SQL Clone
SQLServerCentral is supported by Redgate
 
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in
 
 
 


Building Better Software


Building Better Software

Author
Message
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
SSC Guru
SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)

Group: Administrators
Points: 61859 Visits: 19099
Comments posted to this topic are about the item Building Better Software

Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
My Blog: www.voiceofthedba.com
roger.plowman
roger.plowman
Ten Centuries
Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)Ten Centuries (1.2K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 1227 Visits: 1244
I've been a developer for over 30 years. No, it is not easy! :-D

The problem is the size of the problem domain and the sheer complexity of it. Take the ISO date example. Who has time to be an expert on every single aspect of ISO dates? Being blissfully ignorant on that subject Hehe my first question as a developer is "why doesn't the ISO date system operate as expected?" Is there a bug in it? If so, why? What's the problem and why would it bite on Jan 1st to 7th of 2013? And, being this is ISO approved, why would there be a bug at all???? If you can't trust the ISO who can you trust?

Take my current developement project. I'm implementing what could best be described as a "whole business automation system", using VB.NET for the front end and T-SQL for the backend.

That's two entire, and very complex, languages I have to know. Further, I've only known these languages for about a year now, while keeping up with all the other jobs I have to do as our company's one man IT shop.

The point being I already know I'm not fluent in either VB.NET or T-SQL and probably won't be for about 3 more years. By "fluent" I mean "know the languages inside out and backwards, able to wring every bit of performance and know all the gotchas to avoid".

In the meantime I've got to create a program with a predecesser that consisted of 100,000 lines of code, written in a system I've been fluent in for 10 years.

Oh, and did I mention my users won't take the time to beta test the new system? Because they don't have "time to play". Oh, and that my tool budget is severely constrained?

And let's not even talk about all the (very complex) tools involved in production, from the ERD tool, to all the Red Gate tools, SSMS, Visual Studio (and add-ons), the profiler, the unit test system...

Easy my Aunt Sally! :-P

So what do you do in that situation? You keep it simple. You avoid all the nifty tricks that would probably be faster or need less code, but have unforseen "gotchas" and inexplicable interactions with other features. Since you can't know everything, you concentrate on a small subset you know won't break.

Then you refactor as you can over the lifetime of the system. (The last system lasted 13 years!)

And that, my childen, is how Equestria was made! (laughing)
Gary Varga
Gary Varga
SSCoach
SSCoach (16K reputation)SSCoach (16K reputation)SSCoach (16K reputation)SSCoach (16K reputation)SSCoach (16K reputation)SSCoach (16K reputation)SSCoach (16K reputation)SSCoach (16K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 16170 Visits: 6532
On top of all the above is the lack of demanding and/or allowing of following decent processes to ensure high quality software engineering occurs. We all know the "just ship it" attitude remains alive and well and still comes from people who know better but feel that the commercial pressures are too high.

Gaz

-- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!
Miles Neale
Miles Neale
Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame (3K reputation)Hall of Fame (3K reputation)Hall of Fame (3K reputation)Hall of Fame (3K reputation)Hall of Fame (3K reputation)Hall of Fame (3K reputation)Hall of Fame (3K reputation)Hall of Fame (3K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 3026 Visits: 1694
It takes little understanding and talent to write bad code that will not work. That is easy. And for the person who has written a few hundred thousand lines of code, it might appear easy to throw something together that may or may not work. But the premise in the editorial is correct, it is not easy to get it right. Compare it to throwing together a few burgers or an omelet to a five course formal dinner with the Queen. One is very easy, the other requires attention to detail that most of us are not use to.

Good experienced developers who can get the job done right and make it last are expensive. But the industry has to face the fact that those dime-a-dozen developers appear to be cheap to get a product out, but in the long run a far more expensive then the experienced professional.

M.

Not all gray hairs are Dinosaurs!
sruthi.kumar
sruthi.kumar
Forum Newbie
Forum Newbie (1 reputation)Forum Newbie (1 reputation)Forum Newbie (1 reputation)Forum Newbie (1 reputation)Forum Newbie (1 reputation)Forum Newbie (1 reputation)Forum Newbie (1 reputation)Forum Newbie (1 reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 1 Visits: 2
Sometimes I wonder why larger organizations would not test their products before release. Often, I get answer like they want their customers to find bugs. By the time customers start reporting bugs, don't the organizations think their reputation was already got damaged? Most of the times, products are not even beta versions. I think product needs to be well tested for at least obvious defects before even releasing to the market.
Scott Anderson #2
Scott Anderson #2
SSC Rookie
SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 28 Visits: 89
Building Better Software or Bugs in Software... Unfortunately Steve you have put software on a far too high pedestal. Software, even cowboy hacker buggy software is more reliable than the human operators and users. If you compare software error/bugs in software to human error/bugs, you might have written a different article. Financial and productivity loss from human problems makes software problems an after thought. What you really should be writing about is how we falsely reason that it's so much easier to fix the human problem than the software problem, when really it's not.

Ever had a human run a Delete with no where, not tested their backups, damaged the backups, turned the wrong server off, changed the sa password then gone one holidays, rogue admin, etc. That's just the easy ones. How about made wrong security choices, wrong storage location or space allocation, poor performing SQL, bad indexes, office politics, etc.

