At QCon London, Adam Tornhill presented “A Crystal Ball to Prioritise Technical Debt”, and claimed that although the technical debt metaphor has taken the software world with storm, most organizations find it hard to prioritise and repay their technical debt. Key takeaways from the talk included methods to identify ‘hotspots’ of code complexity and churn.
There is general acceptance that adopting agile development practices enables the speeding up of the delivery of software. Without incorporating quality assurance practices directly into the development process, product quality inevitably suffers. In order to consistently achieve high quality, both work practices and team roles need to change to build quality in rather than testing at the end.
A problem with Domain-Driven Design (DDD) since the beginning has been the too common hunt for perfect designs, but DDD is not for perfectionists. In order to stop that hunt you need to have some idea of how to create software that is well designed, yet not perfect, Eric Evans noted in his presentation at the recent DDD Europe Conference in Amsterdam.
Approval testing is a test technique which compares the current output of your code with an 'approved' version. The approved version is created by initially examining the test output and approving the result. You can revisit the approved version and easily update it when the requirements change. Approval testing is supported by TextTest, an open source tool for text-based functional testing.
Dead code needs to be found and removed; leaving dead code in is an obstacle to programmer understanding and action, and there's the risk that the code is awakened which can cause significant problems. Deleting dead code is not a technical problem; it is a problem of mindset and culture.
Mark Hrynczak, Cloud QA Manager for Atlassian, gave a talk on this year’s company summit in which he shared his vision of how a high valuable QA team should perform. High value for a QA team is defined as being, in the first place, totally aligned with the company strategic goals ,thus contributing to solve the most important problems that an organization might face at a specific moment.
Giving teams autonomy to spend 10% of their time for learning reduces delivery time, increases quality, and increases motivation. The 10% rule gives teams full autonomy to work on things they consider important. It results in freeing up people's creativity and letting teams grow their potential.
Refactoring helps to move towards cleaner code that is easier to understand and maintain. It takes practice and experience to recognise code smells: symptoms of bad design which indicate deeper problems in the code. Tools can be helpful to refactor in small steps and prevent breaking the code.
Increased throughput, reduced code complexity, less production incidents, shorter deployment cycles and higher happiness in teams; these are some of the benefits that the agile transformation at Barclays has delivered. Within the first year of the transformation, which is based on Disciplined Agile, more than 800 teams adopted agile making this one of the largest agile implementations.
Continuous deployment results in a higher sense of responsibility and better quality of deployments, argues Paul de Raaij, technical pathfinder at Coolblue. Coding standards prevent your code base from becoming a mess, automated inspections are great for tedious and boring checks, and manual checks are great for checking if the logic or use of code actually makes sense.
Good engineering practices are the tools that help agile teams to deliver shippable products. Although many engineering practices have proved to be effective, they are not as widely used as they should be. Agile anti-patterns like the software testing ice-cream cone, accumulating technical debt and functional silos prevent teams from delivering a potentially releasable product.
Models play an important role in developing software for autonomous systems like self-driving cars; they are used to simulate and verify behavior, document the system, and generate code. Jonathan Sprinkle explains how to model software used in autonomous systems, the benefits of modeling, using test data to validate the software that drives a car and techniques for writing reliable code.
Supply chain management can raise the bar with continuous development, argues Joshua Corman, Director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative and co-founder of Rugged Software. Our dependence on IT and software is growing faster than our ability to secure it, and applying supply chain approaches to software development helps to address complexity which reduces risks and increases quality.
Microsoft has open sourced Checked C, a research project meant to add bounds checking to C and C++.
InfoQ interviewed Diomidis Spinellis, author of the books Code Reading and Code Quality, about finding and fixing errors in software, principles for debugging software and how to improve the effectiveness of debugging, how to write code that requires less debugging, and what managers can do to support error prevention and handling.