A survey on software quality practice - Pilot study in the Walloon region

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In the context of a European ERDF project, researchers from UMONS and FUNDP in Belgium carried out a survey on the use of software quality practices in software producing and maintaining companies in Wallonia.
Contact: tom.mens@umons.ac.be

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  • 188 potential respondents were identified and invited by mail to respond to survey
  • Pay attention that this does not necessarily represent the real distribution of number of companies per size in considered region. This would mean that, in principle, all charts and results shown hereafter should be “weighted” to reflect the real distribution of sizes in the considered region.
  • Where are PhDs working? SMEs? Bigger companies? Agile-driven companies?
  • Correlate this to the company size !
  • multiple answers were possible Responses were very varied Singletons: ASP; Flex; HTML5; PERL; Eiffel; Pascal; Objective C; Delphi; Mumps; Groovy; Scala; Matlab; JCL; CL; CICS; DDS; RPG; …
  • A survey on software quality practice - Pilot study in the Walloon region

    1. 1. A survey on software quality practice - Pilot study in the Walloon regionJavier Perez, Tom Mens, Service de Génie Logiciel, Université de Mons Flora Kamseu, Naji Habra, PRECISE lab, FUNDP Presented at SATToSE seminar University of Koblenz, August 2012 SATTOSE 2012
    2. 2. Context• Portefeuille TIC – ERDF project lead by CETIC (2007-2013) • CEIQS: Center of expertise in engineering and quality of systems – aimed at developing a portfolio of innovative techniques allowing local companies to master the diversity, complexity, quality and rapid evolution of information systems • workpackage QUALGEN – collaboration between FUNDP and UMONS since 2010 – Supported by Wallonia SATTOSE 2012 2
    3. 3. Objectives• Explore how quality-related software development practice is being performed in industry• Compare this across different regions and countries• Relates this to what is being taught in academia – Is there a gap between teaching and industry needs? – What good methodologies, practices, tools are not being used and why? SATTOSE 2012 3
    4. 4. About the survey• Online survey carried out in Walloon region – Using LimeSurvey, from 29/5 till 30/6 2012 – Companies involved in software development or software maintenance• Addressed topics – Use of processes during software development and maintenance – Use of software quality measurement and improvement – Use of quality models and quality standards – Use of testing – Organisational support of development teams SATTOSE 2012 4
    5. 5. Structure of the questionnaire• Introductory questions (6) – Details of respondent and company• General development questions (5) – Perspective on dev. practices carried out by company• Structural software quality (5)• Software testing and maintenance (5)• Quality models and quality standards (5)• Organisational support of development teams (5) SATTOSE 2012 5
    6. 6. Respondents – Number– Initial mailing sent out to 145 companies– 71 responses out of 188 contacted respondents • Response rate 37,8%– Responses from 47 different companies • Multiple responses from same companies were aggregated into a single one– Incomplete responses were ignored– 44 fully completed questionnaires kept for analysis • Corresponds to 62% of received responses SATTOSE 2012 6
    7. 7. Respondents - OriginMainly from Wallonia and Brussels (the target of our pilot study) SATTOSE 2012 7
    8. 8. Respondents – Company sizeGood balance between company size (number of employees) of respondents SATTOSE 2012 8
    9. 9. Respondents – Training LevelMany at master+engineer level (18+17) and bachelor (20) levelFew or none with PhD (10+26), other degree (10+16) or no degree (3+27) SATTOSE 2012 9
    10. 10. Process – Dev. process support• Use of a well-defined and well-documented development process? 45,5% – No: 19 – Yes: 20 (agile or scrum, Prince 2, RUP, ISO certification, proprietary) – Don’t know: 5• Use of agile practices or methods? 63,6% – No: 12 – Yes: 28 (17 mention SCRUM, 2 mention Prince2) – Don’t know: 4 SATTOSE 2012 10
    11. 11. Process - change or configuration management processUse of change or configuration management process is highly popular73,8% (31/42) SATTOSE 2012 11
    12. 12. Process - perceived importance factors for software project success• Rated from (1) not important to (5) essential Average : 4 4,2 SATTOSE 2012 12
    13. 13. Process - Generation ofartefacts/documents/deliverables during SATTOSE 2012 13
