Friday, June 01, 2012

Software Defect of the Week - Nasdaq Crash

This one makes me go, "Hmmm."

The quote that got my attention was, "Greifeld [Nasdaq Chief Executive Robert Greifeld] also said extensive testing that was performed ahead of the deal failed to spot this problem."

I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard or said that.

In other reports, Greifeld alluded to coding problems.

"Nasdaq’s systems fell into a “loop” that prevented the second-largest U.S. stock venue operator from opening the shares on schedule following the $16 billion deal, he [Geeifeld] said."

Just a few thoughts:

1.  This is a good example of the public impact of a software defect.
2.  The CEO took the heat, publicly (I shudder to think of what was going on in the testing group), which shows that when the stuff really hits the fan it is senior management that talks to the reporters.
3.  Life went on, but the public perception of the Nasdaq trading system has been eroded, at least for a while.
4.  I'll bet that the performance test team gets all the test resources they request. (If things are really that simple.) 
I guess the part that troubles me is if the general public is so accustomed to software failure that it's not seen as anything more than a "hiccup" or "glitch."

I would like to hear your thoughts on this.