This quadrennium high-profile LYB victims include Microsoft Azure (“the guest agent calculated the valid-to date by simply taking the current date and adding one to its year”, outage more than 24 hours) and Tom Tom (no details available yet, GPS communication disabled, grey screen).
Microsoft is refunding fees and Tom Tom has issued patches, but as usual in these situations the business damage is done and is irreparable. For more details see any technology news website.
As always what interests PT is the root cause: that might reveal ways testing could have been changed, perhaps only slightly, to detect the defect earlier. We commend Microsoft for providing a great deal of candid information about what happened and the reaction to it in Bill Laing’s blog. Regarding testing, Mr Laing says “We are taking steps that improve our testing to detect time-related bugs. We are also enhancing our code analysis tools to detect this and similar classes of coding issues, and we have already reviewed our code base”.
This static analysis will surely help a great deal, especially with finding very similar defects in other places and components. But a question mark must remain over both organizations about why functional testing failed to assure against such a simple and obviously predictable failure.
When Professional Tester discusses the work of others we invite them to comment and respond. TomTom has asked us to quote the following:
"A software update fixing the issue is now available via MyTomTom. The update is straightforward. Simple instructions about how to update your device can be found at http://tomtom.com/386"