It seems that the effects of software glitches find their way into the news more and more frequently these days. The scariest recent event was the loss of air traffic communications in Southern California last month. That particular event can be linked, at least somewhat, to the switch from a Unix based system to a Microsoft system. That could be the subject of another post however.
Today the answer to all these problems comes in the form of an AP story that declares “Software disasters are often people problems.” True, people created the software, therefore it is a people problem. This article points the finger squarely at management rather than the coders however.
Management is probably where the blame belongs in most cases. No matter how many times best practices are clearly stated, they are routinely ignored for a variety of reasons. Many of these problems can be blamed on lack of planning or resources, and in many cases a combination of both. However, even with the best of planning and virtually unlimited resources, poor communication can lead to certain disaster.
Good lines of communication can be difficult to create and maintain. This is where management can either shine, or fall flat. So managers, work on communication, it will surely make the road ahead smoother. Software systems will continue to become more complex, and with that complexity will come the potential for more high profile bugs.