Software process as risk management

This article from Fast Company about software process gives insight into how true mission critical software gets written. Their development process is essential for their requirements, but very few software projects have requirements that stringent. Buggy software is a function of the rate of changing requirements. Most business are willing to accept some level of uncertainty(aka bugs) to reduce development time or cost. In the places I’ve worked at(none of which develop truly mission critical software), the business requirements change so quickly that bugs are a way of life.

Bug-free software is like secure software: business all want to do it, and all claim to be working towards it. But when you really get down to it, it’s very expensive and almost no one is really investing the time and effort required to get it done. From a business standpoint, writing buggy software is not inherently bad, it’s more like risk management. Businesses will find an acceptable level of uncertainty and risk for the software and they should accept it with the requirements. You want bug free software? Fine, be prepared to spend a lot of time and money on requirements, testing and QA.

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