e-Talk Radio: Daughtrey, Taz, 31 October 2000


In this e-Talk Radio show, Ms. Dekkers and her guest, Taz Daughtrey, editor of the Software Quality Professional journal, talk about urban legends surrounding software. They also address the topic of professional certification for software developers and testers.

TEXT TRANSCRIPT: 31 October 2000
Copyright 2001 Quality Plus Technologies and Carol Dekkers. All rights reserved.

Announcer: Welcome to Quality Plus e-Talk! with Carol Dekkers. This program will focus on the latest in the field of technology. All comments, views, and opinions are those of the host, guests, and callers. Now let's join Carol Dekkers.

Carol: Welcome to Quality Plus e-Talk! for a Halloween night, year 2000. I'm Carol Dekkers. I'm the president of Quality Plus Technologies. We are a management consulting firm specializing in function point analysis, quality initiatives, software measurement, and process improvement. I've been a frequent presenter and trainer at U.S. and international quality and measurement conferences, and I have a certified management consulting designation, certified function point specialist, professional engineer, and information systems professional. For anyone that's interested, please go and take a look at our Web site, which is www.qualityplustech.com. It's all one word. And for any of your colleagues who would be interested in listening to our show, they can join us live by clicking on the icon on www.qualityplustech.com. And they can join us live. I'd like to give out the call-in phone number. Because tonight we have a special treat for you. We're going to be talking about ghosts, goblins, and glitches of software projects. And I'd like to invite our listeners to phone in, or anybody that's listening via the Internet, to phone in on the toll-free number, and you can share with our special guest tonight, who I haven't yet introduced, share with him some of your biggest glitches, some of the things that you've seen that have been ghosts or goblins that have haunted software projects for years. Let me give you the toll-free phone-in line. It is 866-277-5369. Again, that's 866-277-5369. And without further ado, I'd like to introduce our guest tonight. Taz Daughtrey is the founding editor-in-chief of a brand new industry journal called Software Quality Professional, which has been increasing since it was first introduced in December 1998. I think it has over 3,500 private subscribers. It is the American Society for Quality's quality journal…quarterly journal…put out by the software division. Taz has served as director of quality and chief security officer for an Internet provider of multimedia medical images over the Internet. He's been involved in software development for quite a number of years, and I won't say how many. But I do know that some of his fans are listening. And I'd like to welcome you to the show, Taz.

Taz Daughtrey: Thank you very much, Carol.

Carol: In terms of software quality, it's kind of an interesting theme, when we first talked about it, that ghosts, goblins, and glitches, when we were together at a conference a couple of weeks ago, which was the International Conference on Software Quality, by the American Society for Quality, of which you are a senior member, and I am a member. And there were a lot of interesting things that came up, and it does seem like there's a lot of ghosts and goblins that surround the whole issue of software quality. What would you say about that, Taz?

Taz: Yes. We were talking about that, and thought it would also be a nice theme for Halloween. Certainly, as people become much more dependent upon software and software-based systems, they're aware of all the ways that it can not only enrich their lives, but haunt them sometimes. Everything from the infamous blue screen of death that people get on their desktop computer, when it has a crash and is an aggravation, all the way up to major disasters. I think we've had some publicity, even since we decided on this topic. The West Coast had some problems a couple of weeks ago with software upgrades on the air traffic control radar that delayed flights. And you've heard of lots of other situations where people are inconvenienced, sometimes great financial harm may occur, and there literally have been cases where people have been injured and killed because of systems that were being run by software and problems in the software. So I think people are much more sensitive now to have their lives, at a very personal level or a very global level, to be haunted by problems that have occurred in software. And I hope they're getting much more serious and willing, unwilling really, to put up with the kinds of problems that they have had in the past in software.

Carol: And I think that the ghosts sometimes of bad projects come back, as you said, to haunt us. Several weeks ago, we had Tim Lister on the show. And one of the things that he had mentioned at one of the conferences I was at about two years ago, was, he was talking about Year 2000 projects. And that kind of opened up the presentation, where he said, "We are so date driven, to get our software out." He said, "I'd like to be a spaceman going back to 1968 or 1978 or 1988," and he said, "I'd like to be able to go back and say 'I've come from the future. If you need an extra two months on your software project, guess what? It's still running in 22 years. So take an extra two months, or take an extra five months, or whatever you need.'" Do you think being date driven is part of our problem?

