Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Article on Software Failures

Jack Ganssle has a nice design article that details a long history of design errors, from bridge building to safety critical software problems. Much of it is about NASA mission failures, but he also checks in on the topics of radiation therapy, pacemakers, and nuclear experiments.  Good one-stop shopping for horror stories and a discussion of high level patterns behind these sorts of problems.

On discussing the Therac 25:
"The FDA found the usual four horsemen of the software apocalypse at fault: inadequate testing, poor requirements, no code inspections, and no use of a defined software process."

Quote of the day from the article:
"Globals are responsible for all of the evil in the universe, from male pattern baldness to ozone depletion."

Source: Mars Ate My Spacecraft

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