nemesis's Journal

On testing and quality

Wednesday 2nd August, 2006

For the last semester, and so far in this semester, we've had lecturers preaching to us about the importance of testing and quality management. A good chunk of last semester was spent trying to drill into us the importance of good testing.

It seems to me that a University is not the most ideal place to teach people about good testing and quality management processes. The phrase "he who lives in a glass house shouldn't throw stones" comes to mind. The ANU Department of Computer Science has the poorest quality management processes I've seen in any organisation.

For most purposes, the definition of "quality" is how well a product meets the agreed requirements. Bob Edwards decided earlier this year that he'd start a little pet project: The DCS forums. Not only was no stakeholder consultation performed, but the forums were poorly implemented, and extremely poorly tested. Of course, like every good software developer, Bob was extremely protective of his new baby. Problems found in his forum software were met by snide comments. There was even a comment from Shayne Flint basically telling people to just use Konqueror.

If software projects run by DCS are on a best-effort basis, how much faith do you have in the content of their courses?

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