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A spelling, grammatical or syntax error in software is called a bug. Never buy security software from anyone unless the makers can write and spell correctly and grammatically. That’s my number one rule with security software, and it should be yours as well. This really applies to all software, but it goes double for security software.

Whatever you’ve heard, and whatever you’ve been told, 90% of programming is the chore of expressing ideas and steps into precise and exact grammar, with correct spelling and syntax in every single case.

If the programmer makes a mistake anywhere, the best possible result is that the software will simply not compile or just crash. That’s a good result, because at least you know it doesn’t work.

A less optimal result is that it doesn’t work properly, and nobody realises it. It’s flawed, and nobody’s found the problem yet. That means that it isn’t doing its job fully and completely.

Attention to detail in grammar, syntax and spelling is the single, most vital prerequisite for writing good, functional, bug-free software. Sure, there are other useful skills, like being able to break complex problems down into simple steps, being able to bypass algorithmic tasks with carefully tuned heuristics, being able to think logically and to visualise the overall structure and flow of a project … but none of those alone (or even all of them together) will make you a good programmer if you can’t get the spelling and grammar exactly right.

When it comes to security software, particularly, a number and type of bugs that would be acceptable in any other class of application are just no longer acceptable, because security software is supposed to provide security, and if the makers can’t handle grammar and syntax, the software probably just isn’t going to deliver.

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Categories: Opinion, Security.

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