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Bug tracking internal software

Where I work (a UK Govt agency) we develop internal software and we certainly fix the 'if I do this it crashes' sort of bug. It is better to have a programmer spend half a day getting the input validations right than have a 100 users all find the same bug and call the help desk.

Yes Internal software can get away with being a little less usable in terms of how 'do I do this?' because our users can just ask the person sitting next to them. But if we produced software that made it difficult for people to do the job then the job wouldn't get done and ultimately we (the IT department) wouldn't have a job!

Of course we do bug tracking, I could send you the spreadsheets (yes I'd love Fogbuz!). I'd say about 50% of 'bugs' are specification errors ("Thats not what I meant") rather than coding errors. I don't see how XP would prevent those.

About a year ago we started making our applications available to our clients (voluntary organisations we fund) over the Internet using Citrix Metaframe. Our user community went up from around 150 people to 3,000+. Not sure whether that makes us shrink-wrapped rather than internal but it certainly made usability more of an issue!

Iain Forsyth
Wednesday, May 08, 2002

You fund your clients? How nice. Ask real nice and maybe I'll let you make me your "client".

A.
Wednesday, May 08, 2002

I'd say about 50% of 'bugs' are specification errors ("Thats not what I meant") rather than coding errors. I don't see how XP would prevent those.
----
Actually, I think XP does a decent job of those types of errors.  The frequent feedback helps a lot there.

Chris D
Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Since we adopted XP, the number of bugs filled on our bug system was reduced by more than 60%. Every developer writes unit tests for his code and integrate his code multiple times per day in the build system. When a developer submit his code that already passed his unit tests,  the build machine run all the tests and integrate them with the rest of the code. If anything fails the developer is notified and the code isn't accepted in the CVS tree.  Every developer has to get an email that his code passed before going home every night.
This is only 2 (Unit testing and continuous integration) of the many XP practices that would make developement amazingly better. As for the tools we use they are modified open source tools that we customized for our company.

Michel
Wednesday, May 08, 2002

>>Every developer has to get an email that his code passed before going home every night.<<

Am I misunderstanding XP, or does this violate XP's "No overtime" rule?

Brent P. Newhall
Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Every developer take that into consideration and check their last working code into the system 30 minutes before they leave. This never caused any problems and in very rare cases caused a developer to stay overtime.

Michel
Wednesday, May 08, 2002

What was your development methodology before XP? Making sure people don't check stuff in that breaks the build and testing your own stuff seems pretty common sense to me.

b
Wednesday, May 08, 2002

It might seem common sence but not many companies do multiple check-ins per day. The key is continuous build process that is automated.

Michel
Wednesday, May 08, 2002

If XP reduced the bugs by 60% does that mean XP is the messiah or does it mean that your previous process was so broken that having code reviewed by a bunch of drunken circus clowns would have shown *some* improvement too?

Robert Moir
Thursday, May 09, 2002

>If XP reduced the bugs by 60% does that mean XP is the messiah or does it mean that your previous process was so broken that...

No it means XP helped.  As in 'for these people at least XP was an improvement'.  Any statements that other approaches might have helped too are mere conjecture.
If you really want to prove XP is a crock then you need to show either projects where XP made things worse or projects using some other approach that improved more than XP.

IanRae
Thursday, May 09, 2002

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