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Established September, 1992

Newsletter of the Boston SPIN

Issue 15, August 1997

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Contents


CALENDAR

Sebtember 16 (Tuesday)

Boston SPIN meeting

A Simple Approach to Achieving CMM Level 2

Guest speakers: James P. Driscoll and Unmesh Gundewar of EDS

Refreshments 6:30, meeting 7-8:30. Free, wheelchair accessible.

GTE Building #5,
77 A Street, Needham
Info: 617-563-4197, ken.oasis@fmr.com

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NOTICES

New ASQ(C) Journal -- Software Quality Professional

The American Society for Quality (ASQ) is preparing to launch a new quarterly journal, Software Quality Professional, for those involved in applying quality principles to the development and use of software. Each issue will feature authoritative, practical articles that span the Body of Knowledge established for the ASQ Certified Software Quality Engineer. You can think of Software Quality Professional as a continuing-education resource for the practitioner. The publication will be the official publication of the ASQ Software Division, with a readership of thousands of your colleagues, who will find it their leading personal-development tool.

The journal will begin publishing in 1998. It will feature useful articles on world-class software quality practices. As a software practitioner, you should consider sharing your experiences and insights. Submissions can take the form of:

  • experience-based reports on techniques, tools, or other issues
  • illustrative case studies
  • topical surveys, including annotated bibliographies
  • practical applications of research results
  • short communications on relevant concerns
  • reviews

Anyone interested in submitting material should request an author's kit. Please pass this information to colleagues who might also consider contributing.

Submit inquiries to:

Software Quality Professional
Taz Daughtrey, Editor-In-Chief
American Society for Quality
P.O. Box 3005 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-3005 USA
1-804-237-2723 (voice/fax)
t.daughtrey@computer.org

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MEETING REPORTS

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

WATTS HUMPHREY -- WHAT IF YOUR LIFE DEPENDED ON SOFTWARE?

Summary

This was a very entertaining presentation. Watts has as much experience and knowledge about this stuff as anyone. He speaks credibly and backs up just about everything he says with metrics. I anticipated this being a "what if" kind of discussion. However, he started out be pointing out that our lives already DO resolve around software. Among other things, software lands planes when people can't see, software transfers a trillion dollars a day around the world; and software accelerates steers, and brakes our cars.

This talk was essentially selling the benefits of the Personal Software Process (PSP), but he touched on a lot of things. What I saw as his key points were:

  • There is a lot of compelling defect data out there to make us all concerned about the quality of the software that we are creating. It also should make us worry about the quality of the software that we use as customers (airplanes, banks, hospitals, ...)
  • Using only testing to find defects is inherently flawed.
  • Following the PSP is an effective way to improve productivity and to improve the quality of delivered software.

Some Defect Data

He presented some interesting industry statistics about defects: On average, experienced programmers make a mistake about every 10 lines of code. He described a spread of "good" software with 70 to 80 defects introduced per thousand lines of code (KLOC), and poor software with 130 defects introduced/KLOC. Small modifications have three to five times as many defects. 30% - 50% of small fixes have defects in them.

This sounds like a lot of defects, but many of these defects are fixed in test; and most have to be fixed before the program will run at all. The real problem is that programs with defects can run.

Watts related defects to land mines; they are hard to find, and they don't cause any problems until they are encountered. Testing is like following a road through a minefield; you're "safe" as long as someone else has already been there.

He showed us a conceptual graph of the tested and untested regions of a program, pointing out that the defect density of the tested region is likely to be similar to the defect density of the regions that were not tested. Unless every single nook and cranny of the code can be tested, a clean program cannot be produced simply by testing.

Then (getting back to the title of this talk) he rhetorically asked us what we would do to remove defects from the software that was going to run a plane in which we will be flying. This led to a transition into a discussion about the Personal Software Process (PSP).

The Personal Software Process

Watts has been working on applying the CMM to small orgs or teams for some time now. He developed a course in the PSP in the early nineties, and his textbook on the topic ("A Discipline for Software Engineering", Addison Wesley) was published in 1995. The PSP is an individual discipline for doing superior software engineering. He has used the PSP in writing books and preparing presentations.

The PSP assumes that an organizational framework is in place which supports a competent software engineering process.

He briefly touched on the CMM and how it relates to PSP. The CMM is focused on an organization and describes "what" and not "how." It assumes that the engineers know "how".

One common misunderstanding is that once Level 5 has been achieved, process improvement is no longer necessary. This isn't true -- the process always has to evolve because the nature of the business is always changing. However, once Level 5 has been achieved, process improvement can be done most efficiently.

Some graphs were presented to illustrate the benefits of moving up the Capability Maturity Model scale. They showed improvements in; cost performance, schedule performance, productivity, and quality.

The median results from an SEI study of 13 software organizations showed:

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Yearly cost of improvement $245,000
Years engaged in improvement 3.5
Cost per software engineer $1,375
Productivity gain per year 35%
Yearly reduction in time to market 19%
Yearly reduction in post-release defects 39%
Business return per dollar invested $5

(This data came from SEI Technical Publication CMU/SEI-94-TR-13.)

