Objective Inspection

British Aerospace used the inspection technique to good effect for the EuroFighter project reducing the number of errors per page from 20 to 1.5.

Inspection needs to be done by someone other than the person who wrote the code, so even if you are a one-man band try and get a programmer friend to look through what you have written. Inspection has two aims: detection and prevention. This approach might appear hierarchical but it's amazing how many bugs come to light when code is read through line-by-line by an experienced programmer.

The other advantage of close scrutiny by an outsider is that an experienced programmer can often point out areas that may lead to trouble in the future. Inspection thus gives you a double payback, and because inspection is done prior to release it's significantly more cost effective than subsequent repair.

Tip If ever you want to test how alert your "inspectors" are, simply introduce some bugs into the code before you give it to them and see how many they spot. To really test / them, use different styles of bug, grammatical, literal, logical, structural, and so on.

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