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Should developers fix bugs in their own time?

Bizzeh (851225) writes | about 9 months ago


Bizzeh (851225) writes "Today my boss came to me with what he thought to be a valid point and analogy. If a builder builds a wall, and a week later, bricks begin to fall out of the bottom, but he continues to build the wall higher, he would have to replace those lower bricks he did not place correctly at his own expense and in his own time. When a software developer writes a piece of software, when bugs are discovered, they are paid to fix them by the company and on the companies 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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RE: Should developers fix bugs in their own time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46216941)

So if a lawyer loses his case and a client goes to jail or must pay in other way he (the lawyer) should return the payment that he received or he should work pro bono for as long as the client does not get what he was "paying for"? if a doctor operates and the operation is not a success then he/she must do it again on her own free time for free? what i'm saying is that some jobs do not have guarantee outcome. this is usually the case with know-how related skills.

No PEng for Software (1)

achowe (829564) | about 9 months ago | (#46217219)

1. Software developers have no professional engineering qualification; a double edge sword for sure. 2. Managers often do not listen to developers' designs and concerns, often cutting corners with development time and quality assurance, in the name of cost cutting.

Bricklayers work like that? (1)

3vi1 (544505) | about 9 months ago | (#46217347)

That analogy is so flawed as to make me wonder if your boss should be managing developers. Make sure he knows that you don't work for free, and that no software developer worth a damn is going to either.

Fixing bugs is not 'replacing bad bricks', and software engineering is not as simple as looking at an opening and seeing how many lines of code will fill it.

Re:Bricklayers work like that? (1)

Bizzeh (851225) | about 9 months ago | (#46219879)

I never said i agreed with my boss, i said i lacked a valid argument to the analogy, and/or an analogy of my own to counter with.

Agreed (1)

bio_end_io_t (2771123) | about 9 months ago | (#46218105)

Both achowe and 3vi1 have very good points. To expand on one of 3vi1's points (with which I agree completely), volunteer, open-source development counts as a hobby. Good devs don't work for free.

Sure, everyone makes mistakes, but if customer A wants this feature and customer B wants that feature, the design can change and bugs will result. The analogy here would be if a bricklayer lays some bricks and the architect says, "I changed my mind, let's use marble instead," the bricklayer is paid to replace the brick with marble.

Programming and construction are different beasts entirely. While some analogies work comparing the tech field to other fields, many analogies fail. Your bosses analogy just doesn't fit the tech field.


marcello_dl (667940) | about 9 months ago | (#46221973)

Boss: how's the project going?
Employee: not bad, I have formally verified 75% of the model domain. In 15/20 years, once the rest of the code, the database and the operating system bits are formally verified, we can ship it.

Hopefully this argument helps clarify (1)

cmptrs4now (1149799) | about 9 months ago | (#46223771)

It is often the case that an employee of a company signs an agreement with the employer indicating that all of the source code a developer produces belongs to the company. There is also the "Intellectual Property" agreements that are signed by the employee which indicate that all ideas generated by a developer belong to the company. Those two agreements indicate that once the source code is typed into the computer, it is then a company possession along with the ideas that generated the source code. A logical conclusion from those two agreements is that the developer when fixing defects is fixing defects in the company source code not his own code. Possession is what counts here.
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