27 May, 2006

Why we all sell code with bugs -Guardian

Why would a company release a product with known bugs? There are several reasons:

. We care about quality so deeply that we know how to decide which bugs are acceptable and which ones are not.
· It is better to ship a product with a known quality level than to ship a product full of surprises.
· The alternative is to fix them and risk introducing worse bugs.

All the reasons are tied up in one truth: every time you fix a bug, you risk introducing another. Every code change is a risk. If you don't recognise this you will never create a shippable product. At some point, you have to decide which bugs aren't going to be fixed.

There are four questions to ask about every bug. The first two are customer ones, and the next two are developer ones.

1) How bad is its impact? (Severity)
2) How often does it happen? (Frequency)
3) How much effort is required to fix it? (Cost)
4) What is the risk of fixing it? (Risk)

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