Science projects which require a large software development may use many scientists alongside a few professional
software engineers. Such projects tend to show extreme cases of the general problems associated with software
After introducing an example of a large software development in a science project, the importance of a development
management plan will be emphasised and sections of the plan highlighted and it is explained how these sections address
and prepare for the expected problems throughout the life of the project.
A positive, strongly proactive quality assurance, QA, approach is the common theme throughout. The role of QA is,
therefore, more to guide, support and advise all members of the team rather than only to detect and react to problems.
The top five problem areas addressed are:
1. Vague, late and missing requirements.
2. Few professional software engineers in a large software development.
3. A lack of testers with an appropriate test mentality.
4. Quality Assurance people cannot be everywhere, nor have in-depth skills in every subject.
5. Scientists will want to start coding and see writing documents as a waste of their time.