This is not an example of what happens when you don’t test. I worked at the ATO for over three years but was never involved in the $880 million dollar upgrade. I know they test and I know testers there who are very good.
But when you overhaul an entire system things can go wrong. Especially when you have to continue implementing new legislation in the old system and then retrofitting into the new system. The ATO has to include changes from government budgets and laws for the next taxation year (PAYG, GST, FBT or otherwise). These changes have to be implemented now in the old system that is still running and in the new system being built. But they knew about this. It’s about as formal as moving goalposts get.
It would be easy to say that they should have done less because they had money and they had good people. Or that process X wasn’t working and they needed to use technology Y. I’ve not looked into their processes and nor have I worked there in 3 and a half years.
I’ve heard that some companies are too big to fail. I remember it said during the GFC when some of those companies too big to fail, failed.
In the same regard some software is too big to fail. You can either do one of two things; make it smaller or don’t let it fail. You just can’t put it out there and see. You can’t fix it in the warranty period because you’re only fixing the software not the people whose lives have been significantly impacted.
|Ryan Boucher is a Software Inquisitor and is passionate about it. You can find a whole raft of articles and anecdotes about software testing and other topics he gets excited about.|