As he presented this, he pointed out that this is an area that a lot of people dwell on. ("What's the ROI?") More than once he mentioned that often this question is really a smokescreen for resistance based on other factors. Watts believes that they really aren't asking for a number -- they are saying that they don't believe that there is value. Providing them with an ROI number is unlikely to satisfy them.

He stressed the importance of having conviction when planning to use PSP. This can be a Catch-22 because it's hard to show someone the benefits until they've used it, and it's hard to get them to use it if they lack conviction.

Some PSP data was presented to illustrate that as PSP is introduced; a person's productivity goes up, the number of defects introduced goes down, and the number of defects shipped goes down. Most of the data was from PSP student examples, but he did have data from some companies that have used PSP. One company had a history of needing 1.5 to 3 months for system test (and they still shipped defects). After PSP, system test is taking them 3 - 5 days and they have yet to see a defect reported from the field.

A key aspect of the PSP has to do with the use of formal reviews (as opposed to testing) as the way to find defects. He described testing as a filtering exercise. The number of defects found in test correlates to the number of defects left to be found -- if you find a large number of defects in a test phase, then it's likely that a high number remain undiscovered.

Someone asked about the debate over when to inspect code (before or after compile). Watts believes that it is more efficient to do the inspection before compile. He also said that he has the data to prove this and that those arguing the other side do not have any data supporting their position. His data shows that the time to review is essentially the same whether it is done before or after clean compile; but by inspecting before compile, you can drastically reduce the compile clean-up time.

Someone else asked if one language is easier to review than others. Watts said that he has a lot of data on this and it all looks the same; C, C++, and ADA were statistically identical. The differences between individuals overwhelm any difference in language.

He had a brief aside about the Year 2000 problem. He quoted Capers Jones as comparing Y2K to a hurricane; it is dangerous when it happens, and if people aren't prepared, then the clean-up could take years. Watts believes that Y2K will continue to be a career for a lot of people (even after the millenium). In his estimation, 30 to 50% of the Y2K fixes will in some way be defective.

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Questions and Answers (paraphrased):

Q: This seems to presume that you start out with well defined product requirements; when in fact, most end-of-project reviews identify a lack of clear or stable requirements as being a fundamental problem. Does PSP address this?

A: This is a good point. The purpose of PSP isn't to show how to make products, it is to show the value of a defined process. He has begun thinking about the TSP (Team Software Process), which addresses how to build products (and addresses requirements).

Q: Any chance of extracting some of PSP and teaching it to enough engineers to attack the Year 2000 problems?

A: As an answer he related a story about a Y2K contract company that went out and recruited 15 college grads (out of 160 applicants), sent them to Cobol school, then taught them the CMM, and then taught them PSP. They now have more than enough contracts to keep them busy and they are doing high quality work. He even thought that these folks lacking experience made them better candidates for this situation.

Q: How do PSP and the CMM relate to ISO 9000 ?

A: They are very consistent. ISO 9000 certification is roughly equivalent to being between Level 2 and Level 3 on the CMM scale -- but it does not require an improvement framework. The problem is when the goal is to get a certificate and not to improve the process.

Q: How much time does it take to collect the metrics needed to do PSP? A: The time to collect is peanuts. Q: Does this apply to other professions?

A: Many other professions already have disciplined training and processes in place (i.e., surgeons, pilots, musicians). He took this opportunity to address the common refrain that "This process stuff reduces my creativity." He reiterated that these people should talk with successful artists and musicians, and see the process and discipline behind their work. Performing a three-hour musical recital without error takes discipline. Often it isn't creativity that is being protected, it is sloppiness. In fact, their creativity is being wasted with all the time fixing defects.

Q: What about the fact that people have to live with management making a low bid in order to get the job?

A: There are two separate issues: What will it take to do the work, and what risk does the organization want to take in its bid. PSP and the CMM improve an organization's ability to know what it will take. They don't address business risks.

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THE SPIN DOCTOR
(Judi Brodman)

RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI) AND THE COST OF QUALITY (COQ)

SP 96 last December in Brighton, England included discussions about the cultural differences that affect the manner in which we conduct SPIN meetings around the world, SPICE (its trials, assessments and status), the CMM (our experiences using it), and Return on Investment (ROI) (how we calculate it). It seems that we all face the challenge of answering the same tough software process improvement questions no matter where in the world we live -- questions such as how will software process improvement help us, where do we start, what model should we use, and how do we measure improvement and/or return on investment. Because of organizational factors such as size, culture, goals, and structure, there is no single answer for any question.

A reader asks: "How do I find out the cost of quality in software development? . . . I don't know much about the cost of quality, and would like to have some indication how to determine such a cost."

To start with, for a good understanding of the concept of Cost Of Quality (COQ), read Quality is Free and Quality Without Tears, by Philip B. Crosby. Both are short and are available in paperback (McGraw Hill).

To help me answer this question further, and because Raytheon was the first company to shine a public spotlight on COQ as a method for calculating ROI from software process improvement, I contacted Ray Dion. He sent me a paper and we had a little dialogue; these are the basis of the rest of this column. Thank you, Ray!

