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Software Quality – Economics of and the art of Elephant spotting;

 

This year our
SQNZ AGM also falls on budget day. I am writing this before the budget is
released but all the indicators from media and official sources seem to
indicate this will be a budget that is tough on expenditure and big on reducing
our deficit. All good in theory but if the behaviour that gets driven is to cut
costs by reducing the level of resources dedicated to improving software
quality (which includes replacing poor quality systems with better quality
ones) then the potential benefits of improving NZ’s long term economic
performance will not be as great as they could have been.

 

Software expenditures and potential software quality impacts on the NZ
Economy.

 

It’s hard to quantify just how much a lack
of software quality can cost us as a country.
A most likely source of reliable information probably comes from
Statistics NZ’s Information and communication technology (ICT) supply survey
which was released in the last month or so. If we look at the Statistics NZ
website and download the right set of tables we see that;


In NZ in 2010 we spent 1.2 Billion in 2010 on
published software – 8 % up on what we spent in 2008;


In NZ in 2010 we spent nearly 1.2 Billion
on  ‘IT design, consulting, and
development services’ – 3% down on what we spent in 2008;


In NZ in 2010 we spent 1.3 billion on IT
technical support services – 7 % up on what we spent in 2008;

Keeping in mind
that these expenditures and changes in expenditure have been occurring against
the backdrop of the Global Financial Crisis in a country that has a ‘nominal’
GDP of 190 billion then the 3.7 billion we are spending on the three items is
arguably significant. So how much can we increase our ‘effectiveness and
efficiency’ as a nation by increasing our focus on software quality? I believe
the answer is ‘who knows’ but I would lay odds that given current levels of
related expenditure against nominal GDP it would be a significant amount for
our small island trading nation. Certainly worth a bit more focus than what can
be provided by our small voluntary group and
a handful of others.

 

Is that it then
? – we know it is probably a big number but have no idea what it is ?

 

Not entirely – its
actually worst than that – the big number gets bigger when we consider the ramifications
of poor software quality on the wider economic performance of the country. This
poor performance can be traced back to the three stooges of time, cost and quality.

 

Wider Economic Costs – The Three Stooges of Time, Cost and Quality

 

Software quality, or more appropriately the
lack of it, can cause;

  • Time delays that generate a myriad of other
    impacts on the NZ Economy;
  • Costs associated with fixing things ‘after the
    fact’, working around defects the impact on productivity;
  • Quality problems that cause us to miss out on
    opportunities to lift our performance because we lacked a required capability
    or because poor quality software caused us to just plain get it wrong;

 

The impact of
the ‘three stooges’ on our wider economic performance must also be significant
even though its effects are largely invisible in the myriad of productivity and
expenditure statistics available.

 

How do we address this?

 

Borne out of
cost benefit analysis approaches the first step many take is to attempt to
quantify the economic impacts of software quality. This generates debate in
itself about the approach that should be used with the inevitable impacts on
credibility and getting clear directions for getting results.

To draw a
parallel – we know the cost of crime to our economy is significant, that’s why
we invest in a myriad of law enforcement agencies. When Robert Peel set up the
first Police force he and his supporters didn’t have a treasury report telling
them what the likely costs and benefits were.
They just knew from personal experience that something had to be done
and managed to persuade others that a Police force could provide a part of the
solution. I’m not suggesting we set up a quality police force but what I am
suggesting is that we need to keep articulating that for the NZ Economy there
is a significant upside from investing in software quality via avenues
including;

  • Investing in Application Lifecycle management
    tools now available from the likes of IBM, Microsoft, MicroFocus, HP and
    others;
  • Investing in better training for those who can
    have a positive impact on software quality in their professional lives;
  • Getting the message out to software customers
    that poor software quality is not acceptable and they shouldn’t just put up
    with it because the contract / EULA they acknowledged told them that they
    couldn’t do anything about it – protections like the Consumer Guarantees and
    Fair trading acts do apply;

 

I’ll leave it up
to those better qualified than me to debate how we quantify the costs and
benefits associated and whether or not decision tables can play a part in
improving the situation. I just know that there is an elephant in the room
because common sense based on the data and information tells me it is there and
I am having to clean the carpet all the time.

