Nigel Cheshire

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Using Java Tools to Enforce Best Practices

Enerjy CEO NIgel Cheshire Explains How

Bad code abounds, and the cost to fix it is expensive. A 2002 federal study found that software errors and bugs in code cost the U.S. economy nearly $60 billion a year. And a study conducted by The Standish Group reports a 27-month backlog on end-user requests for application enhancements.

With bugs and enhancements coming out of the same budgets, only the loudest voices are heard. Many organizations with overrun projects have development teams that spend most of their time fixing bugs, fighting fires and leaping from one crisis to the next. Meanwhile, the “too little, too late” approach to QA means that development teams consistently underestimate the time needed to test and debug applications.

Improving Code Quality
How can this situation be turned around? How can development organizations improve code quality so that they can focus their efforts on developing competitive enhancements to their applications and remain competitive? What are the key ingredients of quality code—specifically in the Java community?

The first ingredient is the talent and experience of Java developers. Creativity, enthusiasm, customer exposure and business skills translate into software that consistently meets and often exceeds end-user and management expectations. Consider the 80/20 rule, where 20 percent of your Java development team does 80 percent of the work: you need to focus on that 20 percent, pay them well and give them the tools and processes they need to do their jobs.

That brings up another set of key ingredients: Java tools and processes. Software developers have always taken the heat for software bugs because, for the most part, they are responsible for creating them. So it makes sense that as the software industry has evolved, tools and processes have emerged to help Java developers eliminate drudgery, maintain control and decrease or minimize bugs. Unfortunately, many development organizations have been unable or unwilling to invest resources in these tools and processes, dooming them to the vicious cycle of bug fixing and firefighting.

More Stories By Nigel Cheshire

Nigel Cheshire is CEO of Enerjy Software, a division of Teamstudio Inc. He oversees product strategy and has been driving the company's growth since he founded it in 1996. Prior to founding Teamstudio, Inc., Nigel was co-founder and principal of Ives & Company, a CRM solutions consultancy. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Teesside, England.

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