Crosby defines the Cost of Quality as "the extra cost incurred because the product or service wasn't done right the first time." COQ is the sum of two components: the cost of non-conformance (rework) and the cost of conformance. Non-conformance costs are the direct and indirect costs associated with reworking a product or service because it wasn't done right the first time. Conformance costs are appraisal costs and prevention costs.

Let's talk about rework for a minute. One of the most costly activities in software development is reworking or redoing what has already been done. For some reason, we have come to accept mountains of rework as part of our every day activities -- in some cases, we may not think of it as rework. For example, we spend precious schedule time on fixes for code defects when software doesn't perform as expected (functionality or error?), or on redesign of a user interface because the customer expects something different from what is provided to them (insufficient/incorrect customer requirements?). Take a minute to think of the time and effort you would save on your current project if you didn't have to redo anything. Compare your answer with Raytheon's answer later in this column!

In calculating the cost of conformance, appraisal costs result from evaluating or testing the product or service to determine whether it is faulty, and prevention costs result from steps to reduce or eliminate rework. For example, appraisal costs include software quality assurance activities such as testing (unit, component, and system), whereas prevention costs include activities such as inspections/walkthroughs and software process improvement programs.

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Raytheion's Approach

Crosby's concepts result in a system of three cost categories: rework, appraisal, and prevention. In order to be able to allocate "all" software project costs, Raytheon added a fourth cost category -- performance costs. Performance costs are those costs which are absolutely necessary in developing the software product even in an error-free environment. In other words, it is the cost of doing it right the first time. Any project software cost that is not rework, appraisal, or prevention is performance.

Breaking these four cost categories into subcategories, defining the subcategories, and mapping project activities and costs to them proved to be a difficult task. In Ray's words, "The work breakdown structure used on the software projects did not map well to the COQ categories. And, the definitions of each subcategory, which were rather brief for reasons of simplicity, were subject to misinterpretation.

"We addressed the first problem by taking both a short term and [a] long term solution. In the short term, project costs would continue to be collected using the conventional work breakdown structure, and project leads would, periodically, manually remap all costs to the Cost of Quality subcategories. In the long term, a common work breakdown structure would be developed to provide as close a mapping to the Cost of Quality as possible. This would also entail a revision of the cost accounting system and possibly the time card reporting system as well.

"The second problem was addressed by refining the definitions as we gained experience in using them. This literally required five iterations of the initial data gathering exercise before we obtained a satisfactory level of consistency."

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Early Experiences

Raytheon's early experiences using the COQ model included the following:

  1. Many questions arose about how to allocate costs to subcategories. There was much variation in the methods used to break the actual costs down to the defined cost category. These were resolved by refining the subcategory definitions and by analyzing and comparing the sub-allocation algorithms employed by the six project leaders.
  2. Initially, it was necessary to have the project leader, rather than an administrator, generate the data, because the project leader had first-hand knowledge of project particulars as well as the experience to make sound engineering decisions.
  3. The data showed that the average cost of rework had decreased following the start of the Process Improvement Initiative. "In the two years prior to the Initiative, the rework costs had averaged about 41% of project costs. In the two years following, that value had dropped to about 20% and the trend was continuing downward."
    • As expected, these rework savings were achieved at the expense of a small increase in appraisal or prevention costs. "For example, appraisal costs rose when informal reviews were replaced by formal inspections and prevention costs rose when inspection training was instituted. Also, rework costs associated with fixing defects found during design rose from about 0.75 percent to about two percent of project cost and those associated with fixing defects found during coding rose from about 2.5 percent to about four percent of project cost."
    • The major reduction in rework cost was an 80% drop in the cost of fixing source code problems found during integration. The second largest reduction in rework cost was a 50% drop in the cost of re-testing. Ray's comments about the reason for the reductions are described at the end of this list.
  4. Cost of Quality analysis was not inexpensive -- $25K of overhead. Raytheon did repeat the COQ exercise about a year later and added the process to the normal senior management process reviews on a semi-annual basis. What caused the reduction in rework costs? We all think of identifying and then calculating the individual pieces that constitute elements of the ROI as a difficult task. Ray attributes it primarily to inspections, but he adds that Raytheon's ROI analysis during the four-year span 1990 to 1993 "did not attempt to differentiate between the effects of the many individual changes that were being made during the period of the software process improvement starting in August 1988. When the first analysis was done (about Oct 1990) we had already been improving the process for two years. Changes in that time included not only inspections, but also other improvements such as:
    • better software project planning procedures
    • software engineering policy enforced on all projects
    • software development practices covering all life cycle phases
    • Indoctrination training in development practices
    • increased tool support for development process
    • meaningful risk management methods
    • extensive use of performance metrics
    • detailed procedures and training in 7 specific areas
    • integration and extensive use of CASE tools
    • robust requirements management procedures
    • better communication between individuals and projects
    • staff participation in process improvement activities

"Although we certainly saw the benefit in inspections, we saw rework reduction benefits in many other areas as well, which is why we didn't try to differentiate, but only looked at the bottom line."