Taz: Well, certainly. One of the talks that I gave at the conference that we are alluding to was on Internet Time and Internet Quality. And it's become really a commonplace that Internet Time means that there's such a compressed schedule, the expectations are that you can produce applications, you can put yourself into business, that you can ramp up with whatever kind of wonderful system you want, and you have to do it very, very quickly. I mean, even traditionally people were being driven by the quarterly reports. A publicly traded company has quarterly statistics to put out, and people are tracking on that. And the expectation that the company must do something, or show some sort of measurable result within a three-month span. But now it seems like the cycle is down to almost daily. The expectations people have, the promises that you make, and the way that you want to present yourself on the Internet. And I think a lot of people feel that first in the field, or first to offer some service, or to be able to be, seem to be responsive…Now, it's so important, it certainly has always been a "pay me now or pay me later." That, as you say, and I think that's a wonderful observation of Lister's, but if you took a little bit of extra time, in the long run you come out far ahead. But people will be haunted by mistakes they made or haunted by actions that they made, where they had to determine too quickly, "Let's get it into operation." And I think the Internet particularly has given more visibility and impetus for that. And people realize that later, if they are going to still be in business in three months, six months, three years, whatever, that if they cut corners it will come back to haunt them. And I think there are classic cases of that happening over and over again. That people don't realize a little bit of forethought, a little bit of preventive action, a little bit of appraisal of how they're doing is so much better than rushing out there and then having to apologize and patch things up and literally be haunted by the Ghost of Software.

Carol: Right. Now, do you think…In thinking about the Internet, I guess everybody in a way can be a programmer. And anybody from…Any of our listeners driving home, any of the listeners that happen to be on the Internet, that everywhere it seems you turn there's "free Web pages," "make your own Web page." You don't need to know programming. And I know in industry, in business, a lot more users, a lot of people who are not necessarily trained in computer science now have everything open to them. They can link up to anything, and I think that there's some potential dangers there in terms of hackers getting in. What's your take on just opening up the Internet so that everybody can become a programmer?

Taz: Well, we used to call this end-user programming. And what we meant was that we would give the person that wanted to have access to some information or some application the ability to sort of roll their own, to make some modifications or to actually do the programming. But it was usually a pretty private thing. They were doing this for themselves or for a small audience. Now, as you say, people are posting a Web site, or they've got a home page, or they're providing information, and it is quite the case, as it really has always been, that there's very little barrier to entry into programming as an occupation. We'll argue about whether it's a profession or not. That's part of the claim of talking about the Journal of Software Quality Professional and the "professionalism" involved. But as an occupation, as something someone can do, the barriers are even lower. And it's certainly the case that now that you're making yourself visible, you're sharing something with the outside world, just the pure fact of the embarrassment of it not working right has got to be a concern. And then as you say, it you're providing a service, or you're making something accessible, and there are ways that it could be misused, mishandled, whether it's a security breach or not, there's a lot more vulnerability. And I think that the barriers to entry in programming have almost disappeared. And that while it's a wonderful thing, I know in my home state of Virginia, there is a standard of learning, in terms of expectations of what school children of different ages will be able to do. And I've forgotten whether it's sixth grade, I think, that creating your own home page is the competence that we're expecting of upper elementary or introductory middle school students. So we're really saying we want everyone to be able to create, of the sort of thing that you would call programming. But as an actual occupation turning into a profession, I think we have to be concerned that if everyone has that power, not everyone is properly trained or understands all the consequences of doing that job in a way that at the very least would be embarrassing to them if they did a poor job. And maybe could have some very haunting consequences.

Carol: Right. I'm going to throw something at you that we haven't…we didn't prepare for. But seeing as how we're in an election month, and we've got different sides of view, we've got three contenders really, and two major contenders and a third one who's way off and distant…There's been some talk of licensing the Internet or charging people for using the Internet, or licensing professionals. What's…Without asking you who you're going to vote for, or your politics, what do you think of that? What do you think about licensing people to use the Internet, or gauging taxes or something on that basis?

Taz: Well, let me separate out. There are some beautiful, what we call Urban Myths. And a classic thing came up, and this is not partisan, because both the Republican and the Democrat candidates for Senate in New York State a few weeks ago were asked in a debate about one of these Urban Myths. A hoax that said that the postal service was going to start collecting a fee on every email, to compensate for the decrease in postal mail. Now, I don't know if there's a decrease in postal mail. My mailbox is still just as full of unsolicited credit cards and junk mail of various sorts. But I'm also getting junk email now, as well.

Carol: Well, and I line up at the post office every week.

