Introduction to Defect Analysis

Why is it that we seem to make the same mistakes over and over again? It can't be that we don't want to know why - that we don't want to find ways to prevent our mistakes, and ultimately to improve the quality of our products. Surely we do. Analysis of defect data from previous projects, for example, tells us about our most frequent errors, and can help us improve. But very few companies take the time to analyse their experience data and learn from them.

This half-day tutorial will introduce you to the concepts and techniques of defect analysis. You will learn how to analyse defects in your own organisation, and what benefits you can achieve. The tutorial will explain the different defect categories in the currently most comprehensive Bug Taxonomy (by Beizer). I will demonstrate how I used this taxonomy to perform defect analysis in practice on a number of projects, and I will share my results with you. I will also give an overview of the other major defect classification technique e.g: Orthogonal Defect Classification (by Chillarege e.a.), and show how this can be used.

However, performing defect analysis is of little value if you cannot use the results to correct problems in or improve your software development practices. I will demonstrate how you can use the data from defect analysis to introduce focused improvements in your organisation.

I have used defect analysis successfully on a number of projects at Brel & Kjaer. I have demonstrated improvements to the testing and the requirements engineering processes based on the results of defect analysis. At previous QWE conferences I have reported on these experiences. However, I have not previously presented the defect analysis technique itself.

About the instructor

Otto Vinter is a software engineering mentor specialising in software process improvements. He is on the programme committee of several international conferences, performs mentoring activities for clients, and is an expert evaluator on the framework programmes of the CEC.
The above work was performed while he was responsible for software process improvements projects at Brel & Kjr. He has also been active in defining software engineering standards, procedures, and methods to be employed at Brel & Kjr.
He has managed software development projects for 30 years. He holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the Danish Technical University (1968).

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Last modified: 2008-10-20