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Author Archive: bfwebster

Webster is Principal and Founder at at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the BYU Computer Science Department. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at 303.502.4141 or at bwebster@bfwa.com.

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Minnesota DMV software project: Faulty Towers/Neverending Story patterns

March 29, 2018
Minnesota DMV software project: Faulty Towers/Neverending Story patterns

In my 2000 white paper, “Patterns in IT Litigation: System Failure (1976-2000)” [PDF], which I researched and wrote while at PricewaterhouseCoopers, I describe six broad fact patterns to classify the types of software system implementation failure. One of those patterns I named “Faulty Towers”: The client buys the system from [or has the system developed […]

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The Meltdown/Spectre CPU bugs: a dramatic global case of the “Unintended Consequences” pattern [UPDATED 4/4/18]

January 31, 2018
The Meltdown/Spectre CPU bugs: a dramatic global case of the “Unintended Consequences” pattern [UPDATED 4/4/18]

Back in 2000, PricewaterhouseCooper published my research white paper, “Patterns in IT Litigation: Systems Failure (1976-2000)” (PDF). This paper reflected research I and my staff had done over several months on roughly 120 two- or three-party lawsuits involving information technology. I found that almost all of these lawsuits fell into one or two of six […]

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IT Snapshot: Chapter 1 of “The Mythical Man-Month”

October 17, 2017
IT Snapshot: Chapter 1 of “The Mythical Man-Month”

Over forty years of working in information technology (IT) have taught me how few people have ever actually read some of the most important books in software engineering and IT project management. I teach a senior-level class in Software Engineering (CS 428) at Brigham Young University, and my students have to read a few of […]

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Post-mortem of large IT failure in Scotland

March 21, 2017
Post-mortem of large IT failure in Scotland

I am currently teaching CS 428 (“Software Engineering”) at BYU this semester, and my students just finished their midterm a week ago. Most of the questions on the test posed a hypothetical situation on an IT project or at work and asked them to identify risks and/or solutions, with citations from the books and articles […]

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Telsa alleges theft of intellectual property

January 26, 2017
Telsa alleges theft of intellectual property

From the article by Jordan Golson over at Verge: The complaint, filed in California Superior Court, County of Santa Clara, alleges that Anderson attempted to recruit at least 12 Tesla engineers to a new self-driving venture that he and Urmson were starting, in violation of Anderson’s non-solicitation agreement, and that Anderson took confidential Tesla information […]

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