The writing of computer software is a craft, and software engineers or programmers are like craftsmen, each having their own style, their own level of tidiness, as well as their own characteristic flairs and flaws. These differences result in software that varies tremendously in style, level of abstraction, and therefore, maintainability. From the first day of a software project until long after implementation, it is the maintainability of the source code that distinguishes good programs from bad.
We are passionate about the application of standards to ensure source code continues to be maintainable, because maintenance starts on Day Two of every software development project! Programs have to be clearly understandable (well structured, and logically expressed), otherwise anyone assigned to investigate or amend it later on will face a daunting, if not impossible task. That's why we believe you should care about software maintainability as much as we do.
In a nutshell, we are programmers, turned code inspectors. As a group of experienced IT professionals who have designed, built, tested and now inspect computer software, the term 'poacher turned gamekeeper' seems apt - we are the IT gamekeeper. We know how programmers work, how they think, the most common shortcuts, and the usual errors and inefficiencies that nearly all code will contain. We are that independent set of qualified eyes.
The simple answer is because software matters to your business success. Software that cannot be maintained efficiently holds back and causes untold damage to businesses every single day. Software inspections are there to help managers take back the control of ICT development, increase business efficiency through mitigating IT sourced business risks; and save considerable amounts of money as a result. Put in project management terms, source code inspections provide better understanding of the product being built; and as a result, managers have a better grasp of estimate reliability, increased proficiency in resource and cost allocation, and added confidence when it comes to those all-important go/no-go decisions.
Not at all. Our role is not to pick fault, attribute blame, or to tell others how to do their jobs. We are part of the same team, but our independence allows us to objectively assess source code based on proven standards. We want to help businesses improve their product, to help make it work better, save time and money, and as a result, increase the efficiencies and profitability of IT systems and the businesses they support.
We care about our profession, and we want our effort to make a difference. All too often, business failures are attributable to shortcomings in IT development. However, that needn't be the case. Program source code that has been aligned to the IfSQ standards, has been proven to be easier to repair, to retain its value longer, and to be easier to adapt to changing business needs than programs that have not been inspected. That's why we care about software maintainability. How about you?
The OSQR Group serves clients in 25 countries across the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia and makes extensive use of the IfSQ Standards for Computer Program Source Code published by the Institute for Software Quality, Cambridge, UK. We have offices in Palo Alto (CA), Cambridge (UK), Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
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