Conforming to Industry Standards: Does your Software Measure Up?
Today, a significant portion of the software development process is spent checking for adherence to various standards. Measurements of quality and conformity exist for many industries, including the government. Assessing adherence to existing standards is an area that is ripe for automation.
Standards adherence is dictated by various organizations, both independent and within the government. For example, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is a world leader in providing standards for engineers and developers in the information technology space. NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides measurements and quality standards for innumerable government products and services.
Conformity to specific standards is, generally, a requirement of many government contracts. Here at Innovative Defense Technologies (IDT), since the bulk of our solutions are developed for the DOD, we are particularly sensitive to the pre-existing standards that exist in this space. We have certainly found that using an automated approach to verify adherence to standards can save time and money.
Automated assessment offers a systematic, repeatable and extensible solution that enables developers to verify quality and standards adherence. Ideally, an automated standards solution will guide users through a step-by-step process, automating their activities. With automation, assessment tests can be easily and repeatedly performed by developers to confirm conformance to various agencies’ standards. Additionally, reports can be generated as proof of compliance.
Government agencies and commercial markets spend billions of dollars on testing and assessment. Developers devote significant time and resources evaluating software to ensure quality and verify compliance to external standards. Many of the manual test processes involved in this effort are cumbersome and error-prone. An automated solution would streamline the standards assessment process and bring non-conformity to light. As a result of automation, quality, conformity and efficiency would increase.
Some information taken from: Dustin, Elfriede, Thom Garrett, and Bernie Gauf. Implementing Automated Software Testing: How to save Time and Lower Costs While Raising Quality. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley, 2009. This book was authored by three current IDT employees and is a comprehensive resource on automation. Blog content may also reflect interviews with the authors.