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Established September, 1992

Newsletter of the Boston SPIN

Issue 14, April 1997

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Contents

(Note: The table of contents in the last issue incorrectly listed the January 1997 SPIN Meeting Report; the issue actually contained the November 1996 report.)


CALENDAR

Jun 17 (Tuesday), 6:30 pm

Boston SPIN meeting Practical Software Measurement: Measuring for Process Management and Improvement"
Anita D. Carleton - Software Engineering Institute
GTE, Building #5, 77 A Street, Needham, MA

Jul 30 -- Early registration deadline for 1997 SEI Software Engineering Symposium

Aug 25-28 -- 1997 Software Engineering Symposium "Getting to Better-Faster-Cheaper Sooner"

David L. Lawrence Convention Center Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
SEI, Carnegie Mellon University Voice and On-Demand
FAX: 412 / 268-5800
Email: customer-relations@sei.cmu.edu
Web: http://www.sei.cmu.edu/products/symp97/conf.html

Sep 16 (Tuesday) -- Next Boston SPIN meeting

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NOTICES

MEETING REPORTER POOL WELCOMES DIVERS

Our primary meeting reporter, Ed Maher, announces with regret that he can no longer commit to attending every meeting. He is caught in resource conflicts at work and as the two branches of his most important project, QFD (Quality Functioning Dad), continue to progress and mature. Ed and Johanna Rothman continue on the reporting team, but to ensure full coverage we would like to increase the pool. You do not have to attend or report on every meeting. If you enjoy writing and would like to be an active enabler of the process improvement knowledge transfer process, please contact Johanna, Sallie, or any board member.

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MEETING REPORTS

January 1997 Meeting Report
by Ed Maher (Digital Equipment Corporation)

Summary

January's meeting was a panel discussion on "Achieving Higher Maturity Practices". The questions that each panelist was asked to address were:

  • What was necessary to achieve high maturity levels?
  • What was the basis for improvement prioritization?
  • How were SPI initiatives linked with business goals?
  • How were external organizations affected? (e.g., marketing, hardware engineering, ...)
  • How were "bottom line" benefits calculated?

All four speakers used the levels and Key Process Areas of the CMM in describing their progress. The panelists were: Stu Jeans from Sanders, Bob Spillane from IBM, and Gary Wolf from Raytheon. The discussion was moderated by Albert Soule from Arthur D. Little. As with most SPIN "panels", this was essentially four mini- presentations. All four of them described experiences grounded in process improvement with strong sponsorship, that have been measured by way of SEI appraisals and/or external ISO 9001 audits.

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Detail

Albert Soule

Albert got up first and presented a few slides on how A. D. Little approaches Business Process Re-engineering. He stated that they believe that a key for a successful process improvement program is the pull from the stakeholders (e.g., customers, employees, and owners). He showed us a method that they used to identify and organize their stakeholders^R expectations. It involves looking at each expectation and identifying how important it is (high, medium, or low). They then go through an exercise to determine how much these expectations will be satisfied by the current plan.

Stu Jeans

Stu explicitly addressed the five questions. His (Sanders) experience is based on process improvement driven by corporate and customer demand that they be at Level 3 of the CMM.

- What was necessary to achieve high maturity levels?

The first thing he mentioned was that Sr. Management needed to have a clear understanding of what needed to be done. He said that senior managers are often far to busy to be figuring this out for themselves. They therefore need to be asked/told what to do (provide the resources, conduct reviews, ...). In addition, he said that consideration of the organization structure is critical.

It is also important to recognize a need to use professional judgement when mapping the CMM to any organization. Some things just don't make sense, and alternate practices should be used in other instances. This customizing of the CMM results in an "Organization Standard Software Process" (OSSP). The OSSP includes tailoring guidelines which projects can use to create their own appropriate project specific process which is consistent with the org process and meets their own unique needs. To be effective, the OSSP should be a living set of documents that are almost continually updated. He mentioned that every time they revise their OSSP, it gets smaller. This is likely due to early attempts at process documentation being too rigid. Over time they recognize this as being unnecessary and started backing off to allow for appropriate flexibility. All of their processes need to be checked-out to insure that they comply with the CMM (through level 3), ISO 9001, and some other DoD requirements.

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- What was the basis for improvement prioritization?

He pointed out that this is a continuous process. The priorities will change due to external requirement changes and due to increased process maturity.

- How are SPI initiatives linked with business goals?

Business goals are described in the project plans. Projects can tailor the practices based on customer requirements or other project specific business goals. But, some things have to be non-negotiable. If a customer says that they do not want to pay for Configuration Management, that would be unacceptable. Some things have to be done with some level of consistency in order to maintain their own standards, as well as their ISO9000 and CMM position.

