Arbor Seed – Some Common Questions about Testing and QA

Everyone wants quality software.  No one wants buggy software.  How to make sure that code is solid?  Part of the answer involves Quality Assurance or testing.

When it comes to application development, part of the issue involves how well the code is written, but part also concerns how well the software has been tested.  In most cases, QA engineers are an intrinsic part of a development team.  In other cases – usually where a software product is large and mature – a team of dedicated QA engineers support the development team.

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An Inconvenient Truth About Estimating Software Projects

Estimating software projects is one of the fundamental aspects of executing new software projects. Yet it can be one of the most challenging things to do. Much matters whether the team is working on a system they know and with which they have experience, or if it is a completely new system. This blog post is mostly focused on the latter case.

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Top 5 Reasons Customers Prefer Outsourcing to Central / Eastern Europe vs India

In our last couple of blog articles, we described our observations about outsourcing customers struggling with India for various reasons. Some of those customers have found that they like working with developers from Central and Eastern Europe. This is the third in this short series on this phenomenon.

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Why Does Development in India Fail?

In our last blog article, we described our observation that our best customers often come from those companies who had failed offshore development efforts in India, or elsewhere in the Far East. This blog post is second in a short part series on this phenomenon.

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Our Best Customers Failed in India

Our best customers often come from failure; failed offshore application development efforts in India that is.  This blog post is part of a small series of blog posts on why many companies struggle outsourcing application development to India.  This blog post deals with the What; later posts will dig into the Why.

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Rewriting Inherited Code

In our previous couple of blog posts, we wrote about some of the issues that occur when an application development service company takes over responsibility for someone else’s code.  This is the last blog post in the series.  It covers the case when a decision has been made to rewrite the system in whole or in part.

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Inheriting Code from Other Developers – Considering a Rewrite

In our last blog post, we wrote about some of the issues that occur when an application development service company takes over responsibility for someone else’s code.  We wrote about problems that are often found when one development team takes over for another.  This blog post discusses what the options are for going forward when there are significant issues with the existing code base along with the considerations.

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Inheriting Code

We’ve written previously about the need for functional specs even in agile software application development. This is typically at the start of completely new development. However, there is another very common situation we engage new customers: when inheriting an application someone else built. This type of engagement has its own special perils and challenges.

Inheriting an Application and Someone Else’s Code

A good percentage of our engagements involve stepping into a development situation an existing software system. These tend to fall into the following categories:

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Discovery Phase As a Way to Create Specs

As we wrote in a previous blog post, there are times when a prospective customer has an idea for a new technical system, but does not have detailed technical specifications, has a rough or incomplete technical spec or needs recommendations of a technical nature. We know that just winging it under the guise of ‘agile development’ is not the solution. How about a Discovery Phase as a way of creating the needed specifications?

Why No Specs?

There are valid reasons why prospective customers wanting to build new software systems (or improve existing ones) aren’t able to come up with developer specifications. These include:

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Agile Development versus Having Specs

Very often we see software projects where the following happens: we ask the stakeholder if they have any specifications (specs) for their project.  We receive a reply to the effect of “Oh on this project, it’s agile.  We don’t have any specs.”  Sound familiar?

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