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Automated Defect Prevention: Best Practices in Software Management [Hardcover]

Dorota Huizinga , Adam Kolawa

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Book Description

Sept. 17 2007 0470042125 978-0470042120 1
This book describes an approach to software management based on establishing an infrastructure that serves as the foundation for the project. This infrastructure defines people roles, necessary technology, and interactions between people and technology. This infrastructure automates repetitive tasks, organizes project activities, tracks project status, and seamlessly collects project data to provide measures necessary for decision making. Most importantly, this infrastructure sustains and facilitates the improvement of human-defined processes.

The methodology described in the book, which is called Automated Defect Prevention (ADP) stands out from the current software landscape as a result of two unique features: its comprehensive approach to defect prevention, and its far-reaching emphasis on automation. ADP is a practical and thorough guide to implementing and managing software projects and processes. It is a set of best practices for software management through process improvement, which is achieved by the gradual automation of repetitive tasks supported and sustained by this flexible and adaptable infrastructure, an infrastructure that essentially forms a software production line.

In defining the technology infrastructure, ADP describes necessary features rather than specific tools, thus remaining vendor neutral. Only a basic subset of features that are essential for building an effective infrastructure has been selected. Many existing commercial and non-commercial tools support these, as well as more advanced features. Appendix E contains such a list.


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From the Back Cover

Improve Productivity by Integrating Automation and Defect Prevention into Your Software Development Process

This book presents an approach to software management based on a new methodology called Automated Defect Prevention (ADP). The authors describe how to establish an infrastructure that functions as a software "production line" that automates repetitive tasks, organizes project activities, tracks project status, seamlessly collects project data, and sustains and facilitates the improvement of human-defined processes. Well-grounded in software engineering research and in industry best practices, this book helps organizations gain dramatic improvement in both product quality and operational effectiveness.

Ideal for industry professionals and project managers, as well as upper-level undergraduates and graduate-level students in software engineering, Automated Defect Prevention is complete with figures that illustrate how to structure projects and contains real-world examples, developers' testimonies, and tips on how to implement defect prevention strategies across a project group.

About the Author

Dorota Huizinga, PhD, is the Associate Dean for the College of Engineering and Computer Science and Professor of Computer Science at California State University, Fullerton. Her publication record spans a wide range of computer science disciplines and her research was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, California State University System, and private industry.

Adam Kolawa, PhD, is the cofounder and CEO of Parasoft, a leading provider of Automated Error Prevention software solutions. Dr. Kolawa is a coauthor of Bulletproofing Web Applications, has contributed to or written more than 100 commentary pieces and technical papers, and has authored numerous scientific papers.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Software Development Leaders April 29 2008
By Thomas Sprimont - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've read this book from cover to cover. I've read many books on software development, software processes, best practices, qualitative approaches, and quantitative approaches, many from SEI. This book has to be one of the top two. For software professionals in leadership positions facing today's pressures of delivering quality software that meets customer expectations according to plan, this book is a must-read. You will be able to implement techniques directly into your organizational processes and deliverables with considerable ease. Kolawa and Huizinga have forged a grimoire that should be on every software leaders' desk, be they Project Managers, Software Architects, PMO Directors, of Vice Presidents of Development. Here are the key take-aways from this book:

1. Clarity: All concepts, practices, and examples were extraordinarily clear. There was never a question as to what was meant, or confusion in the information conveyed.

2. Readability: The text is very user-friendly. Coming from a very technical background, I tend to read challenging and complicated material. In this book, you were able to frame both technical and complex material in a readable way. In other words, I never had to re-read anything in the book. All of the material was very easy to understand. I feel the ability to effectively reduce complexity to simplicity is the hallmark of good authorship.

3. Implementable: I found the practice-side of the book to be what I call `out-of-the-box.' This means I was able to take material directly from the text and apply that into my process(es) or deliverables with very little work or trouble. (I actually did this multiple times.) This is a testament to the subtitle of the book, Best Practices in Software Management.

4. Usefulness: The book is actually aimed at being useful within for-profit businesses. Theoretical books are good for concepts, but it's up to the readers to find ways to translate the theory into executable practices (which often is beyond the role and responsibility of the readers). Your book actually bridges this gap, and provides mechanisms to help readers implement valuable techniques into their organizations, independent of their infrastructure.

