As we come together to help those affected by recent global tensions, we have made a charitable donation of $10,000 to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on behalf of the CAST community. We believe that our citizenship transcends geography and political borders as we are united within one, universal community.
CAST is proud to support an organization that values people and upholds their right to medical care regardless of gender, race, creed, religion or political affiliation. In over 60 countries around the world, MSF saves lives by providing medical aid where it is needed most — in armed conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters and other crises.
IT leaders from throughout the federal government discussed the value of how software measurement can positively impact their development process at CAST’s recent Cyber Risk Measurement Workshop in Arlington, VA – just outside of the Washington, D.C. area. The event brought together more than 40 IT leaders from several governmental agencies, including the Department of Defense and Department of State, system integrators and other related organizations. The group shared their experiences in how their respective organizations are driving value to end users and taxpayers.
Measuring and managing software quality is not just about compliance with government mandates, but rather around the proposition that strong software quality, security and sustainability are paramount. However, compliance remains essential. Three primary points around software compliance voiced by attendees were:
Application portfolio analysis was at the center of discussion as Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst, Margo Visitacion, presented how Agile development is affecting the application development process and IT’s portfolio planning. Ms. Visitacion explained that in the “Age of the customer,” they want more for less and expect companies to fluidly change based on their needs and demands. As companies shift their attention to customers’ experiences rather than production figures, it’s leading directly to higher revenue and a longer-lasting relationships.
So how do organizations remain agile to customer needs? They employ an Agile portfolio management process that collects metrics while aligning with the budgeting process; understanding that requirements will change. Using this strategy, companies gain clear visibility into their portfolio to measure risk, cost and complexity based upon objective measurements. The data collected during development enables them to defend current positioning and communicate more effectively with the business.
Here are some recent thought provoking questions, along with supporting answers, which we received during the Forrester webinar:
Software risks to the business, specifically Application Resiliency, headline a recent executive roundtable hosted by CAST and sponsored by IBM Italy, ZeroUno and the Boston Consulting Group. European IT executives from the financial services industry assembled to debate the importance of mitigating software risks to their business.
Software Quality and Developer Productivity took center stage last week during a software development and productivity event hosted by Leda and CAST. Findings from two studies showed that application benchmarking is essential to measure software quality and development team productivity.
Merino, CAST’s Solutions Designer explained that, “It is necessary to understand the state of applications, and to base your strategy on that data. In addition, measurement, to be effective, accurate and accepted by others, must be based on standards.” Merino further explained how software measurement and analysis has different objectives, the primary purpose is to make better decisions based on real data; decision that help increase revenues or reduce costs.
In the current tech scene, it has become common practice to refer to programmers as engineers. It seems that if you aren’t part of sales or marketing teams you are now entitled to being designated as an engineer. However, what has been forgotten over the 50 years of looking to turn software development into a legitimate engineering practice, is that we still haven’t reached the aspiration of being just that: a legitimate engineering practice. Traditional engineers have to go through stringent regulation, certification, and apprenticeships in order to gain the title. This creates an implicit responsibility of providing reliability and public safety. Software development hasn’t reached this point yet – software quality and standards are not universally valued.
So why is the tech industry using the engineering title to describe its technical workers?
Southwest Airlines is the latest victim of the airline scandal. What scandal? It’s the one where airlines continue to cause travel delays due to poorly managed IT systems. It’s the one that caused Southwest to delay 836 flights on Monday and distribute HAND written tickets to passengers because of a ‘software glitch’. Southwest isn’t alone. United Airlines grounded hundreds of flights in July and American Airlines did the same in September and April. How long will consumers have to wait before these organizations figure out that the glitches are caused by bad software quality, which creates bad service?