Avenue of The Americas in New York was awash with software quality metrics and quotes Thursday night as we celebrated our Software Quality Action Forum and AIP 7.3 Launch Party at the Eventi Hotel. Throughout the day, speakers discussed the current state of measurement in the IT industry and painted an inspiring picture of where software quality measures in software development are headed.
Speakers from IDC, CISQ, Coca Cola, and Capgemini presented how CAST’s Application Intelligence Platform and suite of software measurement services allowed them to improve their business and the quality of their work delivered to clients. During the sessions, live tweets from the speakers were being broadcast across the street on to the big screen, with attendees battling each other to see who could top the live tweet board.
The event started with a formal seminar series with live Q&A sessions where industry experts shared findings on how their organizations have been using quality measures on their application portfolio. Melinda Ballou, Program Director of IDC, gave an impassioned speech about the current state of measuring software and how important it is for IT organizations to automate quality measures across their development lifecycle in order to succeed. She touched on how important mobile applications have become to each and every business and how multi-platform deployments greatly increase the amount of complexity for an application. This is where software quality measures and architectural robustness are crucial, she said.
One common theme throughout the event was the endless series of IT crashes and data breaches plaguing the IT industry the past few years and what actions could be taken to curb it. Ballou sees this as a huge opportunity for software health analytics to bring some sanity back to software production. Rather than focusing on kill switches or other reactive measures to glitches and hacks, Ballou believes that software analytics can “help avert the danger that has not come through visibility and understanding.”
Bill Curtis, Director of the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ), took the stage to discuss the 4th Wave of Software Engineering — focusing on the product — and how the complexity of our software is outpacing our ability to understand it, leading to greater production outages. Curtis lamented the fact that professional sports have easily outpaced IT in their use of analytics. “How did the jocks get better at analytics than the nerds?” he joked.
Speaker after speaker reiterated that, by measuring the quality of the software in production, they reduced costs and improved the customers’ experience. Michael Furniss, from Coca Cola, and Ravi Gandla, from Capgemini, shared their experiences integrating CAST directly into their software development life cycle. Attendees were especially curious how organizations were using the CAST AIP measures to vet their outsourced software providers, and Furniss and Gandla shared some benchmarking around how they use CAST’s dashboard to rationalize re-signing with software outsourcers that have actually met their agreed upon SLAs.
After the Action Forum, attendees were treated to cocktails and the crisp New York night as they heard a few words from CAST CEO Vincent Delaroche, who shared his vision for CAST and the overall software measurement industry. Delaroche hinted he’s been sensing a shift in the industry for some time towards a more focused software measurement model. He shared a story from a meeting with a recent customer who believes that the software industry is pushing towards measurement, because they just want to make good software again. It seems as though the IT industry is tired of seeing their apps crash and customer data being exposed to malicious hackers.
Lastly, attendees were treated with a demo of the new AIP 7.3 executive dashboard, which demonstrated some unprecedented new tools for IT executives to tie directly into their development processes.
Attendees agreed that there’s a serious need for IT to step back and rationalize automated analytics in their organizations as a way to combat rising costs and malicious hacks. Otherwise IT seems destined to keep repeating the mistakes of history until customer backlash forces a change.
You can check out some of the pictures from the event in the album below, or you can find live tweets from the event using the hashtag #CASTForum2014, and stay tuned for more updates to AIP and the next CAST Launch Party!