Taz: But they asked both the Republican and Democratic candidates for the Senate in New York State, and neither the moderator, the newsperson who was moderating, nor the candidates, knew that this was a hoax. That this was an urban myth. And they both came out pretty much against it, which is great, and we know that there have been some serious proposals to do other types of regulations, the taxation of Internet transactions is probably the most contentious right now. And there are some strong interests on both sides. I think we're much better off if we can keep our hands off of anything that would inhibit people using the Internet. And obviously, regulations, restrictions, and taxes on the one hand, are things that I would avoid.

Carol: Hang on. We have to go into a quick break. But hold that thought, and we'll be back shortly after these few messages.

Welcome back to Quality Plus e-Talk! I'm Carol Dekkers, and my guest this week is Taz Daughtrey, who is the founding editor-in-chief of Software Quality Professional, which is an American Society for Quality, the software division's, quarterly journal. Welcome back, Taz.

Taz: Thanks, Carol.

Carol: We went into break with a little bit of talking about something that I think it's a great title, which is Urban Legends of Software Development, or concerning computers in general. And one of those that I have to kind of chuckle at, but absolutely would be valid, would be the post office trying to collect taxes on email. Even though the post office has nothing to do with email, you know, interoffice mail, where you actually send it by computer and you use an intranet provider. You were going to finish something off on that, talking about the urban legends and the Internet, Taz.

Taz: Well, it's interesting that certainly, just as a medium of communication, the Internet's spreading all these urban legends, all these stories. I was thinking about how many of them dealt with false stories or seemingly plausible stories. In fact, the editorial that's going to be in the upcoming issue of Software Quality Professional, the journal that I edit, tackles some of these, because I just thought it was curious. There are some stories floating around that maybe Bill Gates and Walt Disney, Jr. want you to send an email to ten of your friends, sort of a chain letter sort of thing. The bottom line is that they're going to pay you by giving you some money or a trip to DisneyWorld or something of the sort. And I think a lot of people have sort of been bamboozled into that. Or similar things that sound plausible. There have always been hoaxes about someone who is going to try to set the world record for the most get-well cards. Well, you send these get-well cards to someone who maybe doesn't even exist, and if they're physical cards they wind up in shoeboxes someplace, or the post office gets bags and bags of them. What's happened more recently is people have had hoaxes about email. There's some sick child in England somewhere who wants to set a world's record, and so millions and millions of people send emails. At least they don't fill up a shoebox. They might fill up a hard drive someplace. But it's just such a multiplier effect, that someone with a seemingly plausible story can spread it around the world in an instant. And interestingly, a lot of the viruses, the supposed viruses that we've been warned about are not real viruses. People have been led to believe that there are all sorts of things that can go wrong with their computer. And they rightly should be concerned about opening an email attachment from someone you don't know, or responding in a way that might be harmful. But there are a lot of false alarms. And again, people have wasted lots of time. I've had people in my own office forward email notifications of viruses that just weren't true, to the point that you really almost have to have someone who knows enough about this technical specialty to say, now, that's a legitimate concern versus all these other things that are just hoaxes, false alarms. And well-meaning people are sending the information out, but it's just not true. And the multiplier effect of having the Internet, you can scare millions of people around the world in an instant.

Carol: I had one come from a colleague of mine that said Warning about a Virus, and it had the virus attached! That was the most stunning one.

Taz: I've always wondered if that might be a really sneaky ploy for somebody to use to seemingly give you a virus alert, or even a virus fighting tool, and do something like that. But there's just so much perversity around there too. I think a lot of people have too much time on their hands, and they're out there trying to find some ways to use the technology…

Carol: I think it's very daunting to anybody who doesn't have a technical background. It kind of reminds me of when you go to the doctor, and the doctor tells you something. And you just have to have blind faith. When you go in to Radio Shack or Comp USA, and even if, you know, I've got a technical background, but when I walk in there, they'll throw the words around, and I just kind of think, "Oh, gee, I should have known all those words." And I have no clue.

Taz: You need to educate yourself. I used to teach high school physics, and one of the sessions we had was on, at that time, the high technology was in sound systems. Stereo, hi-fi systems. I guess they don't call them hi-fi anymore, but…One of the things that I remember doing is showing people, here is the physics behind this. Why get somebody that's going to give you a speaker that promises this wonderful response up to 100,000 Hertz, when only your dog can hear that? You know, people were saying things that didn't have a technical foundation for it, because it sounded plausible. And the same thing's happening. I'm sure people are selling computers or making promises, or getting people sort of fooled into the stories with their hardware or their software. It seems plausible, and yet because people are not well enough informed, they're going to make some wrong decisions. Maybe it's no worse than buying something they didn't need, or spending more than they need to be…But people will mislead them if they don't have either somebody they can trust, or their own knowledge.

