As long as computer software has existed, it’s been plagued by bugs. Like real bugs, software bugs are an infestation and can cause major problems for businesses. When assessing software bugs, one question comes to mind; “After decades of dealing with bugs, why are they still an issue?”
It’s a fair question because it’s the nature of technology to improve over time. With every version of tech that’s released, problems with the previous version are addressed and the latest version markets these improvements. This is why “state of the art technology” is so valuable. It assumes that the latest version will have the least problem-causing bugs. Although, sometimes there’s an exception to this rule–we’re looking at you, Windows Vista!
Therefore, it’s only natural to assume that, by now, software developers would have perfected their craft and bugs wouldn’t be a problem. Sigh. Unfortunately, due to a range of reasons, this isn’t the case now, and may never be.
Imperfect Creatures Make Imperfect Creations
When it comes down to it, computer software is made by people, and people are flawed. The term “nobody’s perfect” means that it’s impossible for a person, much less a team of people, to make software that’s perfect. Programmers are the people that make software by creating code–thousands, if not millions of lines of complex code. That’s a lot of room for error. Making it harder to achieve coding perfection, is the fact that programmers use imperfect software to write code for new imperfect software–so they’re at a disadvantage from the get-go.
Deadlines Create a Rushed Product
If you were able to give a programmer all the time they needed in order to create a perfect product, they might be able to come up with an offering that’s bug free, but time and deadlines are another factor that adds to the bug problem. Essentially, most software used is made for the purpose of profits. This means that programmers have to meet the deadlines of software manufacturers, which may translate to a few cut corners. Bugs brought about by cut corners are one reason why software manufacturers continue to provide support and updates for their product well after it’s released.
New Software is Designed to Do More
In a perfect world, we would keep improving a single version of a software until every bug is worked out and the code is perfect. Instead, a software is completely overhauled after a few years with new and more complex features. More complicated software means even more lines of code.
InfoWorld puts the increasing complexity of error-prone software into perspective:
People who count such items say that if you only have one mistake per every 50 lines of code, you’re doing pretty well. Most programmers veer closer to a mistake for every five to 15 lines of code. Consider, say, that the Linux kernel has more than 15 million of lines of code … you do the math.
We Can’t Forget about Hackers
You are well aware of hackers and all the damage they can do to your system. If a software bug is like a wound, then hackers make it worse by pouring salt on it. They have a specialty for finding and exploiting software bugs to make them worse. As long as hackers are actively trying to exploit lapses in network security and software bugs, it will always be an uphill battle to have error-free software.
Software bugs are bad. They can’t be totally eliminated from the technology picture, but their effects can be managed. Like a virtual exterminator, Michell Consulting Group (MCG) can remotely manage and maintain your company’s IT infrastructure to prevent software bugs from causing your business downtime. Call us at 305.592.5433 ext.2601 and stop bugging out over computer errors.