reading-techniques (explaining typical checklist-based approaches) and the planning of Software Reviews. He recommends the usage-based reading (UBR), that is priorised according to business value, as best-practice inspection technique following studies that have been performed at our institute.

The second speaker, Denis Frast, introduces the term testing and discusses the cost and efficiency of testing. Validation and verification are discussed in the context of the V-model. Fundamental test-strategies are described:
  • "Private" tests
  • Module test
  • Integration test strategies (increment, Big-Bang...)
  • System-test
Integration tests can be leveraged by modern component-based software engineering strategies using containers like Spring, as these technologies allow to flexible change the concrete binding between components and objects. This is important to be able to rewire systems according e.g., to use mock/stub components for testing and integrating the system in various test or production environments.

Also the psychology of testing is important to acknowledge. It suggests to implement own test-teams that are only focusing on testing and are not developers of this system (module). Developers themselves sometimes unconciously try to proof their program right (show that it works) and not necessarily try to push it to or over the limits. This is understandable, as a programmer is successful when he makes no mistakes, whereas a tester is assumed successful when he finds errors.

We can eventually identify two general strategies to derive test-cases: black-box and white-box methods. Black-box tests are more derived from specifications, whereas white-box tests are based on code-structure.

Finally Alexander Schatten gave a brief overview on modern tools to automate project-tests:
  • Unit Tests
  • UITests
  • Codestyle Checks
  • Profiling
He particularly focused on the capabilities of tools like checkstyle. This tool offers a great variety in options to check sourcecode. Starting from coding conventions, over metrics to code-duplications. This tool will be probably described in an special blog article soon. Eventually he lined out the features modern profiling tools like the Eclipse TPTP offers. They allow to solve difficult issues in complex software systems like tracking down performance and memory problems or detect other runtime issues.

Please download all presentations from the Event-Website (partly in german).


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work.

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