CEO in the Field: “If it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.”


On a frigid day not long ago, I met a bright SVP of Quality Assurance (QA) at a large financial institution in the US. The company employs more than 10,000 people in its IT department alone, and this gentleman managed a team of nearly 2,000 QA professionals.

I was there to discuss some recipes for success, as this organization (a new customer of CAST) was just beginning to use our software intelligence platform and integrate CAST as a structural quality gate, towards the end of the development cycle, just before software would be released into production.

“Sooner being better than later, why are you only planning to use CAST technology late in the SDLC? Why aren’t you also using it to catch structural defects in software?” I asked. 

This SVP gave me an answer that hit home.

“Well, you know, when you try to socialize the idea that we’re bringing in an X-ray machine to analyze our software that looks at database structure, transaction flows, component connectivity, etc. you come up against some strong pushback from your dev team, and even architects,” he said. “That’s ‘their’ code. They want to be the only one to know. I don’t want to waste my time in a tough uphill battle to convince our folks. You know, as the old adage says, 'if it was hard to write, it should be hard to understand.' So my strategy here is to catch a few 'monsters' right before production, the kind of software defects that lead to data corruption, outages or security catastrophes, and send them back to my dev team to fix before going to production. I bet you they will be asking for CAST any time soon," he said with a grin. 

With a skillful understanding of what motivates a developer’s psyche, he found a smart and smooth way to introduce our disruptive technology, aiming to make the invisible visible. 

  This report describes the effects of different industrial factors on  structural quality. Structural quality differed across technologies with COBOL  applications generally having the lowest densities of critical weaknesses,  while JAVA-EE had the highest densities. While structural quality differed  slightly across industry segments, there was almost no effect from whether the  application was in- or outsourced, or whether it was produced on- or off-shore.  Large variations in the densities in critical weaknesses across applications  suggested the major factors in structural quality are more related to  conditions specific to each application. CRASH Report 2020: CAST Research on  the Structural Condition of Critical Applications Report
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Open source is part of almost every software capability we use today. At the  very least libraries, frameworks or databases that get used in mission critical  IT systems. In some cases entire systems being build on top of open source  foundations. Since we have been benchmarking IT software for years, we thought  we would set our sights on some of the most commonly used open source software  (OSS) projects. Software Intelligence Report <> Papers
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Vincent Delaroche
Vincent Delaroche Chairman and CEO
Vincent is a passionate entrepreneur and industry thought leader who has grown CAST from a start-up to a global category leader in Software Intelligence. He began the software analytics movement more than 25 years ago to uncover the truth about software health, performance and security to help businesses deliver more value to end users, fast.
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