Tag: Philosophy

Oldest non-recorded bug?

Can anyone beat this? This morning I get in to find an email from a customer relating to a change we did for them. He is complaining that the quantities in the EDI file that we send to a business partner are wrong. I investigate and surely enough, the code uses the wrong index - it's always zero, not the loop index. But strangely we didn't change that code. So I checked source control, and its always been like that. In fact, there's a comment a few lines up which a developer added in April 2003 to say he was adding this code and the indexes needed checking... So amazingly this has been in production for 3 years. It's an interface between the client and Woolworths in Australia - and apparently its one of the most business critical interfaces that the EAI team deals with, processing millions of dollars worth of orders each day... So you can see how important EAI is here... Anyone have a bug that was discovered later?

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I remember reading a while ago, a discussion about making the decision to build a complex peice of code now which contains more functionality than is required, compared to building a simple version now and having to pay more in the future to add that extra functionality (cost in future is higher because of inflation, having to remember what your code is about, paying for the time where the business is on hold waiting for the new functionality, etc). I sadly can't remember where I read it, but it didn't give too much info so I wasn't able to do such a calculation on my own. Then yesterday I was in a meeting where we discussed about how the version of eGate we are using is only supported on Windows 2000, and MS is about to stop supporting that. So should we move to the next version of eGate and to Windows 2003, or should we stay as we are and take the risk that if a bug occurs on Windows 2000, that we won't be supported by MS... Well, I got out my book called "The 10 Day MBA" which I bought a few years back and started to look into the problem. It turns out that there are several tools, namely "Decision Theory (DT)", "Net Present Value (NPV)" and "Expected Monetary Value (EMV)"... The solution goes like this: 1) Draw a tree diagram with all the decisions on it. In this example, we have the following (sorry for…

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Time Usage

An IBM colleague has been keeping track of time usage by his developers (off shore) over the last week. He found it surprising that only 50% of the time was actually used for development. The rest of the time was take up by communications, knowledge transfer (basically ramp up of new developers), maintainance issues (dealing with customers on the phone doing second level support), etc. Having read Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, by Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister, (December 1999, ISBN 0932633439) I wasn't that surprised. It explains why I've always found that doubling an estimate magically makes it accurate. My IBM colleague is going to continue to monitor for a few weeks, so if the results change, I will let you know!

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