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Source Control Cost Me $1.2 Billion

Friday, January 21, 2005

Perhaps I've overstated the title for dramatic effect, but as a taxpayer I've certainly donated some amount of money to failed software projects for the U.S. government. I’d be curious to see a post-mortem report on some of these projects to hear what went wrong. I’m sure the list could go on and on.

Of all the agencies though, certainly NASA has the toughest job. I mean, you forget to put one tiny file into version control, and oops, $1.2 billion down the drain. I write about this story in the latest OdeToCode article - “Source Control: A Primer”.

The NASA story came to mind this week when I interviewed some candidates who work for consulting shops. Not only did one or two never use source control, but they asked what purpose it served. Hopefully, the article will reach out and touch a few people.