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[Axiom-developer] Software Checklists and Quality

From: daly
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Software Checklists and Quality
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2014 23:23:31 -0600

I took flying lessons. My instructor was a complete fanatic about
checklists. I learned their value in that context. For example,

   Landing Checklist: Wheels down and locked?

Checklists matter a LOT. People do forget.

It never occurred to me that they could be applied to programming.
This article
expresses the idea that they ought to be applied in software.

There is a nugget of the checklist idea in the regression tests
but it isn't fully formed and reified as "checklisting". Some of
them are encoded in Makefiles but not in an explicit form.

Years ago I started a "release checklist" to make sure I did all of
the steps necessary to pre-check a new release. I thought of checklist
as a crutch for my bad memory rather than an encoding of knowledge.
I'm now trying to encode the list into a continuous integration system.

Given the blog post, I feel that the idea of an explicit effort of
creating, maintaining, and automating checklists could do a lot to
improve the quality of Axiom.



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