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Hello, this article is part of my Death by 1000 Cuts series. I intend to shine a light on big software industry problems, and I have complete confidence I will have written 1000 articles someday.
Software reliability is supremely important.
I told my wife that I would download something. I told her it would take 10 minutes. More than an hour later, I’m still downloading the file due to software bugs. I only wanted to download a file, that’s it, but asking for software reliability was too much to ask.
I’m sure someone will tell me to not make promises I cannot keep. I agree but it doesn’t excuse liars that say their software works.
Seriously, where is the empathy?
- Do software problems largely go unnoticed?
- Are standards so terribly low for software reliability?
- Does anyone think it is excusable to produce garbage?
My educated guess is that people simply don’t care. It’s more important to chase the next big thing. Who cares about existing customers. If you aren’t giving people money right now, then screw you.
My general opinion is that software developers care. Unfortunately, the business gets in the way and says you shall ship. In this case, developers need to push harder to make a case for quality software. Product owners also need to be responsible for the quality, along with all leadership. If people throw up their hands and move on with shoddy work, then that is on them.
The truth boils down to the fact that software reliability should not be optional. We should all be able to press OK and not accept a blue or black screen of death from any computer. It was fine once upon a time when we were learning as humans, but there are no longer any excuses.
- Observe your software reliability
- Listen to your users and follow up when things go wrong
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew, always support your software
- Make reporting issues easy
- Don’t make excuses, own your sphere of influence