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Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering by Robert L. Glass

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Chapter 3. About Quality

Quality is an elusive term. And it is especially elusive in the software field. The elusiveness of the term is the primary focus of that wonderful book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Pirsig 1974). The main character of the book, an academic looking into the real meaning of the word, went mad seeking a workable definition!

No matter how smugly we look at that madness—certainly none of us would ever go mad about this—the fact of the matter is that we in software have done very little better. Oh, we do an “I’ll know it when I see it” kind of thing about quality. But the fact is, we neither agree on a workable definition nor agree on whose responsibility quality in the software product is. And even if we ...

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