Home‎ > ‎

Austin-SPIN - Archives - Apr12


Thursday, April 12, 2012

                                                    What Does it Really Do? Figuring Out Software Process Support Tools  




There are probably millions of tools available today to support the software development process, both free and fee licensed. Even restricting attention to process support  tools, tools that are most valuable when the development process involves multiple people over months or years of time, the list still includes requirements managers, issue and effect tracking systems, project management tools, test managers, etc.  Supporting these tools can take as much as a third of project effort and tool choices are often made for the life of the product, which can be decades. The selection of tools is difficult because the decision must take into account not only the technical properties of the tool but the nature of the product being developed, the structure of the organization doing the developing and the development process being followed.


A starting point for making selection decisions is to understand what different tools do in terms of what kinds of information they store and how they manipulate it.  This can then be related to the properties of the applications being developed and the nature of the development organization and the development process in order to decide whether or not a particular type of tool is needed. I will look at requirements analysis tools, issue and defect tracking tools, configuration management tools, build managers, test managers, and project management tools.  A particular focus will be application lifecycle managers, integrated suites of development tools intended to provide seamless linking of information across tool boundaries. Examples include IBM Rhapsody/Jazz, Microsoft Team Foundation, and the Atlassian suite.


 Speaker:   Ruven Brooks, Ruven Brooks Consulting


Ruven Brooks is two years short of fifty years of experience in software development. He has engaged in a wide range of activities, He has worked in a number of roles ranging from computer science researcher to development lead and product architect to onsite customer support of commercial software and software process developer. He has worked in the telecommunications industry, health care, the petroleum industry, and the industrial automation industry. A nail hole on his wall is covered by his Ph.D. diploma in cognitive psychology from Carnegie-Mellon University.