Here we go again. You probably have heard, since it’s been reported everywhere, that American Airlines was grounded Tuesday, leaving passengers stranded for several hours due to a “computer glitch” in the reservation system. Because of the glitch, gate agents were unable to print boarding passes; and some passengers described being stuck for long stretches on planes on the runway unable to take off or, having landed, initially unable to move to a gate.
We’ve made it a point on our blog to highlight the fact that software glitches in important IT systems — like NatWest and Google Drive — can no longer be “the cost of doing business” in this day and age. Interestingly, we’re starting to see another concerning trend: more and more crashes blamed on faulty hardware or network problems, while the software itself is ignored. It’s funny that the difference in incidents can be more than 10 times between applications with similar functional characteristics. Is it possible that the robustness of the software inside the applications has something to do with apparent hardware failures? I think I see a frustrated … Read More
For enterprise IT applications, it’s all about processing data defined through multiple types and in large volumes of code. Then the number of lines of code devoted to data handling is high enough to encapsulate a large number of software bugs that are waiting for specific events to damage the IT system and impact the business. Even if we can say that a bug is a bug and it will be fixed when it occurs, bugs related to data handling should not be underestimated and this for several reasons: Such bugs are generally not easy to detect among the millions of lines of code that constitute an application. They can … Read More
I have some good news and I have some bad news. First, the good news: Most smart development teams invest a lot of time designing a rock-solid architecture before the first line of code is even written for a new application. Now, the bad news: Once the architecture is designed, the conversation about it often ends. It’s built and then forgotten while the team runs off and builds the app, or when the application is transferred to a new development team. Thoughtfully designed architectures with solid design principles might begin to degrade almost the instant they are implemented. How can a team maintain a proper architecture, iteration after iteration? There’s … Read More
My six-year-old can tie her own shoes. I honestly did not realize how big of a deal that was until her teacher told me a few months ago that she had, for a short time, become the designated shoe tier in her classroom. Apparently, thanks to the advent of Velcro closures for kids’ shoes, nobody else in her kindergarten class knew how to tie their shoes. The problem with being a “star” of your kindergarten class, however, is that all the kids want their shoes tied by her. As a result, she was trying to tie shoes very fast – too fast, in fact – and started making mistakes, which … Read More
Happy Independence Day everybody! I only hope those of you reading this on your Android device have not turned it sideways or performed some other seemingly innocuous action that has made this application fail. I say this because I recently read yet another blog about “workarounds” to compensate for application failures inherent in Android devices. These pieces have become almost ubiquitous over the past 18 months to the point where one would think Google would just go back and perform the structural quality analysis it needs to do to address the issues. Their failure to do so reminds me on this day before Independence Day of the opening lines of … Read More
I’m not one who believes in fortune tellers or those who claim to be able to predict the future. Heck, I don’t even read my horoscope and cringe whenever someone attempts to force it upon me. Only when my wife has attempted to read me my horoscope have I offered even as much as a polite “hmm.” Nevertheless there are many out there who swear by those who claim to be able to predict the future, especially in the financial industry. And while there were those who predicted a rocky road for Facebook’s IPO, it is doubtful that anybody could have foreseen NASDAQ’s technical melt down that surrounded the Facebook IPO. … Read More