Part of the responsibilities of software engineers, developers, programmers, and designers is inspecting the software product they develop and design. This is to make sure that the software is in its best working condition and to address any problems or defects and fix them before the software is distributed to the public for consumption. To know what a software inspection checklist consists of, read the article below to find out!
5+ Software Inspection Checklist Samples
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What is a Software Inspection Checklist?
Inspection in software engineering terms refers to the process of doing a peer review of any work product by software specialists or programmers who look for defects using a well-defined inspection process that is also called a Fagan inspection.
An inspection checklist is a tool used for inspectors as an assurance that a specific software product has been inspected. Unlike other checklists, this checklist must be developed by a team of experts based on their experience. Software development guidebooks also contain checklists for various processes and requirements such as design documents, programming languages, etc.
How to Create a Software Inspection Checklist
1. Conduct a Meeting
Before making a checklist, gather the software developer and programming teams for a meeting. Each must have an agreement on what details to include in the checklist. Remember, the details included in the checklist require a good deal of human judgment so make sure the checklist does that.
2. Details to Include in the Checklist
- Data Faults: This category checks to see if all of the variables of the program are initialized before their values are used if all constant has been given a name and if there is a chance of buffer overflow.
- Control Faults: This category checks to see if the software condition is correct for each conditional statement, if each loop is certain to terminate, and if the compound statements are bracketed correctly or not.
- Input and Output Faults: This category checks to see if all input variables are used or not, whether the assigned output variables are assigned to a value, and if there are chances that these inputs will be corrupted.
- Interface Faults: This category checks to see if all methods and functions have the correct number of parameters, if it has actual and formal matches, if they are present in the correct order, or if they have the same model of shared memory structure.
- Storage Management Faults: This category checks to see if all links have been reassigned correctly if a linked structure is modified if any storage space has been used and properly allocated and if they are de-allocated if they are no longer required.
- Exception Management Faults: This category checks to see if all possible error conditions have been taken into consideration.
- Requirement Inspection Checklist: This is a sub-checklist where you also need to inspect the requirements needed in the software development. This checks if the requirements define if all the information that is needed to be displayed to users, if it address system and user response to all conditions of error, if each requirement is stated clearly, concisely, and unambiguously, if it’s testable, if there are any conflicts, if there are areas that are not yet addressed and if there are any performance requirements that need to be inspected such as response time, data storage requirements, etc.
- Error Handling and Recovery Checklist: This is another sub-checklist that is included in the software inspection checklist. This checks if the software has undergone adequate error condition testing, if return codes are documented, if any return messages are understandable, and if the program allows successful error recovery from process failures, operating system failures, and hardware failures.
What are the advantages of software inspection?
Software inspections provide a number of benefits. It:
- improves productivity by correcting defects early and preventing costly rework
- provides designers and programmers with corrective feedback
- prevents the prolonging of errors in the development process
- provides findings that can be used to improve the software development process early in the project
What is the complete software inspection process?
The complete software inspection process consist of the following steps:
- Complete inspection logistics
- Inspection orientation
- Inspection meetings
- Inspection preparation
- Inspection action items
- Conduct reinspection
What are the different types of software inspection?
There are two different types of software inspection. These are:
- Code review: It is a process of inspection in which a piece or block of code is treated as a defect. It is a defect if it does not deliver the right functionality or sometimes the code needs to be improved performance-wise.
- Peer Review: It is a process of inspection where a group of experts reviews the product. They conduct structured review procedures and provide product checklists and reports.
The details listed above are just some examples on what a software inspection checklist consists of. You still need to discuss with the developers on additional terms or processes to be included in the inspection checklist. This is a technical process so make sure the details in the checklist are accurate and in proper order. If you need a guide to create the checklist, download our sample checklist templates above!
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