Software Maintenance Costs and the Walk Throughs

Filed under: Technology; Author: Les Bain; Posted: February 4, 2009 at 9:09 am;

There was a turning point in the development of software when it was finally discovered that it took more time and money to maintain a system than to develop it.  The emphasis shifted to creating systems that were easy to maintain.

To make a system easier to maintain the first goal was to create a system with fewer bugs.

To create the system with fewer bugs, there were a number of processes that were used.  One of the most interesting and controversial was the “code walk through”.  Programmers after they created a piece of code, usually a subroutine, sat with their peers for a review of the code.

The goal was to reduce bugs and reduce overall maintenance.  Programmers are not known for their social tact, and it was difficult at first to teach that when you reviewed code, you had to do it with some tact.

Some programming sites made the rule that before you pointed out any errors, you had to say something positive.  There was a famous story that one programmer who after reviewing the code of another programmer struggled to find something postive to say, until he finally blurted out “thank you for writing so clearly so I can see all the errors”.

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