The Importance of Quality in Software Production


Ing Informática

The evolution in terms of technology is going to giant steps, which throws us to the development, progress and technological innovation in the XXI century, although few know its nature are also few that adapt and coexist with their advances and in the center of this globalized and industrialized world is the software the intelligent heart of almost everything that surrounds us: Desktop or mobile apps, communication systems, servers, means of transport, etc.

What in its origins was dazzled almost like a science fiction, little by little it has been penetrating in our society until the point of arriving at creating a dependency for many of us and for the functioning of our society. This has made many engineers or software developers want to provide a better product to their users take very seriously the quality of the software, no doubt in categories such as health or safety, the quality of the software is a priority that can not be waived. There are software applications on which human lives can depend, it is a very critical software and one that has to take great care of the quality with which it is made. And obviously you have to allocate many more resources for your software development.

Error of 2000.
Error of 2000.

One of the most curious historical events was the error of the millennium, computer problem of the year 2000 is a bug or software error caused by the custom that had been adopted by programmers to omit the century in the year for the storage of dates (usually to save memory ), assuming that the software would only work during the years whose names began with 19. At the end of 1999 the machines would pass their date to 00, this would be interpreted by the computer as the year 1900 instead of 2000. Obviously the operating system of a computer with MSDos is a software product where, in turn, if the failure inevitably fails all its applications.

Some reported errors of the year 2000 were:

  • In Japan, the mobile communications network of NTT (NTT DoCoMo), the largest mobile operator in Japan, reported on 1 January 2000 that some models of mobile phones suppressed the new messages received, instead of the old ones, when the memory was full.
  • In Pennsylvania, United States, a computer in a primary school library charged the student body excessively for borrowing the books for 100 years.
  • In Italy, Telecom Italia sent the first two months of accounts, dated January 1900.
  • In some web pages of transport companies, some packages appeared to have taken 17 101 years (19,100 less 1999) more someday, and these days are the ones that really took to deliver.
  • In Germany there were some drawbacks with credit cards for this same problem, but in the year 2010. 30 million bank cards stopped working due to an error of the microchip software of such cards.

Interesting huh? It is good to take a second and reflect on these events, the consequences, the experience gained, the impact caused on each one of us.

Debugging is twice as difficult as writing the code in the first place. So if you write the code as cunningly as possible, you're not - by definition - as clever as to debug it.
- Brian Kernighan -

In recent years, this sector has been employing a greater number of people for its design, development and exploitation; therefore it is not difficult to imagine the growing impact it has on the economies of all countries today. The quality of the software is a determining factor, so much so that this work tool stands out as a factor of business competitiveness in the coming years, the software will be a fundamental element for the competitiveness of companies, that is, companies for both establish their capacity, to design their products, or services will use software as a differentiating element of competitiveness and not only as an element of competitiveness, but also as a mechanism for adapting to the changing business

Some of the causes that generate poor quality in software development are:

  1. The lack of preparation and training of the staff,

  2. Technology, that is, having a technology that supports the processes that people have to use at the present time, the availability of this technology is very low in most of the companies that are dedicated to this area, therefore this makes the products that we are giving and the services are of a low quality.
 3. Poor design quality
 4. Lack of execution of a software testing process.

Summing up the quality of the software must be built from the beginning, it is not something that can be added later, so that the final product is of quality, the process by means of which it is elaborated must also be of quality. Sridharan (Sridharan, 2000) indicates that while the software that is developed meets the requirements and its performance is as expected, it is necessary to monitor the software development activities and their performance, at different times during each phase of the life cycle . This is the role of software quality assurance.

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