Why Software Quality Matters

Posted by Kirby Turner on June 29, 2004

“This is a warning for any creator of computer programs: that software quality matters, that applications must be foolproof, and that-whether embedded in the engine of a car, a robotic arm in a factory or a healing device in a hospital-poorly deployed code can kill.”

This quote comes from an article my friend Matt pointed to me from Base Line Magazine titled Why Software Quality Matters.

This article really illustrates the importance of software quality. As more software is used in the daily lives of people the importance of quality software increases. Recently I read in Consumer Reports that a particular model of luxury car is being recalled due to a problem related to a transmission controller chip. The software in this chip can cause the car moving forward to shift into reverse. Imagine the pileup that could be caused by a car suddenly shifting into reverse as it and other drivers speed down the NJ Turnpike during rush hour.

Many programmers like me can and have argued that our business applications pose no threat to human life. But does this mean we can set quality levels for our work to a lower standard? Does it mean we can intentionally deploy poorly written applications? I say absolutely not! Software developers must start accepting the responsibility of writing high quality code and they should be held accountable for any code not adhering to a high standard of quality.

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