This article entitled They Write the Right Stuff explains how to write software for grown-ups. Worth reading!
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Amazing history, but only possible at NASA. Real companies, has limited budget, and this heavy process is imposible to follow with limited budget. Unit testing rules! XP rules!
Some software companies have (almost) unlimited budgets and still produce very poor quality software. So sure, budgets and deadlines influence the quality of software, but they are not the only factors. Hardware companies also have limited budgets and limited time, still the number of faults is extremely small compared to the total crap most software companies release.
Many parts of the software development process also play a decisive role in the quality. I love XP, and particularly test-driven development. However, XP seems only suitable for small collocated teams comprising highly-qualified individuals. You cannot apply most of it’s practices in a multinational company with thousands of employees of heterogeneous skills working together on a project. Still, you should be able to develop quality software even in such settings.
And even if it might seem strange, the way developers think about software is also an important factor for software quality. Software problems are seen as inevitable, tiny bugs that crawl into your program at night and break it. Software systems are seen as a biological entities which are too complex to understand. But this is not the only and not the best way to think about systems. At least people building hardware don’t view their systems as incomprehensible self-aware beasts.
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