Pain is temporary, failure lasts forever

Lean, agile living for the running mother of Peter

2007-11-20

Blame it on the guy with spectacles

After chatting a bit with the owner of one of my favourite sites, faktoider (some of the material on this sea of knowledge in the most peculiar of fields is in English), I was corrected in stating that Grace Hopper's moth was the original computer bug. Well, she probably FOUND the first computer bug. But it was probably Thomas Edison who first used the term and good old Ada Lovelace discussed in her papers the risks of bugs. All this is wonderfully documented on Wikipedia. Well, the historical aspect is good. But I can't agree that

"Bugs are a consequence of the nature of human factors in the programming task. They arise from oversights made by computer programmers during design, coding and data entry."

In fact, it makes me sour that this is so integrated to our western society to "blame it on that computer guy. He looks so geeky it must be his fault." Blaming the developers for all that is wrong in computer software is as absurd as saying it was "the soldiers" fault that Operation Market Garden" failed during WW2. That is a stupid statement which means nothing. That does not mean they/we make mistakes. We all do.

But everyone involved in a software development project is responsible for the bugs. From the guy who didn't get enough sponsoring for the project, via the gal who didn't make an effort to respond to questions about how the d*mn thing should be implemented and the tester who though Na, tested that last time, won't bother this time to the guy who actually approved the delivery without checking everything needed to be tested.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Tom said...

"But everyone involved in a software development project is responsible for the bugs."

I disagree with this statement. A bug is not a design flaw - a design flaw is a design flaw.

A bug is a mistake made by the coder in coding syntax or logic. Even though the design that the coder is implementing may be flawed, if it runs as designed, then it is not a bug.

November 21, 2007 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger Peter's mommy said...

The problem as I see it is that we develop for the users and the users don't care if it's a design flaw or faulty code.

It is easy to just point the finger on the guy who wrote the code, and he is of course highly involved. But I believe that software development in an agile team is a team effort. We have collective code ownership and therefore a collective ownership of the flaws that occur.

In our team, we'd visualized this by check in e-mails. All team members get these, including me, not being a coder. We are all responsible for reading these check in e-mails. And we also have the sprint starts where we all commit to the sprint objectives.

By this I don't mean that coders and architects shouldn't take full responsibility. I just mean that we all shall look at the error and try to figure out what we could have done to make it not happen.

November 22, 2007 at 8:59 PM  

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