Carol: And we will be back with Taz Daughtrey of the Software Quality Professional after these important messages.

And if you're just joining us, I'm Carol Dekkers, I'm the president of Quality Plus Technologies, a management consulting firm specializing in software measurement, function point analysis, quality initiatives, and process improvement, primarily for the software industry. You can find out more about our services, and you can join us live by clicking on the Web site www.qualityplustech.com. This week I have as my guest Taz Daughtrey, who is the founding editor-in-chief of Software Quality Professional, which is a peer-reviewed journal put out by the American Society for Quality on a quarterly basis. And we've been talking about ghosts, goblins, and glitches of software projects. And we went into break talking a little bit about…I'm fascinated by the urban legends. And maybe you could just share a couple more with us, Taz, and then we'll move into a little bit of discussion on, should everybody be able to use the Internet? Should everybody be able to program in the Internet? So, if you can just give us a couple more urban legends that you've heard, I think they're interesting. And if anyone wants to phone in, our phone-in line is 866-277-5369. If you've got any comments that you'd like to share with Taz Daughtrey. So Taz, without further ado, what are a couple more urban legends that you've uncovered?

Taz: Thank you, Carol. Really, there's a whole class of them dealing with things that your computer can or cannot do. And some of them are almost humorous, and there's a pretty famous humorous one out there. Because of all the false alarms, the different types of viruses, there's one out there that basically is sort of a credulity virus, which means that if you believe this, then all these awful horrible things will happen if you get infected with this virus, including demagnetizing all the stripes on all your credit cards and defrosting your refrigerator, and things like that. But there actually are enough of these legends, urban legends as I call them, about things that might happen with viruses, and a lot of them being false alarms. There are some Web sites that do nothing but hunt down these stories and basically validate them or reveal the inaccuracies in them. And a number of these sites for urban legends in general also are out there. The folklore societies, and various places have them. And there's some of them in the editorial, the forthcoming issue, the December issue of the journal Software Quality Professional. But it just is interesting that people in some senses are pretty gullible about the sort of things you can and can't do. A lot of the Internet service providers have to constantly remind people not to give out information about their accounts or about passwords and about credit cards, because while there really have never been any documented cases of anyone literally intercepting credit card information. When you're doing a legitimate transaction online, the security, and just the mass of information you have to sift through to find a valid credit card, is protection. So that there really are people who in the normal transactions of using the Internet have not had credit cards stolen from someone just basically dipping into the bit stream. But obviously there have been cases of lots of scams. And lots of scams used to be run by people coming to your door or people calling you on the telephone. Now people are running these kinds of scams on the Internet. And some of them are based on what we call urban legends. Some of them are just based on a confidence game, where people pretend to be someone or ask to have some information, and folks just have to be reminded not to give out the kind of information online the way you wouldn't give it out on the phone or if someone came to your door without proper credentials.

Carol: And that kind of leads us into our next topic. We were going to talk a little bit about professionalism in the software industry. One of the things that my company does is we go in and we teach people in the bona fide software industry how to make their processes better, how to develop better software. But when you go beyond that, when you go beyond the people that are actually trained in computer science or software engineering or engineering and who are developing these large systems, we get beyond and we get people who could be coming out of high school, they could be working, not to pick on any particular industry, but say for example they've driven a long-haul truck for years and years and years and took a two-week Java course. That whole area, I guess, is pretty much opening up. And you were going to say a little bit about your views on professionalism in this whole software industry.

