The Problem with Software: Why Smart Engineers Write Bad Code, Barr, Adam

The Problem with Software: Why Smart Engineers Write Bad Code

Authors: Barr, Adam
Publisher: MIT Press
BISAC/Subject: TEC000000, COM051230
ISBN: 9780262348218, Related ISBNs: 026203851X, 0262348217, 9780262038515, 9780262348218
Classification: Non-Fiction
Number of pages: 320
Audience: General/trade
Synopsis: An industry insider explains why there is so much bad software—and why academia doesn't teach programmers what industry wants them to know.

Why is software so prone to bugs? So vulnerable to viruses? Why are software products so often delayed, or even canceled? Is software development really hard, or are software developers just not that good at it? In The Problem with Software, Adam Barr examines the proliferation of bad software, explains what causes it, and offers some suggestions on how to improve the situation.

For one thing, Barr points out, academia doesn't teach programmers what they actually need to know to do their jobs: how to work in a team to create code that works reliably and can be maintained by somebody other than the original authors. As the size and complexity of commercial software have grown, the gap between academic computer science and industry has widened. It's an open secret that there is little engineering in software engineering, which continues to rely not on codified scientific knowledge but on intuition and experience.

Barr, who worked as a programmer for more than twenty years, describes how the industry has evolved, from the era of mainframes and Fortran to today's embrace of the cloud. He explains bugs and why software has so many of them, and why today's interconnected computers offer fertile ground for viruses and worms. The difference between good and bad software can be a single line of code, and Barr includes code to illustrate the consequences of seemingly inconsequential choices by programmers. Looking to the future, Barr writes that the best prospect for improving software engineering is the move to the cloud. When software is a service and not a product, companies will have more incentive to make it good rather than “good enough to ship."

LightSail includes up to 6,000 high interest, Lexile aligned book titles with every student subscription. Other titles are available for individual purchase.

Watch the power of

Lightsail in action

×

SUPPORT GROWING READERS

Immediately Engage Students
Immediately Engage Students
Simple intuitive design has classrooms reading within minutes.
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Exponentially Grow Reading Time
Students love the LightSail experience and naturally spend more time reading.
Accelerate Literacy Development
Accelerate Literacy Development
Students reading 25 minutes a day on LightSail are seeing 2+ years of Lexile growth in a single year.

LightSail Education is a comprehensive Lexile and standards-aligned, literacy platform and digital e-book library. Including multimodal learning functionality and featuring books from leading publishers, LightSail holistically assesses and nurtures each student on their reading and writing-to-learn journey, throughout elementary, middle, and high school.

LightSail Blog
Quick & Easy LightSail Tips to Help Prepare Students for Spring Testing
Quick & Easy LightSail Tips to Help Prepare Students for Spring Testing
Believe it or not, test prep season is upon us. With just a few adjustments to your normal LightSail reading block, you can use our platform to help students prepare… Read more
From Powwows to Potlatches: Creating a Native American Themed Unit in Rosen-LightSail
From Powwows to Potlatches: Creating a Native American Themed Unit in Rosen-LightSail
November was Native American Heritage Month. Did you know that more than five million people of Native American decent currently live in the United States? The U.S. is home to… Read more
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage & Culture
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage & Culture
At Rosen-LightSail, we are committed to celebrating diversity everyday. From September 15th – October 15th, we specifically celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month by recognizing the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx… Read more

*LightSail offers a 2,000 or a 6,000 title bundle with its student subscriptions. Other titles are available for individual purchase.