Donald Reifer has updated that excellent 2002 article and has agreed to publish “Industry Software Cost, Quality and Productivity Benchmarks” in this issue of the DACS Software Tech News. This article first examines software productivity information, and characterizes productivity by application domain as well as compares productivity between the US and foreign regions. It next reports on cost data by application domain and language levels. Based on the most popular life-cycle models, it then reports on the distribution of effort and schedule by phase. Next, Mr. Reifer discusses typical software support costs, software quality information, and concludes by examining the trends in software improvements. So are we still at 7 source lines of code per day?
I have always found it very strange when others have referred to software testing as an art. As far as I know, I did not take any art classes at engineering school, and I feel I know a little about testing. James Whittaker’s article “Software Testing as an Art, a Craft and a Discipline” sets the record straight. Software testers are some of the most skilled people I know. I do not think of them as artists.
The next article titled “Independent Verification and Validation of Neural Networks – Developing Practitioner Assistance,” by Dr. Laura Pullum, Dr. Marjorie Darrah and Mr. Brian Taylor examines NASA’s IV&V Facility’s initiative to develop a software assurance methodology for neural networks. The “black box” and highly mathematical nature of neural nets requires a different V&V approach versus traditional software V&V.