5 Easy Mistakes that Could Cause Software to Crash

5 Easy Mistakes that Could Cause Software to Crash

Software crash: In 1962, a software-coding error caused a NASA spacecraft to veer dangerously off course, threatening to crash back to earth. This forced the NASA engineers to issue a self-destruct command. A review board determined that the omission of a hyphen in coded computer instructions caused incorrect guidance signals to be transmitted. The rocket reportedly cost more than $18 million at the time. This indicates how devastating a small error in software can cause a heavy and painful impact on finances and people’s lives. Software errors can come in different shapes and sizes. In this article, we will discuss five easy mistakes that could cause the software to crash.

1. Software bugs

A software bug is an error or a flaw in a computer program that leads to a computer system behaving unintendedly. Most bugs usually arise from errors made in source code during the software development stage or in components and the operating system used by such programs. A typical example of a bug that caused huge ramifications is the famous Knight’s $440 million error. Knight’s trading algorithms allegedly began executing erratic trades on nearly 150 different stocks, causing them to convulse. After the faulty software flooded the market with unintended trades, Knight’s shares dropped 75% in two days. Just 30 minutes after the bug was discovered, the company was forced to incur a $440 million loss.

2. Calculation errors

Calculations are critical in most software processes, and it is crucial to ensure that everything adds up correctly. At the same time, there is a significant potential for errors to occur due to implementing incorrect formulas, units, logic, or data types. For example, NASA lost its Mars climate orbiter shortly after landing on Mars in 1999. It originated from using English units by NASA’s subcontractors instead of using universal metric system units.

3. Software incompatibilities issues

This form of error ensues when the software is used on an incorrect device or in an unsuitable environment. A specific solution should be adaptable to multiple types of devices and capable of handling all of its functions. It is critical to provide hardware that is compatible with the software. The most common software crash caused by incompatibility issues include:

  • Incompatible operating system.
  • Insufficient computing power.
  • Mismatched device.

4. External causes

Software may fail due to the following external causes:

Human error

This involves using software for the wrong purpose, such as inputting incorrect data to a software application.

Management laxity

Most of the time, before a failure occurs, the fault must have given some warnings, which management frequently ignores for reasons best known to them. Failure to update software as soon as it provides a warning could lead to severe problems.

Cybersecurity

Cyber threats such as hacking activities and viruses can compromise the capabilities of software systems due to software vulnerabilities, mainly if such threats are transmitted over a network. This might cause a software crash.

Environment

Natural disasters such as fires, flooding, lightning, earthquakes, and so on can impact the computers that contain the software.

5. A hostile agent attacks software

In this case, the environment in which the software is used has changed. The change is made explicitly to cause the software to fail. The environment in which the software is used may harm it. At times, the software user may purposefully delete some part of the software, causing it to perform its functions improperly, resulting in failure.

Solving software errors

From these tragic incidences of software failure, you are sure that bugs can lead to fatal loss. Performing regular bugs checks could reduce your profits immeasurably due to the enormous cost of doing unnecessary maintenance. Asset reliability management is a way to go. It involves incorporating computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software to perform system checks to ensure maintenance is done when there is the possibility of downtime or software crashes.

Conclusion

Software crashes due to an array of factors. Software bugs, calculation errors, software incompatibilities, and external factors like human error are prominent causes of software crashes. There are diverse degrees of losses when software crashes, and the worst-case scenario can be the loss of life. So, keep software clean by performing maintenance to avoid software crashes.

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