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Software Inspection Participants

  • Last Updated : 26 Aug, 2020

Software inspection is generally a fully established and proven activity. It was introduced and developed by Michael Fagan (1970s).

It was designed as an elaborated process simply for a systematic review of software artifacts. It is also a process of identifying and detecting defects, errors, violations of development standards, and any other deficiencies in a software product being developed. It also ensures that whether the software product fulfills requirements of client’s or not.

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Life cycle of software with inspections improves quality of product, saves money and resources, reduces overall time of development, etc. Software inspection is usually performed by a group of people or participants. Number of participants can range from a minimum of three to a maximum of six. Required roles are assigned to each individual or participant in an inspection activity. Each participant is assigned to at least one role; however, a participant can perform more than one role. Different roles of various participants are given below :

  1. Moderator :
    Moderator is generally leader i.e. Senior technical member of inspection activity. It simply schedules and conducts meeting. They are basically in charge of process. Moderator is basically responsible for planning, controlling inspection as well as coordinating it and keeping group focused on the purpose of meeting i.e. to identify deficiencies but not fixing it. Moderator also ensures that whether item or product that is needed to be inspected successfully fulfills entry criteria for inspection readiness or not.

    They also ensure that the group does not go off/on tangents and get sticks to a schedule. Moderator is basically an experienced person who exactly knows how to keep participants technically strong and as well as keeps participants away from social skills of killing each other.

  2. Author :
    Author simply develops, creates, and maintains or handles work product that is needed to be inspected. In inspection activity or process, Author is basically considered as a passive participant. He can answer any questions when asked, but he is not allowed and permitted to provide full explanation or defend code. In simple words, they are allowed to answer questions being asked about product during inspection to help other people in understanding work, but they are not allowed to defend his or her work.

    Role of author can be assigned to programmer or designer who is responsible for developing and producing program that is inspected. They are also responsible for solving and fixing any defects that might arise during inspection process.

  3. Reader :
    Reader or Testers simply reads work product to team as they proceed through inspection. Their main work is to read code and find out any defect if present. This role of a reader is usually simple but not insignificant. They generally present code or document at an inspection meeting where they simply read document one at a time.

    In simple words, readers are participants that are responsible for leading inspection team through work product during inspection meeting. They also try to explain functionality of each and every section simply to participants in more clear and understandable way as much as possible with help of various words other than words that are used in work product.

  4. Recorder :
    Recorder or Scribe simply records defects, deficiencies, or any other issues that might arise during inspection process or activity. They mainly focus on providing a log of potential defects during inspection meeting. Reader simply describes and explains defect in writing whenever any issue is identified in document that is being inspected. These defects are then classified by recorder for a better understanding.
  5. Inspector :
    Inspector simply tries to determine and identify errors in work product as reader reads work product. They are generally responsible for improvements that are related to inspection process, standards development, checklist updating, etc. They also raise questions, suggest problems, and criticize document.

    They are also not allowed to attack author or document but rather should be objective constructive. Inspector is basically a skilled person in identifying and detecting errors as he knows critiques and corners where defect can be present. Inspectors might include people from various expertise like marketing, quality assurance, quality control, etc., each for bringing a different viewpoint.

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