In air traffic control systems, safeguarding hundreds of thousands of people's lives per day requires a different level of testing from a word processor that sits tapping away on a person's desk. Yet all programs need to be consistently and comprehensively tested. To ensure this, write down the checklists that each product must pass before being considered as a release candidate. A checklist might look like this:

♦ New code scrutinized by development manager

♦ One hour of internal testing per day

♦ Passes test plan

♦ One week's public beta testing

♦ No reported Class A or B bugs remaining

Note A release candidate is a version of the software that you are prepared to make public. Test versions for beta testing are not surprisingly referred to as test candidates.

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