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Lessons Learned

Raytheon logged the following lessons learned from using the COQ approach:

  1. By 1993, after three years, the data-gathering exercise had become more routine. Although the full analysis was being made semi-annually, some department managers were requiring their project leaders to provide the COQ data along with their normal monthly tracking data.
  2. The COQ approach would not suffice as the single means of measuring the results of process improvements. Raytheon also collected productivity data from individual projects expressed as equivalent delivered source instructions (EDSI) per person-month of development effort. They combined the data from all projects using a weighting function and the results showed that average productivity was, in fact, increasing as a function of time, meaning that jobs were costing less.
  3. Raytheon's management needed to be reassured that the improved productivity figures were being used to bid new jobs. To address this, they collected data on each project's budgeted (predicted) cost and actual cost at completion (CAC). This cost-performance index ratio (CAC/Budget) for each project was then used to compute a monthly weighted average (using the same approach as for COQ) to yield a plot of this time-variant measure. "The results were encouraging, showing that the cost performance index was improved dramatically from about the 20% overrun range prior to the start of the Initiative to the +1 to 2% range by late 1992 and early 1993."
  4. More emphasis should have been placed on transitioning to a common work breakdown structure geared to the collection of COQ subcategories. The initial approach they developed for calculating the COQ is still being used today.

Conclusion

Ray concludes, "The Cost of Quality analysis used by Raytheon's Equipment Division is a viable mechanism for measuring the overall effect of software improvement. It can be used to monitor and reduce software's Cost of Quality thus increasing productivity and predictability. It can be used to isolate software scrap and try to drive it to zero. The information learned in applying the approach can benefit the projects involved in the analysis by providing early feedback and can also benefit improvement of the organization's standard process."

I hope that this short discussion on the Cost of Quality has given you some insight into the activities, investments, benefits and impacts of calculating COQ. You may not choose to apply Raytheon's scope and level of detail at this time, but you can perform some simple analysis of your rework effort and take steps to reduce it.

  • Start by defining the items that your group is redoing. Hold a lunchtime meeting and have your software engineers list the rework they have done during the last day, week, or month.
  • From that information generate an online template designed to gather cost and process improvement data such as the type of rework item (code bugs, design flaws, insufficient customer requirements, etc.), time spent on rework, activities that could/would have eliminated the need for rework (user interface shown to customer earlier, requirements template for the customer to fill out, design/code peer reviews, code swaps, etc.).
  • Ask the software engineers to fill out these templates and return them to you or to a "suggestion box." Offer a small prize (once a month?) for cost-saving ideas -- movie tickets, pizza, etc.
  • Most of all, make the analysis fun and interesting for everyone and show that the analysis will lead to change.

This column is for you; let's make a difference!! Send your comments and questions to " Dear SPIN Doctor" at brodman@tiac.net or directly to the Editor. Sign them or use a "pen-name" -- I respect your confidentiality!!

-- The SPIN Doctor

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JOB BANK

=====Start Bradford=====

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 1997 22:58:38 -0400
From: robert spillane rjs@ibm.net

Here is a request for a lead role in SEi-CMM deployment. If you or any one that you know is interested please tell Carl that you obtained this information from me. It is not in the Boston area. That is all I am allowed to state about the position. Thanks. Bob

From: Carl Bradford carl.bradford@airmail.net

Bob, as I mentioned to you on the phone today, I am an executive recruiter searching for a Sr.. Software QA professional with SEI CMM background to head a Fortune company's software QA processes. This client is a very well known company, with operations throughout the world. This is a "blue chip" firm with a great reputation.

We seek an individual that is capable of heading this effort and leading the company through the process. The individual needs background in implementation of SEI CMM along with great interpersonal skills. This is a permanent position, with excellent compensation and benefits. It is located in a very attractive city.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in at least exploring this opportunity, please let me know. I can be reached me via email or at my toll free number: 1-888-281-3434. Please pass this along to any colleagues who you think could benefit from the information. Regards Carl Bradford Bradford Consulting Companies

=====End Bradford=====

=====Start Cape Cod=====

A limited list of openings on Cape Cod can be found at www.capetech.com. Compliments of the Cape Cod Technology Council, Inc.

=====End Cape Cod=====

=====Start Devlin=====

Date: Mon, 07 Jul 1997 09:48:18 -0400

From: "John A. Devlin" devlinsearch@earthlink.net

Organization: Devlin Search Group, Inc. Subject: Year 2000 and SQA positions.

I have over 750 OPEN positions for Year 2000 (DEC focused), IBM - D&B/SmartStream and MUMPS developers. These positions go from Coder to VP IT, CIO, CKO. Salaries go from 50K-250K.

Jack Devlin, President DSG

=====End Devlin=====

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=====Start Kronos=====

Date: Fri, 08 Aug 97 16:54:08 EST
Senior Engineers/Project Leads - TKCS (CSS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Apply leading edge technology to Kronos's client/server time & attendance software project.

Requirements: We have a number of openings for senior software developers and technical project leads to contribute to the creation of a suite of products for time and labor management. We are seeking individuals with some or all of the following experience:

  • object-oriented languages, particularly Java and Smalltalk
  • Windows development
  • client/server or distributed applications
  • distribution technologies such as COM, DCOM, CORBA, RMI
  • Internet technologies
  • GUI development
  • Kiosk application software
  • database and network experience
  • A minimum of six years development experience is required, along with excellent written and verbal communication skills.
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Software Engineering Manager (CSS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Kronos's Software Engineering Manager will be joining and providing leadership to a development organization focused on using object-oriented client-server technology to deliver best-in-class Time and Labor Solutions. He/she will be responsible for establishing aggressive product delivery goals and predictably meeting them with high quality products. Responsible for ensuring the development of a healthy, energetic, and productive team and environment, while contributing to and fostering collaborative cross-organizational and cross-functional teamwork.