- How are external organizations affected?

He defined external organizations as being: Program Management, Systems Engineering, Software Configuration Management, and Software Quality Assurance. These external organizations had to institute their own changes in order for the software group to achieve Level 3. A key point was the attention put on Intergroup Coordination. Reviews with the external groups are held to make sure that everyone has the same understanding of each other's role.

- How are bottom line benefits calculated?

As with most people trying to calculate the ROI of process improvement, the only thing he talked about was the savings associated with finding defects earlier. He mentioned a convention they use where a "Save" is an issue introduced and removed in the same phase. A "Defect" is an issue that is not resolved until some subsequent phase. They collect and analyze Save and Defect metrics as one way to measure their efficiency.

Bob Spillane

Next up was Bob Spillane from the IBM System 390 Group. The measurable quality objectives that they established were

  • Reduce defects found by our customers
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Reduce warranty costs

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To address these three objectives, they identify appropriate quality attributes (Similar to the "quality factors" that are used in OpenVMS.) The list he presented was; adaptability, availability, capability,co-existence, code quality, compatibility/migration, documentation quality, installability, maintainability, performance, productivity, reliability,serviceability, and usability. It is a goal that every project has some measurable quality attributes.

Someone asked about how they measure "code quality". He said that it is based on the number of defects introduced in the coding phase.

Next, the requirements for each identified quality attribute are defined and documented. This occurs at the same time that the business case is being made. A determination is made as to what will be done to improve or maintain each ID'd attribute (degradation of an attribute is unacceptable). One thing that they always watch out for is having one quality objective improve at the expense of one of the others.

Aggressive quantitative goals to address the quality objectives are then defined (including the identification of how they will be tracked and validated).

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Then they implement a development process. It is required that the process be well defined, flexible, under change management, and owned by the process group. Changes to the process can always happen -- but they need to be signed-off by representatives from each affected department.

He briefly described the development phases for their Integrated Product Development. The phases are; Concept, Plan, Develop, Qualify, Launch, and Life-Cycle.

He showed us a roadmap of the dozens of quality initiatives (of varying scope) that they have had over the past few years. His reason for showing this was to make the point that successful process and quality improvement doesn't occur with one silver bullet.

Someone asked him if they had done anything with Cleanroom. He said that it has been done at some other sites, but that he didn't think that it fit into their culture.

As for results; he presented some graphs (for one unidentified product) showing declining numbers of customer problems, declining shipping defect density, increasing reliability, and decreased warranty costs.

During his talk, he mentioned that they have an internal CMM-based appraisal every year and an external ISO9000-based audit every six months.

- -- Gary Wolf -- Gary Wolf from Raytheon got up and endorsed everything that Stu and Bob said. He then went on to summarize his experience at the Raytheon Electronics Systems Organization. This is an organization with about 20,000 people that is responsible for things like; missiles, radar, sensors, communication, etc. He said that a key lesson for success is to know the organization that you are working in. It is also helpful to be working with facilities that are geographically close together.

The program at Raytheon began in late 1988. It was the result of significant cost overruns, a lack of predictability in the software areas, and a major reliance on a few key people. At the start, the divisional VP stated that they will succeed with this or get out of the business.

Some of the things that they did were;

  • Staked out a Division-level policy. This was important given their matrix organization structure
  • Had a strong project focus. They believe that if Process Improvement is done independently of the projects, that it will not succeed.
  • Worked to have advocates from within the ranks of the Project Teams
  • Solicited and captured the best of the existing processes, and worked to get them institutionalized across the organization.
  • Refocused all of the existing funding sources. They had not been coordinated. He didn't feel that they needed more money, just better organized budgets.

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Each project plan spells out how the organization process is applied. Checklists are always completed to make sure which aspects of the organization process have been applied, tailored, and eliminated.

Their process group is staffed with opinion leaders and senior Line Managers. They conduct a lot of training. He said that they currently were providing 28 different courses. They continuously review and revise the staff of their process group and the content of the standard process.

He reiterated what most SPIN presenters mention on one form or another; Management support is critical. They had it.

They use a cost of quality model. They breakdown project costs into quality costs and performance costs. Quality costs include things like: reviews, testing, training, metrics, and rework. Performance costs include the planning, requirements, design, code, and integration costs.

He then showed us a bunch of graphs to demonstrate what they have accomplished since 1988.

