Making technical debt visible … Making technical debt visible already proves to be quite a challenge, as it’s all about exposing the underwater part of the iceberg. But how deep underwater does it go? To know for sure, you would need the right diving equipment. To go just below the surface, you would start with a snorkel. But to go far down, you need a deep-sea exploration submersible.
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.
Third-generation programming languages (3GL) like COBOL or PL/1 are seen as outdated languages for “has-been” developers, and do not interest new ones anymore (there were even predictions saying that COBOL was going to die in mid-term.) These new developers prefer more modern technologies, like J2EE or .NET, and, worryingly, educational organizations provide few learning opportunities for 3GLs.
It seems like every three months there is a new mobile device that changes everything. New operating systems, from Windows 8, Blackberry 10, and Android’s Jellybean, come out once a year with updated interfaces and features. Even new programming languages are starting to pop-up. But now we’re finding that some of the stuff we built 5 years ago is still pretty good, and maybe just need a UI facelift, mobile app, or delivery method. But remember, it shouldn’t be about the fanciest, shiniest toy (even if they are nice to have). It should be about delivering relevant tools to the business, which can be accessed everywhere and can talk to everything. … Read More
I’ve recently been involved in helping CAST Research Labs analyze a large sample of Java EE applications (496 apps), looking to understand the impact of different frameworks on application structural quality. We analyzed these applications using CAST’s Application Intelligence Platform (AIP) to identify critical violations of architectural and coding practices. While looking at the critical violations that were detected by CAST, something struck me: The success ratio (i.e. the ratio between the number of times a rule is violated and the number of opportunities this rule could have been violated) for rules associated to Hibernate was particularly low, indicating issues related to performance and robustness for applications using this framework. … Read More
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
The sequestration has hit a lot of organizations hard, and IT intensive programs aren’t ducking the proverbial bullet. In the decade since 9-11, organizations had more money and resources to give to development teams to fix their application’s performance issues. But now that the nation is trying to fix its fiscal woes, every day and dollar counts.