Requirements: Requires 10+ years experience in software development with 5+ years in a management role, managing teams of 15+ engineers.

-----

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Client/Server Systems Architecture (CSS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: We are looking for an individual to lead the architecture, design, and implementation of Kronos's integrated family of object-oriented client/server enterprise applications. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of a BS (Master's preferred), and 10+ years of industry experience (3+ years as a lead architect). Requires the ability to effectively work with, coordinate the efforts of, clearly communicate with, and influence senior engineers, engineering management, and representatives of other functional organizations throughout the company.

Requirements: Experience developing complex object-oriented, scalable software products is required. Designing and implementing web applications, multi-tier/distributed systems, database systems, or high-performance transaction processing systems are pluses.

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Client/Server Project Manager (CSS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Hit the ground running and apply leading edge technology to Kronos's client/server time & attendance software project. Major responsibilities include developing and managing plans to deliver an integrated family of products. Provide leadership and asks as a mentor to engineering managers and project leaders. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of a BS (Masters' preferred), and 10+ years industry experience (3-5 years as a project manager).

Requirements: Demonstrated expertise in a complex software development environment. Must be technically savvy, but need not be an engineer.

-----

Technical Project Lead/Web Client (CSS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Technical Project Lead for Kronos's client/server Web development group. 7+ years experience in an application development role, as well as prior team leadership experience in a complex object-oriented environment.

Requirements: Web and Windows experience is required. DCOM/CORBA, distributed processing, and/or Smalltalk desired.

-----

Database Administrator (CSS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Join Kronos's database group. We are seeking a hands-on DBA for a complex client/server, multi- relational database, software development project. Requires 2+ years DBA experience in a client/server environment using Borland Interbase, Oracle or equivalent relational database on Windows NT/95/UNIX platforms.

Requirements: Must have hands-on experience with database installation, maintenance, tuning, back-up/recovery, security, SQL, stored procedures, triggers,and production. Knowledge of C/C++ and Java a plus.

-----

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SQA Engineer - Release/Support (CSS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Working closely with Kronos's support and service organizations, provide post-release support, investigate problems, reproduce customer problems, and test solutions. SQA experience on client/server, network, and database applications, along with the ability to research, design, and implement the support/correction process.

Requirements: Working knowledge of automated testing tools (i.e., QA Partner, DB Tester, etc.) is required. Must be familiar with Oracle, SQL Server, Informix, Win 95, and NT. Knowledge of Installshield and the Microsoft Logo Certification process a plus.

-----

Software Engineer - ADP (CSS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Work in Kronos's ADP group developing the eTime product line. This product line includes both a low end product and a mid-sized desktop product. These are Windows products based on the Next Generation Product department Smalltalk objects. Object reuse within the product line will be employed. Re

quirements: BSCS or equivalent with at least four years of product development experience. Knowledge of object-oriented technology, Windows development, and Smalltalk is desired, but not required. Training will be provided in these areas for the right candidate. Must be highly motivated and a self-starter.

-----

Software Engineers (Picasso) (CSS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Senior engineers needed to participate in the design and development of Kronos' Smart Scheduler product. Smart Scheduler is a Client/Server product which incorporates several innovative user interface features, including graphical editing capabilities, as well as proprietary Kronos scheduling algorithms. We are looking for smart, self-starting individuals who are familiar with Windows development. M.S. in Computer Science or equivalent, and 7+ years software development experience. Knowledge of SQL, relational database, and Delphi are pluses but not requirements.

-----

Software Engineer - Telephony (CSS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Seeking a major contributor to the design and implementation of Kronos's future Teletime versions, telephony based applications and related products.

Requirements: M.S. in Computer Science or equivalent, plus 5 years experience working in a complex object-oriented environment, along with 3 years C++ and MFC. Experience with telephony applications and/or SNT tools a plus.

-----

System Administrator; Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: We seek a seasoned System Administrator to assist in supporting our diverse engineering organization.

Requirements: We require 3+ years system administration experience supporting engineering hardware and software on multiple platforms (UNIX, VMS, Open/VMS, and NT). UNIX and VMS administration is required.

-----

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Information Systems Manager (IS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Kronos's Manager of Information Systems will be responsible for managing help desk operations. Duties include developing the management processes and operations for user support and training, application support, and application management. The selected candidate will have a proven track record in developing and managing a high-volume help desk, along with ability to manage a four person department, and to develop and present training to users/new employees.

Requirements: Bachelor's plus seven years of technical support and training experience.

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Sr. Network Administrator (IS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: You will be responsible for support and the administration of our networks and email systems. Assist with system troubleshooting including, helping system users with resolving problems with applications, conducting system training over the phone or in person. Assist programmers and system managers with deploying, administering, managing and supporting systems.

Requirements: 3-5 years experience, installation and support of Netware 3.1x, Windows NT, and Windows 95 necessary. cc:Mail administration desired, Lotus Notes experience a plus. CNE or MSCE preferred, but not required.

