Just finished a short article in the latest Economist called “Why companies struggle with recalcitrant IT”.  (July 18, 2020 Edition).

Several points stood out:

  1. The usual list of IT problems that get mentioned in the press.
  2. It is recommended that planes be turned off and back on (rebooted) to stop the software from displaying incorrect information mid-flight.  Wonder where we have heard that before (except not for a plane!).
  3. Programming is a mix of literal and creative.
  4. New companies start with a blank slate while older companies struggle with legacy code which may or may not do what it says and is often poorly documented.
  5. Very small errors can cause a computer system to work very differently to what was expected.
  6. Programming is partially self-learned and has few standards.

None of these problems are new.  They have been in the industry for years and often gets the IT a very bad name.  Sometimes deserved but not always.  

Given the increasing role of software in the world, how much longer can we continue with this methodology?

 

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Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash