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Interesting Interview – The Internet of Things and the Honda Recall: An Interview with Anders Wallgren

By Tracie Berardi, Program Manager, Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ)

 

In case you didn’t catch this interview with Anders Wallgren, CTO of Electric Cloud, I’m circulating it here. On August 8, 2014 Anders was interviewed by StickyMinds editor, Cameron Philipp-Edmonds about the recent Honda recall and lessons learned (and to be learned) as we develop the “internet of things.”

 

You can read or watch the interview here: http://www.stickyminds.com/interview/internet-things-and-honda-recall-interview-anders-wallgren

 

Software is pervasive. As Anders notes in the interview, even cars can contain two- to three- hundred million lines of code. (Wow!) “Today you’ve got lots of systems interacting in cars with each other, every car these days is basically a distributed network of computers that need to operate together,” he says. It won’t be long before cars are driving themselves.

 

Honda is recalling thousands of vehicles because of a pesky software bug that impacts acceleration. High profile quality issues like this are popping up more and more, and consumers are taking notice. Consumers have more avenues to express dissatisfaction and distrust – social media, product reviews, and ratings. Manufacturers are calling for stricter software quality measures.

 

“When you had a recall in the past for a car, it used to be that they had to go in and replace some physical part. Now what they’re doing is bringing the cars in and doing a software upgrade to fix that bug, and that’s very common,” says Anders.

 

Think of Tesla, a manufacturer of electric cars. Tesla is able to push out software upgrades over the air. Is this the future?

 

Anders believes that this recall and others are good for the IT industry and society as a whole. It’s a learning process. The industry gets better at shipping quality products.

 

“It is all about quality, and I think quality is a dial that once you start implementing these processes; you are able to crank up a lot higher than you were before with much better timelines. You can bet that they raced to fix this bug. You can bet that when they run into these kinds of issues, they’re burning midnight oil trying to get this stuff fixed. Wouldn’t it be nice to have just found that during the development process as a side effect of some testing that happened? No big meetings need to be had, no PR people need to get involved, you sleep a lot better at night when you take a more rigorous approach to quality and testing.”

 

Yes. Wouldn’t it be great if every manufacturer and IT department had a standard way to measure the quality of their software? Well, that’s coming sooner than everyone thinks. The CISQ quality specifications are going through the standards process right now. We’ll have measurement standards for security, reliability, performance, and maintainability.

 

If you have a moment, read on to see what Anders has to say about continuous delivery, agile processes, and its impact on software quality. http://www.stickyminds.com/interview/internet-things-and-honda-recall-interview-anders-wallgren

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