Software Bugs – Quality is job ‘x’?

Maybe I’m overly idealistic. When I buy a piece of software, I expect it to be bug free. While perhaps that may be unrealistic, we all like to think that we’re buying something that has been tested to ensure a good user experience. Yet today, I find that software companies let more and more ‘bugs’ (until they’re documented, then they are called ‘features’) out the door in released code.

Just the other day, I was lamenting a bug in Quicken 2010 on Twitter.

To which Quicken did respond with:

While I’m very glad to see that they’ve fixed over 2000 bugs, I think I’m more concerned that Quicken 2010 was released with over 2000 bugs. What I think bothers me more is that we as users have accepted this to be the way things are.

Do we accept a compromise in quality for shiny new features? How much development effort should go into improving the code base vs. adding new things?

Now this is one thing when we are talking about our personal lives, it’s a personal decision that only impacts us. I have the option of going to find a different solution, but how about when a company that is providing enterprise solutions compromises on quality to deliver features at the expense of all of your users? Do we also feel that this is acceptable? It’s not as easy to switch. Do enterprise software companies prey on the fact that once they have you, they have you? Do today’s “subscription” licenses make it easier?

I will be speaking at the upcoming Defrag Conference and you can be sure that this topic will be part of what I present.

So help me solve for ‘x‘. Please feel free to share your thoughts on quality and where it fits in today’s software development priorities.