Complaining about software bugs like it's a real source of drama is like complaining about the weather; it's just vanity.
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
SSC Guru
SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)SSC Guru (61K reputation)

Group: Administrators
Points: 61859 Visits: 19099
I'm not sure that comparing human mistakes to software mistakes is fair. Software mistakes can easily affect a large group of people and impact lots of business. Forgetting backups, while tragic, happens lots without there being a problem.

I'm not sure which one is worse. Certainly there is something to the idea that humans reduce efficiency more than poorly written software, but that might be hard to quantify. Maybe I need to think about that a bit.

Follow me on Twitter: @way0utwest
Forum Etiquette: How to post data/code on a forum to get the best help
My Blog: www.voiceofthedba.com
Michael Valentine Jones
Michael Valentine Jones
SSCertifiable
SSCertifiable (5.7K reputation)SSCertifiable (5.7K reputation)SSCertifiable (5.7K reputation)SSCertifiable (5.7K reputation)SSCertifiable (5.7K reputation)SSCertifiable (5.7K reputation)SSCertifiable (5.7K reputation)SSCertifiable (5.7K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 5692 Visits: 11771
The referenced article also has plenty of mistakes. Laugh

Ask Ars: Why will Apple's Do Not Disturb bug fix itself next week?
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/01/ask-ars-why-will-apples-do-not-disturb-bug-fix-itself-next-week/

For example:
"The first day of 2013 started on a Tuesday, whereas (as noted by TUAW) the ISO standard expects the first week of the year to start on "the Monday that contains the first Thursday in January." In this case, that would be January 7, 2013."

The first ISO week for 2013 starts on December 31, 2012, not January 7, 2013. The first ISO week of the year can start no later that January 4 of any year, and will be in the range of 29 December of the prior calendar year to 4 January of the current calendar year.

ISO week date
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_week_date
Scott Anderson #2
Scott Anderson #2
SSC Rookie
SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)SSC Rookie (28 reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 28 Visits: 89
Ok, not a convincing enough argument? How about the Internet. The biggest usage of software by humans and the major outages have been caused by what or whom? Human operator error.

But back to your point: Software mistakes affect many people. Why is that? How have been become so dependent on software when it has so many problems and bugs? Because software bugs are a stereotype.

Really, the amount of problems compared to working solutions is incomparable, but we pick on and declare the end of days when something doesn’t go as *we* expected. “Expected”, how many times has a new staff member or college not done things as we expected, but to write an article about that? That’s common knowledge and expected, so who cares!?!

I agree that comparing human mistakes to software mistakes isn’t fair, as humans make so many more.
Lynn Pettis
Lynn Pettis
SSC-Dedicated
SSC-Dedicated (39K reputation)SSC-Dedicated (39K reputation)SSC-Dedicated (39K reputation)SSC-Dedicated (39K reputation)SSC-Dedicated (39K reputation)SSC-Dedicated (39K reputation)SSC-Dedicated (39K reputation)SSC-Dedicated (39K reputation)

Group: General Forum Members
Points: 39025 Visits: 38510
Scott Anderson-466019 (1/23/2013)
Ok, not a convincing enough argument? How about the Internet. The biggest usage of software by humans and the major outages have been caused by what or whom? Human operator error.

But back to your point: Software mistakes affect many people. Why is that? How have been become so dependent on software when it has so many problems and bugs? Because software bugs are a stereotype.

Really, the amount of problems compared to working solutions is incomparable, but we pick on and declare the end of days when something doesn’t go as *we* expected. “Expected”, how many times has a new staff member or college not done things as we expected, but to write an article about that? That’s common knowledge and expected, so who cares!?!

I agree that comparing human mistakes to software mistakes isn’t fair, as humans make so many more.


I'm lost with your argument. Sorry, just not making too much sense to me. Building better software really doesn't have much to do with some of the human errors you mentioned. I really think it is about writing software that does what is expected when properly used. And as we know, there are users that don't use software the way it was intended many times. If you can trap for those "mistakes" and handle them, then you are ahead of the curve in many respects.

Cool
Lynn Pettis

For better assistance in answering your questions, click here
For tips to get better help with Performance Problems, click here
For Running Totals and its variations, click here or when working with partitioned tables
For more about Tally Tables, click here
For more about Cross Tabs and Pivots, click here and here
Managing Transaction Logs

SQL Musings from the Desert Fountain Valley SQL (My Mirror Blog)
Go


Permissions

You can't post new topics.
You can't post topic replies.
You can't post new polls.
You can't post replies to polls.
You can't edit your own topics.
You can't delete your own topics.
You can't edit other topics.
You can't delete other topics.
You can't edit your own posts.
You can't edit other posts.
You can't delete your own posts.
You can't delete other posts.
You can't post events.
You can't edit your own events.
You can't edit other events.
You can't delete your own events.
You can't delete other events.
You can't send private messages.
You can't send emails.
You can read topics.
You can't vote in polls.
You can't upload attachments.
You can download attachments.
You can't post HTML code.
You can't edit HTML code.
You can't post IFCode.
You can't post JavaScript.
You can post emoticons.
You can't post or upload images.

Select a forum

































































































































































SQLServerCentral


Search