25. Usenet
By: Steve Krenzel
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Stepwise Interactive Development

I was reading a usenet thread from 1985. The topic of discussion was if there will be a problem with computers in the year 2000 (now known as the y2k bug). One person chimed in that they had already had a similar problem with banking software in 1980. The software only saved the last digit of the year and was written in the 70's. As soon as 1980 hit it would think it was 1970 again. After discussing the bug with his colleague, they determined that fixing the bug would also require compiling "billions" of other COBOL programs. Neither wanted to do that, so their solution was:

First, I modified the daily demand deposit program with code that checked for the date and about mid-1979 started printed warnings on the console of what would happen come new year. Then the systems analyst and I got new jobs. This is known as stepwise interactive development.

Brilliant.

About the author
I'm Steve Krenzel, a software engineer and co-founder of Thinkfuse. Contact me at steve@thinkfuse.com.
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