Kent Back on Software Health
What is the good presentation? It's the one that makes the audience TALL, says Craig Valentine. T.A.L.L. makes you Think, Act, Laugh and Learn.
That is the kind of the presentation Kent Back delivered at the Developer Testing Forum held in Palo Alto, California, November 17th, 2004. Yeah, I am a bit slow to catch up. But it pays to give good stuff time to age.
The title is "Developer Testing", but don't expect yet another one like "Let's Write the Tests Before the Code". Ken talks about programmer's accountability. He talks about cultural changes. He talks about the Health of software, comparing to the Quality of software.
The "health" concept resonates with me. Software quality is an instantaneous measure, how many bugs are in the software and can we ship it right now before it fails apart. Software health, on the other hand, is a continuous characteristic on how the software reacts to the change over time, whether it's a change of load, change of usage, change of requirements or change of dev team.
Have you ever worked with the software which state is best described as "cancer"? The software that was terminate ill by the first release? You may be using this software right now, and you may like it. But some signs show that , and a look inside brings a terminate diagnose.
Chasing the software quality is just not ambitions enough. Healthy software development cycle is a better standard to shoot for.
There is more to Ken's talk. Check out the recording of this educational, inspirational and very enjoyable presentation at http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail301.html