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Bug Programming

Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time? 716

Bizzeh writes "Today my boss came to me with what he thought to be a valid point and analogy. A builder builds a wall. A week later, bricks begin to fall out of the bottom, but he continues to build the wall higher. In most cases, he would have to replace those lower bricks at his own expense and on his own time. Comparatively: A software developer writes a piece of software. When bugs are discovered, the developer is paid to fix them by the employer and on the employer's time. I didn't know how to refute the analogy at the time, but it did make me think: why are bugs in software treated differently in this way?"
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Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?

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  • by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @07:11PM (#46223443) Homepage Journal

    I don't know how it is in the US, but where I live, builders have to have an insurance that guarantees free repair for faulty work for 10 years, even if the company goes bust.

    And its often the case with software that a large sale will include items such as insurance requirements, performance guarantees, and even source code escrow, to help provide a similar level of assurance.

  • Re:Guarantee (Score:4, Informative)

    by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Tuesday February 11, 2014 @08:12PM (#46224133)

    Your using the wrong mechanic. I've had free labour, and even free parts from my regular mechanic after he's realised he misdiagnosed a problem originally.

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Wednesday February 12, 2014 @12:32AM (#46225819) Journal

    This is the difference. Employment where the payer takes the risk and reaps the rewards, vs contracting, where the seller has the risks and rewards.

    If you contract a brick company to build a wall (at $150 / hour), they will in turn employ brick layers at $15 / hour. The $135 difference is that the contractor is paid to get the wall built, even if it takes three as long as expected. The bricklayer is paid to show up 8-5 and lay bricks. For $15 / hour, he is responsible for showing up and doing what the boss says, NOT for the results.

    I do both in programming. Customers call and get a bid on a project. If I have to work until 2AM to get the project done, I work until 2AM. I bid those projects based on $125 / hour - however many hours I think it'll take, I multiply that by $125 to set the price. I also work for a government agency, as an employee. They pay $50 / hour, and I leave work at 5:00, whether the job is done or not. If they want me to spend my off hours working on it, they can a) pay contract rates and b) not complain when I go home at noon because the job is done.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.