Bad news for travelers:
My cousin was flying out of Atlanta this morning, and expected to be in San Francisco this afternoon, in time for a family get-together dinner. Unfortunately, she, along with many other travelers around the country were stuck at the airports this morning and will have to adjust their plans due to delays caused by a computer bug. According to Associated Press (Nov. 19, 2009, Harry R. Weber, AP Airlines Writer), “The Federal Aviation Administration said the problem, which lasted about five hours, was fixed around 10 a.m., but it was unclear how long flights would be affected.” So my cousin will miss the Sashimi dinner that I am preparing tonight.
In August 2008, another software bug caused hundreds of flight delays around the country. Also by Associated Press: “The FAA said at that time the source of the computer software malfunction was a ‘packet switch’ that ‘failed due to a database mismatch.’”
Good news for testers:
If a particular bug was discovered and fixed earlier, the delays it caused can be prevented. Once again, these stories bring out the importance of testing. While testing engineers don’t create software, we help make software run reliably through our bug finding skills. It is also encouraging to be reassured that when we break software during testing we are saving people and our company time and money; it might cause delays to the production release schedule, but such delays are much more tolerable than the delays caused by us missing a bug.
Keep breaking software…We will ultimately make a lot of people happy! I know that I would be happier if my cousin was not late for dinner.