September 7, 2016

The Critical Role of Systems Thinking in Software Development

Software applications exist to serve practical human needs, but they inevitably accumulate undefined and defective behaviors as well.

Because software flaws are often left undiscovered until some specific failure forces them to the surface, every software project ships with some degree of unquantified risk. This is true even when software is built by highly skilled developers, and is an essential characteristic of any complex system.

When you really think about it, a software system is little more than a formal mathematical model with incomplete, informally specified inputs, outputs, and side effects, run blindly by machines at incomprehensibly high speeds. And because of that, it’s no surprise that our field is a bit of a mess.

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