The 7 Steps of Software Development Case Study - Chapter VIThe 7 Steps of Software Development Case Study - Chapter VIII

The 7 Steps of Software Development Case Study - Chapter VII

May 23rd, 2007

Previous Chapters

» Chapter I: Introduction
» Chapter II: Cast of Characters
» Chapter III: Preliminary Investigation and Analysis
» Chapter IV: Specification and Requirement Analysis
» Chapter V: Design
» Chapter VI: Coding

Chapter VII: Testing

Now it’s time to see if the program does what it’s supposed to do. It should either work or not work, right?

Pat, the QA manager, takes the internal test version CD from Joe and throws it on her perpetually messy desk. After a day or two, she remembers to hand it to Tim, a QA tester. The disc has been damaged, probably due to a drink spill, and won’t load the program but Tim is too busy betting on sports over the Internet to get a new one from Joe. After a couple of days, he tells Pat that the product is too defective to test effectively.

Pat tells Brian that the new program is “untestable”. Joe and the team get another visit from angry Brian who cuts into them again with a barrage of insults. Joe, very frustrated and, attempting to redeem himself, prepares new sets of install CDs directly from the source code repository while Brian watches and delivers them directly to Tim with Brian and Pat in tow. Joe makes sure that it installs on the QA systems and runs correctly. Tim sighs, knowing he doesn’t have an easy out this time around. But to help cover his tracks, he says, “This version looks a lot different than the other one. Do you have a list of changes you made for the new compile?” Joe says, “What are you talking about? This version is the one you had before.”

Tim’s testing doesn’t find any major defects but he creates a long punch list of trivial issues. Brian and Pat call a meeting to discuss the defects. Brian seizes on the number of issues and says, “Tim was right. That original version you gave him must have had far too many defects to ship. You shouldn’t have given it to him in the first place since you should have known how bad it was. It looks like you were trying to pull a fast one to buy yourself a little more time.” Joe, who’s had enough at this point, shouts back, “Bull[explicative]! He never even tested it!” and gets in a heated argument with Brian and Pat about the defects and Tim. The next day, Joe is given a third formal HR reprimand for “insubordination”.

Joe is in even deeper kimchee after testing and peers like Tim are pouncing on his vulnerability. It’s not going to be pretty. In Chapter VIII: Deployment, the program goes out into the world.

Following Chapters

» Chapter VIII: Deployment
» Chapter IX: Maintenance
» Chapter X: Aftermath and Comments

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Entry Filed under: Project Management


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