Diebold is a software company crying out for process

A closer look at the smoking gun memos. I think that Bev Harris does a good job pointing out the issues from a business perspective—and Salon plays up the possibility of tampering probably more than is supported by the data, though it makes for a fun conspiracy theory.

But the real story is the state of the software development behind these more-than-mission-critical systems. No software testing policies, no release process, no documented support procedures… some really good firefighters fixing problems for clients on the ground… friction between the developer and the certification agency… trade-offs between design criteria and customer business process reality… major undocumented functional changes between minor point releases suggesting poor or nonexistent requirements management… bad architecture leaving gaping security holes…

Yeah. I’ve been there (present job excepted, of course). I think it’s safe to say that every software developer has been there. But it really points out how important process is.