BDAE Events

Why we Shouldn’t Trust Software –
A cynics Viewpoint

Presented by Dr Jim Cooling – Lindentree Associates

Thursday, 20th October, 2022 @ 7.30pm
The Studio, The Forum, Barrow in Furness

BDAE Press Release: Why we Shouldn’t Trust Software –
A cynics Viewpoint

For many people the word ‘software’ conjures images of web browsing, phone apps and computer-based gaming. Many of us have suffered from the effects of software failures when using such applications (which can reduce the most balanced of people to a demented state). Fortunately, that’s generally the extent of the problem, though the worst cases often involve the loss of money. But few realise the amount of software in everyday use that can truly be dangerous: the type embedded in real, physical devices.

This presentation first sets out to bring home the range of effects can be produced by failures in embedded software: from inconvenience to major cost penalties through to death and destruction. It then looks at why such poor-quality work gets out into important, often critical, systems. Finally, to round things off, it suggests ways that can help to minimise (or, better still, eliminate) these problems.

Martin Bates, BDAE Council Member, says, “It will be revealing how much software affects our lives and its criticality to our safety”

Jim Cooling’s career in electrical, electronic, systems and software engineering spanned more than 60 years. This included service in the RAF, work in military Aviation and Naval systems, 20 years in Academia at Loughborough University, finishing as self-employed offering training and consultancy in such systems. Along the way he published more than 12 textbooks, mainly relating to software engineering. His words: ‘I don’t claim to be good, just been round the block a few times’.

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