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283

The answer is surprisingly simple: those 'other industries' do have a high failure rate. We're just comparing the wrong things. Writing software is often called 'build', and so we compare it to the manufacturing or construction phases in other industries. But if you look at it, it's not construction at all: it's design. Software designs are written in ...


204

Ed Yourdon's Death March touches upon a number of these meta type questions. In general, the software industry lacks a lot of the following, which gets in the way of large projects. Standardization and work item breakdown. This has certainly gotten better, but the design constructs still aren't there to break out a big system. In some ways, software ...


128

To point out some figures: Change of requirements after implementation started; for example when the first Airbus A380 started to be created in the factory I cannot believe that if someone wanted 200 more seats, those would be put there; but in a large software project even after the programmers started development 5 more types of users can be added. ...


111

The premise of the question is a bit flawed. Both the A380 and the Boeing 787 were delivered years late. In the case of the A380 much of the delay was caused by the French and German units of Airbus using different and slightly incompatible versions of CATIA design software. This incompatibly manifested itself as wiring harnesses that didn't quite fit the ...


71

Skyscraper guy here. Not sure if I can answer your question but I can surely shed some light into various items in the thread. Buildings do indeed occur very fast. A major constraint is locale (regulations). But in general it takes 3 to 10 years for a tall building from start to finish. I think comparing a new building with a new software project is not ...


48

First of all, your fear is very healthy, and normal. Here are my musings after about 15 years in the software industry. Here are some questions to ask yourself: Do you understand the problem? Do you know that the problem is unsolvable (within your time/budget constraints)? Do you just not know how to solve the problem? Is your client/boss asking for the ...


42

Incorrect. Grades are important especially if you have no or little professional programming experience. It's the bulk of your resume until you have professional experience.


32

Then how long did the design of those took? Year? Two? Ten years? The design is the most complex part of building something, the construction itself is easy. Based on this article, it is slowly being understood, that software development is mostly design process where design document is the source code itself. And the design process is totally different ...


31

Most developed countries keep statistics, although they all use slightly different standards for what they measure, so it's hard to compare. For the United States, there are 1,336,300 programmers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The United Kingdom has 333,000 "software professionals," according to the Office for National Statistics. In Canada ...


27

This vastly depends on what school you get a degree from. Some schools are more skills-based, teaching things that can be put on a resume to get a job. Others are more knowledge-based, focusing more on abstract topics. They both have their advantages. A degree from a more skills-based school will make you more comfortable coming into a new job, since ...


26

I work in the financial sector and have worked for a range of banks etc... Coding styles vary considerably from place to place, some have very precise and strict rules, others have none. Coding styles have various pros and cons. The pros of a strict coding style are: Consistency, makes it easier for developers to follow each others code Coding styles ...


23

I go to StackOverflow ;) But all joking aside, do not fear the unknown. Your whole career will be facing the unknown, because if you already solved it, it won't be a problem the next time.


23

What do you find is a common weakness of new hires and/or new grad students? In undergraduate students, a lack of mastery. They know a little bit about a lot of things, but in industry, that simply doesn't cut it. This lack of defined expertise is common to most undergraduate students, not just computer scientists. In grad students, a lack of ...


22

Serverside Java (J2SE/J2EE/JEE) has been the mainstay of Server Side development for enterprises and will probably continue to do so for some time. Why? 1.) Enterprises like stability. Java's been given a lot of stick recently for lacking certain language features and not breaking with the past. To be blunt, my Investment Bank client Loves that ...


20

How to handle large, pre-existing systems! What I mean is that it is rare to just walk into completely new development. Usually you go into an environment where the code has been around for a while. So things that could be taught are: Debugging large systems. Code comprehension of large systems. How to build large systems. How to handle supporting ...


20

As someone with a mechanical engineering background working in IT, I've often wondered about the reasons of the low success rate in IT. As others in this thread, I've also often attributed the failures to the immaturity of IT, the lack of detailed standards (yes I'm serious, have you ever checked the standard sheet of a simple bolt?) and the lack of ...


19

The importance of 'soft tasks' in a work environment. Things like: Version Control Writing / Reading Documentation Bug tracking Automated Testing


18

I am a JEE developer. I work mainly on HTML / Flex based apps, and a few purely backend solutions. I still do Swing every now and then. Java is still the language of choice for large enterprise applications (JEE). There isnt that many alternatives for it. You could say that .Net / C# is the natural competition, but in my industry (private banking) it will ...


17

Put yourself in the place of a hiring manager at a large (or not so large) company. You have one or two entry level positions to fill, and 150 applicants. The easiest thing to do is filter out everyone with a GPA less that 3.0 (or 3.5). True, you may eliminate a truly good candidate. But you will also cut down on your workload, and the time before you ...


17

The stricter and longer the coding style guidelines, the less likely employees will follow them.


14

I've not met any entry-level person in the computer science field who had the slightest idea of how to query a database. I've not seen any business-oriented project that didn't need to do this (granted there are some, but not in the typical business environment where most graduates will get jobs).


14

I think the most important question is a different one: what is it you want to do? Do you really want to research really complex and exciting things, do stuff that nobody has done before? Then you may want to go for that degree. The downside: less money, you'll work on theoretical concepts that may never see real-world application, and once you have that ...


13

I'm afraid that I disagree with your statement. Airbus and Boeing are two examples of companies that build planes. How many companies that build planes are there? Very few, if you would compare it to how many companies build software. It is equally easy to screw an airplane project as to screw a software project. If only the entry barrier was so low in the ...


13

Imagine, in the middle of the design of the Airbus A380, someone piped up in a meeting and said, "Heh, could build it as a triplane?" Others joined in saying, "Yeah, yeah. A triplane. More wings are better." The next thee years is spent turning the A380 design into a triplane. At another meeting, someone says, "A triplane? That's old. We want a biplane. Just ...


12

It can, but likely won't lead to a problem. It's just economics. If the vast majority of people lose the ability to understand the underlying architecture, and there is still a huge NEED to understand the underlying architecture, then the ones who do will have jobs and get paid more, while those who don't will only have jobs where that is not needed (and ...


12

To me, "adding some features" can be creative. For service, you have be passionate if you want to keep the customers happy. In either company, you will face a lot of problems and some of them will be difficult to solve. I've been working in the States, Canada, China and Hong Kong. In my personal experience, no matter which type of company you are working ...


11

They are useful if you don't have real work experience. If a potential employer has nothing else to go by (no work experience, open source project development, etc), then that's the only physical thing they can evaluate you by. Typically, it doesn't matter as much as you actually knowing your stuff. If you have a GPA of <2.0, and don't have other ...



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