History's worst bugs

Wired has an article on history's worst bugs. It gives a chronological list of the 10 worst bugs in the history of bugs. I found it an interesting read. Furthermore they also give the etymology behind the word "bug" which was fascinating.

A random silly fact about the article is that the authors name is very similar to Simon Garfunkel. I misread it several times.

But what I'd like to expand a bit upon is what they write in the first paragraph of the article. There they report on the fact that Toyota had to recall a number of their Prius cars due to a bug in the software of the car. I find it interesting that Toyotas name shows up here because few company's are so tightly associated with high quality and robust things. Here in Sweden someone even tried to put a Toyota logo on his car when he had it inspected in the hope that it would pass more easily. (He didn't come up with this himself though, Toyota is running a commercial which shows people doing just that.) "The Toyota Way" is a corporate model for (among other things) increasing the quality and reliability of the products. Examples of how they work is that finding a problem is considered a success. They keep asking "why" when a problem shows up to really find the root of the problem. This had the effect that a small pool of oil on the factory floor changed the bonus program for people in the buying department. This way of long term thinking reminds me of the thinking I blogged about a while ago in Getting Software Right. What I would like to see is a Toyota Way for the software industry. Now that Toyota need software in their cars maybe they can improve the field of software engineering. I should point out that I don't think it is possible to use the Toyota model right off the shelf since it is aim at producing physical stuff, not computer program. These two things are inherently different.

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