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Creating a Software Engineering Culture

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Creating a Software Engineering Culture

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  • Copyright 2014
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-348876-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-348876-0

This is the digital version of the printed book (Copyright © 1996).

Written in a remarkably clear style, Creating a Software Engineering Culture presents a comprehensive approach to improving the quality and effectiveness of the software development process.

In twenty chapters spread over six parts, Wiegers promotes the tactical changes required to support process improvement and high-quality software development. Throughout the text, Wiegers identifies scores of culture builders and culture killers, and he offers a wealth of references to resources for the software engineer, including seminars, conferences, publications, videos, and on-line information.

With case studies on process improvement and software metrics programs and an entire part on action planning (called “What to Do on Monday”), this practical book guides the reader in applying the concepts to real life.

Topics include software culture concepts, team behaviors, the five dimensions of a software project, recognizing achievements, optimizing customer involvement, the project champion model, tools for sharing the vision, requirements traceability matrices, the capability maturity model, action planning, testing, inspections, metrics-based project estimation, the cost of quality, and much more!

Principles from Part 1

  • Never let your boss or your customer talk you into doing a bad job.
  • People need to feel the work they do is appreciated.
  • Ongoing education is every team member’s responsibility.
  • Customer involvement is the most critical factor in software quality.
  • Your greatest challenge is sharing the vision of the final product with the customer.
  • Continual improvement of your software development process is both possible and essential.
  • Written software development procedures can help build a shared culture of best practices.
  • Quality is the top priority; long-term productivity is a natural consequence of high quality.
  • Strive to have a peer, rather than a customer, find a defect.
  • A key to software quality is to iterate many times on all development steps except coding: Do this once.
  • Managing bug reports and change requests is essential to controlling quality and maintenance.
  • If you measure what you do, you can learn to do it better.
  • You can’t change everything at once. Identify those changes that will yield the greatest benefits, and begin to implement them next Monday.
  • Do what makes sense; don’t resort to dogma.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Creating a Software Engineering Culture

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 3 and Index)

Table of Contents

Figures and Tables xvii

Preface xix


Part 1: A Software Engineering Culture 1

Chapter 1: Software Culture Concepts 3

Culture Defined 3

Growing Your Own Culture 6

A Healthy Software Culture 8

A Less Healthy Software Culture 10

Organizational Options 12

The Management Challenge 15

Summary 18

Culture Builders and Killers 18

References and Further Reading 19

Chapter 2: Standing On Principle 23

Integrity and Intelligence: With Customers 24

Integrity and Intelligence: With Managers 27

The Five Dimensions of a Software Project 28

Summary 33

Culture Builders and Killers 34

References and Further Reading 34

Chapter 3: Recognizing Achievements Great and Small 35

The Importance of Being Visible 38

The Importance of Management Attitude 39

Rewards for a Job Well Done 40

Summary 41

Culture Builders and Killers 42

References and Further Reading 43

Chapter 4: So Much to Learn, So Little Time 45

What to Learn 47

Where to Learn 49

Summary 55

Culture Builders and Killers 55

References and Further Reading 56

Part II: In Search of Excellent Requirements 59

Chapter 5: Optimizing Customer Involvement 61

Software Requirements: The Foundation of Quality 62

The Need for Customer Involvement 64

The Project Champion Model 66

Project Champion Expectations 69

When the Project Champion Model Fails 73

Summary 75

Culture Builders and Killers 75

References and Further Reading 76

Chapter 6: Tools for Sharing the Vision 78

Use Cases 79

Software Requirements Specifications 83

Dialog Maps 91

Prototypes 93

Requirements Traceability Matrices 96

From Requirements to Code 97

Summary 98

Culture Builders and Killers 99

References and Further Reading 100

Part III: Improving Your Processes 103

Chapter 7: Process Improvement Fundamentals 105

Principles of Process Improvement 106

Getting Started with Process Improvement 112

Summary 114

Culture Builders and Killers 115

References and Further Reading 116

Chapter 8: Process Improvement Case Study 117

Making Change Happen 122

Sustaining Momentum 123

Summary 125

Culture Builders and Killers 126

References and Further Reading 126

Chapter 9: Software Process Maturity 127

The Capability Maturity Model 128

Dissenting Opinions 135

Process Assessments 137

Process Maturity and Culture 139

Summary 140

Culture Builders and Killers 141

References and Further Reading 141

Chapter 10: Software Development Procedures 146

Standards, Procedures, and Guidelines, Oh My! 147

Local Development Guidelines 149

Our Software Development Guidelines 151

IEEE Standards 155

Other Standards Sources 156

Summary 158

Culture Builders and Killers 159

References and Further Reading 160

Part IV: The Bug Stops Here 163

Chapter 11: The Quality Culture 165

The Cost of Quality 167

Assuring Software Quality 168

How Good Is Good Enough? 174

An Assault on Defects 178

Explicit SQA Responsibilities 181

Why Do We Think Quality Practices Pay Off? 184

Summary 185

Culture Builders and Killers 185

References and Further Reading 186

Chapter 12: Improving Quality by Software Inspection 189

Inspections and Culture 190

Benefits of Inspections 190

Inspections, Walkthroughs, and Reviews 194

Guiding Principles for Reviews and Inspections 198

Keeping Records 201

Making Inspections Work in Your Culture 204

Summary 207

Culture Builders and Killers 207

References and Further Reading 208

Chapter 13: Structured Testing 211

Testing and the Quality Culture 212

A Unit Testing Strategy 215

Cyclomatic Complexity and Testing 218

Test Management and Automation 220

Structured Testing Guidelines 222

Summary 224

Culture Builders and Killers 224

References and Further Reading 225

Part V: Methods, Measures, and Tools 229

Chapter 14: The CASE for Iteration 231

Types of CASE Tools 233

Hypes of CASE Tools 235

Lessons from Our CASE History 236

Fitting CASE into Your Culture 244

Other Benefits from CASE 247

Culture Change for CASE 248

Summary 249

Culture Builders and Killers 250

References and Further Reading 251

Chapter 15: Control Change Before It Controls You 254

Benefits of a Problem Tracking System 255

A Software Change Management Case Study 256

The Software Change Control Board 261

How Change Control Can Simplify Your Life 262

Learning from Bug Detection Trends 263

Proactive Failure Reporting 265

Making Change Management Work in Your Culture 267

Summary 268

Culture Builders and Killers 269

References and Further Reading 270

Chapter 16: Taking Measures to Stay on Track 272

Why Measurement Programs Fail 273

Metrics Programs Don't Have to Fail 276

What to Measure 276

How to Design Your Metrics Program 278

Summary 282

Culture Builders and Killers 283

References and Further Reading 284

Chapter 17: Case Study: Measurement in a Small Software Group 287

Software Work Effort Metrics 287

Trends and Applications 295

Metrics-Based Project Estimation 297

Lessons from Work Effort Metrics 300

Predicting Maintainability with Metrics 300

Summary 301

Culture Builders and Killers 302

References and Further Reading 302

Chapter 18: If It Makes Sense, Do It 304

Summary 308

Culture Builders and Killers 308

References and Further Reading 309

Part VI: What to Do on Monday 311

Chapter 19: Action Planning for Software Managers 313

Action Item Menu 315

Summary 318

References and Further Reading 318

Chapter 20: Action Planning for Software Engineers 319

Action Item Menu 320

Building a Healthy Workplace 324

Summary 327

References and Further Reading 327

Epilogue 329

Appendix A: Sources for Continued Software Learning 331

Appendix B: Contact Information for Selected Resources 337


Bibliography 339

Author Index 349

Subject Index 351

Reviewers’ Comments 359


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