Oh, the joy of random Google searches! Earlier today I was looking for something regarding software testing—the details don’t matter to this story. But one of the Google search results brought up a 2008 issue of an English-language Romanian publication called “Journal of Applied Quantitative Methods”—and the reference had my name in it.

Odd, that.

The article in JAQM, entitled “Testing: First Step Towards Software Quality,” was by two scholars, Ioan Mihnea Iacob and Radu Constantinescu. It referenced a brief story that I wrote for SD Times back in 2005 called “Quality Is Hot, H1-B Visas Are Not,” which presented survey results from a BZ Research study.

After getting over the all-too-human reaction of being flattered that my newspaper story was quoted in a scholarly journal, I read the Iacob/Constantinescu paper. Fascinating. The authors laid out a solid approach to software testing in an engineering organization, making the case for a formalized approach toward training both developers and testers. Not only that, but they present a potential curriculum that can be applied to either academic courses or professional development.

To quote the conclusion of the paper, which I urge you to read:

Efficiency and quality are best served by approaching testing activities in a structured and scientific way, instead of the, unfortunately, usual ‘monkey-testing.’ The effectiveness of testing effort can be maximized by selection of appropriate testing strategy, good management of testing process, and appropriate use of tools to support the testing process. The net result would be an increase in the produced software quality and a decrease in costs, both of which can only be beneficial to a software development organization.

However, in order to be able to put quality processes into place, the appropriate knowledge is needed. The quality engineering should be recognized as a standalone area of study and treated as such in the computer science universities and faculties curricula in the emergent software development market that Romania is. Taking the right path can never be too early; it can only be too late.

It’s a good paper, and I’m glad to have stumbled across it.

Changing the subject entirely: AnDevCon II, our Android developer conference, is Nov. 6-9 in the San Francisco Bay Area. As the conference chairman of AnDevCon II, I’m excited about how fast this event has grown, and am looking forward to meeting our speakers, attendees and sponsors there. I hope you’re one of them; if so, please flag me down and say hello.

Alan Zeichick is editorial director of SD Times. Read his blog at ztrek.blogspot.com.