We live in a nice world. There’s a wealth of historical thought on achieving correctness in software–shipping code that does only what is intended, not less and not more–and there are a whole bunch of methods available to us as practitioners. Some of these are hard to apply, some are easy. For instance, case testing is widely used and considered standard practice. Property testing is understood to exist but not widely used. The application of advanced logics? Way out there.
If you look around you’ll find a lot of software fails a lot of the time. Why is that?
In this talk I’ll give an overview of the methods for producing correct systems and will discuss each in its historical context. With each method, we’ll keep an eye out for present applications and the difficulty of doing so. We’ll discuss why there’s so much buggy software in the world. I expect there will be talk of spaceships a bit. By the end of this talk you ought to be able to make reasoned decisions about applying correctness methods in your own work and have a good shot at building better software.