e-Talk Radio: Mazzucco, Frank, 3 October 2000

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Summary:

The quality of the software you produce, the productivity of the people who produce the software, and the cost to produce that software is directly influenced by the quality of the process that's used to develop that software.

TEXT TRANSCRIPT: 3 October 2000
Copyright 2001 Quality Plus Technologies and Carol Dekkers. All rights reserved.

Announcer: Welcome to Quality Plus e-Talk! with Carol Dekkers. This program will focus on the latest in the field of technology. All comments, views, and opinions are those of the host, guests, and callers. Now let's join Carol Dekkers.

Carol: Hi, and welcome to this week's show. I'm Carol Dekkers. I'm the President of Quality Plus Technologies, a consulting firm that specializes in quality initiatives, function point analysis, software measurement, and process improvement, primarily for the software development industry. This week, I'm very lucky to be able to be joined by one of my colleagues and friends, Frank Mazzucco, who joined COMPASS America, and international consulting firm, in 1998. He has over 30 years of application development experience. He's been a programmer, a database administrator, a manager and a management consultant. Prior to joining COMPASS, Frank was the total quality manager for Texas Instruments Software, and has been involved with systems development and the software industry for about 30 years. So I'd like to say welcome to Frank Mazzucco.

Frank: Thank you very much, Carol. It's a pleasure to be here.

Carol: Our topic this week that we've decided to talk about is generally the field of process improvement. We've had a couple of weeks when we've talked a little bit about what's going on in software. We've talked about the Dilbert Society, we've talked about team building. We've talked a little bit about cybergeography with Howard Rubin at the beginning of the series, and now we'd like to focus on a little bit about what's going on in the software industry, the software revolution, essentially, where software developers and programmers are waking up to the fact that sometimes they don't produce quality software. Frank, do you have any sort of lead-in words that you'd like to give, and some of your views on what's going on in software itself?

Frank: Well, we've really seen some changes over the years, Carol, probably going back about ten years ago. But there's been this realization, and it was sort of the still, small voice originally, but it started to grow louder and really grow into an actual movement, a revolution, as you say, that the quality of the software you produce, the productivity of the people who produce the software, and the cost to produce that software is directly influenced by the quality of the process that's used to develop that software. And so people are focusing in on that whole concept of what process am I using, how am I going about developing the software, how can I improve that software… I'll give you a good example. When I first broke into this business, and as you said, it was over 30 years ago, which please don't let anybody out there do the math on that to figure out how old I am, but there used to be a little cartoon which you still see every once in awhile, that showed one guy walking out the door and a bunch of people, a bunch of programmers, sitting at desks, and the caption was, "I'll go figure out what they want. The rest of you start coding."

Carol: And that's probably pretty true, still today.

Frank: And that's the point. You still see that today, you still see that happening. Actually, this happens at client sites all the time, where people are really not following a disciplined process for developing software. They're not getting their requirements right, they're not planning and managing their projects effectively. And

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