Date of Conferral



Doctor of Information Technology (D.I.T.)


Information Systems and Technology


Steven V. Case


Developing a defect-free software application is a challenging task. Despite many years of experience, the intense development of reliable software remains a challenge. For this reason, software defects identified at the end of the testing phase are more expensive than those detected sooner. The purpose of this multiple case study is to explore the testing strategies software developers use to ensure the reliability of software applications in the government contracting industry. The target population consisted of software developers from 3 government contracting organizations located along the East Coast region of the United States. Lehman’s laws of software evolution was the conceptual framework. The data collection process included semistructured interviews with software developers (n = 10), including a review of organizational documents (n = 77). Thematic analysis was used to identify patterns and codes from the interviews. Member checking activities were triangulated with organizational documents to produce 4 major themes: (a) communication and collaboration with all stakeholders, (b) development of well-defined requirements, (c) focus on thorough documentation, and (d) focus on automation testing. The results of this study may contribute to information about testing strategies that may help organizations improve or enhance their testing practices. The results of this study may serve as a foundation for positive social change by potentially improving citizens’ experience with government software applications as a result of potential improvement in software testing practices