    14. 14. Process - Creation and modification of software artefactsAre arch. descr. (36,4%) and design models (39,5%) being evolved? SATTOSE 2012 14
    15. 15. Tools - Use of integrated platform forVersion control (97,6%) and bug tracking (92,7%) well establishedPlatforms for continuous integration (57,1%), configuration (55,6%)and testing (60,5%) a bit less SATTOSE 2012 15
    16. 16. Tools - Programming languages used followed by scripting languages.OO languages most popular (Java, C#, C++),SQL and Cobol legacy also remains important. SATTOSE 2012 16
    17. 17. Tools - Development environments usedDichotomy between Java and .Net visible at IDE level.Many others but much less frequently used. SATTOSE 2012 17
    18. 18. Tools - support for design models,documentation and code synchro• Very basic – Visio (10), Word (8), Sparx Enterprise Architect (5), Doxygen (3), StarUML (2), Confluence (2) and many others – Little use of UML modeling tools• Little or no support for model-code synchronisation SATTOSE 2012 18
    19. 19. Quality - Use of design patternsUse of design patterns is highly popular 72,7% (32/44) SATTOSE 2012 19
    20. 20. Quality - Use of quality improvement techniquesOnly moderately popular (35,7%<x<43%) except for refactoring Often or(58,5%) continuously 36,6% (15/41) 42,9% (18/42) 35,7% (15/42) 58,5% (24/41) SATTOSE 2012 20
    21. 21. Use of quality support continuedPoor support for quality (no quality tools, processes or models) 36,8% (14/38) 32,4% (12/37) 19,4% (7/36) SATTOSE 2012 21
    22. 22. Popularity of quality improvement techniques• Most popular  Version control 97,6% and bug tracking 92,7% platforms  Change and configuration management: 73,8%  Design patterns: 72,7%  Refactoring: 58,5%• Less popular  Design improvement (e.g. code smell reduction): 42,9%  Bad quality detection tools: 36,8%  Metrics and visualisation tools: 35,7%  Dynamic analysis tools (profiling etc.): 36,6%  Quality support or improvement process: 32,4%• Unpopular  Use of a quality model: 19,4% SATTOSE 2012 22
    23. 23. Reuse of libraries, components and platformsReuse is highly successful 86% from own company 75% from open source 60% from other companies (excluding “don’t know” results) SATTOSE 2012 23
    24. 24. Testing - Use of test processTesting is done by nearly all respondents (97,7%), buttest process used by only 46,5% of the respondents SATTOSE 2012 24
    25. 25. Testing – development time spent SATTOSE 2012 25
    26. 26. Testing - tool support• Very varied – Mostly unit testing frameworks (8) – Others: Mantis (4), HP Quality Center (4), Selenium (3), Hudson (2), Jenkins (2), Quick Test Pro (2), and many more SATTOSE 2012 26
    27. 27. Preliminary conclusions• Wide range of respondents, from very small to big companies, using many different programming languages and development environments• Strong points – All respondents believe that quality assurance and testing are very important for project success – Wide use of testing (97,7%), agile practices (63,6%), design patterns (72,9%) and refactoring (56,5%) – High level of reuse of components/libraries/platforms (60% to 86% depending on source of reuse) SATTOSE 2012 27
    28. 28. Preliminary conclusions• Weak points – Mitigated success of processes • development processes (45,5%), test processes (46,5%), quality support/improvement process (32,4%), quality models (19,4%) • Exception: change management process (73,8%) SATTOSE 2012 28
    29. 29. Preliminary conclusions• Weak points – Mitigated success of static and dynamic code analysis tools for detecting quality issues, visualisation, computing metrics, profiling, etc… (popularity between 35% and 43%) – Does not reflect the high perceived importance of quality assurance for software project success SATTOSE 2012 29
    30. 30. What’s next?• Analyse results in more detail – Correlate results to company size and training level • Are bigger companies more process-driven and smaller ones more agile? Does training level play a role?• Report on the results• Repeat the study in other countries – Identify regional or national trends – Compare differences and commonalities – We need your help here! studies SATTOSE 2012 30
    31. 31. Collaborative study• Research 2.0 – Carry out follow-up / more narrow studies – Carry out this study as a collaborative community effort?• Store / share / reuse our data with others – Which format/platform/… to use?• Have a working session on this topic during SATTOSE/SOTESOLA? SATTOSE 2012 31

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