Chapter 2. What Good Software Is Really About

“Mustard’s no good without roast beef.”

—Chico Marx (1891–1961)

Everyone thinks they know good software when they see it. What businesses consider good software can be very different from what end users value. It’s not as simple as “great function, no bugs” (though that’s certainly a good starting point). Microsoft has been a leading software company in the world since 1983, despite a reputation that not all of their products were built to the highest-quality standards. Conversely, some of the seemingly most boring software products in the world have been great business successes for providing precious little more than extreme reliability.

For example, IBM’s mainframe IMS product is a highly available ...

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