 

PS: You can find
details on the 2010 Information and communication technology (ICT) supply
survey results from the Statistics NZ site at this address – http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/information_technology_and_communications/ictsupplysurvey_hotp09-10.aspx

 

 

 

Intro:

ALM 2 for the price of won – What’s new & Continuous delivery. Two great talks from Anthony Borton coming up ! The first is all about what’s new on the Visual Studio ALM scene whilst the second is all about Continuous Delivery. If you have not seen Continuous delivery in detail then make sure you don’t miss this talk.

When is the User Group session

Thursday 3 Feb 2011 at 6:00 p.m , should be finished by 7:30pm

Where is the User Group session

Xero, Level 1, 98 Customhouse Quay, Wellington

Part One – What’s new on the Visual Studio ALM scene?

In the first part of the talk, Anthony Borton will run through an overview of new and updated things from the past couple of months that relate to Visual Studio ALM. As a few examples, he will walk you through the following;

1.       Visual Studio Feature Pack 2

2.       Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1

3.       TFS Admin Tool 2.1

Part Two – Continuous Delivery can be a reality

Continuous Delivery is the next logical step after Continuous Integration for modern software teams. In this session, Anthony walks you through how you can automate the build, deploy and test of your applications using Visual Studio 2010

BIO

Anthony Borton is the lead ALM Consultant/Trainer for Enhance ALM Pty Ltd, an Australian consulting and training company specializing in Application Lifecycle Management and Microsoft Visual Studio. He has been working with Visual Studio Team System full-time since 2005. Anthony is a Microsoft MVP (Visual Studio ALM) and Australia’s first Professional Scrum Developer Trainer. He is also the president of the QLD ALM users group and maintains a blog at http://www.myalmblog.com

RSVP

Please let me know if you are attending so I can make sure we order enough Pizza and Drink.

Click on this link to RSVP  then send the email created with the subject line unaltered;

If your plans change after you have RSVP’d and you are unable to attend  Click on this Link then send the email created with the subject line unaltered;

Visual Studio Team System Users Group | For Developers, Team leads, Testers, Project Managers & Business Analysts | Group Leader Mark Carroll vsts@hotmail.com

Thursday 21st October, 2010 www.sqnz.org.nz
4.00 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.

(speaker starts around 4:15pm)

 
Equinox House

5th floor

111 The Terrace or 222 Lambton Quay

Wellington

 

Topic: Architecture and TOGAF – Why architects look at life differently

TOGAF methodology is used widely within New Zealand and architects look differently at life, so how can everyone else in the world understand what they are doing, why they are doing it and why should I listen?  This session will take a look at the architecture methodologies and TOGAF in particular, looking at how the basics of the methodology and how using this methodology contributes to the overall quality of a solution.  Architecture is about communication so the different models, activities or documents architects produce need to be understood by the many and varied audience they are targeted to.

About the Presenter:

Julian Downs is the manager of ICT strategy and planning at Contact Energy, with experience in architecture across many different industries.  In his current role he leads the portfolio management office, enterprise architecture, finance and governance teams across Contact.

 

 

 

 

Target audience for this session:

BAs  ** Architects, Developers  *** Managers/Team Leads   ** Students    ** Testers    **

*** Directly applicable         ** Relevant           * Of interest

 

Please RSVP to Secretary@SQNZ.org.nz

or to the email address that sent you this

 

There is currently no charge to attend SQNZ events

 

Advance advance notice of next meeting: Thursday 17th February 2011

Mark Carroll (021 762 525)   Yolanda van Dorrestein (04 494 3744)
President   Secretary

 

In case you haven’t seen this already Anthony Borton, who presented to the user group in June, is running two courses in New Zealand.

Anthony has a wealth of experience, really knows his stuff and is right up to the play with ALM and VSTS being a Microsoft MVP in the field.

 Details below.

Mastering Testing with Visual Studio 2010

Dates:

Auckland 11th & 12th October

Wellington 13th & 14th October

Course outline:

                Download Outline 844Kb PDF

Cost:

                NZD$995 Early Bird (Rego before COB 30th September)

                NZD$995 Academic (ac.nz email address)

                NZD$1,295 Standard

Booking:

Register for Auckland event
Register for Wellington event

Thursday 17th June, 2010 www.sqnz.org.nz
4.00 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.

(speaker starts around 4:15pm)

Equinox House

5th floor

111 The Terrace or 222 Lambton Quay

Wellington

Topic: Methodology Wars: The Return of the Developer

A lot of fuss is made of one methodology versus another, and there are lots of gurus and IT services companies who will assure you that their methodology is at least one of the keys which can unlock the door to project salvation.

