Modernize QA with Automated Structural Quality Gates

Just like a species of insects can become resistant to a certain type of pesticide, a new strain of software bugs has emerged and is plaguing software developers and wreaking havoc on software quality — architecturally complex violations. Unlike a code-level bug, a system level defect involves interactions between several components, often spread across different levels of an application, making them much more difficult to find and fix.
And even though these types of violations only account for 10 percent of the total number of defects, they lead to ninety percent of the production issues — severely impacting software quality and technical debt.

Technical Debt Measurement Webinar: Reversal Strategy Q&A Follow Up

Last Wednesday we had an excellent and very interactive webinar discussion with David Sisk and Scott Buchholz, Directors at Deloitte Consulting, LLC. David and Scott are experts regarding technical debt — both at a technical hands-on level as well as the strategy and governance topics in IT. So, we talked about the symptoms and causes of technical debt in large IT environments, as well as the organization and processes that need to be put in place in order to reverse the normal trend of technical debt accrual.
One of the topics that came up a lot is how to get the business onboard. Our guest presenters gave us some very interesting approaches to making the case, even when the immediate symptoms of the debt are not evident to business stakeholders. I think this discussion by itself is valuable to listen to.
Another topic that came up a lot in the Q&A was different ways of asking how to set up a technical debt measurement program.  As in our last webinar, we wound up going a couple minutes over our timeslot to address some of the questions, but we had to leave many unanswered due to time. The goal here is to try and answer some of those questions in our blog. If anyone wants to get into a more detailed discussion on any of these points, please contact us and we’ll be happy to talk to you. So, here goes:

ComTimeCastWarner: An Application Portfolio Management Nightmare

In a merger, integrating company names is hard enough — imagine having to integrate massive application portfolios?
As the Justice Department and the FCC evaluate the proposed merger between corporate behemoths Time Warner Cable and Comcast, I wonder if the C-suite at both companies are investing as much time evaluating the health and security of one another’s application portfolio. Historically, technical due diligence has lagged greatly behind the financial due diligence.

Software Analytics and the Economic Impact of Measuring ADM Quality and Productivity

IBM and MIT Sloan found that businesses managed with analytics perform 2.2 times better than those without. Fact-based metrics allow CEO’s, business leaders and even CIOs to make better and quicker decisions about projects, service providers, business, and budgets.
In his recent Wired article, our CEO Vincent Delaroche shares his personal experience working with global organizations and the benefits software analytics has brought to these organizations. Read full story here!

CRASH Webinar: Code Quality Q & A Discussion

We just finished up the 30-minute webinar where Dr. Bill Curtis, our Chief Scientist, described some of the findings that are about to be published by CAST Research Labs. The CRASH (CAST Research on Application Software Health) report for 2014 is chock full of new data on software risk, code quality and technical debt. We expect the initial CRASH report to be produced in the next month, and based on some of the inquiries we’ve received so far, we will probably see a number of smaller follow-up studies come out of the 2014 CRASH data.
This year’s CRASH data that we saw Bill present is based on 1316 applications, comprising 706 million lines of code – a pretty large subset of the overall Appmarq repository.  This means the average application in the sample was 536 KLOC. We’re talking big data for BIG apps here. This is by far the biggest repository of enterprise IT code quality and technical debt research data. Some of the findings presented included correlations between the health factors – we learned that Performance Efficiency is pretty uncorrelated to other health factors and that Security is highly correlated to software Robustness. We also saw how the health factor scores were distributed across the sample set and the differences in structural code quality by outsourcing, offshoring, Agile and CMMI level.

Code Quality Infographic: You Are What You Code!

Like it or not you are what you code! In the aftermath of the Heartbleed bug, we’ve seen how the impacts of poor code quality can extend far beyond a single application or organization. And IT executives are now faced with the stunning realization that good code isn’t just a software development issue — it’s a reflection of your business and reputation.
We compiled a handy infographic to demonstrate the impact that poor code quality can have on an organization. Make sure to get your free copy here!

Portfolio Triage

We are heading into everyone’s favorite season.  No, not the kids going back-to-school or the leaves changing into a riot of fall colors — it’s budgeting season!  Once again it’s time to make plans and set budgets for the next 12 months.  Yet the enterprise architecture is a mess (or non-existent), your portfolio management process has yet to get out of the starting gate, and you need to reduce overall spend by 8%.