What exactly is software quality?

That is what I would like to find out today. If you ask a group of developers what it is, the only thing they will agree on is that it is important. Managers will tell you they want high-quality software, but only because it is politically correct to do so. They are more than willing, and usually even eager, to trade in this mysterious quality for more functionality or performance when it is needed.
And who can blame them? What is the business case for something you can not even explain?
We know beautiful code when we see it, but how do we write beautiful software? And the even better question, why would we care?

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JMeter vs NeoLoad

Recently I was asked by a client to introduce performance testing into their development process.
They have 1 week iterations where they integrate the different components of their system and they wanted to performance test the end-result every other week.
Starting out small and simple I downloaded JMeter from apache, fired up their recording proxy, recorded a scenario, changed all the relevant form fields into regex variables and off I went.
It worked great, we had some interesting data with some nice graphs to show performance was okish.
But the happiness didn’t last long..

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A few weeks ago I was asked to explain Scrum and how our Agile Offshore Delivery Model works to one of our new sales guys.

During the session he asked me the question: “What does a client have to do to make a project done this way successful?”

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Best of Xebia Offtopic List: Mice in the Office

Hello everyone,

Today I would like to make an exception to not report our usual serious, high quality discussions on our technical list, but to bring you a gem on our offtopic list. The original discussion was in Dutch because it was sent to the dutch mailing list, but I will try to translate, if only for our Indian and French coworkers who had to witness the Dutch on the offtopic list, where it was quickly taken..

Apologies in advance for any translation errors..

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Best of Xebia tech list August 2007: Magic number 28232

We have had a number of very interesting discussions on our techlist in the last week or so, so I thought it best to get started as soon as possible. The reason I choose this particular thread is that it is a very technical thread, but it’s very hard to find any information about it online. Oh, and it’s not about Java or Agile for a change!

This thread quickly rose to about 20 mails, so I have made a selection to keep it readable. Read more →

Hastily urgency is hardly ever right

Oh yes, I remember why you should never directly translate sayings from one language to another. The non-Dutch speakers will have to take my word for it that “Haastige spoed is zelden goed” has a lot better ring to it. The meaning of the saying is fairly obvious of course “Don’t rush things, they usually come back to haunt you.”

We all know this and it’s even more true in IT, where small mistakes can have dire consequences. But we too often fall for it because with today’s complex systems it is hard to oversee what can go wrong. And it is even harder to estimate what it will cost you if things do go wrong. I would like to share a case with you in which I will explain what went wrong and try to give an overview at what it has cost us and our client. Read more →

Best of Xebia tech list July 2007: Accuracy of System.getCurrentTimeMillis()

At Xebia we have an internal mailing list where a lot of interesting technical discussions take place. Because we have a passion for knowledge sharing, we thought we’d give you a glimpse of some recent topics. This is the first of a series we plan to do.

We choose this particular mail thread because it answers a technical question a lot of people might have. And it also introduces a little known feature of Java 5.

From Jan Vermeir
Subject Accuracy of System.getCurrentTimeMillis()
Date Mon 23/07/2007 15:51

Hi, we're measuring elapsed time for processing a message. each measured operation takes a couple of milliseconds, so I was wondering what the accuracy of System.getCurrentTimeMillis() is. I have some vague recollection about accuracy not actually being milliseconds, as the name would suggest, and that it may vary with platform and JVM vendor.

Does anyone know for sure?


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