Taz: Right. One of the things that the American Society for Quality, and other professional societies, are encouraging and are supporting is a drive toward professionalism. And that means that there are certain bodies of knowledge that need to be mastered, there are certain professional skills that need to be demonstrated, there are certain responsibilities that people need to have in order to be, not just in an occupation, but to be in a profession. If you think about it, what's happened in law and in medicine and engineering over the years, is that there are restrictions on who can practice or who is recognized as being able to practice. Certainly, if you really want to restrict entry into a profession or restrict entry into practicing some specialty, you license. And there have been over the years some suggestions that programmers, or that software engineers of different sorts, be licensed. Which means they're given permission by the government, and unless they have permission, just like you don't have permission to drive an automobile unless you show some minimum knowledge, you have to pass some sort of test, show some competency and get behind the wheel, and then you get a drivers license. And until you're given that license by whatever state you're in, you don't have the right to drive an automobile. Now, I think that might be going a little bit far, except in maybe some very extreme cases, where we want to put some restrictions on some mission-critical or even life-threatening, life-dependent situations. But in general, I'd much rather see professionalism encouraged by having professional societies or having certifications. One of the things I know you, in the special area of function points, which is a specialized understanding of a measurement type, there are people who receive training and are evaluated and become certified, being able to do function point counts. And then take a broader context, there are people who are certified to use particular technologies or tools, certainly there are a lot of certificates out there that the vendors of software products, whether it's Microsoft or Cisco or whoever, issues. We're really not talking about something tool specific or brand specific. The American Society for Quality has a certification program, a series of certifications in the area of quality, and one of them is the ASQ certified software quality engineer. And that's been a measure in the last five years or so that people are recognizing that there is quality necessary in…really quality control necessary in understanding how to build quality into and evaluate quality of software.

Carol: Right.

Taz: Many professional societies are also emerging with bodies of knowledge for software engineering that might lead to certification.

Carol: I think that's a really good analogy that you used with driving a car. You could be stopped by the police if you don't have a license. And you could be fined. And in the engineering profession, the same type of thing. You can't seal drawings on a bridge without sealing them with an engineering seal that says that you have the competency to stand behind it. Even for pacemaker software, or air traffic controller software, even with the American Society for Quality or some of the other designations that are around, it's not mandatory.

Taz: No, it's really strange. In Virginia, the fellow that cuts my hair has a license, but the person who wrote the software that controls the brakes in my automobile doesn't have to. Now, I'll outgrow a bad haircut. I don't know if most of that certification is for health, hygiene reasons, whatever. But it seems that there are plenty of instances where at least a master overseeing engineer needs to be able to pass judgment to say yes, this is safe enough for people to depend their lives on the software.

Carol: That's a pretty scary thing. I think that moving toward the professionalism is something that the American Society for Quality has done. And that's going to help a lot. We'll be back with our closing segment in just a few moments.

Welcome back to Quality Plus e-Talk! I'm Carol Dekkers, and my guest this week has been Taz Daughtrey, who is the editor-in-chief of Software Quality Professional. We've been talking a lot about ghosts, goblins, and glitches. And I think that a lot of the glitches in terms of software and the software we've got on the market and the software that our businesses use really can be solved a lot when it comes down to professionalism. If we can get some of this professionalism in place…Where can people phone, if you've got problems with software? You think that software should be licensed, or that people developing the software that is affecting our lives should be licensed, who could people phone, Taz?

Taz: Well, the American Society for Quality, which publishes the journal that I edit, has been involved in a number of areas. We've even taken some stand on legislation that recently has been before different states that really lessens the liability that people have for their bad software. So I think it would be good to reinforce that. The American Society for Quality has an 800 number. It's 800-248-1946. And there will be someone there that can certainly take some information or provide some information and take some opinions from folks, specifically in the area of software. The journal has a Web site, which is www, not www, I keep doing that every time. Actually, it will work either way, I found that out. You can type in or not type the www. But it's sqp.asq.org. So that's sqp as in software quality professional, dot asq as in American Society for Quality, dot org as in organization. And the ASQ, the American Society for Quality, is really just professionals, over 120,000 individuals who are devoted to applying quality principles to software. And we shouldn't put up with bad software quality any more than we put up with bad quality in any product or service. There's been so much "gee whiz" about computers and "gee whiz" about software that people have been maybe intimidated. But we shouldn't put up with that. Our televisions never crash, why should our computers crash so much?

Carol: And why should our…I think we can also demand, in some cases, that our software work with other software.

Taz: And I think a lot of this is…Again, the marketplace that we have been so much impressed by the technology, that we're willing to put up…But why…You call someone and they say, "I'm sorry, my computer's down right now." That's poor planning, that's not considered…That's not a business case for…If you depend upon computers, you should be having the computer working all the time. You don't say, "I'm sorry, I don't have any sharpened pencils right now. I can't write down your order."

Carol: Oh, I witnessed a presentation where somebody showed up on the screen, and it was put up in jest in some ways, but it was really actually quite real. It said in a car, you could have a screen that comes up and says "braking system failure-hit control-alt-delete." But you can't do what in a car. So, you know, software quality is going to become a life and death situation. And some of the situations where we've got recalls right now. Where we have major automobile recall parts, in particular. How much of that might have been prevented, or caused by poor quality software? Who knows?

