Software Quality

March 3, 2012

Successful Large Scrum Project

Filed under: ALM (Application Lifecycle Management), Case Study, Practices, Uncategorized — Tags: — David Allen @ 10:30 pm

From 2009 – 2010, the US Veterans Administration built a system called the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS).  It reportedly used agile methods including Scrum and appears to have been a success. Here are some links for further information.

Early report mentions agile. Budget is in the ballpark of $100 Million.

A VA press release from January 31, 2011 indicates the system was launched successfully thanks to agile methods

The Linked-In profile of a person working on the project indicates that there were 12 Scrum teams involved. I am not citing that out of respect for his privacy as I do not know him. Though you should be able to find it by searching linked in for terms ‘VBMS’ ‘agile’

October 22, 2011

Software Quality – What should you know today? What should you learn for the future?

Filed under: Code Contracts, Practices, Testing — David Allen @ 8:11 pm

How can we make good software? What are current best practices and what are some promising areas for future development? In this post, I share a couple of ideas that you can use now, and a few ideas to keep an eye on for the future.

Our current practices should include

  • automated unit testing
  • design by contract
  • Test-Driven Development (TDD)

Emerging ideas to watch include

  • automated test case generation
  • model-based verification (more…)

August 13, 2011

Agile software processes require agile business processes

Filed under: Practices — David Allen @ 10:41 am
“Agile” is the latest buzzword in business and technology.  Lots of people are talking about how they want to deliver value sooner and adapt to changing conditions. But it is not as easy as it sounds. How do we actually do this?   Software development is a complex activity, and it is constantly changing. And what role does the organizational environment play in the success or failure of agile software delivery?

August 6, 2011

Causes of failure in software deployments and solutions

Filed under: Practices — David Allen @ 1:46 pm


Our goal is to deliver useful, high quality software to our customers. Software is not “done” until it is deployed and tested by our customers.  But we encounter many problems during deployment. This post outlines common problems that lead to failure during deployment, along with common solutions.


Our work is not done until the product passes acceptance tests in the production environment or passes those tests in a target environment that is suitably like production so that we can have confidence in both the product and the process used to deploy it.

I have seen MANY projects struggle to deploy software that everyone thought was “done.” It passed tests in the development environment. But all of a sudden, it seems to be a struggle to get it to work in another environment. Here are the reasons I see and their well-known solutions. If you can offer additional advice, please post it for my benefit and the benefit of others. (more…)

July 28, 2011

MOQ SetupSequence is great for mocking

Filed under: Practices, Testing, Uncategorized — David Allen @ 8:25 am

If you use mocking frameworks, you may run into scenarios in which you want an operation to behave one way on the first call, and a different way on the second or third call. In the MOQ framework, which I use, I just discovered the SetupSequence method. (more…)

February 22, 2011

Making testing more effective – and architecture

Filed under: Practices, Testing — David Allen @ 7:53 pm

If you are interested in testing and architecture, I recommend a brief article published today by the SEI (Feb 22, 2011).  But I was disappointed to see a glaring omission from their ideas.


Older Posts »

Blog at