e-Talk Radio: Pressman, Roger, 14 November 2000


In this show that aired one week after the U.S. Presidential election in November 2000, Ms. Dekkers and Mr. Pressman talk about system failure and the importance of ergonomics in designing human interfaces.

TEXT TRANSCRIPT: 14 November 2000
Copyright 2001 Quality Plus Technologies and Carol Dekkers. All rights reserved.

Announcer: Welcome to Quality Plus e-Talk! with Carol Dekkers. This program will focus on the latest in the field of technology. All comments, views, and opinions are those of the host, guests, and callers. Now let's join Carol Dekkers.

Carol: Hi. I'm Carol Dekkers. I'm the host of Quality Plus e-Talk! And I'd like to welcome you to this week's show. I'm the president of Quality Plus Technologies, which is an acknowledged industry leader in teaching software companies how to build better software. And we've talked for a number of weeks and had a number of different guests, and I'd like to welcome to the show this week a resident of Palm Beach County, which is absolutely timely. We didn't plan it this way, but it's wonderful. He is the author of six books, including Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach, which is the most widely used software engineering manual, encyclopedia, book that's ever been published. He's an internationally recognized consultant and author in software engineering. Over three decades, Roger Pressman has been a software engineering manager, a professor, an author, a consultant, focusing particularly in the software engineering discipline. And he's president of RSPA, which is Roger Pressman Associates, which does a lot of consulting to establish effective software engineering practices in companies. He's also the developer of a product called Process Advisor, which is the first industry self-directed software process improvement product. And he's also the star and I believe producer of the software engineering video set that's in use at over 1,000 companies. So I'd like to welcome you to the show, Roger.

Roger Pressman: Thank you, Carol.

Carol: And we had talked a lot about some of the different things that we could talk about this evening, in terms of where software engineering is going, what are the trends, that type of thing. And then this election came up, and Roger happens to live in Palm Beach County. How has it been lately?

Roger: Well, it's actually been kind of comical. I've received well over 100 emails in the last two days from friends and colleagues all over the world, as far away as Pakistan and India, who have sent me the crazy cartoon that I'm sure everybody's seen with the connect-the-dots cartoon, where there's a straight line between the dot and Bush and very curved lines between the dots and everyone else. Everyone finds that very amusing. Everybody finds South Florida right now very amusing. It actually isn't very funny at all. It's a serious system problem, and one that I'm hoping is going to be remedied over time.

Carol: And you may even be involved in helping.

Roger: Well, I'm not sure that that's going to occur. I try to stay as far away from politics as I possibly can. But there's no question that there was a significant problem down here. I think in many ways it's being misrepresented by the media, but no question, we have a systems problem. We don't really have a software problem, because the systems down here are so archaic that software doesn't even come into play. But things better be changed, or else we could potentially have this kind of a problem again.

Carol: Right. Now, what's been interesting to me is we've had a couple of shows. We've had Howard Rubin on the show, where he's talked about cybergeography, where third world countries are getting very, very involved in software.

Roger: Sure.

Carol: And I think it's fascinating to me that


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