How Do Colombian Software Companies Evaluate Software Product Quality?
octubre 30 @ 2:20 pm - 2:40 pm
Software developers confuse product quality with process quality, leading them to think they are measuring product quality when they are not. This is the main finding of our study of software developers in young small to medium companies in Colombia.
Software product quality reflects two perspectives: conformance to specifications, and satisfying expectations when it is used under specified conditions. Measuring product quality still remains a problem for software development companies in relation to factors such as cost, effort, time, and competitiveness. There are few studies that show the current state of software product quality in companies, how companies evaluate product quality, and which measures they use to develop and launch products that meet high-quality criteria. This paper presents a study of software product quality in seven young software development companies in a developing country. We used a qualitative research approach to understand, through their experiences and knowledge, how 20 employees—developers, testers, and project managers—and their companies evaluate software product quality, and which measures they apply in their companies. Our results demonstrate that software process quality is better understood, and applied, by these software companies than software product quality. A greater difficulty is that most study participants `overlaid’ the idea of product quality with process quality, i.e. they talked about product quality as if it were process quality. This confusion leads them to think that they are measuring product quality when they are not.
These findings have implications for companies that wish to increase competitiveness and productivity as they must develop a working knowledge of software product quality that is not confused with software process quality. It also has implications for educators, to ensure that the distinction between process and product quality is explicitly taught.
Dr Wilder Perdomo is a Ph.D. Scholar in Software Engineering and Information Systems and a casual academic in the School of Computer Science at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). He held an International Research Scholarship at UTS to do research related to how young software development companies measure their software product quality (non-functional requirements). Prior to coming to UTS, Mr. Perdomo was a postgraduate scholar and Lecturer at Nacional de Colombia University and Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering and IT at San Buenaventura University, Colombia.
Wilder received a Ph.D. in Engineering, Computer Science at Nacional de Colombia University, where he studied on ‘software quality measures and their relationship with the states of the software system alpha (Semat kernel)’. Wilder’s research focuses on software engineering, software product quality (non-functional requirements), SEMAT, pre-conceptual schemas, human-computer interaction, data science, and IT.