Plenty of applications allow you to track programming projects throughout a software development project life cycle to ensure that the final product is released without errors. But if your client is on a tight budget, those apps may not be an option.

Several free tools are also available. Bugzilla, for example, is available at and works on most platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. If you don’t want a database implementation and you need a simple tracking interface, JitterBug might be worth your while. RT: Request Tracker is also an option.

But if you’re working on smaller contracts with a handful of developers, consider this programming quality spreadsheet. TechRepublic contributing writer and IT consultant Mike Sisco put this tool together to help consultants identify bugs and potential problems before users begin testing an application.

How it works
Begin by entering the particular task in the Project column on the Excel spreadsheet. In an example featured in the download, John, a programmer, is working on an employee change report for your client’s human resources department and a sales report. Under the Program column, you’ve noticed that a total of four errors, or 80 percent of those reported, have been attributed to his work.

As a consultant leading this project, this information would surely signal a need for you to address why the team member’s work is coming in with errors. Perhaps he wasn’t given the proper direction for the project or he’s been using an approach that is not in line with the other team members.

What do you use?

If you use an in-house tool for quality assurance that you think other TechRepublic members might enjoy using, send it to us. If we use it, we’ll send you a TechRepublic coffee mug.