Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Comments
Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
ps2os2
50%
50%
ps2os2,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/17/2011 | 6:26:29 AM
re: Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
DUring my life in IT (staring in the late 60's) I spent the early part doing support at 0000 something in the morning for COBOL programmers (and for the next 20 years doing it at all times). I got to know how good programmers were by their code in COBOL programs. The best clearly commented code and used well thought out field names *AND* rarely had their programs go "boom" in the night. The poor ones used a mixture of the above. One night I had to look at a program that "bombed" and was able to call the programmer and in 15 minutes discuss the issue and propose a change. I changed the code and it worked first time, the next day I got a call from the programmer thanking me for fixing his code. I also got a call from my boss as the programmers got his boss to call my boss and thanking me for making the issue a small issue. The crappy coders I just called them in and told them to fix their own code.
I was a hero to the good programmers and was appreciated as such. I also got a fair amount of "bad support person" as I refused to help the bad programmers. My boss appreciated me and thats all that counted.
Rollback
50%
50%
Rollback,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/14/2011 | 2:50:43 AM
re: Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
For many years corporate programming work has been steadily moved off shore. To my own knowledge many hundreds of well-paid American programming jobs in the financial industry have been sent to India, resulting in a huge decline in career opportunities for Americans in this field. The editorial writers of this and other IT magazines have led the applause for this off shoring (remember, "Does IT Matter").
In many cases these jobs have been in Java programming. The Java language, and other C based languages, are well known for their relatively low productivity compared to some other languages. In my opinion the choice of Java for corporate applications only exacerbated the cost problem. This information was ignored by corporate leaders bent on short term cost reduction regardless of long term consequences.
Recently, as a result of the "unexpectedly" high maintenance costs of the offshored code base, many companies are trying to bring Java application development back home. However the experience of the "offshoring" years has resulted in a barren landscape when looking for experienced programmers. Programming has also lost much of its appeal for trainees. It may take many years to re-build a base of capable programmers.
Keep up the good work.
JimC
50%
50%
JimC,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/13/2011 | 9:57:41 PM
re: Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
If we turn the Wayback Machine (from the Sherman & Peabody cartoon) to the very early '80s, you'll find some really lousy COBOL code written by people who stumbled into computer programming, never formally studied that language, then resisted structured programming techniques used by "rookie" coders who were learning it in night school as they earned their Associate's or Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at an accredited college/university. The veteran application programmers, who became project leaders, had coded in RPG and dabbled in BAL (IBM's Assembly language). In my opinion, the crappy (spaghetti logic, unnecessarily complex, terribly inefficient, poorly documented) code they wrote led to the adandonment of entire applications. Companies bought vendor software packages instead of maintaining those monstrosities. Whatever wasn't trashed got sent to India because three average (or better), well-trained Indian COBOL programmers cost the same as one average U.S. COBOL programmer. Also, COBOL to this day as far as I know, isn't a forbidden word in India. Those people gladly maintain or rewrite the "quick & dirty" COBOL programs that were originally written by weak programmers or non-programmers (like accountants and ex-secretaries). Here's a quote we joked about that was a bit too close to the truth: "There's never enough time to do it right, but there's always enough time to do it over." If I may opine on H1B visas, there's nothing wrong with skimming a giant population's (Indian or Chinese) "best & brightest" and bringing them here. The problem is sending work being done by average people here to be done by average people there. It's the same problem when we ship average-talent foreigners here to cheaply do work that can be done by comparable Americans.
Frankd
50%
50%
Frankd,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/13/2011 | 12:34:22 PM
re: Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
The purpose of Agile development is to build and debug in small usable chunks. That way if you run out of time, then you'll be missing features, not hurring to do the debugging (which normally occurs at the end stage of a waterfall type development cycle). What I find with Agile teams is that they hurry up on each module and don't do the proper debugging at the module stage. Those bugs are going to rear their heads at the integration testing stage, where it's usually more difficult to find and fix.
Frankd
50%
50%
Frankd,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/13/2011 | 12:31:28 PM
re: Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
I know what he was implying. It doesn't matter where software is developed. The number 1 issue with bugs is the lack of enough time to properly write and debug. If developers had all the time in the world, we could build software that is perfect. Unfortunately, it doesn't do a company any good to produce perfect code one year after it's released by their competitor. Which is why there is so much effort being expended on developing new techniques for unit testing and automated testing.
YMOM100
50%
50%
YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/13/2011 | 12:00:57 PM
re: Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
Hurry up development? Isn't that what all this Agile stuff is about? Get tasked with making a database front end, go agile, and since the team decides we call it a success if in the end we get a deflated football. Can build some great user stories around deflated footballs....
mt_head
50%
50%
mt_head,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/12/2011 | 9:48:21 PM
re: Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
"--Buffer overflows, where programmers have left a buffer that is larger than the minimum information needed to be input by an application user--and hackers can exploit the extra space. "
I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that Charles Babcock (or whoever wrote the text that he cut-and-pasted from) has never actually programmed. That's the _opposite_ of a buffer overflow.

This sort of thing makes it very, very hard to take the article as a whole seriously.
Borland
50%
50%
Borland,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/12/2011 | 8:00:40 PM
re: Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
I think Mr. Harper is implying that offshore development is the problem, not the solution.
Frankd
50%
50%
Frankd,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/12/2011 | 7:40:50 PM
re: Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
I'm not so sure that offshore development is going to solve the problem.
Mr. Harper
50%
50%
Mr. Harper,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/12/2011 | 7:34:43 PM
re: Badly Programmed Apps Costing IT More
Two words: OFFSHORE DEVELOPMENT


2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Slideshows
10 Top Cloud Computing Startups
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  8/3/2020
Commentary
Adding Fuel to the MSP vs. In-house IT Debate
Andrew Froehlich, President & Lead Network Architect, West Gate Networks,  8/6/2020
Commentary
How Enterprises Can Adopt Video Game Cloud Strategy
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/28/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Enterprise Automation: Do More with Less
In this IT Trend Report, we highlight the benefits of automation and the various tools as enterprises navigate turbulent times, try to do more with less, keep their operations running, and stay on track with digital modernizations.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll