0 a. What is the difference between system reliability and system safety? Give an example of a system that operates reliably but not safely. b. Identify and briefly discuss the implications to a project team of classifying a piece of software as safety critical. Q141 Your organization develops accounting software for use by individuals to budget and forecast their expenses and pay their bills while keeping track of the amount of money in their savings and checking accounts. Develop a strong argument for the management of your firm as to why the firm must conduct an assessment of its current software development practices. Q142 Discuss why an organization might elect to use a separate, independent team for quality testing rather than the group of people who originally developed the software. Q143 Read the fictional Killer Robot case at the Web site for the Online Ethics Center for Engi- neering at www.onlineethics.com/CMS/computers/compcases/killerrobot.aspx . The case begins with the manslaughter indictment of a programmer for writing faulty code that resulted in the death of a robot operator. Slowly, over the course of many articles, you are introduced to several factors within the corporation that contributed to the accident. After reading the case, answer the following questions: Q144 Responsibility for an accident is rarely defined clearly and is often difficult to trace to one or two people or causes. In this fictitious case, it is clear that a large number of people share responsibility for the accident. Identify all the people you think were at least par- tially responsible for the death of Bart Matthews, and explain why you think so. Q145 Imagine that you are the leader of a task force assigned to correct the problems uncovered by this accident. Develop a list of the six most significant actions to take to avoid future problems. Q146 Your manager is leading a project to develop new software that is essential to the suc- cess of the midsized manufacturing firm where you work. The firm has decided to hire outside contractors to execute the project. One candidate firm boasts that its software development practices are at level 4 of CMMI. Another firm claims that all its software development practices are ISO 9001 compliant. Your manager has come to you and asked for your opinion on how much weight should be given to these certifications when deciding which firm to use. What would you say? Q147 You are a programmer for a firm that develops a popular tax preparation software pack- age designed to help individuals prepare their federal tax returns. In the course of testing some small changes that were made to the software, you detect an error in the software that results in roughly a 5 percent underestimation of the amount owed—both for those who indicated that they were single and for those who indicated that they were married but filing separate tax returns. It is now late March, and it is likely that well over 100,000 users who submitted their returns using your firm’s software will be affected by this error. What do you do? Q148 You are the project manager in charge of developing the latest release of your software firm’s flagship product. The product release date is just two weeks away, and enthusiasm for the product is extremely high among your customers. Stock market analysts are fore- casting sales of more than $25 million per month. If so, earnings per share will increase by nearly 50 percent. There is just one problem: two key features promised to customers in this release have several bugs that would severely limit the software’s usefulness. You estimate that at least six weeks are needed to find and fix the problems. In addition, even more time is required to find and fix 15 additional, less severe bugs just uncovered by the QA team. What would you recommend to management? Q149 You developed a spreadsheet program that helps you perform your role of inventory control manager at a small retail sports shoe store. The software uses historical sales data to calculate expected weekly sales for each of about 250 shoes carried by the store. Based on that forecast, you order the appropriate shoes from the various manu- facturers. Your store is one of four shoe stores owned by the same person. You sent a copy of the spreadsheet to each of the people responsible for inventory control at the other three retail stores, and they are all now using your software to help them do their jobs. You have started getting complaints that the software is not entirely accurate, and you notice that your own estimates are no longer as accurate as they used to be. What would you do?
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