The Trouble With Software (and what to do about it)


Software Development Failures Plague 36% of N. Amer. Enterprises

Posted in Development - General,General Overview,Programming by Ernie Schell on December 9, 2012

eWeek reports that “despite the availability of a wealth of development tools and agile methodologies, an alarming 36 percent of the 200 North American organizations surveyed in a recent study found defects in new releases that had gone into production, according to CA Technologies.”

To add insult to injury, “only 4 percent of those surveyed claimed that errors are never found in production releases. This means that many organizations are launching buggy applications to market and having to solve for them later with software updates and patches.”  To compound the problem, “applications are often released with reduced functionality, according to 70 percent of those surveyed,” according to the CA Tech study.

“North American businesses are under pressure to deliver increasingly complex applications, and at a much faster rate than ever before to keep pace with customer demands,” said Shridhar Mittal, general manager of service virtualization at CA. “Unfortunately, IT budgets are not increasing at the rate of change inherent in today’s highly distributed composite applications. This causes serious constraints to software development, resulting in delays and failures in delivering new software features to market.” Not surprisingly, Mittal suggests that service virtualization is an excellent “virtual environment for software application testing that cuts out constraints or barriers to delivery.”

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Create, Assemble and Deploy – The Future of Application Development

Prashant Pawar, Delivery Manager, CORPADM, has a very interesting take on systems development (on the Infosys Website) as the “smart assembly” of industry standard components. Of course, the real challenges are (a) to be “smart” about it, and (b) to get any industry to agree on what its standards should be. Anyway, it’s a worthy goal.

Biggest Agile Challenge Is Communication

Posted in Agile Development by Ernie Schell on December 9, 2012

Application Development Trends notes that “A new survey indicates that while software development projects using the Agile methodology are doing OK, they could be doing better, with communication reported as the biggest impediment to success. The survey, conducted by Serena Software at the Agile 2012 Conference held in August, focused on the state of Agile projects underway at the time.”

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Harvard’s Cybersymposium

Posted in General Overview,Programming by Ernie Schell on November 5, 2012

At Harvard Business School’s 18th annual Cyberposium on November 4, 2012, Mariah Levitt, senior usability specialist at Continuum, said candidly: “One of the most embarrassing things in the human factors and ergonomics field is that software products we use are so hard to use.”

See Comment No. 4.

It’s A Miracle Software Works This Well

Posted in Programming by Ernie Schell on September 18, 2012

Larry Seltzer, Editorial Director, Byte, makes some very apt observations about programming.

The Elusive Goal of Code Correctness

Posted in Programming by Ernie Schell on August 30, 2012

Andrew Binstock, Editor in Chief of Dr. Dobb’s Journal, writes in the Aug. 26, 2012 issue: “The longer I write code, the more I yearn for code correctness. Despite the work this extra step presents, commercial ventures. . . would do well to embrace it.” He concludes that “in the U.S., only a few industries (mostly embedded, automotive, and avionics) are interested in high levels of code correctness. It’s a topic that is dismissed as a luxury by mainstream programmers because it appears to interfere with the ability to deliver software quickly.”

Binstock’s brief article not only discusses specific coding languages and their ability to support “correctness,” but gets to the very heart of the topic of this entire Blogsite: The Trouble With Software. It is well worth a read.

Building QuickBooks: How Intuit Manages 10 Million Lines of Code

Posted in Development - General by Ernie Schell on July 31, 2012

Dr. Dobb’s Journal has an excellent summary of how Intuit leverages a single code base of 10+ million lines of code to maintain compatibility among multiple versions of the product.

The Customer Value Proposition

Posted in General Overview by Ernie Schell on July 8, 2012

TBK Consult has an excellent post on its blog that speaks to many of the issues covered here. One key quote: “Most people in the software industry will agree that there is more to developing software than programming. Programming in itself is maybe 5-10% of the effort. The software development value chain is long and requires many more competencies than mastering the technical frameworks. Domain experience, design, product management, project management, prototyping, UI expertise, integration, testing, support, documentation and communication (between people) are some of the other elements in the process.”

What baseball can teach technologists about teamwork

Posted in Programming by Ernie Schell on April 15, 2012

Doug LeMoine writes in the Cooper Journal: “If you want to build great software, you can go it alone. You can design and build your product, make infrastructure decisions, manage releases, get the word out. Yet soon enough, if things are going well, you’ll start to get traction, you’ll want to scale, and your solo run will be over: You’re going to need to work with others. You’re going to need to create a team.”

The article gives some very pointed tips on how to go about doing this.

The Truth About IT Projects

Posted in Development - General,General Overview,Programming by Ernie Schell on March 20, 2012

For over twenty-five years, Allan Kelly has held just about every job in the software world, including: system admin, tester, developer, architect, product manager, and development manager. Today, he is based in London and works for Software Strategy Ltd. helping companies adopt and deepen agile and lean practices through training, consulting, and coaching. He specializes in working with software product companies, aligning company strategy with products and processes. His article, “The Truth About IT Projects,”  tells it like it is!

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