How Development Testing Reduces Software Development Risks
All businesses want (or should want) to reduce risks associated with software development. But for businesses that serve the safety-critical and financial industries, risk needs to be eliminated where possible and minimized in all other instances.
Development testing achieves risk reduction in the following key areas, that I'll explain in more detail below:
- Regulatory and OEM Compliance
- Application Changes
- Outsourced Development
Compromised application security results in leakage of information, downtime, defacement, and
malware installation. These consequences account for 61.6% of security-related outcomes
according to the Web Hacking Incident Database.
The traditional approach to security is to simulate direct attacks by a combination of guesswork and experience. The traditional approach is ineffective and outdated due to its overreliance on luck. With Development Testing, these security risks can be prevented at development time.
One of the biggest risks an organization faces is lack of information upon which to make
decisions. Is development progressing at a rate that will meet the deadline? Is the product on
track to meet requirements? Does anything need to be done right now to capitalize on an
opportunity or soften the impact of an impending customer problem?
Parasoft’s Development Testing Platform gives organizations unprecedented, unmatched, and
complete visibility into the entire development process by tying together the data from every piece of the software development infrastructure and applying contextual intelligence against defined corporate policies to both drive an automated process for prevention and deliver the business intelligence required at the highest levels of management.
Regulatory and OEM Compliance
Failure to comply with safety-critical, government, or OEM regulations can result in recalls,
invalidate a contract, enact penalties, or result in legal action. While the sums vary greatly by
industry and project, they are often considerable. Through a combination of static analysis,
coverage analysis, process definition, and routine measurement, a Development Testing Platform systemizes compliance into an automated, air-tight process that ensures risk containment.
Software reliability continues to be one of the most visible problems that can easily be addressed with Development Testing. Symptoms such as crashes, downtime, and missed SLAs can severely affect a company’s position in the marketplace. By combining prevention, detection, and verification into a process of continuous improvement, Development Testing will ensure reduction or elimination of reliability risks.
Among developers, there is an old joke: “If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then
development must be the process of putting them in.” In business terms, every code change is a risk.
Development Testing removes the risk of introducing new defects by enforcing coding policies that prevent structural and design problems as developers work. Additionally, a Development Testing Platform will eliminate the risk of compromising existing functionality by allowing for automated generation, execution, and management of regression tests alongside detailed coverage analysis. Automated peer review assignment, delivered via a Development Testing Platform, provides a final layer of risk mitigation that ensures 100% of code is inspected by an appropriate team expert.
Outsourcing is losing popularity as businesses learn painful lessons about the risks of cheap,
inexperienced labor in a high-tech field. Nonetheless, many businesses have active offshore
development and test teams and will continue on that path. While strategies vary, successful
outsourcers establish multiple risk mitigation gates, both on-site and off, to protect against risk injection. Development Testing is a natural fit to establish and enforce policies for coding
standards, unit test coverage, and peer review at each risk mitigation gate.
Jason Schadewald is a Product Manager at Parasoft.