Quality Is Hot, H1-B Visas Are Not

Wide-ranging survey reveals key issues for development managers
By Alan Zeichick

April 1, 2005 --

If you ask software development managers what they’re thinking about, you’re likely to hear something like “testing and quality assurance.” At least, that’s what we heard when we asked SD Times readers in a recent poll what were the issues on the top of their minds.

Click Here to see the Survey ResultsThe most popular responses were testing and quality assurance, from 52.8 percent of respondents, component development/code reuse (47.0 percent), modeling and design (45.5 percent) and collaboration and team development (42.6 percent).

By contrast, the least popular response was on the issue of managing hiring with H-1B visas (1.5 percent). An H-1B visa is a U.S. temporary work permit given to a non-U.S. citizen with special expertise, upon sponsorship by a U.S. company.

Other low-scoring topics included the Linux/SCO lawsuits (3.1 percent), indemnification from litigation (4.0 percent) and domestic outsourcing (6.8 percent). Offshoring development was slightly more popular, with 12.4 percent of readers stating that this was a top-of-mind topic.

But even though litigation didn’t rank high on the scale, it was of significant importance to some respondents. “Even though this might look like a non-related issue to software development it actually is,” wrote Paresh Yadav, CTO of Saint Technologies. “Litigations by corporate bullies in IT industry to stall innovation using unfair methods, mainly frivolous litigations. I am not against patent or copyright for real hard research work but sometimes we all know patents are granted for a very basic idea and proposed methods.”

Gordon McKeown, technical director at Facilita, agreed. “Software patents are a ligature around the throat of small companies,” he wrote.

Other top topics included application life-cycle management (41.3 percent), system and software security (38.0 percent), agile development (36.9 percent) and business process management (33.8 percent). Clearly less important were themes such as developing 64-bit applications (10.4 percent), regulatory compliance (11.0 percent), aspect-oriented programming (11.5 percent) and moving up the Capability Maturity Model scale (11.5 percent).

Open-source development, at 28.5 percent, ranked toward the middle of the scale—but that doesn’t mean that it was popular. “A lot of the press seems to get overly excited about open source vs. proprietary development,” admonished Doug Stein, vice president of development and technology at Learning.com. “Precious little is focused on what’s best for the customer and what rewards the shareholder. Too much seems to be the geek equivalent of the silverback males pounding their chests.”

Another topic that was in the middle of the responses is the current buzzphrase, service-oriented architectures (31.6 percent). “SOA is high on our agenda, and developing an appropriate enterprise service bus is proving more challenging than first thought,” wrote Robert Leidl, chief technology officer at Powerlan.

The SD Times readership issues survey was conducted in late February, and had 453 respondents. The statistical accuracy of this research is 3 percentage points.

To view the original ST Times article, please click here.

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