Feeds

Mathematical approaches to managing defects

Radical new approaches toward software testing needed?

Reducing security risks from open source software

Summary

It would appear that computer science is ready to move software development to a new level, so that the idea of software development becomes more of an engineering practice than a black art – although we could equally well have said that at any time in the last 20 years or so.

However, there are still numerous practical problems to overcome. Formal methods require a level of expertise that is missing from many development shops. The range of problems that the techniques have been applied to is also limited – embedded systems, by their nature, represent a limited universe compared to a highly distributed environment with a feature rich user interface. Similarly, the Bayesian approach to testing and defect prediction shows great promise; but to date the work has not been generally applied.

However, without more rigorous, one could say more scientific, approaches, the problems of defective software are unlikely to disappear. And, adoption of these new approaches will need management buy-in to technology risk management.

Research undertaken for HP Services with 10 per cent of the top 250 FTSE companies some years ago has shown that IT risk management is starting to became a board-level concern, perhaps following on from the Y2K debacle; although the IT director still has specific responsibility for this.

The definition of IT risk amongst those sampled is quite discriminating: "We wouldn't really regard it as IT risk...we'd regard it as information security risk or systems development risk," according to one manager.

Nevertheless, although management does now often take responsibility for technology risk management overall, it appears, anecdotally, that the board may not always be fully aware of the risks associated with the lack of adequate testing. This may sometimes limit management support for the radical new approaches that could help address these risks. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.