The art of producing quality software
Key word 'producing'; More than writing software, to participate in the Application Economy companies need to master the whole software production line
You might have heard the news. Quality software is required to compete effectively in the transportation business. Cars and car systems, it seems, are vulnerable to malicious software attacks.
Let’s be very clear.
If you have software that is connected to anything beyond the hardware it’s running on, your software is vulnerable.
That’s not the shock. Or the fear.
The eye-opener is how long it’s actually taking to release a fix.
Companies have a responsibility to keep their software secure. While the “normal” development cycle, even with Agile practices, may allow-for a lengthy test and release cycle, companies need to know how fast they can release a fully tested fix.
It reminds me of planning complex expedition dives. I might be 300 feet under water, inside a structure, using staging tanks and custom gas mixes, and all alone. The most important part of the plan has nothing to do with the “happy path” – what happens if the dive goes well.
It’s the “unhappy path” that required the most diligence. At any moment in time I might have had to abort. At any moment I might have been called on to rescue or assist another diver.
You’ve got to plan for your “unhappy path”:
How fast and thoroughly can you test a software change?
How fast can you deploy?
Are you able to track a vulnerability and the potential for brand-damage, no matter how unlikely?
Are you able to report to whatever governing bodies that oversee your industry you’re making reasonable progress?
They’re the kinds of questions that CA will help you answer. Together, we can improve your discipline around the craft of creating software, from development through release and monitoring.
Some might call this DevOps. Others prudent business. I just think that if you’re going to participate in the Application Economy, you’ve got to do so in a way that improves and preserves the business no matter what. Quality software is a key element to preserving the business and the brand. And, if we’re lucky enough to stay on the “happy path” together, I’ll buy you a drink and celebrate that all our emergency plans simply helped us become better at what we do.