  • One graph showed that the cost of quality has been going steadily downward. In 1988 it was about 45% of their total costs, it is now less than 10% of their total costs.
  • In 1988 they ended up spending about 40% more than estimated. Since 1990, they have been regularly within 5% - They have seen a 170% increase in productivity. (Taking new lines of code/person months as a productivity measure.)

Looking toward the future, they already recognize that the nature of process is that it needs to continually change. Even though they are at Level 3, they continue to improve some of their CMM Level 2- and Level 3-based practices. They are also working toward CMM Level 4.

In summary, he presented what he believes was key to their success;

  • The vision and commitment of senior management
  • General management buy-in
  • Confronting culture
  • Moving people from projects into the process group and out again
  • Aligning the process work with the projects
  • Measuring the impact of what they did on the projects.

Questions and Answers (paraphrased):

Q: Does anyone have any experience doing software process improvement in the context of a wider organization process improvement activity?

A: (Stu) Yes. At Sanders, they have a centralized process improvement function. (Gary) Yes. Raytheon has quarterly process reviews which involve the hardware and systems groups.

Q: What happens when the customer reviews the budget and says to cut out some of the things that you have put in place?

A: (Stu) If they want to cut things like SQA, he would push back. But some things are negotiable. (Bob) He would resist. If they just say cut 25%, he wouldn't know which 25% to cut. (Gary) Much of what they have in place is an ISO9000 requirement. They can't cut that stuff and retain their certification. Al mentioned that often cutting costs in this way ends up costing more than you save.

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Februrary 1997 Meeting Report
by Ed Maher (Digital Equipment Corporation)

Summary

February's meeting was a panel discussion on "Experiences with Software Process Improvement and Resistance". The speakers were: Barbara Purchia (from Kronos, Inc.) and Dale Emery (Consultant). The panel was moderated by Johanna Rothman (Consultant). This meeting was a dinner meeting and was combined with the Boston ASQC. This was a very entertaining pair of presentations. Barbara presented eight steps for being an effective change agent. Dale addressed why people resist change and how one can go about dealing with that resistance. They both stressed the importance of considering culture when attempting change. Both talks had a good length and pace, with plenty of time for Q&A at the end.

Detail

Johanna started out with a single slide which sort of set the stage for what the problem is:

Change is Good..............You first!

Barbara Purchia

Barbara gave a very good summary of the steps that she followed when she was working at Lotus as a change agent. She began her talk by describing some of the things with which she had to deal. These included:

  • Being brought in from the outside to do process improvement
  • Working in an established company
  • One Senior VP wants the process improvement, and another Sr. VP does not want it
  • 1300 employees
  • Five vertical business units
  • Five VP's that don't really get along
  • A wide variety of process maturity over multiple locations
  • A position which is four levels down from her VP
  • A history of two distinct unsuccessful process improvement initiatives

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Barbara then outlined eight steps that she followed;

Step 1-- Walk About and Talk About

Walk around and talk with people before trying to figure out where to begin and what approach to take. Become known in the organization and gain an understanding of how things operate. It is especially important to gain a solid understanding of the culture and of the style of Sr. Management.

Step 2 -- Set the Stage

Considering the info gathered in step 1, identify some problems and suggest some proposed solutions. Present this to people (at all levels)and get feedback on the problems and on the solutions. Get the buy-in of the Sr. Managers. When having these discussions, she also took the opportunity to ask the Sr. Managers a lot of questions. These included open ended questions about their likes and dislikes, and some closed questions (i.e., on a scale of 1 - 5 what do you think of....). This allowed her to have a baseline with which progress could be measured.

Step 3 -- Identify the Key Influencers and Align With Them

The process group worked hard to be participants in the project teams with which they were working to effect change.

Step 4 -- Involve the Resistors

It is important to get the people that resist involved in the solution. This isn't just communication, it's teamwork. Involve them early enough so that they have a stake in the results.

Step 5 -- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

They used Lotus Notes as a tool for communicating what they were doing. [ Barbara isn't the first SPIN presenter to mention the value of Lotus Notes as an effective communication tool}. In addition, she said that her group went to a lot of meetings to promote what they were doing, and had visible celebrations when accomplishments occurred.

Step 6 -- Get Involved With The Development Projects

This allows them to be better known among the development community and to gain an appreciation for the work being done. It is much more difficult to effect change if you are on the outside.

Step 7 -- If Senior VP changes, go back to Step 1

If there is a change at the top, it is important to get an understanding of the new VP's style and priorities, and to make changes as appropriate.

Step 8 -- Don't Get Discouraged

Keep looking at where you've been, what you've done, and where you want to be. It's easy to not appreciate your own accomplishments when you're in the middle of them. She suggested that this be an explicit activity every three months.

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Dale Emery

Dale gave a good talk on how to approach resistance. His basic premise was that people don't resist change, they resist loss. The key is to identify what the perceived loss is, and focus on that.

If you are promoting "change" and people are resisting "loss", then they have a different point of view than you. People are always in control over whether or not they will change, and their reaction will be based on their own perspective. Understanding that perspective is critical to the success of any change initiative. He cited The Broccoli Principle:

"It doesn't matter how healthy it is if they won't eat it".

So, how do we gain an understanding of their point of view? He proposed that focus should be on what is seen and heard and not on what is "felt" (separating observation from perception). To illustrate this, he cited Miller's Law:

"Temporarily assume that what the person says is true, and try to imagine what it could be true of."

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Don't just determine that they are mistaken and move on. Ask yourself:

  • In what sort of world would what the person said be true?
  • Under what sort of circumstances would it be true?
  • What else would have to be true for the person's words not to be false, outrageous, and ridiculous?

By considering these things, it allows for a better understanding of their point of view and an understanding of what it is that they are resisting. Simply saying "they are resisting change so I'll address resistance to change", is attacking the wrong problem. He went further and said that if you can't think of at least three reasonable interpretations of any resistance then you haven't thought enough about what's behind it.

People will change whenever: they believe that they can do the behavior; they believe that they can predict the outcome reasonably well; and they want that behavior. Otherwise, they are unlikely to change. Resistance can be due to any one of those things being missing.

To have conditions more favorable to change, make sure that:

  • Everyone can do what is being asked
  • They understand the expected outcome
  • They understand what it is that they are trying to preserve or prevent

When people are confronted with a potential change, their perceptionsare affected by a number of things:

  • Their beliefs and values
  • Their environment
  • The nature of the change
  • The way it is communicated to them
  • Their relationship with those advocating the change.

All of these things need to be explicitly considered and addressed when appropriate. He closed with the thought: When confronted by resistance, become curious, and work toward understanding what is going on with that person.

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Questions and Answers (paraphrased):

Q: (for Dale) You postulate that people don't resist change, rather they resist loss. Can you give examples of some of the perceived loss that is being resisted?

A: A common example is a person's feeling of competence. Other examples include loss of respect, power, or control.

Q: (for Barbara) What happened when the VP changed? Did her work get undone?

A: No. Much of what was put in place still remains. (She also pointed out that during her time at Lotus, she went through four VPs.)

Q: (for all) The biggest question when proposing some change is "what's the ROI?" This is compounded by the fact that any change is going to have some additional cost in the beginning. What advice can you give to overcome this argument?

A: (Barb) She always shows people the data around the cost of finding and fixing defects early as opposed to later. This is a fairly compelling argument. It also helps to remind people of the slice of the engineering budget going to new development and the amount going to maintenance. (Dale) He doesn't try to "overcome" it. He tries to find out what is behind the resistance. He works to look for areas where costs are a problem now. As with Barbara, he often shows people the cost of maintenance and test, and how much they could save by doing more to prevent defects or find them earlier. Johanna pointed out that if Inspections are occurring, then they have the data to see the benefits of removing defects early.

Q: What about a company that is very successful in their market, so that people can just say "why should we change, it obviously ain't broke?"

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A: Much of the response to this was suggestions on what NOT to do. Dale said that you shouldn't point at other dire situations ("look what happened to some other company that was once successful"). He reiterated something said earlier; work to see what is going on with that person -- where are they feeling pain? In response to a comment from the audience, Dale said that it is dangerous to tell everyone that disaster is coming and then say "I told you so" when it happens. You can lose rapport with the people you have to work with, and you may become somehow associated with the disaster in many people's minds. Barbara suggested having some kind of formal review or appraisal. That can help to get acknowledgement of some problem and as the jumping off point for a focused activity to solve that problem.

Q: What if the client says that they want change, but they just want the problem to go away?

A: Dale sets the groundrules before he'll agree to work with a group. This includes linking the change to the benefit.

Q: (for Dale): It seems that his approach is to "psyche people out"; why not just ask them.

A: He didn't mean to convey that. Dale approaches the situation as being one where he has to loosen up his own thinking -- not by tricking the client into some behavior. He isn't advocating doing this analysis (to ID and deal with the client's point of view) in a vacuum. There has to be an open relationship with a common goal.

Q: What do I do if I am trying to work collaboratively, but the Sr. Management wants things faster than this approach will allow (e.g., Don't waste time on a pilot, do less training, ...)

