(Wednesday, January 9, 2019)
Why is software so prone to bugs? So vulnerable to viruses? Why are software products so often delayed, or even canceled? Is software development really hard, or are software developers just not that good at it? In The Problem with Software, Adam Barr examines the proliferation of bad software, explains what causes it, and offers some suggestions on how to improve the situation.
For one thing, Barr points out, academia doesn't teach programmers what they actually need to know to do their jobs: how to work in a team to create code that works reliably and can be maintained by somebody other than the original authors. As the size and complexity of commercial software have grown, the gap between academic computer science and industry has widened. It's an open secret that there is little engineering in software engineering, which continues to rely not on codified scientific knowledge but on intuition and experience.
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