These four points make a huge difference for readers looking to improve their software development processes to ensure profitability, cost savings, and customer satisfaction. Producing quality software while building defect prevention into your processes is key in today's competitive software marketplace. With these techniques, your organization will continue to become better, managing, reducing, and even eliminating the traditional sources of defects in software deliverables. You won't be disappointed in buying this book, as you'll refer to over and over again as you build process improvement into your organization.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and effective software development management Sept. 5 2007
By G Hebert - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Software engineers encounter tooling for planning, assessment and document management. These systems enable teams to know baseline work products as they evolve. Effective tooling is also appropriate for software developers. What would Henry Ford have achieved if he focused his automation effort only on administrative and clerical activities while ignoring the production line? Automating core software product development presents both challenge and opportunity.
This book provides a practical, systematic and comprehensive Automated Defect Prevention (ADP) based software development process model. ADP builds upon people and technology infrastructure, automation and best practices. As they collaborate, people are assigned certain roles, and various technologies have certain roles. When learning better ways to efficiently produce high quality software related work products, the larger team can also benefit, but only if knowledge gained is effectively shared and used. Experience must be captured in a repository. People must be properly motivated to contribute to and reference a repository. Automation of best practices enables beneficial application and retention of lessons learned.
The book observes that a large measure of overall software engineering effort presently goes towards finding and fixing defects. By contrast, defect prevention, reducing the number of initially occurring defects to be found later, represents genuine opportunity to improve efficiency. Understanding the underlying root cause of a class of defects enables development of preventive action plans, and process improvements to prevent recurrence. Automation of preventive action improves process compliance, predictability and product quality. It is duly noted that automation can itself be a significant challenge. However, improvements contribute to customer satisfaction as well as to job satisfaction and productivity. Successfully automating portions of what our software engineers are presently doing relieves tedium and allows for more creative engineering focus. We also gain opportunities to automate reliable measurement of process performance.
The authors recognize process change challenges, and provide an incremental evolutionary approach to phasing in ADP. They apply ADP to, "initial planning and requirements, expanded planning and design, construction and testing, and deployment." Best practices coverage for each software development phase includes characterization of the problem addressed, identification of team members performing the practice, description of practice implementation, and automation. Measurement and tracking also benefit from automation. These measurements support more effective management decision making, systematically providing value above and beyond the basic contribution of each individual.
Important words of caution are provided. There are no silver bullets. Some human activities do not lend themselves to automation. Examples include requirements elicitation, architectural design, documentation peer review and various activities related to creativity and innovation. The authors emphasize appropriate use of measurement and tracking data, and perhaps more importantly the absolute necessity for management to prohibit inappropriate use of that data. Appropriate use deals with improving process performance, while an inappropriate use of measurement data could involve an individual's performance. To be effective in providing useful measures and support productive management decision making, the dedicated, hardworking individuals must be confident that an automated defect prevention system will be used for the benefit of the entire team.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth having on your desk Oct. 21 2007
By Gary V.S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
One issue I have with the software industry is that too many project managers, or stake holders managing software people, lack the understanding of just how important software quality is and how it can benefit the software teams and products. As the people most accountable for what happens with a software initiative, managers should have a solid understanding of what options are available to improve developer skills and the software they release. This book provides that needed information and helps explain who is responsible for what tasks, when they should be considering phasing in a particular practice and the benefits of a given item.

I like the way the information is presented in this book because I feel a project manager would be able to quickly evaluate a practice for phasing in without facing an all-or-nothing approach that some other books take. If, for example, a manager felt that they enjoyed the chapter on testing models, this book provides the information on what is needed, the benefits and the roles people need to take to phase that approach into their teams.

I enjoyed this book and I wish that more development teams used many of the practices in this book. While there were samples at the end of the chapters and a chapter on case studies, I would have liked to have seen a bit more information on difficulty and time constraints presented within some of the sections themselves. Overall this is a great book and definitely worth having on your desk.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effective guide for increasing business productivity and professional satisfaction Feb. 28 2008
By Tes M. Kurtz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book offers a straight-forward, realistic approach to solving challenges of day-to-day projects that the software industry faces. Not only does it address the necessity of technology businesses to increase efficiency and productivity, but it also takes into account the psychological need for individual software professionals to be challenged and intellectually fulfilled on a daily basis. The powerful gains of software automation are amplified by the strategic best practices described in this software management book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical handbook to working smarter, not harder Feb. 26 2008
By C. Dunlop - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What sets this book apart from other software quality management books is its focus on real-world solutions. Many quality improvement strategies sound great on paper, but are impractical to implement because they end up slowing project progress and stirring resentment throughout the ranks. Rather than ignore the demands of modern day development, this book embraces them. The result is a refreshingly realistic approach to boosting software quality... while at the same time actually improving team productivity and developer satisfaction.

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