Yvette Seifert Hirth
"Dis, dat, and de uddah"

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Why Can't People Write Good Software?

Every time i think of this title, i think of the Frank Zappa song, "Why Can't Johnny Read?"

i'm a "traditionally-trained" mainframe assembler programmer, who has learned (and continues to learn) new languages, such as C, C++, Java, and JavaScript, among others.

the first 35 years or so of my programming experience - er, my "career", such as it is - was spent "hammering home" one basic thing:  the error is always within me, and never within the computer.  i believe this 100%, and as such i never ship anything out until all possible conditions (beginning, middle, end, edge, etc.) are tested.  i believe this has made me a better programmer, and even if i'm wrong on that, we have very happy clients.

recently, i was reading email on a major non-mainframe operating system vendor's website, and came across this gem:

"we shipped (the fix) out in (the latest release); we didn't test the logic that addresses your situation, but it should be fine."

no, that wasn't an earthquake, that was you sensing me shudder!  (i really gotta lose some weight!)

this type of attitude - "it'll be fixed in the latest/next release" - even though it has not been tested, seems to me to be prevalent in non-mainframe software.  i won't mention the firm's name, nor the name of the technician that wrote it; i'll just say that i'm real glad i didn't spend all their money on "support", if that is indeed what their phone-answering-putcha-on-hold attitude can even be called.

regarding software and running a business:  i take a different approach:  i take my time and do a good job and worry about the profit later.  people will only remember me for what i do, and not what i say i do.  you can have all the money you want, but if you write stinko software, then you're a maybe-rich stinko programmer.  no thanks - i'd rather be poor.

Copyright / Marque Déposée  2014/11/01@08:31:02 PDT, Yvette Seifert Hirth
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