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Software Programming Technology

Bad Software Runs the World 349

whitroth tips a story at The Atlantic by James Kwak, who bemoans the poor quality of software underpinning so many important industries. He points out that while user-facing software is often well-polished, the code running supply chains, production lines, and financial markets is rarely so refined. From the article: "The underlying problem here is that most software is not very good. Writing good software is hard. There are thousands of opportunities to make mistakes. More importantly, it's difficult if not impossible to anticipate all the situations that a software program will be faced with, especially when — as was the case for both UBS and Knight — it is interacting with other software programs that are not under your control. It's difficult to test software properly if you don't know all the use cases that it's going to have to support. There are solutions to these problems, but they are neither easy nor cheap. You need to start with very good, very motivated developers. You need to have development processes that are oriented toward quality, not some arbitrary measure of output."
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Bad Software Runs the World

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  • by neves ( 324086 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @03:31PM (#40921561) Homepage
    It isn't cost effective to build good software... for a few users. I develop some internal systems. They are very complex and each of them have 40 users at most. The ROI of Apple polishing every tiny bit of a software is great. If each of their 100000 users spend one second less, it is a ROI of more than one day. Human beings are very intelligent. They can learn to play a musical instrument, drive a car, operate a machine and to use shitty software.
  • Re:Numbers don't lie (Score:2, Informative)

    by omnichad ( 1198475 ) on Wednesday August 08, 2012 @03:34PM (#40921601) Homepage

    I'm sure they were referring to the arithmetic mean.

  • Re:Numbers don't lie (Score:4, Informative)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Thursday August 09, 2012 @02:23AM (#40927979) Journal

    Awww...what the hell grasshopper, old Hairy will show you the way. What you wanna do is go start talking to all your local mom & pop PC shops, let them know what kind of work you do and tell them you'll give them a referral fee for every one they send you way.

    Ya see we old PC shop guys end up getting this kind of work because we are all little pack rats at heart and HATE throwing away working gear, and once you've done a few of these "miracles" it really don't take long for word of mouth to spread. Now since it don't sound like you want to get into the wonderful world of Windows PC repair, which is actually a damned nice way to meet girls BTW, then what you are gonna have to do is get to be buds with the PC shop guys.

    While there are some like me that have old engineer buds that can do any chip changing and TTL stuff i can't there is just as many that are straight 'fixit guys' that can't do the soldering, replacing chips, fixing burnt boards, and like I said we hate throwing stuff away and telling somebody "we can't do it". hell that was one of the reasons i got to be buds with an engineer, I can't do the solder stuff anymore as my hands aren't steady enough and he hates working on computers so we just swap it out.

    So go talk to the little shops, be prepared to BS awhile, have yourself some cards made up to hand out, and before long you'll be ass deep in busted gear. remember that most places won't work on this stuff so a little word of mouth goes a long way, a little ad or two can't hurt either. Trust old Hairy that there is plenty of old gear that needs fixing and as long as you charge a reasonable price (remember starting out you need the business, don't go nuts. Once you have the buzz the price can go up) and it won't take long for that phone to start ringing.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.