Is this version ready?

A real bug found in Harvard Mark II, giving the name bug to a software defect. Courtesy of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, VA., 1988. [Public domain]
  • Shipping small chunks of code
  • Having extensive test suite
  • Test coverage


You probably ask yourself why software engineering is not like other engineering. Basically, you probably think, the ingredients are smart people writing some code with the aid of some coffee, how different is that from assembling a car in a factory? The truth is writing code is not like assembling a car. On your production line of cars, all parts should be identical, and you take a sample and assume it represents the entire batch of that part. In code, you can’t do that. Testing one code line does not represent the others, and certainly does not represent any inter-logic flaws between other code lines. And Dave Mangot wrote it much better than I would. However, as you spend more time which equals more money on testing your code, you will likely find more issues. The secret is to find the balance as to where your investment is worth the additional findings, the delay to release and hit the market and the cost of actually running the test suite. I am not calling for cutting on QA, nor am I calling for investing in your testing until you feel any additional bug found will not be worth the money spent. I am suggesting to build your own spectrum, which shows where your sweet spot of investment VS quality improvements lie.

Industry specifics

Of course the spectrum differs greatly from industry to industry and from compliance and risk view points of the consciousnesses of bugs. A bug in a critical system can actually kill people, or cause losses of millions of dollars.

Invest in the right place

The first thing to do if you want to invest your money in the right place is to identify what are the causes for most of your bugs. Some examples to illustrate: Are they integration issues

  • Are they complicated configurations conflicting
  • Are they logical issues
  • Some crazy one-off not well covered
  • Release process issues
  • Performance issues



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