A: Dale pointed out that the problem is a common conundrum. The engineering process being used to develop software needs improvement, and management wants a process improvement program to fix the problem. However, they also want the process improvement project to be managed in a way similar to the broken engineering process. Barbara pointed out that if you are forced to abandon the collaborative approach, all you are doing is delaying the debate from design to roll-out. As with software defects, it would be easier and cheaper to deal with them earlier. She also recommends that process improvement programs have a plan with requirements, responsibilities, milestones, .... If management wants to micro- manage the plan, then they have to do it in the context of changing the requirements or changing the plan (not just "do it faster").

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JOB BANK

Companies

  • Advanced Visual Systems
  • Daly & Wolcott
  • Progressive Search Associates
  • Stanton Group
  • Tektronics

ADVANCED VISUAL SYSTEMS

Contact: Dave Schlegel
617-890-8192 x2150, FAX 617-890-8297
Email: davids@avs.com
Web Site: http://www.avs.com

AVS is an advanced computer graphics software company located in Waltham providing data visualization and application building software to a variety of technical industries including medical imaging, oil and gas exploration, engineering, geospatial, and telecommunications. We provide products running under both UNIX and Windows platforms worldwide. We are currently expanding and have openings in most departments including software development and documentation. The following positions are currently open in the Software Testing group. For more information visit our web site.

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SOFTWARE TEST ENGINEERS: Several software engineer openings to evaluate and test an advanced application development system (AVS/Express) through application development, automated test scripts, C and C++ programming, complex dataset generation, and hands on testing in a visual programming environment. Will work with many of the latest technologies including scientific visualization, web access and VRML generation, OCX/ActiveX component creation, multidimensional database access(OLAP), and test automation on Windows NT, Windows 95, and UNIX platforms.

SOFTWARE RELEASE/TOOLS ENGINEER: Software release engineer opportunity to build advanced graphics software products from the development work of a medium size engineering team. Responsible for software integration, source code management, monitoring code changes, managing automated multi-platform builds, evaluating results, investigating build errors, and creating product media for distribution. Chartered with maintaining, documenting, and improving current code management and build tools; and investigating, promoting, and implementing the use of newer, more sophisticated tools to improve the company's ability to regularly and reliably generate quality software products for our growing customer base.

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DALY & WOLCOTT

QUALITY ASSURANCE ANALYST -- Rhode Island Qualified applicants should have a background in creating and conducting detailed software testing procedures and working with automated testing tools. They should have the ability to review design changes for new products and enhancements and have a working knowledge of standard QA methodologies. Excellent communication and project management skills required. Familiarity with the Distribution Industry a real plus.

Contact: Sharon Fontaine
Daly & Wolcott
West Warwick, RI
(401) 823-8400 Ext. 441

PROGRESSIVE SEARCH ASSOCIATES

A Waltham software firm which creates multi-platform performance-enhancing software, urgently needs the following:

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BUILD ARCHITECT

Someone who wants to learn more; who understands the build environment for distributed system architecture, understands one or more UNIX system internals; i-make; has some distributed systems knowledge -- project integrations; very technical $$ sr. $60-70K; wants a chance to learn.

CLEARCASE ADMINISTRATOR AND DEVELOPER

Firm willing to look at candidates at any level if they know configuration management software such as CVS, Continous; and have knowledge of scripting tools.

SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR

Needs network skills: hubs, routers,bridges as well as Unix of various flavors:IBM, Solaris, H-P, and SVRWindows NT administrator; who can take on the challenge to design NTbackbone from scratch.

PROJECT INTEGRATOR

Minimum required experience: 3 years of UNIX, and project integration.

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SR. S/W ENGINEER

Jack of all tools; someone who knows how to use code integrating tools to improve and integrate all ofthe firm's products. Some examples: Purify, ensure++, DBVista, Smith++This person would be responsible for investigating and adding new tools to the firm's stable.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Premiere, young, well-founded company offering equity. Develops superior configuration management software products. This position involves hands on software quality assurance. Keys are: ability to see the "big picture", technical third-party tools, test suites, and general automation, currently involved in automated testing. Company and manager have a strong commitment to software automation. Development and release practices a plus. The ideal candidate will also be familiar with the software development life cycle and software quality assurance standards and processes.

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LEADING EDGE TECHNOLOGY

Senior software quality assurance and have a life! Learn some networking"internet video-conferencing Solid, established company involved in establishing new and emerging technologies. QA manager is seeking a mid-level to senior software quality assurance engineer with competent quality assurance automation (ms-test, visual test, etc.) who can strategize "how to test and automate a software product. Company philosophy is also to have a life, believe it or not. The director of development and quality assurance manger strongly support engineers advancing within the organization and not being overworked.

