Actions on Built-in Quality

Quality is built-in, not test-out; sounds familiar, right? How do we reflect this in our real life?

First, we need to understand the definition of “software quality“: wiki divides it into functional quality and structural quality (covers the non-functional requirement). Typically, people tends to use key words to define quality goals and set appropriate priority among them:

  • Reliability
  • Function Effectiveness
  • Performance
  • Flexibility
  • Maintainability
  • Testability
  • and etc

Once the quality goals are set, then corresponding actions need to be conducted to assure quality. Note that the priority might change from time to time, one lesson learned of most of the projects are not paying enough attention to performance, but this turns to be the important one when people are ready for real traffic.

At this current stage, needs to involve the stakeholders of quality to clearly understand their quality expectation, budget, timeline and come up with the action plans. Here are a set of proven practices related to different quality goals:

  • Function Effectiveness: there are enough BDD, TDD, functional tests to cover this;
  • Performance: Performance test is not enough to cover this, architecture, coding has to give a special consideration about this to ensure;
  • Reliability: architecture is a key player in this; testing could be used to collect needed info;
  • Flexibility: someone refer to extensibility. This is generally about how does the software responds to change. Architecture is key; coding and testing is equally important; Do not change 1000 lines just because of 1 simple change;
  • Maintainability: this works better when ops people are involved appropriately, talking about how to better support the software.
  • Testability: this actually is the most hard to resolve. If you change one thing, you have to test multiple functionalities, talk with the dev to see how do they implement the function and there must be room to improve.

There are more things than testing to assure the quality.

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