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FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) of the Month
in Software Reliability Engineering



Each month I will answer the best software reliability engineering question I have received in this column.

THIS MONTH’S SOFTWARE RELIABILITY ENGINEERING QUESTION:

Q: Which of the following attributes of quality can be incorporated in and measured by software reliability?


a. functionality (presence of features)
b. quality of failure messages
c. ease of learning
d. user friendliness in operation
e. maintainability
f. hardware fault tolerance or recoverability
g. performance
h. extensibility
i. support level (speed of response to support requests)
j. software fault tolerance or recoverability
k. ease of relating user problem to system capabilities
l. tolerance to user faults


A: a, b, d, f, g, j, l


LAST MONTH'S SOFTWARE RELIABILITY ENGINEERING QUESTION:

Q: How can we best convince other engineers and managers of the benefits of SRE?

A: This is a question that could receive a 20-page answer. However, to be brief, the best approach is probably to demonstrate how SRET can help the engineer or manager perform more effectively on the job and advance his/her career. Select and present those advantages that are most relevant to the particular person. A few possibilities:

1. better dialog with customer and more accurate specification of customer needs,
2. improved system engineering and project planning, with reliability receiving more precise and equal consideration,
3. higher productivity, due to more exact and cost-effective satisfaction of customer needs,
4. more efficient testing, due to precise tracking of current reliability level and better understanding of the factors affecting it,
5. more cost-effective program use in operation, through selection of optimum reliability level and better control to that level,
6. more effective choice of software engineering technologies, based on quantitative evaluation of their relative impacts on reliability.
7. better control of reliability of software provided by others.



Submit your software reliability engineering question(s) by email to:
j.musa@ieee.org

I regret that I cannot send you personal answers to questions, due to the volume. We retain the right to use or publish your questions in any medium. Previous questions and answers will appear here for a limited time.

Many of the past questions and answers appear in the book Software Reliability Engineering: More Reliable Software Faster and Cheaper.


JOHN D. MUSA
Software Reliability Engineering and Testing Courses

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