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Error Analysis Process

Error Analysis Process
Error Analysis Process

The process of debugging a software program makes it possible for you not only to estimate the cost of error recovery, but also to obtain valuable information about the nature of errors contained in the software, which you have not had yet. Such information can serve as feedback to further improve the design and testing processes.


The quality of the work of each individual programmer and the entire organization involved in programming activities is significantly increased if the detected errors or at least their subsets are analyzed in detail. This task is difficult and time consuming, because it requires more than just a sketchy error classification, such as “X% errors are logical design errors” or Y”% errors occur in IF statements”. A thorough analysis may include consideration of the following issues:


  • When was the error made? This is the most difficult question, since the answer to it requires a study of the documentation and the history of the project. However, this is the most interesting question. It is necessary to determine the primary cause and time for the occurrence of software errors. This could be, for example, an ambiguous statement existing in the requirements specification, correction of a previous error, or a misunderstanding of end-user requirements.


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  • Who made the error? It is useful to point out that one in ten analysts has made 60% of design errors, or that programmer X made three times as many errors as other programmers (not for the purpose of punishment, but for clarification).
  • What is the cause of the error? It is not enough to determine when and by whom the error was made, it is also necessary to find out why it occurred. Was it caused by someone’s inability to write clearly and concisely enough, a lack of understanding of individual programming language constructs, a typo or punch error, an incorrect assumption, a lack of consideration of invalid input data?
  • How could the error be prevented? What can be done differently in the next project to prevent this type of error? The answer to this question is the most valuable, since it allows us to comprehend and quantify the accumulated experience in designing.
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