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A user, following obviously incorrect documentation, uses a piece of hardware incorrectly, which triggers a software bug and causes an expensive hardware failure. Who's at fault?

Survey period: 29 Aug 2022 to 5 Sep 2022

OptionVotes% 
The user184.28
The documentation writer for writing incorrect instructions5713.54
The software developer for writing bad code255.94
The hardware manufacturer for making hardware that isn't resilient to, or catches, bad code317.36
The hardware/software integration and system tester for missing the multiple issues4811.40
All of the above20047.51
None of the above. It was an accident194.51
Something else (please comment)235.46



 
GeneralThe hardware developer for making hardware that isn't resilient to, or catches, bad code Pin
11917640 Member 4-Sep-22 0:52
11917640 Member 4-Sep-22 0:52 
GeneralThe vendor of the system Pin
Alois Kraus3-Sep-22 8:28
Alois Kraus3-Sep-22 8:28 
GeneralFailed on every level Pin
Wendelius2-Sep-22 21:06
mentorWendelius2-Sep-22 21:06 
GeneralWhether or not it's user's fault is debatable, complexity of hardware determines how critical it is to mandate reading manuals Pin
Prahlad Yeri1-Sep-22 21:53
Prahlad Yeri1-Sep-22 21:53 
GeneralThe software developer needs to write robust code Pin
SkysTheLimit31-Aug-22 8:33
SkysTheLimit31-Aug-22 8:33 
Generalthe critical question is "Why?", not "what?", "who?", or "how?" Pin
BryanFazekas31-Aug-22 5:50
BryanFazekas31-Aug-22 5:50 
GeneralNot enough information to assign blame. Pin
Fueled By Decaff30-Aug-22 23:53
Fueled By Decaff30-Aug-22 23:53 
GeneralNot the user ... Pin
Richard MacCutchan30-Aug-22 23:03
mveRichard MacCutchan30-Aug-22 23:03 
GeneralRe: Not the user ... Pin
trønderen1-Sep-22 5:45
trønderen1-Sep-22 5:45 
GeneralRe: Not the user ... Pin
Richard MacCutchan2-Sep-22 6:25
mveRichard MacCutchan2-Sep-22 6:25 
GeneralRe: Not the user ... Pin
trønderen2-Sep-22 9:44
trønderen2-Sep-22 9:44 
GeneralRe: Not the user ... Pin
Dan Neely2-Sep-22 7:27
Dan Neely2-Sep-22 7:27 
GeneralDoes it matter? Pin
David P Nguyen30-Aug-22 22:06
professionalDavid P Nguyen30-Aug-22 22:06 
GeneralCommon Mess Pin
Bernhard Hiller30-Aug-22 21:00
Bernhard Hiller30-Aug-22 21:00 
GeneralThe question itself is ambiguous in it's current form. Pin
alan@1st-straw.com30-Aug-22 4:15
alan@1st-straw.com30-Aug-22 4:15 
GeneralRe: The question itself is ambiguous in it's current form. Pin
Amit Joshi CP31-Aug-22 21:36
Amit Joshi CP31-Aug-22 21:36 
GeneralWhy isn't "marketing" in there? Pin
PIEBALDconsult29-Aug-22 15:05
mvePIEBALDconsult29-Aug-22 15:05 
GeneralRe: Why isn't "marketing" in there? Pin
Daniel Pfeffer29-Aug-22 22:47
professionalDaniel Pfeffer29-Aug-22 22:47 
GeneralOne with worst legal team Pin
dan!sh 29-Aug-22 10:40
professional dan!sh 29-Aug-22 10:40 
GeneralRe: One with worst legal team Pin
Daniel Pfeffer29-Aug-22 22:49
professionalDaniel Pfeffer29-Aug-22 22:49 
GeneralThe sound of one hand clapping Pin
Marc Clifton29-Aug-22 9:26
mvaMarc Clifton29-Aug-22 9:26 
GeneralThe software is at fault. Pin
Gerry Schmitz29-Aug-22 8:58
mveGerry Schmitz29-Aug-22 8:58 
GeneralRe: The software is at fault. Pin
Daniel Pfeffer29-Aug-22 22:53
professionalDaniel Pfeffer29-Aug-22 22:53 
GeneralRe: The software is at fault. Pin
Member 1330167930-Aug-22 20:57
Member 1330167930-Aug-22 20:57 
GeneralAll are at fault, but lawyers will be the big winners Pin
Fred Kreppert29-Aug-22 7:59
Fred Kreppert29-Aug-22 7:59 
All are at fault! First, who wrote the documentation? Was the documentation meant for using the hardware or the software? The user was using the hardware and not necessarily the software, so it would appear that the documentation was for the hardware and not for the software. This causes the person(s) who wrote the documentation to be at fault. Was it the hardware manufacturer who wrote the documentation? Who was the documentation "obviously incorrect" to? If it was obvious to the user, then the user is clearly at fault for following the documentation and not questioning if it was right. The hardware may or may not have been defective, and the software caused it to operate in a way it wasn't planned for. This of course can be viewed as bad design work as the hardware manufacturer should have anticipated that behavior in its design. The bug in the software can only be viewed as the fault of the programmer and those who tested the software. The programmer should have anticipated all possible scenarios and the testers should have tested all possible scenarios. Clearly, they missed something though. Thus, there seems to be plenty of fault and blame to go around.

I see some visits to lawyers in the near future, and probably multiple lawsuits ultimately being filed. Who will be the big winners here? The lawyers of course. The documentation will get fixed, the software bug will get corrected and the hardware will be improved upon. Hopefully the user will become wiser as well, probably to the point of not even reading the documentation next time. This then brings us back to the question of 2 weeks ago, "Do you expect users to read the instructions when using your apps?". In this case, at least the user read, and even followed, the instructions. Unfortunately, the whole thing turned out to be a major SNAFU, and the lawyers will make lots of money from it.

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