“I’m gonna write me a new minivan” – is zero software bugs the right goal?

“I’m gonna write me a new minivan” – is zero software bugs the right goal?

on Oct 27, 09 • by Eric Hollebone • with 2 Comments

I have always loved “I’m gonna write me a new minivan”  from Scott Adams.  To me, it never gets old.  Originally published in 1998, the theme that applied then still does today: driving 100% of defects or bugs out of the code-base is a laudable goal, but is it really the right one?   I would...

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I have always loved “I’m gonna write me a new minivan”  from Scott Adams.  To me, it never gets old.  Originally published in 1998, the theme that applied then still does today: driving 100% of defects or bugs out of the code-base is a laudable goal, but is it really the right one?   I would have to argue no.  There’s no silver bullet out there that will find all software defects and solve issues automagically, and until there is, software development will continue to struggle with prioritization.  Unfortunately, we live in a world of finite resources and constantly evolving demands, but we can always dream about being Wally for a little while.

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2 Responses to “I’m gonna write me a new minivan” – is zero software bugs the right goal?

  1. Brad Stiritz says:

    >driving 100% of defects or bugs out of the code-base is a laudable goal, but is it really the right one?

    You didn’t specify any alternative goal(s) that would presumably be prioritized higher than software quality. Company profits / profitability is an obvious common choice. I think though that for many projects in many domains, 100% bug-free code is actually a great goal & is for sure the right goal. You’re correct in stating that there are no magic bullets to achieve this, but there certainly are resources & methodologies & tools (such as yours) to help. Anyone serious about improving their operation should check out “Software Engineering ; Best Practices” by Jones.

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