Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Work Around What?
A coworker complained to me yesterday that he hated workarounds in software. I eventually took the bait and discussed with him the feasibility of getting software 100% bug free. If there is a bug, and you can get around the bug until it can be fixed, I would think that would be seen as a good way to get by for the moment.
People don’t seem to understand the complexity of testing every known possible combination. For instance, if the user is required to put latitude and longitude into a setup screen, one would expect that they would check their numbers carefully. This particular user had reversed the numbers. Another user plugged a cable labeled as 1 through 16 into a port that read 17 through 32, in spite of the port labeled 1 through 16 being only a couple of inches away. I could probably add some sort of complex checking routine to catch suspicious entries and connections, but these routines wouldn’t be 100% perfect either.
To my coworker’s credit, he felt that workarounds too often became the “way to do it.” To that extent, I agree. Unfortunately, if management refuses to give me the money to fix the bugs, don’t complain to me about the workarounds. Complain to your boss about providing the money to get rid of them.
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