NEW GROUP--SEVERAL POSITIONS EXIST

Exciting, rapidly growing telephony software company is branching out and starting a new software quality group from scratch. Your NT or UNIX experience, software test, developing and maintaining test tools (3rd party tools), track and review tests, and willingness to learn will help obtain your interview with this solid company.

ESTABLISHED SOFTWARE COMPANY SEEKING SEVERAL SOFTWARE QUALITY ASSURANCE ENGINEERS IN THE FOLLOWING AREA:

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QUALITY ENGINEERING

Web Server products continue to grow and gain market acceptance as the leading Groupware/Internet product in the office SW market. As startups start up and then quickly shut down it is becoming clearer all the time to big business that only a leading company is going to be able to offer the kind of products and technology on which they can run their mission-critical corporate data. Consequently, we anticipate more and more growth as customers find out just what this company is capable of providing in this arena.

This hot company is two months away from moving into its new building in Westford. And now need people to staff it! In the QE area they have all kinds of needs. Our preference is for people with a BS degree, 1+ years experience doing QE professionally, and PC skillNotes Networking QE - They need protocols people who can use a datascope or network analyzer to help test out bugs reported on the network. Protocols used include IPX/SPX for Netware, XPC for asynchronous modems, SNA, NetBIOS, Vines or AppleTalk.

Server Testers - Two or three individuals needed. This group does mostly manual testing on the back-end server functionality and would be interested in seeing any resumes of people who have done NT server testing

Maintenance Release - This group works closely with development to fix the major bugs reported in the latest released version of Notes/Domino. A background in Notes application development would be great, but any good C or scripting language debugging skills in a client server environment would be suitable too. Any Notes MIS/IT people who want to do something different.

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GUI/Server Automation - Both groups continue to look for C, C++ or Visual Basic programmers who want to write applications to test Notes and help build a completely hands-off automated test environment. We need to replace the lead designer/architect in the GUI group (spec below).

QA AUTOMATION ARCHITECT Senior person needed to be responsible for the overall architecture of the Notes Automated Test Framework, a cross platform, object oriented testing suite written using QA Partner. This person should understand the latest testing methods for large distributed client-server type products and be able to articulate the vision for whole effort. We have automated much of our testing using an existing architecture but much more needs to be done for V.5 which will incorporate a lot of Internet features, and the architecture needs to be extended for that. Prior coding experience is required but the person may have moved away from that to take a broader view of entire product set in the past few years. It is assumed the person will be strong in the PC world, NT, MS-W primarily, and that he or she will have experience as an automation architect for a commercial software product. The ability to work closely with developers in areas such as Client/GUI, Groupware Applications, EMail, Server, Networking and/or Languages is also required.

Software Quality Management

Several positions exist both in small startup companies as well as larger growing companies. Starting groups from scratch, defining the policies, procedures, and quality methodology. Evaluating third-party tools, participating in design review meeting

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SOFTWARE QUALITY METHODOLOGIES

Positions range from software quality/process improvement and project management utilizing ISO 9000, SEI, CMM methodologies, audit management, lifecycle metrics, measure, analyze, and audit findingSeveral C, C++ automation positions in both small to large companies, some startups offering equity. Locations from Burlington to Nashua, Cambridge to Newton.

QUALITY ASSURANCE ENGINEER

Looking for Quality Assurance professionals with 3+ years experience developing test plans, automated test tools and manual testing in a MS Windows and UNIX client/server environment. The successful candidate will be productively assertive, articulate and familiar with current client/server technologies. The candidate should have a demonstrable record of success in a hands- on QA role. A thorough understanding of QA methodology is a must, as is the ability to quickly assimilate financial and technical information. The successful candidate will be an integral contributor to a busy R&D group, testing equity research applications and interfacing with product development and support groups. A working knowledge of any of the following is a plus: UNIX shell scripts, Perl, C, C++, SQL, Win95, WinNT, SQA Robot, WWW, Visual Basic. Familiarity with financial applications a big plus.-

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A different Downtown Boston Financial Firm

The role of this position is to provide day today LAN and Email support functions for all hardware and peripherals across numerous Investor Centers Support of over 1,000 desktops, 85 H servers, approximately 300 various printers and other hardware and software applications that are installed across the country.

Must be able to work with various technical and business levels in achieving the problem resolution quickly and effectively. This position will also work with and be the backup of LAN and Email functions across Boston based Retail Brokerage devices desktops, including the Check Remittance and Northeast Regional Offices in Boston. This position will work closely with various System groups within the firm to test and evaluate software and hardware tools and work together on problem resolution.

