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Friday, January 24, 2014

Why You Can Never Really Trust Software


As I am finding out recently, and as many experienced programmers already know, coding is far from easy to do. Often you'll write out lines and lines and then realize your syntax was wrong, or there were problems in a part of your logic, or you didn't initialize a variable. Writing a perfect program right off the bat is pretty hard, especially as the programs become increasingly complex. That being said, major software is no different. Over the years there have been countless bugs that have had to be ironed out of code in very popular programs, such as iOS, Toyota, and most recently, the e-mail giant Gmail.

Arguably the best mobile platform ever built was Apple's iOS, which took the world by storm in 2008 with the original iPhone. When it first came out, there were tons of bugs in that code that had to be ironed out, as has happened with almost every new release and update. Something almost always needs to be changed or added onto to fix a problem. Even in apps, if you look at the description of what the update contains, many times it says it contains bug fixes. The largest bugs I have ever seen was when I had the beta of iOS 7 three months before it came out. The first one was glitches galore, with the camera not opening properly, many apps crashed, my phone shut down unexpectedly. In short, it was the worst experience I've ever had with Apple software, if you take away the fact that I was the first of my friends to have it and it looked really cool. Apple, the company worth the most right now, continues to have bugs in its software.

Toyota as well had problems with their software. At first you may be asking what software Toyota has, but keep in mind that many cars are using software today, especially cars like the Prius that rely heavily on electricity. There was a software bug there caused the lights to go on without need, and required a recall of thousands of cars. This is a more extreme example of how software is never perfect. Usually you can test it out to where problems like this don't happen, and even if they do, if its on a computer its not much of a big deal, but in a car the stakes go up.

Finally, as another example that software is never perfect, we have the Gmail bug that happened today. As I have seen in reports, the bug happened when you searched Gmail. When you clicked on it, it could come up with a new composition that was sent to a random man's Hotmail in California. The main got thousands of e-mails from people around the world. For all we know at this point, Google could have just pulled off the biggest spamming feat of all time, but more than likely it was just a software bug. The tech giant who is known for brilliant programmers had a bug in their code.

With the small amount o examples in software bugs, it is apparent that they're to be expected. Huge, multi-billion dollar companies with top-notch programmers have them. I am by no means saying that you should never use software because they're destined to have errors, in fact, just the opposite. If anything I would like to be writing this to encourage people who, like me, are starting out inprogramming. Keep in mind that the errors you are having are common in this profession. If you get frustrated, at the very least you can take comfort in that fact that nobody in California is going to sue you for recieving huge amounts of e-mails.