Cliff Saran’s Enterprise blog

Jul 25 2007   7:56PM GMT

Return of the elk

Cliff Saran Profile: Cliff Saran

Software Quality

I was speaking earlier today to a friend who reminded me of an article I wrote about the Mercedes A Class failing the Elk test.

You may recall, prior to its launch, the A Class rolled, when simulating an encounter with an elk, which resulted in the manufacturer spending a vast amount of money on improving the car’s safety. Written in February 2000, the article made the point that, unlike the car industry, software is shipped with bugs and the software industry does not disclose these problems:

Not only do users have to put up with second-rate software that has not even passed rudimentary levels of quality assurance, but they are not told when things go wrong.

It’s been over seven years, yet not much has changed. The software industry continues to battle with software quality; users still have to put up with shoddy workmanship. And now bugs are kept under wraps until a patch is available. The industry says this is in order to “protect the security of customers”, yet somehow I feel non-disclosure of bugs is used to hide poor software quality.

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