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Why Don't We Have Better Practices?


Why Don't We Have Better Practices?

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Koen Verbeeck
Koen Verbeeck
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david.wright-948385 (5/15/2014)
Koen Verbeeck (5/15/2014)
I was stating two view points: on one hand, it is pretty impossible to get complex software - such as SQL Server - completely bug free. On the other hand, vendors have too much power in the sense that they can just shrug it off as "it's just a bug and we'll patch it someday. If you don't like it, just buy something else."

I agree - there are two viewpoints, but imho mandatory industry standards aren't going to help.

Perhaps there's a case for an organisation that certifies products or vendors to a given standard (if there isn't one already?). If it is demonstrably independent of vendors, buyers will have confidence that the products they buy are up to that standard. Vendors will be able to justify higher prices as a result of certification, so they benefit. For vendors that can't, or don't wish to meet the standard don't have to, and prices will necessarily be lower. Buyers then have a choice, and buyers with limited funds and flexible standards are free to use them.


Although it's a very nice idea - a certification organisation - I wonder how practical this can be in reality. Testing software is not easy and can take a lot of time. With regular products it's usually easier. You just take a car for a testdrive and decide if you like it or not :-)



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david.wright-948385
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You've come full circle behind my original post :-P I agree: imposing standards is expensive, but making those standards optional gives flexibility.

Those that wish to sign up and can afford the cost will stand out from the crowd. Buyers can pay the extra cost to know(!) that what they're buying is up to standard, or they have the option of buying a down-market product, accepting that they may have problems with it.
skeleton567
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Gary Varga (5/15/2014)
The other reason is that because we deal with abstract concepts, as opposed to the real world with its laws of physics, there are far more ways to do something and for it to work.


This is exactly why I oppose the development of computer controlled vehicles. They unfortunately do obey the laws of physics. Unlike computer controlled machines in stationary situations, automation of cars appears to be creating objects of destruction hurtling at us at alarming speeds. I don't think I want buggy software controlling the one coming at me. As the title of my hypothetical documentary says, "Do we really need to do this s-h-i-t ?
Koen Verbeeck
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skeleton567 (5/15/2014)
Gary Varga (5/15/2014)
The other reason is that because we deal with abstract concepts, as opposed to the real world with its laws of physics, there are far more ways to do something and for it to work.


This is exactly why I oppose the development of computer controlled vehicles. They unfortunately do obey the laws of physics. Unlike computer controlled machines in stationary situations, automation of cars appears to be creating objects of destruction hurtling at us at alarming speeds. I don't think I want buggy software controlling the one coming at me. As the title of my hypothetical documentary says, "Do we really need to do this s-h-i-t ?


Not only buggy software. Suppose the software works flawlessly. But it has to choose between two objects to impact when it is going to crash: you in a regular vehicle or the guy on the bike. To minimize damage, it chooses you.



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Koen Verbeeck (5/15/2014)
skeleton567 (5/15/2014)
Gary Varga (5/15/2014)
The other reason is that because we deal with abstract concepts, as opposed to the real world with its laws of physics, there are far more ways to do something and for it to work.


This is exactly why I oppose the development of computer controlled vehicles. They unfortunately do obey the laws of physics. Unlike computer controlled machines in stationary situations, automation of cars appears to be creating objects of destruction hurtling at us at alarming speeds. I don't think I want buggy software controlling the one coming at me. As the title of my hypothetical documentary says, "Do we really need to do this s-h-i-t ?


Not only buggy software. Suppose the software works flawlessly. But it has to choose between two objects to impact when it is going to crash: you in a regular vehicle or the guy on the bike. To minimize damage, it chooses you.


Excellent point. Either way, somebody is going to get hurt. Some decisions should not be left to software designers, let alone coders. And it's probably still a fact that actual coders are lowest on the totem pole (is that P/C these days?). This illustrates why coding should not be left to peons.
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The only reason we don't have better practices is because the tech companies earn a great deal of money by constantly changing things. New languages, new IDEs, new frameworks, new standards, new run times - all the churn sells software, books, seminars, and training sessions.

You don't have time to get good at any one way of doing things because about the time you're comfortable with version 1.0 an new and improved version 2.0 is launched along with all the requisite training materials.



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Poor management.

Take the case of Target. Were IT professionals and responsible aware people in charge of securing their network??. Maybe at some level, but not where the buck stopped or where budgets were decided. The ex-CIO was more interested in social media and marketing than securing their network. They had money to predict pregnancy among customers but not enough to ensure security.
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Try programming in APL. That is one bizarre language!
david.wright-948385
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skeleton567 (5/15/2014)
This is exactly why I oppose the development of computer controlled vehicles.

I'm kinda hoping that the software controlling automatic cars will fall under similar standards as airplane (particularly military) control software. If GM can have this much trouble over an ignition switch, imagine how much they'd be able to get wrong if they automate the driving of the car w00t
Koen Verbeeck
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david.wright-948385 (5/15/2014)
skeleton567 (5/15/2014)
This is exactly why I oppose the development of computer controlled vehicles.

I'm kinda hoping that the software controlling automatic cars will fall under similar standards as airplane (particularly military) control software. If GM can have this much trouble over an ignition switch, imagine how much they'd be able to get wrong if they automate the driving of the car w00t


What if they run java and right before the car needs to break for a traffic jam, the garbage collector kicks in...



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