This is a re-post of Mark Anthony Velasco’s popular “Motorsports in Software Development,” originally posted February 17, 2015

In motorsports, the “racing line” is defined as the optimal or fastest path a vehicle must take in order to complete the track in the shortest amount of time.

There are several parallels between the racing line and quality assurance in developing software. I define quality assurance as establishing a continuously improving process in order to deliver customer requirements. Note my emphasis on the key objective of delivering on customer requirements.

From initiating the project until completion, the project team should strive to follow the defined process as closely as possible. Whether you are using Agile or Waterfall, the key is to follow the process — the racing line! Deviating from that process will only lead to delays and/or quality issues.

Although one caveat is that even when you follow the process, you may still find quality issues. Strive for perfection but don’t be afraid to face the fact that issues may still arise. Also, don’t use issues with quality as an excuse to drop a methodical approach. Look at it this way instead — those issues present great opportunities to improve the process. In developing software, put the emphasis on following your racing line to yield high-quality results. Then lap after lap, strive to outperform your last run at the track!