The importance of quality in software development

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(© fizkes – stock.adobe.com)

In today’s world, technology is a part of our daily lives, it exists in many daily activities and things that we interact with. Technological progress can not be dammed. And especially software, this intangible thing that we can’t see, but with which we have contact and interact every day, is becoming a very important factor in this globalized world.

Software can be found in various fields and sectors, such as finance (electronic transactions), in the stock market, the health sector, (calculating drug doses through software applications) and other sectors. There is no doubt that the use of software is an important part of our lives. Almost all modern tools are run by software.

The existence of software makes many players in these sectors competitive, globalized, but at the same time it is forcing them to have a high level of responsibility in using these tools, which they use to generate value in our daily work as a society.

Now, from the corporate realm, the right software is key to being competitive, and with increasing demand, the need to be at the forefront, forces every developer to offer better software.

With the improvement of software quality, the quality of life of the people who use it will also increase.

When choosing software, organizations and IT Managers have a responsibility to understand that quality is a priority, not an alternative, and that it has high impact and consequences. The function of the software is determined by its quality. If the software has low quality, the functions it supports will also have low quality (not in accordance with what is expected).

Definition of software quality

What is quality in software? This is a very broad term that covers various phases of making software. There are several definitions, but on this occasion we will discuss only two of them.

We will see two different definitions!

First version: Software quality is “agreement with explicitly defined functional and performance requirements, with development standards that are explicitly documented and with implicit characteristics expected of all professionally developed software. This is considered the totality of product or service characteristics which gives it the ability to meet the needs stated or implied by ISO 8402.

Second version: Software quality is the extent to which a system, component, or process meets specified requirements and the needs or expectations of customers or users. Basically (according to this version), quality is when all parameters of the software match what the user wants.

There is more than one definition, which allows us to conclude that it is something very important, given the context of the use of software in organizations and activities of daily human life. It is important to say that to get quality software, every developer needs to use methods or practices, procedures, good standards, throughout its construction. This all includes increasing the level of productivity in its development and maintaining quality control. Every actor involved must understand the importance of quality in software so that it can function properly.

Various organizations in the software, finance, telecommunications and media producing sectors have recognized the importance of quality and acknowledged that its absence is a high risk, and that they must invest a large portion of their budget in improving the quality of the software used, including investing in custom elearning development.

Impact of poor quality on software

Let’s remember events like the millennium change that gave rise to Millennium Error or Y2K, a software error, which led to several failures around the world in different systems with consequences; Or a well-known and documented example with the launch of the first Arianne 5 rocket by the European Space Agency in 1996. This rocket, which took 10 years and 7,000 million euros to develop, exploded due to a defect in the internal control software system before one minute of flight had passed.

This failure affects all countries and economic sectors and the worst part is that costs of poor quality are not recorded in the account, which is why when the project is being implemented, it is easy to reduce the budget or cut it for the quality process, but in the end they will end up with software failure in a productive environment, with very high consequences for the community and for the organization itself.

And the impact far exceeds the cost of the solution. The cost of external errors is much higher and with higher and unfavorable consequences for the organization, such as loss of market, business, clients, lawsuits, complaints, returns, guarantees, and a number of consequences.

Many of us have felt the effects of poor quality in software, in bank transactions, ticket purchases, etc., where system lags manifest themselves, response times are very long, and this means loss of time and money. However, the impact is usually far more serious if the failure of a system causes economic, environmental, social, or even human loss.

What can cause bugs in the software?

Many factors can be attributed to that, such as lack of procedures, application of standards, methodology, prevention activities and / or initial quality, preparation and / or training of managers and main actors in this process. Minimizing these factors can prevent software bugs.

Are there quality standards?

There are various organizations committed to developing standards and good practices that allow evaluating the construction process and software development such as CMM, CMMI, SPICE 1, ISO, IEEE, or others.

Throughout the value chain, quality must be evaluated, through the application of good practices in the development process, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, this will make it possible to debug at each iteration and / or phase, reduce the risk of negative events in the software, and will facilitate quality control activities.

Story by Soban Basra

         
 

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