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Release It! by Michael T. Nygard

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Aiming for the Right Target

Most software is designed for the development lab or the testers in the Quality Assurance (QA) department. It is designed and built to pass tests such as, “The customer’s first and last names are required, but the middle initial is optional.” It aims to survive the artificial realm of QA, not the real world of production.

When my system passes QA, can I say with confidence that it is ready for production? Simply passing QA tells me little about the system’s suitability for the next three to ten years of life. It could be the Toyota Camry of software, racking up thousands of hours of continuous uptime. It could be the Chevy Vega (a car whose front end broke off on the company’s own test track) or a Ford Pinto, prone ...

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