The job: Diagnose and repeat systematic and operational problems on the desktop and at the Client/Server level. Perform LAN administrative functions consisting of the installation of various standard software applications, maintaining directory authorizations, resetting passwords, etc., in the Investor Centers across the country. Ensure that backups are run and successful tape rotation and offsite storage for all data residing on the servers in all Investor Centers. Function as the client liaison with internal and external customers in support of the current environment.

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Requirements

Excellent verbal and written communications skills are required as well as strong interpersonal customer support skills. Knowledge in the following areas: Windows 3,1, Novell, Windows NT, SMS, server and desktop hardware and software applications, Strong Client/Server hardware and application experience a must.

Experience with business and financial applications. Must be able to resolve practical problems quickly and effectively. Familiarity with Internet and Intranet a plus, Education: BSCS, or equivalent experience.

New-York-based financial and e-mail firm with branches in Cambridge and Boston

SR RELIABILITY ENGINEER

Implement, coordinate and monitor process/product reliability activities. Maintain communications with internal and external customers in regard to all reliability issues including documenting all communications as a quality record. Managing data integrity, reviewing, optimizing procedures and development of data systems improvements. Systems include; Product Qualifications, Major Process/Unit Process qualifications and Package/Foundry/Subcontractor Qualifications. A BSEE with 7 - 10 years experience or MSEE with a minimum of 3 years experience or equivalent. Experience in Semiconductor Manufacturing and Qualification Methodologies required. -

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Software Engineer

DECset (1 opening) (contractor considereWe have immediate full time opportunities in Burlington MA for a software development professional to work on the team responsible for the maintenance and development of functional enhancements for DECset, DIGITAL's suite of CASE tool. Required Experience BS in Computer Science or related discipline-At least two years experience in software product development-Experience developing or using CASE tools- Programming experience in C (Bliss is a plus) under OpenVM-Ability to work well in a software team environmenSenior Software Engineer; DECwindows (Server) (1 Opening) (contractor considereFor design, development, maintenance, and porting of the various Xli Display Server software and extensions in support of OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX platformRequires: 3 years software development/maintenance-support experience, C programming, Open VMS experience, and networking skills. Preferred: VMS internals (AIX and VAX), Client Server, DECwindows, Motif, Postscript, DECNET, TCP/IP, SDA, driver worSenior Software Engineer; DECwindows (Client) (1 Opening) (contractor considereFor support/integration/verification of GUI (DECwindows MOTIF and GUI) software in support of OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX platforms. Current applications include Fileview, Session Manager, DECwindows MAIL, DECwindows Loginout, Workstation Customization, and implementation of MIT XLI, and Xli Server. Requirement: 3 years programming experience in C, OpenVMS experience, and DECwindows MOTIF programminFor both DEC windows groups, we may consider developers who have extensive use of these tools while writing software for other (non-DECwindows) applications.

PLEASE FAX OR EMAIL YOUR RESUME TO US TODAY OR SIMPLY call and inquire as to any special position or present your wish list so that we may consider your skills and interests in the upcoming months.

Patrick Mertens
Phone: 617-558-7026
FAX: 617-965-7998
EMAIL: patrick@world.std.com

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STANTON GROUP

These positions are based in the Chicago area. There are multiple opportunities at different levels. Relocation assistance is provided. Salary is commensurate with experience.

SOFTWARE QUALITY ENGINEERING LEADER

Responsibilities: Facilitate Software Process Improvements. Perform Software Quality Audits. Implement a Software Metric Program. Champion change and work with teams to institute ongoing process improvement.

Preferred Experience: Experience in Software Quality Methods, Process Improvement Initiatives, and Metrics. Knowledge of SEI, ISO and other software industry standards. Proven performance in implementing process improvement. Ability to lead/consult in Software Process Methodology.

SOFTWARE QUALITY ENGINEERS

Responsibilities: Will promote leading edge software methods, processes, best practices, and tool suites. The individuals in this role will also assist internal client organizations in establishing a superior software development environment. This is meant to be a "blue collar consultant" type of role, meaning that SQA team members will "roll up their sleeves" and help tackle a problem and implement a solution rather than merely advising.

Preferred Experience: Metrics reporting and measurement analysis. Familiarity with SEI's CMM. Good verbal and written communication skills. BSCS/BSEE (or equivalent experience), or BS/BA in Statistics (or equiv. experience)

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SOFTWARE METRICS MANAGER

Responsibilities: Maintain in-depth expertise in software development measurement and metrics.Manage and support measurement and metrics deployment activities. Function as a change agent within the organization. Conductresearch required to develop metrics practices. Operate metrics collection, analysis and reporting on an on-going basis.

