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Meeting Topic

Topic for November meeting:
Date: November 14, 2006
Topic: All Software Is Defective - Implications for the Software Industry
Speaker: Steve Rakitin

Abstract

The impact that software has on all sectors of society is staggering. More than ever, people rely on software to perform tasks from the mundane to mission critical - and everything in between.

Yet, all software is defective. How is it that we are so dependent on products that are inherently defective? As Watts Humphrey says, it is because " defective software works". Well, most of the time anyway. Major industries such as healthcare and biotechnology, banking and financial services, aerospace and defense, consumer electronics and automotive, have become so dependent on software that software is often the critical path for new product development. And our dependence is only increasing.

This dependence has led to several high profile examples of software failures that have resulted in significant financial loss as well as loss of life. Because software engineering is an inherently human process, it is not possible to develop software with zero defects. The past five decades of software engineering history has proven this. And this is not likely to change in the near future.

This talk discusses the implications of defective software from the perspective of developers, testers, and managers and suggests techniques that can be used to reduce the impact defective software has on your business, your customers, and society in general.

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About the Speaker

Steve has over 30 years experience as a software engineer and software quality manager. He frequently speaks on topics related to software development and software quality at conferences worldwide. He's published several papers on the subject of software quality and a written a book titled Software Verification & Validation for Practitioners and Managers. As President of Software Quality Consulting, Inc., he works with clients who are interested in improving the predictability of their development processes and the quality of their products.

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