The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Well, it looks like the recent declaration that the on-going problems with the Queensland Health payroll system that date back to March 2010 were finally over were a wee bit premature. According to the Brisbane, Australia newspaper Courier-Mail last Friday, a "technical fix" to the system resulted in staff being underpaid again for the last pay period. This story at ABC News reports that some "100 employees were underpaid by $50 to $210 a fortnight due to a technical glitch last week."

Queensland Health officials apologized - again - and called the latest bungle "unacceptable."

Another Courier-Mail story that was published yesterday also is not likely to make Queensland Health staff happy. The story reports that "three times more staff chasing down overpayments than those assigned to help workers left underpaid by its faulty payroll system."

This seems to contradict Queensland Premier Anna Bligh'sdecision just two weeks ago that the current focus should be on pursuing the AU $62 million in payroll overpayments until the underpayment issue was resolved.

The situation at Queensland Health just keeps getting stranger and sadder it seems every week.

The Conversation (0)

Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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