Taz: And because we don't make the demands, either of the companies that manufacture, that individuals be held accountable. I've also jokingly said that one sign of the maturity in this area is to have some software malpractice suits. I'm not real big on a lot of needless, litigious behavior, but certainly malpractice implies that there's good practice. Unless there's a standard, acceptable level, people won't say well that's beyond due to their malpractice. When people start to say that's malpractice, that means there's some recognition of what really should be done. And there are certain behaviors and certain practices that are unacceptable. And if you cross that line, if I have to, I'll even sue you about it.

Carol: It may come to that. We fortunately have not seen and heard major disasters, major human disasters. And fortunately we have some of our governmental agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration, which does control things like pacemaker software. Pacemaker software and that type of software has to go through rigorous, rigorous tests. And things like our weaponry systems. The Department of Defense has a lot of regulations, that people that are building software have to pass through all these different checkpoints in order to do that.

Taz: The Federal Aviation Administration, it's the same with avionics, with the software, to make sure the planes are able to fly correctly.

Carol: Thankfully.

Taz: And I've worked in an environment with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That's a classic, you don't want your nuclear power plants to melt down. And none of that happened. And when the Year 2000 also, you know, you didn't have any missiles firing or any reactors melting down. But people had to spend an awful lot of time convincing themselves that it wasn't going to happen. And in many cases, that could have been avoided, as you'd said earlier in the show, if people had thought that their software would be running 20 years from the time they wrote it. So we should be thinking what's going to happen 20 years from now, or ways in which we need to just be more professional in the way that we design, construct, and test our software.

Carol: And we will be back with closing comments by Taz Daughtrey and Carol Dekkers after these messages.

Welcome back to Quality Plus e-Talk! I'm Carol Dekkers, and I hope…My guest this week has been Taz Daughtrey, the founding editor-in-chief of Software Quality Professional. And we've been talking about ghosts, goblins, and glitches of software quality, software projects. And I'd just like to say a warm thank you very much for spending your Halloween evening with us, Taz.

Taz: It was my pleasure, Carol. And I thank you. You've been a supporter of the journal, have contributed in the past, and have an article coming out in our next issue. And you've been very helpful on our editorial board. So I appreciate your contributions to the profession.

Carol: Thank you. I appreciate it. And we now have for Software Quality Professional an online snippet that people can actually view. And what's the Web site for that, Taz?

Taz: It's sqp.asq.org. We have the full contents of one issue each year. A lead article in its entirety, and information about all the other articles in each of the quarterly issues out there online.

Carol: Great. So if anybody's interested in that, it's an excellent peer-reviewed journal. And I'd like to promote next week's show. We're going to have Paul Hopkins, who is actually resident in Phoenix, Arizona. He is working for Honeywell in a high-level information technology position. And we're going to be talking about a topic which is near and dear to my heart, which is measurement and business value. And Honeywell has recently been just purchased by GE, so I think Paul's going to have some enlightening things to say about the IT industry and the number of times that people get bought out, and how you can use measurement to prove business value. We were going to have Roger Pressman on last week's show. And unfortunately, due to some previous engagements, we are going to actually have Roger Pressman on our November 14 show. And so please tune in for that. You can find an entire listing of the upcoming shows on our Web site at www.qualityplustech.com. And again, if you've got friends and colleagues, ask them to join in. And listening through streaming audio, by going to that Web site. It's been a pleasure to have Taz Daughtrey this week. And Taz, do you have any sort of final words of wisdom, or some sort of voice of the future, or any sort of Halloween sendoff that you'd like to leave our listeners with tonight?

Taz: Well, thank you. We talked about the ghosts, goblins, glitches. I think that a lot of people think that bad things happens in software just on their own. People use the word "bug," like something sort of flew in through the window and messed up their program. Bad software is because people did things wrong. And I think that if we don't tolerate that, and encourage people to be more professional in the design, construction, testing, evaluation, measurement of their software, we'll all be better off. And not tolerate poor quality in software the way we don't tolerate poor quality in other products and services. And I'm interested and excited that people are becoming more concerned about that, and that we can promote professionalism among those of us who work in the software area.

Carol: And I appreciate your time tonight. It's been wonderful to talk about ghosts, goblins, and glitches. I think software will improve in quality, and between Taz Daughtrey, the American Society for Quality, and our company, Quality Plus Technologies, we're trying to build a better software world. Please join us next week for Paul Hopkins of Honeywell. And happy Halloween.

Copyright 2001 Quality Plus Technologies and Carol Dekkers. All rights reserved.

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