24.2. "Something's Wrong with the Way We Program Computers"
This has to be one of the most overused lines in the business. Still, given time to ponder the big picture, most of us would probably agree that we're not quite "there" yet. Over the last few decades, the computer software industry has made significant progress on streamlining the development task (anyone remember dropping punch cards?). But at the same time, the cost of developing potentially useful computer applications is often still high enough to make them impractical.
Moreover, systems built using modern tools and paradigms are often delivered far behind schedule. Software engineering remains largely defiant of the sort of quantitative measurements employed in other engineering fields. In the software world, it's not uncommon to take one's best time estimate for a new project and multiply by a factor of two or three to account for unforeseen overheads in the development task. This situation is clearly unsatisfactory for software managers, developers, and end users.