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Sr. Network Administrator (IS); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Support and administer Lotus Notes servers and workstations. Support and administer networks and email systems, backups, and other IS supported applications.

Requirements: 2-3 Lotus Notes experience - design of servers, administration, and installation. 1-2 years Windows 95 and Windows NT experience - installation and trou-bleshooting. Lotus Notes certified preferred, but not required.

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Systems Integration and Test Manager/Director (Win); Waltham, MA

Seeking a leader to champion our system integration and qualification teams responsi-ble for delivery of our industry leading time and labor products. A multi-platform team with solutions on Windows NT, UNIX and OpenVMS, you will be responsible for over-seeing test planning and scheduling across a range of technologies.

Candidates must have as a successful track record in team building and cross group management with demonstrated abilities to get results using defect containment practices, test automation and continuous improvement initiatives. Candidates must have a minimum of a BS, 10 year's experience in software development, and a minim

um 5 years successfully managing test development and qualification teams. -----

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Windows Development Manager (Win); Waltham, MA

Senior engineering manager to lead a team in the delivery of a best-in-class time and labor products for the Windows environment.

Candidates will have a proven track record in high quality, on-time product delivery, team building, and leadership with contribution to fostering cross-organizational teamwork. The ideal candidate brings an excellent balance of project management, abilities to energize and manage teams, and technical capabilities. Requires 10+ years of experience in software development with 5 years leading and managing software development teams.

-----

Network and Communications Architect (Win); Waltham, MA

Seeking an experienced technical leader to create and lead a network and communications architecture, design, and implementation across an integrated family of hardware and software products.

A track record in successful design and development of TCP/IP network or serial communications is a must. Knowledge and experience developing complex system solutions, object-oriented designs, scaleable software and hardware products is required. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of a BS, 10+ years of industry experience with 3+ years as a lead designer/architect.

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Systems Performance Engineer (Win); Waltham, MA Results oriented senior level performance engineer needed to join our C and C++ application development team. Clear demonstration of applied system performance concepts and test techniques is a must.

Experience on Windows NT, UNIX or OpenVMS with a track record of successful product improvements and characterization is required. Excellent communication skills and the ability to work in a team environment is a must. The ideal candidate will have 10 years experience in software development with 5 years experience in performance analysis, testing or optimization.

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Systems Software Engineer (Win); Waltham, MA

You will be part of a multi-platform development team working on our industry leading applications. Join this fast-paced environment offering flexible assignments across Windows 95, Windows NT, OpenVMS or UNIX.

You should have excellent system problem analysis, debug and development skills, as well as working in a C programming environment. Candidates must have a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering or equivalent experience, plus a minimum of 5 year's experience in systems troubleshooting, coding and debugging in a Windows NT, OpenVMS or UNIX environment.

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Software Engineer (Win); Waltham, MA

Responsibilities: Key contributor to ongoing Windows product development (TKWin).

Requirements: B.S. in Computer Science or equivalent, plus 5 years experience working in a Windows environment, using C++ and MFC. Experience with OLE/COM is a plus.

Contact: Lisa Saba, 400 Fifth Avenue, Waltham, MA, 02154 Phone: 617-768-2746 Fax: 617-290-0993 Email: LSaba@Kronos.com

=====End Kronos=====

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=====Start Mertens (3 mailings)=====

Date: Thu, 3 Jul 1997 08:44:42 -0400 (EDT)

From: Patrick E Mertens patrick@world.std.com

Senior Systems Administrator

  • 3+ years of UNIX systems administration experience. Sun Solaris environment preferred.
  • Hands-on experience installing various applications and licenses.
  • Understanding of DNS. NFS. and sendmail.
  • Understanding of general networking concepts: ethernet; subnests; hubs; routers and switches.
  • Familiarity with winNT systems
  • Familiarity with Netbios names, WINS, Domains and DHCP

We seek a self-motivated, strong problem-solver with exceptional communication skills. You must possess an ability to deal with a demanding user population while maintaining a sense of humor! Positive customer service orientation/attitude a must. We offer an opportunity to work In a very diverse environment consisting of many different versions of UNIX as well as other operating systems and network devices. Utilize state of the art software systems in a fast-paced, growing network environment.

Practice (pre-sales) Consultant - CODE #PCMO

  • Assist in client needs assessment for sales Force Automation application (Sales configurations).
  • Conduct Project impact assessment for prospects (Benefits and ROI analysis)
  • Participate in account planning.
  • Manage technical relationship within the account.
  • Deliver sales/technical presentation to technical and executive audiences.
  • Perform demonstrations.
  • Respond to RFPs and RFIs.
  • Coordinate internal corporate resources
  • Develop proposals.

The successful candidate will be technically strong with competence or familiarity in the following areas:

  • Database design and architecture
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Windows 95/Windows NT
  • www development tools
  • GUI tools (VB, PowerBuilder, etc-)
  • Sales Force Automation Tools

An advanced degree is preferred and a willingness to travel as much as 80% is necessary. We seek a self-assured assertive professional with prior pre-Sales experience (1-2 yrs) as well as strong presentation and analytical skills.

