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6/4/2010
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Survey: Most Software Bugs Due To Testing, Not Design Defects

Additionally, the software test process is generally considered an unpleasant process, an Electric Cloud survey reveals

Sunnyvale, Calif. — June 2, 2010 - Electric Cloud', the leading provider of software production management (SPM) solutions, today released the results of a survey conducted in partnership with Osterman Research showing that the majority of software bugs are attributed to poor testing procedures or infrastructure limitations rather than design problems. Additionally, the software test process is generally considered an unpleasant process, with software development professionals rating the use of their companies’ test systems more painful than preparing taxes.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents pointed to problems in the testing process or infrastructure as the cause of their last major bug found in delivered or deployed software, not design defects.

Specifically, the survey found:

* Completely automated software testing environments are still rare, with just 12 percent of software development organizations using fully automated test systems. Almost 10 percent reported that all testing was done manually. * Forty-six percent of software developers said they do not have time to test as much as they should. * More than a third of developers, 36 percent, said they do not believe their companies perform enough pre-release testing. * Fifty-three percent said their testing is limited by compute resources.

On occasions when a bug was found in released software, the reported impact to the organization in time and money lost was significant.

* Fifty-six percent of respondents reported that bugs discovered late in development almost always affected release dates. * Forty-four percent of respondents estimated that their last significant software bug resulted in an average of $250,000 in lost revenue and 20 developer-hours to correct. * Developers who felt their companies allotted sufficient time to pre-release testing were less impacted by bugs, spending less than half as much time resolving those bugs compared to other developers—a median of 12 developer-hours compared to 25 developer-hours.

“These survey results illustrate the challenges faced by companies in their software testing process,” said Electric Cloud CEO Mike Maciag. “The continued reliance on slow, resource-intensive manual processes prevents organizations from being as thorough as necessary in their testing. Fully automated test systems save time and effectively utilize physical, virtual or cloud resources, while greatly reducing the risk of human error. Automated test systems help make developers and testers more efficient and effective in finding bugs before they reach the end user.”

“As the software we rely on each day continues to grow in complexity, it becomes more and more essential that bugs are caught and repaired quickly,” said Michael Osterman, CEO of Osterman Research. “With 88 percent of the companies represented in this survey still using manual testing to some extent and respondents rating dealing with their test systems as more painful than dealing with taxes, it’s clear that software developers still have a long way to go toward full automation and effective test systems.”

A total of 144 software development professionals including software developers, testers, managers, and executives were surveyed from organizations with at least 1,000 employees and 50 developers across a variety of industries. Respondents were selected using a combination of the Osterman Research survey panel and an external provider’s survey panel. The median number of employees at the organizations surveyed was 5,000 and the median number of developers was 300. Most organizations surveyed were located in North America.

For more information on fully automated testing, visit Electric Cloud’s Solutions page at http://electriccloud.com/solutions/test_automation.php.

About Electric Cloud

Electric Cloud is the leading provider of software production management (SPM) solutions. Electric Cloud solutions automate, accelerate and analyze software build-test-deploy processes to optimize both physical and virtual IT environments. The company's patented and award-winning products help development organizations to speed time to market, boost developer productivity, and improve software quality. Leading companies across a variety of industries, including semiconductors, enterprise IT, ISVs, mobile devices, and transactional Web sites rely on Electric Cloud's Software Production Management solutions to transform software production from a liability to a competitive advantage. For customer inquiries please contact Electric Cloud at (408) 419-4300 or www.electric-cloud.com.

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