Preferred Experience: The ideal candidate will have the following skills and experiences: Metrics-driven software improvement, including designing and implementing software metrics. Leader in the adoption and use of software measurement. Applied measurement to development of business or scientific systems. Strong knowledge of the software development life cycle. Background in metrics as well as software quality (CMM, ISO9000, etc.) Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, especially writing skills. Knowledge of function point measurement and usage a plus

Please forward inquiries and resumes to:

John Keister
The Stanton Group, Inc.
830 W. Main Street, Suite 365
Lake Zurich, IL 60047
(847) 540-1183
(847) 540-1154 fax
keister@stantongp.com
http://www.stantongp.com

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TEKTRONIX

Tektronix, a world-class manufacturer of Electronics Test & Measurement Equipment, Digital Video Editing Devices, and Color Printers has an excellent opening in our Portland, Oregon facility:

SR SOFTWARE PROCESS IMPROVEMENT ENGINEER: Here is an opportunity to significantly influence software engineeringprocesses and enironments throughout our successful Measurement business division. Our goal is to have a superior, continuously improving software engineering capability that supports MBD stategic initiatives. This effort involves nurturing and facilitating commitment, ability, mature and relevant process, and measurement to support continous software process improvements.

A successful candidate will have at least 10 years experience in software development and/or management and have a passion for continuous process improvement. This mature, results-oriented leader should have excellent communication skills, good organizational skills, and be able to define, plan and implement general approaches and specific solutions for software processimprovement. Strong abilities in mentoring, team development and managing change are required. Individual should have extensive knowledge and experience in software and product development processes and methods, including expertise in several of the following requirements: engineering, product planning, architectures, design methodologies, formal technical reviews, testing and evaluation, software metrics, configuration management, software maturity level assessments, system integration. Experience in technical issues and methods regarding development of real-time embedded systems preferred. Hands-on expertise with software development environments, industry standards, reuse, project management, software engineer education and training, and product development strategies also preferred. Familiarity with the discipline, or the equivalent in working experience. Experience with SEI's CMM also highly desired. B.S. in Computer Science or related discipline. Prefer Master's or Ph.D or equivalent working experience. 10 years experience in SW development, management, process improvement, and/or SQA. For immediate consideration, please paste your resume or send MS Word attachment directly to john.r.gates@tek.com. Principals only, no phone calls please.

To learn more of Tektronix, our products, and our benefits, visit our WWW site at www.tek.com.

John R. Gates
Recruiter, Tektronix, Inc
(503) 627-4621
503) 627-3701 fax
john.r.gates@TEK.COM

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MASTHEAD

The Boston SPIN is a forum for the free and open exchange of software process improvement experiences and ideas. Meetings are usually held on third Tuesdays, September to June.

We thank our sponsors, GTE and Raytheon. We also thank U/Mass at Lowell for hosting our Web page, Digital Equipment Corporation for Ed Maher's SPIN meeting reports, and the Rothman Consulting Group for Johanna Rothman's SPIN meeting reports.

For information about SPINs in general, including ***HOW TO START A SPIN***, contact:

DAWNA BAIRD of SEI,
(412) 268-5539,
dbaird@sei.cmm.edu.

For more information about our programs and events contact:

CHARLIE RYAN,
The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) ESC/DIB (Bldg 1704),
5 Eglin St, Hanscom AFB MA 01731-2116;
(781) 377-8324;
Fax (781) 377-8325;
ryan@sei.cmu.edu.

IN THE SPIN is published monthly or bimonthly September to June. Letters, notices (including job postings), and contributed articles are welcomed. Articles do not necessarily represent the opinions of anyone besides their authors. We do not publish advertisements or job searches, but we gladly publish job postings. IN THE SPIN is available by email and on our Web page.

TO SUBSCRIBE send email address to rprice@ma.ultranet.com. We have 2 separate email lists: one for this newsletter and one containing announcements that we receive from other process organizations and forward out.

TO ADD YOURSELF TO THE ANNOUNCEMENTS LIST send email to ryan@sei.cmu.edu.

SEND letters-to-editor, notices, job postings, calendar entries, quips, quotes, anecdotes, articles, offers to write, and general correspondence to Sallie Satterthwaite, 508-369-2365, otter@world.std.com.

Back issues and other information about Boston SPIN can be found at our WEB HOME PAGE, http://www.cs.uml.edu/Boston-SPIN/

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