[SIGCIS-Members] software modernization failures

Foster, David davidfos at ttu.edu
Thu May 4 18:14:31 PDT 2023

Dr. C,

I think it’s generally a matter of complexity and scale. For those that recall the Big Dig in Boston, that modernize-while-operate approach is tough. In software, everything is always more complex once you get under the hood so to speak. Every software build that I’ve been a part of, inevitably and invariably a mod (DoD, Exec Agency, private sector) is a combo of fixing and adding features. The incentives are to get the software into production when it’s been validated as functioning per design requirements, but its generally not time/cost effective to test every permutation of the full range of all variable values, etc. To me it is naturally common and will continue to be so. It’s not entirely the same as the construction world’s notion of substantial completion, but it’s something like that. Software is just one of the layers of the whole lash up, with the physical and logical models other important elements and the differences and nuances across the range of hosting platforms, the particular maturities/legacies/etc. of the hardware etc. Not sure what else to say about this…

Regards, Dave

Dave Foster
PhD Student
Department of History
Texas Tech University
davidfos at ttu.edu
Learner | Intellection | Context | Ideation | Input

From: Members <members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org> on behalf of Jonathan Coopersmith via Members <members at lists.sigcis.org>
Date: Thursday, May 4, 2023 at 18:57
To: SIGCIS <members at sigcis.org>
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] software modernization failures
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Any suggestions for a book or article on software modernization failures, especially for large projects?  Why do they seem common -- and apparently remain so?
Thank you.

Stay sane,


Jonathan Coopersmith
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Professor Emeritus
Department of History
Texas A&M University
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