Just finished a short article in the latest Economist called “Why companies struggle with recalcitrant IT”. (July 18, 2020 Edition).
Several points stood out:
- The usual list of IT problems that get mentioned in the press.
- 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!).
- Programming is a mix of literal and creative.
- 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.
- Very small errors can cause a computer system to work very differently to what was expected.
- 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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