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Windows/COM Engineer CODE #COM

  • Write business objects to connect applications to our database layer
  • Write classes for encapsulating database access and synchronization.

If you possess 2+ years of Microsoft Visual C++, some OLE or COM and any relational database (No Access) experience. read on. This may be for you. JAVA or business intelligence objects are nice extras as is experience in product-related applications (manufacturing, retail, order entry).

Product Support representative - CODE #PSRICDE

  • Learn all aspects of product: installation, features, user interfaces, capabilities and limitation, system issues and correct implementation practices.
  • Collaborate with engineering and consulting to help resolve client issues
  • Screen, resolve, follow-up and/or escalate customer issues.
  • Maintain current status of customer issues and bugs.
  • Work with other PSRs to support the client base.

If you are challenged by this opportunity and can meet the prerequisites listed below, we have just the job for you!

  • Responsiveness to client issues is essential
  • BS in Engineering or Computer science.
  • 1 - 3 years experience in a software or engineering environment.
  • Experience working In a UNIX environment is required.
  • Familiarity with object oriented programming and concepts is a plus.
  • Understanding of configuration problems and automation of the engineering process is a plus.

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Analyst or QA Analyst - CODE #AQA

  • Track bug reports; verify bugs; research and communicate workarounds; prioritize bugs-
  • Serve as liaison between CA and the user community.
  • Write detailed test plans.
  • Describe solutions, enhancements and workarounds.
  • Help set discipline. focus and planning.
  • Systems analysis background with PC products. QA optional.

Though there are some CA responsibilities this is not primarily a testing position- we employ junior CA engineers who writs test scenarios and execute the tests. We are looking for a more experienced analyst to handle communications. tracking, prioritization and design

QA Internship- CODE #QAIC

Excellent opportunity for student desiring first-hand, working experience in conjunction with their educational requirements. We will work with your college or university! In this role. you will learn to:

  • Implement and maintain test suites and software tools used to validate functionality of our products.
  • Test the installation and basic features of our products on all supported platforms.
  • Identity. report and track software defects.
  • Participate In reviewing technical documentation.
  • Test bug fixes.
  • Maintain and verify standardized testing environments
  • Perform some site and hardware maintenance.

If you're interested and possess the following basic skills. we'd like to talk with you.

  • Knowledge of programming basics.
  • Working knowledge of UNIX. CC++ recommended.
  • Knowledge of Emacs and/or LISP desired.
  • Organized, self-motivated, detail-oriented.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Desire to work with software developers.
  • Good sense of humor!

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Strategic sales Representative- CODE #SSR'

We have an exceptional opportunity for an aggressive sales professional in our Industrial Products group. If you are challenged and energized by the responsibilities detailed below, we'd like to learn more about you.

  • Sell to major industrial customers through vertical markets in assigned geographical territory.
  • Develop and utilize formal and informal Channels to accomplish sales goals.
  • Develop strong relationships with key people at all levels within the customer's organization.
  • Commit to the ongoing development of sales skills. product knowledge and competitive knowledge within the territory.

View the big picture" to consistently make sound, productive judgments. even when under pressure, and provide useful feedback on a regular basis on all important developments in territory. Qualified candidates will possess most of the experience and personal characteristics described below:

  • BS, BA or equivalent. Technical degree a plus.
  • Five years successful selling experience. Direct Involvement with a complex sales process and/or conceptual selling.
  • Experience with ROI selling.
  • High energy level; aggressive nature. In general, bright and articulate.
  • Self-motivation with high integrity; outstanding interpersonal and personal management skills.
  • Ability to present ideas clearly and directly.
  • Ability to initiate high level relationships within prospects and internally in order to close deals-
  • Leadership and influencing skills and a strong results-orientation

Principal Technical Writer CODE #PTW

Create, update, and deliver high-quality online documentation for companys existing and developing software products: The system for constructing knowledge-based engineering applications, and technology for building consultative selling systems. Software technologies used include object-oriented generative languages, logical configuration. Graphical rendering of solid and wireframe geometry, GUI building, client/server, CAD interfaces, database interfaces, COM, and Java. Our current authoring tools extend the facilities of Framemaker. Our current delivery formats are FrameViewer, WinHelp32, and HTML. Documentation products include: programming reference, conceptual and procedural guides, installation and release notes.

Skills/Experience:

  • 5+ years software documentation design and implementation in Unix or windows environment.
  • Experience with programming languages (particularly LISP, C++, or Visual Basic) and scripting languages.
  • Excellent communication skills. Facility in cooperating with engineering, marketing. training, quality assurance, and release management staff
  • Ability to identify and obtain necessary information from a variety of sources.
  • Ability to plan and execute large-scale documentation projects.
  • Aptitude and experience in automating solutions to documentation problems.

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-------------- Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 16:23:18 -0400 (EDT)

From: Patrick E Mertens

We are looking for truly exceptional individuals both in ability and background. We have a very heavy preference for graduates of the top 25 CS programs in the country with GPAs of over 3.5/4.0. We also require SAT scores and, when applicable, GREs. We also require strong communication skills in all candidates, since the development environment is very discussion intensive. We are interested in people who want to help develop a Web-based service.

SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS FOR FARSIGHT (FOUR OPENINGS) All candidates must have:

  • Very strong C++ skills
  • Unix and Win/NT (32bit)
  • Experience developing commercial/consumer-oriented software
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong desire to WRITE CODE.
  • Familiarity with the demands of a 24x7 development environment
  • Experience working on financial/business applications

Although we are interested in all levels of developers, we are focusing on people with 1-5 years of experience.

In addition to the above skills, we are looking candidates with specific experience to work on one of the following areas:

  1. Core Database - This position requires a developer with extensive relational database experience and strong SQL skills
  2. FarSight's Front End - This programmer must have at least three years of Windows NT experience, very strong C++ coding skills, and experience working with class hierarchies.
  3. QA - Our ideal QA candidate has knowledge of building management and has strong experience in testing automation.
  4. Developing tools for our Financial Services Group: This position requires Visual Basic and Windows skills, as well as OLE coding experience.

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Company Description:

The Cambridge office is devoted to a start-up unit of one of Wall Street's most technologically advanced firms, web-based personal finance service which will allow consumers to conduct their personal finances online, including the ability to trade securities over the Internet, as well as pay bills, manage credit card balances, etc.

We have a casual environment (sneakers and jeans) of intense and highly skilled people. Our developers and systems people work in small teams with plenty of dialogue. Our Cambridge office is approximately 60 people, and the development group is currently around 20, although we are trying to get it up to about 25.

It is a young (9 years), small (700 employees at 5 locations), cutting-edge company specializing in the intersection between technology and finance. At our New York, London, and Tokyo offices, we are engaged in a variety of financial activities, including both proprietary trading and customer financial services-all heavily based on computational techniques.

There are several systems positions available for June in our Cambridge office. Web Resources: We are looking for outstanding individuals to join our team, not programmers to fill cubicle X and do task Y. Also, we do not have set salaries for any given position, since we hire individuals.

Compensation is commensurate with skill and experience. Compensation also includes a generous year-end bonus. Company provides full health insurance (indemnity or HMO), full dental, a 401(k) plan, and a liberal vacation policy. This information must be provided to be considered: Candidate Name, Phone, Email

Position submitted for:

  • Number of years using Unix:___, C/C++:___
  • Longest Unassisted Program in C/C++ (# of lines):___
  • Other Programming Languages: ______________________________________
  • Current Compensation: ___
  • Cumulative GPAs for (separately) B.S.:___, M.S.:___, Ph.D:___
  • SAT: Math:___, Verbal:___
  • GRE: Quantitative:___, Analytical:___, Verbal:___
  • Other Comments: _____________________________________________________

Date: Fri, 8 Aug 1997 10:13:03 -0400 (EDT)

From: Patrick E Mertens Location: Bedford, Mass

This individual must be able to build a business, partner and establish third-party relationships, and also understand the technical and security issues surrounding networking and internetworking, especially the notions of Client-Server and API. Should have some experience working for a firm in the networking arena and managed a services-related group. This person will expand an existing consulting group (1 manager, 2 trainers and 2 consultants) into a group which will be doing $50 million in a few years. Its mission is to train VAR's trainers and their clients as well as customize products, add value services etc. This person should have experience developing policies and procedures, channel distribution relationships and building groups. The level of technical expertise is only that he or she has a understanding of the technology, an engineering background would be helpful but not mandatory.

Patrick Mertens Your Technical Search Consultant
ph 617-558-7026 fx 617-965-7998

=====End Mertens=====

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=====Start People Management Northeast=====

Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:00:05 -0400

Position Title: Manager of Software Processes Reports to: Vice President, Personal Market IT Group Industry: Property/Casualty Insurance Location: New Hampshire coast

Position Description: To start up and manage an SBU's first process management and QA organizations

The right person for this position will have:

  • solid prior experience as a project manager who developed and successfully implemented a client/server system
  • demonstrated experience in having started up a successful process management and quality assurance function
  • expertise in metrics and other performance measuring methodologies
  • clear proficiency in verbal and written communication skills
  • a knowledge of SEI's CMM (Capability Maturity Model) is preferred
  • a bachelor degree, with an MBA and certification in Project Management or QA highly desirable

What is especially appealing about this position? - -

  • opportunity to create from the ground-up a QA organization - -
  • strong executive sponsorship for the success of the project - -
  • reports to a VP with a background in QA and a commitment for it to succeed - -
  • company has substantial financial resources and is willing to use them - -
  • career growth opportunities leading from this position are substantial --

Compensation: competitive with market

Contact:

Jim Bond,
Vice President, Executive Search Division
People Management Northeast, Inc.
Avon, Connecticut
FAX: (860) 676-1130
Internet: jlb2@ix.netcom.com
(preferably in WORD 6.0 or text format)

=====End People Management Northeast=====

=====Start PureFrame=====

From: Robin Miller Date: Mon, 4 Aug 1997 10:00:05 -0400

My name is Rob Miller, I'm part of the Boston SPIN. I have a couple openings for software developers in my start-up company. Our website,www.pureframe.com, and Cool Jobs area specifically should give you a feel for what my company does.

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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-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.

Boston SPIN welcomes volunteers and sponsors.

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-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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