In my humble opinion, it is possible to fail using any methodology. That’s quite easy; the Dark Side of the Force is everywhere. It is also possible to succeed with different methodologies. A project can also succeed in spite of, rather than because of the methodology. So what’s the key? Is it the methodology or something underlying it? Can we find the Good Side?

In this talk I will draw on my experience in Wellington is software development. I have seen and been part of many projects, using different or ostensibly the same methodologies; some very successful projects and some not so successful. I want to identify some elements that contributed to or impeded their success. This is not going to be an academic and rigorous comparison of methodologies.

I will be opinionated, and will be quite happy if some healthy discussion results.

About our Presenter:

Jim Walmsley is Chief Architect at Business Intelligence Systems Software (BIS2), developing the vizbybis2 Business Intelligence Super Graphics product. He has been a Developer for 18 years, working with Java for the last nine years. Along the way he has also been a Team Leader, Quality Manager and Project Manager.

Target audience for this session:

BAs  ** Architects, Developers  *** Managers/Team Leads   *** Students    ** Testers    **

*** Directly applicable         ** Relevant           * Of interest

Please RSVP to Secretary@SQNZ.org.nz

or to the email address that sent you this

There is currently no charge to attend SQNZ events

Advance notice of next meeting: Thursday 19th August 2010

Mark Carroll (021 762 525) Yolanda van Dorrestein (04 494 3744)
President Secretary

Intro:

This is our first ‘international speaker’ for the WLG Team systems users group ! We are very lucky to have Australian based Anthony Borton speaking to us for our next session. Anthony recently organised a successful ALM conference in Australia and is working with us to have a similar event here in Wellington around April of next year. I’d like to thank Anthony personally for making some of his holiday time available to us whilst he is here. This talk will be of interest to developers and testers.

Location

Xero, Level 1, 98 Customhouse Quay, Wellington

When

Monday 21 June 2010 6:00 p.m , should be finished by 7:30pm

Title:  Coded UI tests in Action

For developers, it is easy to focus testing efforts on unit tests and leave the rest to dedicated testers. Learn how this has changed with the new Coded UI Tests in Visual Studio 2010. Now developers can create automated UI tests in code and have them run as part of our automated builds. In this session you will learn how developers can write effective and maintainable Coded UI tests and increase the quality of their application.

Speaker BIO

Anthony Borton is the lead ALM Consultant/Trainer for Enhance ALM Pty Ltd, an Australian consulting and training company specializing in Application Lifecycle Management and Microsoft Visual Studio. He has been working with Visual Studio Team System full-time since 2005. Anthony is a Microsoft MVP (Visual Studio ALM) and Australia’s first Professional Scrum Developer Trainer. He is also the president of the QLD ALM users group and maintains a blog at http://www.myalmblog.com

Hi all,

It is that time again – please don’t forget to RSVP if you are coming – details and RSVP links below.

This will be the last meet before Christmas – as we met on all odd numbered months except for January the next meeting after this will be in March 2010.

So if you can’t get along to this – Merry Christmas from me to you in advance !

Cheers

Mark C.

Meeting on Weds 18/11/2009 at 6:00pm in Wellington

Title: Team system – two years down the track

Abstract

Kiwibank were one of the first corporates to adopt Visual Studio Team system. Two years down the track Bohdan Szymanik from Kiwibank will share ‘their experiences’ to date for better and for worse. He will also talk about Kiwibank are looking at the next version of Team system – Visual Studio Team System 2010. This talk offers a real corporate perspective from a real corporate user and will be of interest to Architects, Developers and Testers.

Location

Xero, Level 1, 98 Customhouse Quay, Wellington

When

18/11/2009 6:00 p.m , should be finished by 7:30pm

Presenter

Dr Bohdan Szymanik joined Kiwibank in 2001; he is now accountable for the overall technology design in the CTO role.

RSVP

Please let me know if you are attending so I can make sure we order enough Pizza and Drink.

 

Click on this link to RSVP then send the email created with the subject line unaltered;

 

If your plans change after you have RSVP’d and you are unable to attend  Click on this Link then send the email created with the subject line unaltered;

 

If you want direct emails from this group then send an email to vsts@hotmail.com with the word ‘Subscribe’ in the heading line.