Software complexity - the complexity of current software applications can be difficult to comprehend for anyone without experience in modern-day software development. Windows-type interfaces, client-server and distributed applications, data communications, enormous relational databases, and sheer size of applications have all contributed to the exponential growth in software/system complexity. And the use of object-oriented techniques can complicate instead of simplify a project unless it is well-engineered.
Programming errors - programmers, like anyone else, can make mistakes.
Changing requirements - the customer may not understand the effects of changes, or may understand and request them anyway - redesign, rescheduling of engineers, effects on other projects, work already completed that may have to be redone or thrown out, hardware requirements that may be affected, etc. If there are many minor changes or any major changes, known and unknown dependencies among parts of the project are likely to interact and cause problems, and the complexity of keeping track of changes may result in errors. Enthusiasm of engineering staff may be affected.
In some fast-changing business environments, continuously modified requirements may be a fact of life. In this case, management must understand the resulting risks, and QA and test engineers must adapt and plan for continuous extensive testing to keep the inevitable bugs from running out of control - see 'What can be done if requirements are changing continuously?'
Time pressures - scheduling of software projects is difficult at best, often requiring a lot of guesswork. When deadlines loom and the crunch comes, mistakes will be made.
Egos - people prefer to say things like:
- 'no problem'
- 'piece of cake'
- 'I can whip that out in a few hours'
- instead of:
- 'that adds a lot of complexity and we could end up making a lot of mistakes'
- 'we have no idea if we can do that; we'll wing it'
- 'I can't estimate how long it will take, until I take a close look at it'
- 'we can't figure out what that old spaghetti code did in the first place'
If there are too many unrealistic 'no problem's', the result is bugs.
Poorly documented code - it's tough to maintain and modify code that is badly written or poorly documented; the result is bugs. In many organizations management provides no incentive for programmers to document their code or write clear, understandable code. In fact, it's usually the opposite: they get points mostly for quickly turning out code, and there's job security if nobody else can understand it ('if it was hard to write, it should be hard to read').
Software development tools - visual tools, class libraries, compilers, scripting tools, etc. often introduce their own bugs or are poorly documented, resulting in added bugs.
Quality is a process of ensuring that all specified software processes have been properly executed.
RELATED POSTSOFTWARE QUALITY ASSURANCE AND CONTROL
SOFTWARE QUALITY AND COST ASPECT
STABLE PROCESS OF SOFTWARE TESTING
STABLE PROCESS OF SOFTWARE TESTING PART TWO
DEFECTS IN SOFTWARE TESTING
REDUCTION OF DEFECTS IN SOFTWARE TESTING
SOFTWARE TESTING AND EFFECTING FACTORS
SCOPE OF SOFTWARE TESTING
TESTING LIFE CYCLE PART ONE
TESTING LIFE CYCLE PART TWO
TESTING LIFE CYCLE PART THREE
SOFTWARE TESTING AND CONSTRAINTS WITH IN IT
TESTING CONSTRAINTS PART TWO
LIFE CYCLE TESTING
Independent Software Testing
Testing verification and validation
Functional and structural testing
Static and dynamic testing
V model testing
Eleven steps of V model testing
Execution testing technique
Recovery Testing technique
Operation testing technique
Compliance software testing technique
Security testing technique