About


Is There A Problem Here?

Originally posted at QuestioningSoftware.com on 15 February 2009.

Over the years, I have collected a number of examples of software failures in the wild -- some I've encountered myself, some were shared by others. I've had intentions to create a blog for sharing these software failures, and new ones as they are discovered, with hope that software designers, developers, and testers can discuss and learn from them. I have finally launched that blog. It is titled Is There A Problem Here?


I invite you to visit the blog and contribute at http://IsThereAProblemHere.com.



What?

Unless we state otherwise, the problems on this site are believed to have been found in the wild. This means they were found in software systems released to users after (hopefully) internal testing was performed by the software's makers.

Some problems are obvious. Some may not be obvious. Many are things some readers may believe are not problems.  A problem is in the eye of the beholder. Whether something is a bug or a feature often depends on perspective.

As the problems here were found in software released by the software makers, they are likely things the software makers either didn't discover or didn't consider to be serious problems.

In addition to problems, an occasional anti-problem will be posted. Anti-problems are unexpectedly nice software behavior.



Why?


Entertainment.  Errors made in ignorance, and without bad intent, are a common element in comedy. Failure can be funny.  Some of the problems posted on this site are here mostly for fun.

However, some errors suggest tragedy rather than comedy.  These errors may be destructive or believed to be intentional.

Education. Whether comedic or tragic, we can learn from problems. I am a firm believer in turning failure into learning. I find it less painful to learn from the failure of others than from my own.  In the spirit of learning from the failure of others before making your own mistakes, try applying the provided (in the left sidebar) heuristics for recognizing and evaluating software problems.

It is our desire that people involved in designing, building and testing software can learn from the problems and comments on this site. Please participate with your votes and comments.  



Where?

These problems come from a variety of sources:

  • Editors. Problems encountered by the editors/contributors as they use software.
  • Readers. Problems submitted by readers of this site. We ask you to share software problems you encounter.  Please see our Submission Guidelines.
  • News: We scan the news for reports of software problems.
  • Social Networks. Problems encountered by software users and publicly shared on social networks. Comments made by software users on social networks can provide insight from a variety of perspectives -- perspectives that often differ from that of software makers.  Items shared publicly on social networks (e.g., Twitpic, Tweetphoto, Yfrog, Flickr, etc.) that offer features for displaying images on other web sites are considered fair game for use on this site.  (The editors respect specific image licensing claims, such as those that can be applied to images on Flickr.) If we use an item you published on a social network and you would like it removed, please contact the editors by email at yes(at)isthereaproblemhere.com.

Happy Testing!


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